|God Loves You|
"May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word." 1 Thessalonians 2:16-17, NIV.
We need a source of encouragement that is bigger and greater than our discouragement. If our encouragement is only derived by our own resolve, philosophy or ideas we will be disappointed and often worse off than before. We need encouragement from a higher source.
This verse starts with "May," as if our encouragement is not certain. There is a condition to our encouragement- our willingness to accept it. "May" is a word that implies to allow a permissive choice. It may be a request for God to permit us encouragement; or it may be a choice on our side to accept encouragement.
God has already given us "eternal encouragement." We already have encouragement on a spiritual level. We often miss the encouragement that He has already given because we are focused on the day to day struggles of living. These struggles are real and loom up before our vision to obscure our view of the eternal blessings we already have.
The encouragement we already possess far outweighs our hardships here; we have an all-powerful loving Father in Heaven who has given us forgiveness of our sins through the blood of his Son. He has not only given forgiveness but eternal salvation with riches in Glory, we will share in the inheritance of his Son who has gone ahead to prepare a place for us in his heavenly kingdom- and that is all just the beginning.
Our Father intends for us to be encouraged in "every good deed and word." During our worldly pilgrimage we often need encouragement to persevere and not quit. Discouragement may come when we are not focused on serving the Lord but are busy with things that perish. God wants to encourage our hearts not only for our comfort but His glory.
The verses above are a prayer. If you need encouragement go back to the "May" which begins this verse, and pray to accept the encouragement which is ours already in Christ; and request the encouragement so we may do good to others and to proclaim the good word of the Gospel.
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