Saturday, July 26, 2008

That I May Encourage Others Also

We had a special treat yesterday. We were able to view a video message from our son, thanks to the Cadet Chapel Choir at West Point. In the video, he is standing with a new friend he has made at Cadet Basic Training. He looks and sounds great. He looks happy. Tomorrow, the new cadets are scheduled to spend the afternoon at the home of a staff member. They will have an opportunity to call home. Needless to say, we are forward to the phone call and have a list of questions to ask him. Many will have to wait until Labor Day weekend, when he has his first opportunity to come home.

As I continue to feel the effects of my last round of chemotherapy [My wife tells me that I still have the look.] and anticipate the next round coming up in four days, my reading in 1 Thessalonians was appropriate for this morning.

In 1 Thessalonians 3:1-4, Paul writes that he has sent Timothy to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith.

The word establish carries the idea of strengthening or fixing firmly. The word encourage means to come along side in order to help.

We all need encouragement. We all ought to be encouragers. It is not God’s design for us to be alone, to be the rugged individualists that America has glamorized. We are meant to be dependent upon on another. We are meant to acknowledge our own weaknesses and rely on the strengths of others, as others rely upon us.

This is especially true in times of affliction, which are a normal part of the Christian life. We are to help each other through, reminding each other of who God is and what He has promised us. We are to keep pointing each other toward Jesus Christ and His finished work in the cross at Calvary. To the love, grace, forgiveness, strength, comfort and peace found only in Him.

My bout with cancer has taught me the importance and necessity of acknowledging my weaknesses and depending on others.

Physically, there are many things that I cannot do for myself. A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with our pastor and deacons at a restaurant that featured a breakfast buffet. The other men had to help me by carrying my plate back to the table. Thankfully, many of the men still have young children are accustomed to doing such things.

It has been the prayers and continual encouragement of others that have enabled my wife and me to keep our focus on Christ and to continually seek to glorify Him. There are times when we get weary and frustrated, but God always provides someone to help establish and encourage us in some way.

And I continually pray that God would somehow use my trial with cancer to encourage others who are going through difficult times. As I am encouraged, that I may encourage others also.

1 comment:

Emmanuel Family Blessings said...

Sorry for interrupting but do you know any expert counselor or family blessings lecturer? I think with all the troubles my family is experiencing, we badly need either of the two. Thanks.