Thursday, January 15, 2009

Encourage the Fainthearted, Help the Weak

1 Thes. 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

This is the final instructions to the Thessalonian believers, from Paul. It is an interesting list of things to do, be and not do.
I am not going to give an exegetical post on this list, but I do want to high light a couple of things that hit me today.

The economy is getting to me. There is much on my heart and mind, even though I know I am not to worry or be anxious, I am still a human and still a sinner. For some reason I have been discouraged lately and that makes my light dim. So, when I woke up early this morning I went right for the Word. I want to be filled with encouragement from the fountain. I wanted to drink with a fire hose, because I knew where I would be if I didn't. At the end of my quiet time, I was still just wimpy. I talked to Teresa before I left for work and told her I am just tired of the grind. I know that Ecclesiastes said this is how it would be, but it's like I have been on vacation the first 45 years of my life. It has been really easy compared to now.
She told me that God has me where He wants me and that I am here to encourage the people around me. So that is what I tried to do today.

I still had work to do, but my real focus today was to go out and try to tell others of what God has been doing in my life and what He has done in the lives of those around me. There are a lot of weak and wimpy people out there right now and we are to be salt and light to the world. If I go out and complain about God's plan for me, that is not honoring to Him. It is pride on my part. I want to be the brightest light I can be while He has me in the place He sees fit. As I often say, "easier to say, than to do".

So I highlighted a couple of verbs above, and a promise.
Encourage the faint hearted, help the weak, rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances. We need to do this for each other.

I love what Paul says right at the end; "sanctify you completely", "He will surely do it", because "He is faithful".
What an encouragement; He is going to do this in me. He has to do it, because I can't do it. He has to give me the desire to wake up early to go to the fountain. He has work out all these verbs in my life, because left to my own devices I don't want to do them. But He promised to complete the work He has started in me.
Now that's encouraging.


Leila said...

Thanks for the encouragement Chuck! I've been praying for you, Teresa as your helper, and Priceless. The budget at EvCC is getting hit, and the economy all around makes me often feel like panicking and running for the hills, but is God not bigger than money?! Why is it so hard to trust in this area?

Chuck Weinberg said...

God is bigger than everything, and it is stupid to fall into not trusting 5 minutes after He has shown Himself faithful. I have often thought that the Israelites must have been really wimpy for forgetting God time and time again, but that is me too. That's why I must continue to remind myself of His goodness and faithfulness every minute of the day. It will be fun to watch Him work all this out and also to watch Him show off at the S/R.
Thanks for praying for us. It is not just the best thing we can do, but the only thing that really works.