How We Can Help One Another Face the Day
The Lord’s blessings on you as you wake up and get ready to face the day. Be encouraged and know Christ is with your every moment in His grace. For today’s worship and prayer help we are going to look at a couple ways we encourage one another through Jesus, especially when our lives have us so busy in the daily by-and-by.
I’ve never been one that’s good at conversating about feelings. Particularly when we are talking about an emotion that is more like a rush of energy than anything else. Encouragement is almost like a shot of endorphin that pushes the struggle bus forward and knocks it back in gear, which makes it now the go-forward machine. It’s interesting how sometimes something so innocuous as a random text or message can affect the whole of our countenance, but that is what we are describing when we take on this subject. Encouraging words or actions are rarely major events. Most of the time the best kind of support is what you receive when you are not looking for it. There’s something to be said as well about the small, regular, routine stuff that may not seem like much until it is no longer present. One of the things we need to be watchful for is that it is not communicated that inspiration must take on only a feminine feel. I know it’s somewhat gauche to say this nowadays, but men and women can have different needs on this front, and neither should be neglected. That being said since this is a spiritually-focused Tuesday devotion there are several places in the Bible we can go to find what we need to look for all our benefit.
The first place to go is 1 Samuel 23 and the way Jonathan provides care for David.
In this scene David is on the run from Saul. The current king of Israel has heard of the promise made to the son of Jesse and is determined to not let the plan of God came to pass. He figures if he kills David then he can’t be king. Sound logic, bad idea. As David is out running around with his merry band of men putting out fires and taking care of things Saul should be doing, the future king of Israel is drawn low by the incongruity of the situation. In life even when we are doing the right things we can be in a position where we know things ain’t the way they are supposed to be. We keep on keepin’ on, but that nagging feeling in our souls won’t let us have peace. That’s similar to what David is dealing with here. So how does Jonathan coming to him in 1 Samuel 23:16-17 help? First, it is a kind word from a friend. We’ve heard at length (especially in 1 Sam. 19:1-2) how these two men were fond of each other. Male friendship has taken a hard hit in our overly-sexualized era, and the lack of it has hurt men of all ages. Yet what we see here is how the faithful words of a true compadre give peace and strength to a man of God. Jonathan’s simple words say, “ Then Jonathan, Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God. And he said to him, ‘Do not fear, for the hand of Saul my father shall not find you. You shall be king over Israel, and I shall be next to you. Even my father Saul knows that.’” In saying what he does Jonathan is giving us an example of what really helps, the pointing to the promise and surety of the covenant God has made with us in Christ. Why should David not be anxious about Saul’s desire to destroy him? Because Jehovah made a vow, and Jehovah is not in the business of breaking His oaths to His people. Now, we aren’t David, but remember something important about that. We are actually in a better place than him, because our promise is not an earthly kingship. Our hope and peace in Christ is in an eternal throne where the believer’s Sovereign sits this very day. Here in this passage we see one way we can be sure to encourage the downtrodden in our covenant family: by reminding them of God’s promise in Jesus. It is a powerful word of truth for any man or woman who seems lost amidst the chaos.
Another good Scripture to look at to see how we can help our brothers and sisters in Christ who need a little pick-me-up can be found in Paul’s letter to Colossae. He writes:
“For I want you to know what a great burden I have for you and those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh, that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”
In that testimony we see the power of true Christian friendship founded in a mutual comprehension of the grace of God to sinners. Another way men and women of faith are easily dismayed in this life is when it comes to their own transgressions. In our brains it can be simple for us to acknowledge Bible truths about the gospel without ever actually applying them to our own souls. It’s one thing to know Jesus died for my sins on the cross, it is another to believe that this is the case. What the apostle does in the passage above is remind his readers that God in His love for us has given us others in a like condition, saved by the same Lamb, and brought to peace by the same Spirit. Mutually encouraging one another to be assured of this truth is a major help to the downtrodden. It is a great help for us to remember we are not alone in the battle before us.
We’ve barely scratched the surface on the ways we can help one another as members of the same household. However these two primary means: pointing to the covenant of grace in Christ and coming alongside a brother to show them the power of the gospel cover what we really need.
Be encouraged today and be an encourager to someone else as the Lord opens the door.
Blessings in Christ,
Rev. Benjamin Glaser
Pastor, Bethany ARP Church