We can often underestimate the power of God’s Word, the Bible. I often take it for granted, forgetting quite how transformational it is. The passage below is difficult reading for many of us but it is crucial if we want to learn to be genuinely encouraging people:
1 Thessalonians 5:9-22
9 For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
12 Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. 13 Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. 14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.
16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire; 20 do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21 Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22 Avoid every kind of evil.
We are reminded that in the light of Jesus’s sacrifice for us, we have the honour of being able to live our lives with Him right there with us. We ‘re also given the following instructions, among others:
- Respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.
- Live in peace with each other.
- Warn those who are idle.
- Encourage the timid.
- Help the weak.
- Be patient with everyone.
- Don’t pay back wrong for wrong.
- Be kind to each other and everyone else.
- Be joyful always.
- Pray continually.
- Give thanks in all circumstances.
- Do not put out the spirit’s fire.
- Do not treat prophecies with contempt.
- Test everything.
- Avoid every kind of evil.