“Therefore encourage one another, and build up one another, just as you are doing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:11
Recently my wife and I went shopping for some new flowers for our yard. We looked over aisles and aisles of flowers and shrubs. There was every color, shape and size to pick from.
Then my wife led me over to what seemed to be hundreds of different colors of mulch to put around our new flowers. I guess it makes sense, new flowers, new mulch?
It only took a few minutes to have our cart loaded down. I think the front wheels must have been bending because, it had gotten to the point that it was hard to steer.
We then stood in a single line with everyone else in the store because the other line was tied up with someone who had ran back to get one more plant. Oh, I cannot forget to mention how hot it was! We were standing in line in the heat to pay and then having to load my truck with the sun beating down on us, was not my idea of fun.
Now as we are leaving the parking lot and I am dodging cars that are pulling out of parking spaces without looking, when my wife notices something. There just a few yards in front of us is a little mouse running across the parking lot. Not only is he running across the blistering hot asphalt, but he has a bird repeatedly diving after him!
All of a sudden my problems don’t seem so serious. When I stop and think about what that little guy is facing, I should be ashamed of allowing myself to focus on my petty problems. My trivial matters were nothing compared to his.
In this verse, the Apostle Paul is encouraging the believers in Thessalonica during their difficulties. Earlier in Chapter 1 verse 2, he told them, “We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers.”
Paul is uplifting the church. They are going through some difficult times. Persecution is on the rise and many Christians were being tempted to fall away from the faith.
And even though Paul has faced and is still facing many problems of his own, beatings, attempts on his life, a ship wreck, and imprisonment, just to name a few he still wanted to encourage other believers. He knew the importance of not feeling sorry for himself. He knew that he had the responsibility to stand behind his brothers and sisters in Christ and support them spiritually.
Don’t allow the trials in your life to blind you from those that are around you and are in need. It is easy to feel down when things in our life aren’t going the way that we think that they should, but look around you. Look at who could use your support or encouraging word. You won’t have to look long to find a fellow believer that needs someone to remind them of the love of God.
No matter what is going on in your own life, find someone to encourage. God will bless you through it.