Having and Giving Encouragement

     God has not destined us for wrath,

but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:9-11 (ESV)

Heavenly Father, what an encouraging Scripture to marinate in this October Saturday. What a destiny we have, what a God you are, what a gospel we trust.

There are many things over which we have little control, many outcomes that remain hidden to us, and many broken stories, people, and situations that may, or may not, get better this side of heaven.

But we’re certain of this: Because of the finished work of Jesus, our future contains zero judgment and 100% joyful welcome; zero sin and 100% perfect righteousness; zero brokenness and 100% perfect relationship with you.

Heaven is going to be bodacious and magnificent, beautiful and perfect beyond our wildest dreams and hopes. This isn’t sentimental hype; it’s our guaranteed hope.

Until then, Father, make us faithful encouragers and “builder-upper’s” of one another—of our families, gospel-posse, and friends. Thank you for the privilege we have of bearing each another’s burdens, giving each other hope-fueling perspective, and reminding one another of the riches of the gospel.

Father, thank you. Whether we die before Jesus returns, or live to see that blessed Day, we are presently and forever your beloved children. Nothing can separate us from your love, deplete your mercies, or exhaust your grace.

Thank you that the darkest clouds often bring the most refreshing rains, that boasting in our weakness is still the surest way to taste your sweetness, and that all of history is in your merciful and mighty hands. This is so encouraging. Therefore, Father, free us to live as gospel-encouragers as long as you keep us in this world. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.