Touch of Encouragement
Have you ever read through a lot of Paul’s epistles/letters to his friends and churches? What did you notice in the openings?
Every time Paul starts a letter, the form is pretty much the same… “Paul (description) To____, grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ…
This is pretty great to have the greeting and a blessing in our Lord each time we start reading a letter, but the part that gets me is the next section.
“I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.” (Philemon v4-7)
I love reading the encouragement from Paul about the faithfulness of a brother in Christ, and honestly, I hope people think of me like that too. It’s really hard to not compare myself to others, or to think about my own inadequacies, but I know that because the Holy Spirit is working within me. Regardless of my sinful nature, I can be encouraged in my identity as a baptized and beloved child of God. I can be encouraged that this working in the faith is actually the work of the Holy Spirit, and the ultimate comfort that Jesus promised to be with us until the end of the age.
As I strive to live out my faith to the glory of God, I remember who I am, and that Jesus is with me and working through me. This is a great comfort and encouragement as I interact with everyone and share the love of God with everyone around me. Grace and peace to you!
Director of NexGen Ministries