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Encourage one Another - by Mary L. Weinstein

Many people in the body of Christ fall away from the faith or separate themselves from the church because they give up during trials.  I believe one reason they fall away is because they are not properly taught how to run the race.  Another reason is that they don’t receive the proper encouragement.  One thing I have found to be completely false is the notion that you must put a smile on your face even if you’re in the midst of a trial.  Many churches teach that you are lacking faith if you show signs of discouragement.  That simply is not true.  We are emotional beings and created that way by God for a reason.  If we don’t let others know that we are going through a personal hell, how then will others know we need encouragement?  How will we get through the fierce trials if nobody is standing alongside of us? 

 

In Acts 14:22, it tells us that Paul was, “strengthening the souls of the disciples, EXHORTing them to continue in the faith, and saying, ‘We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.’"  It is a fact that we will go through many tribulations.  Tribulation represents oppression, affliction, distress, or straits.  We see many times how the New Testament church encouraged each other.  This is how they got through their trials.  In Hebrews 3:13 it says, “but EXHORT one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.”  Exhort means to encourage, comfort, console, strengthen, instruct and teach.  Believers need to learn how to exhort one another.  I say learn because I am amazed at how many believers do not know how to encourage others.  They are usually opinionated and quick to point out other people’s flaws.  They are not sensitive to others’ needs.

 

In a natural race, the runners are cheered as they run by people standing on the side lines.  They are given bottles of water so that they avoid dehydration and weakness.  This is how it must be as believers are running the race of life.  We need other believers who are going to encourage us, pray with us, and check on us.  We need them to cheer us on, let us know we can make it to the finish line, and let us know we are not alone.  Sometimes when we are going through trials, we lose focus, we get weary and discouraged, and we fail to see the larger picture.  Thus many drop out at this point.  We have to be reminded that all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).  I Corinthians 9:24 tells us to run the race in such a way that you may obtain the prize.  Hebrews 12:1 says, “…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the RACE that is set before us.”  Here, the word race is relating to a contest, battle, or struggle.

 

Let us encourage one another as we run the race as Paul did so that we may be able to say what he said in 2 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the RACE, I have kept the faith.”



Mary L. Weinstein is a Certified Life Purpose Coach through Life Purpose Coaching Centers, Int'l.  She holds a Bachelor of Theology in Biblical Counseling from The King's College & Seminary.  She is an ordained Minister, Biblical Counselor and Bible Teacher.  Mary is the Founder and CEO of Friends with Purpose Ministries.  Her website is http://www.friendswithpurpose.com


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