Peace through Encouragement



December 8, 2014
Peace through Encouragement.  By Jacalyn Epperson

Scripture:  1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5: 11

In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians, he writes of encouragement and recognizes that the community of faith is indeed already lifting each other up. In this busy world we live in, full of “to-do” lists, technology, expectations and priorities, we sometimes feel overwhelmed with the circumstances we find ourselves in. We dedicate our time and energy to many worthwhile endeavors as we seek to follow Christ and build community in His presence. Paul reminds us that we, the followers of Jesus, are people of the light.  We strive to live in a manner pleasing to God and are called to a life of hope, love, faith and yes…encouragement.  During this time of ultimate waiting, so many things in our modern, fast-paced world attempt to distract us from what the waiting is all about. The day-to-day during the holidays can be stressful even when we are focused on the hope, peace, joy and love. The thing that can bind us together and bring us peace as a community of faith is the encouragement. We do it already, but Paul recognizes the need for emphasis on the act of encouragement. He encourages us to encourage each other even more; seek to recognize the difficulties others may be facing and offer words of hope and love. 

In the day to day, in the waiting, in the night, there are times of trials and tribulation for everyone. Living in the light is not always easy, but it does come with a hope for the future. He is with us in the day to day and in the waiting. He lives through us and with us and with each other we become His community of faith. As such, we must continuously remember the importance of building each other up, just as we do. In the hustle and bustle of the times, our ability to lift up the light and fan the flames of our neighbors shows the resilient nature of faith. We need not rely solely on our own abilities;  we can lean on each other in times of need and be lifted up.

Prayer: Lord, in these busy days, let me shine your light of love by encouraging the works of those around me. As others grow weary in their daily lives and good deeds, help me to support them and bring them peace. And as you see me struggling to stay focused on you, surround me with the encouragement of my community. May we all find peace through encouragement during this time of waiting and throughout the year.   Amen.

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