Encouragement is so important. The Bible tells us to encourage others. I have personally seen encouragement go a long way in a person’s life. Paul wrote how he wanted to encourage others in their faith, but then he said something interesting. He said, “But I also want to be encouraged by yours.” What? He wanted to be encouraged by their faith?
Faith is encouraging. When others have faith, it is an encouragement. Even Paul, who many see as this great person of faith, could be encouraged by the faith of others. It is encouraging to see what God is doing through other people. It is encouraging to see others walking in faith. It is a truly a blessing and an honor to share. What an encouragement to those who witness God’s presence in your life.
Today, remember that you can be an encouragement to others. Go out of your way to encourage someone. Speak life. Share a laugh. Walk in faith. Encourage others in their faith. And allow yourself to be encouraged by what God is doing in the lives around you. Look around and watch Him move. He is alive. He is doing great things.
“When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” – Romans 1:12 [NLT]
Sometimes we like to avoid or rush through situations all together. If something seems inconvenient, unsettling or as something that could possibly cause some damage or undesired consequence, we tend to back away. In Joshua 3, we read of this command for the priests to stand still in the Jordan. This is one of my favorite pictures in the Bible. Imagine the Jordan. Imagine the waters that overflow the banks. God tells these priests to go out and walk into this flood zone, to stand still right in the midst of it all.
I cannot say how I would react to such a command. I would consider the electronics in my pocket. I would certainly want to take off my shoes. I wouldn’t want to be wearing jeans. I would not like entering higher waters. These priests were to walk right in there and stand still. Why stand still? Why stand still after God causes the water to part as He did with the Red Sea? Consider how awesome it would have been as these men rested the soles of their feet on dry ground and raised their eyes to look around them. Consider the awesomeness they witnessed that could not have been appreciated as dearly if they simply ran across the dry ground or if they never had to get their feet moving forward in the water to see God move.
Sometimes God wants to take you into the flood zone. He wants to get you right where you can see Him move mountains in your life. There may have been a moment where He has done remarkable things and you missed it all because you didn’t stand still, because you were focused on where you placed your feet rather than stopping to look around you. God still can cause waters to stand in a heap. God is the same God who parted both the Red Sea and the Jordan. You have the opportunity to stand firmly today – to stand firmly and to stand still wherever God leads you in life. If you rush through you may just miss the waters standing in the heap. If you don’t move your feet in the flood zone, you may miss out on the remarkable ways God wants to move in your life.
“And when the soles of the feet of the priests bearing the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan shall be cut off from flowing, and the waters coming down from above shall stand in one heap.” – Joshua 3:13 [ESV]
When I was walking my dog this morning, there were tons of ants gathering together on the sidewalk. My dog Max decided to walk around the ants in an awkward way to be sure to avoid them all. It was quite humorous to see a 75 pound dog trying to avoid the tiny ants, but there is great strength in numbers.
Each of those ants is important. Each one added to the number and helped to make Max feel the need to avoid them. Each one played an important role. It is the same way with people. Each person is important. Each person has an important role to play. Sometimes we feel like we like a tiny ant, like we cannot make a difference or that what we are doing does not matter. Do not let yourself listen to those lies.
You are important. You are special. You are loved. And YOU are called to do great things. The biggest problem is that we think of ourselves as a little ant rather than as one of many ants—a large group of ants. We were created as communal beings and we are to be part of a community—one body—the body of Christ. You are not an ant. You are a child of God, a member of the Kingdom of God. And you, my friend, can do great things—great things through Christ.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father.” – John 14:12 [NLT]