Tuesday – December 6, 2016
Read: 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
Focus: vss 16-17
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father…encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.”
I have been blessed throughout the years by those who have encouraged me. My high school guidance counselor, several people in my home church, my own grandmother and various professors at college along with various family members have been encouragers for me in the different phases of my life. The greatest human encourager, however, has always been my wife. I thank God for her and for all the others. I was encouraged to go to college and pursue the calling God placed on me in my teen years. I was encouraged to keep on even when I wanted to quit. My pastor and my Sunday school superintendent along with others in the community let me know they were proud of what I had become and wanted me to continue. I thank God for encouragers.
Beyond the greatest gift ever given (Jesus Christ) there is also a wonderful gift that comes from both the Father and the Son. It is the gift of encouragement. Actually, the thrust of our thought for this devotional is found in the words I left out, “who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope.” This makes it very clear that “eternal encouragement and good hope” are gifts given by the “grace” of the Father and the Son. Have you ever needed encouragement? If not, then you would probably be a minority of one. We all need to be encouraged and receive hope sometimes. Isn’t it wonderful that our God knows this and reaches out to give it to us? Perhaps as you are reading this you are remembering times even this past year when a word of encouragement was needed and God sent it a just the right time. Our God is an encourager and gifts us with that. Sometimes it is in the reminder that this world is not our home and we are just passing through. Sometimes he encourages us to just hold on a bit longer and the answer will come. Other times He brings someone to us just when all is at its bleakest moment. Someone says or does an act of kindness that restores your faith and lifts you above the pit of despair and fear. He is not a God of fear but of power. “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7).
“O God, our help in ages past and our hope for years to come, help us to hold fast to You and trust in your love and compassion for your children.”