May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.
Romans 15:5 ESV
The outcome of our opportunities and obstacles is based on our observations of God. As Paul wrote to the Christ followers in Rome, he encouraged the strong to help the struggling, the well to help the weary, and the faithful to help the fallen. He modeled his message of ministry after the Master’s life. Paul explained the example of Jesus as One who endures and encourages.
God Our Example. Paul writes, “For even Christ didn’t live to please Himself. As the Scriptures say, ‘The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.’” (Rom 15:3 NLT). Jesus has given us an example to embrace. Give. Serve. Love. We are reminded, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are His dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Eph 5:1-2 NLT)
God Of Endurance. The writer of Hebrews reminds us this life is a race and running requires us to “strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.” (Heb 12:1 NLT). We are to “run with endurance the race God has set before us.” We keep our “eyes on the prize” . . . we stay focused on Jesus because “He endured the cross”. (Heb 12:2 NLT) When God becomes our example of endurance, we become committed to completing the course. In every opportunity, there are obstacles and opposition. Henry Ford said, “When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it.” We press on past fatigue and failure and pursue in faith. We’re instructed, “Think of all the hostility He (Jesus) endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” (Heb 12:3 NLT)
God Of Encouragement. The psalmist reminds us that God’s Word is a lamp and light in our journey. (Ps 119:105) Paul tells the believers in Rome that, “Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” (Rom 15:4 NLT) God’s promises give us hope and God’s presence gives us help. Sharing God’s hope and help brings harmony. The apostle writes, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us”. (2 Cor 1:4 NLT). Encouragement can energize our efforts . . . discouragement can destroy our dreams. Abraham Lincoln said, “Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed.”
God gives us an example . . . He gives us endurance . . . He encourages us. He asks that we do the same for others.
There’s a lyric that reads, “You can build a wall or you can build a bridge. It all depends upon the love you give. If you build a wall, your world is small. But, a bridge of love will conquer all.”
Let’s build a bridge of encouragement that will endure and be an example to all.