I was teaching a class of junior and senior students a week ago and, in the process, was reminded of how critical it is to encourage one another. I asked them if they remembered something that someone said that hurt them. All of them raised their hands. One girl said that her parent told her that she was a mistake, and another student said her parent told her that she would never see success. Then, I asked the students if they could remember something someone said to them that encouraged them. A single hand went up. I asked him who it was that inspired him. He said, “I work at Target. Some random lady came up to me and told me she liked my hair. It made me feel so good that I keep it long.” How long ago was that?, I asked. “Two years ago!”
We all need to remind ourselves and others that we matter to God. No person is a mistake. We are created in the image of God, which means that we are designed to be in a relationship with God and with others. God knows all that life, without Him leading the way, does not work. Jesus has overcome the world and as His followers, we need to make sure we walk with Jesus in the midst of trouble, and encourage fellow believers to not give us and keep the faith.Then Jesus told His followers, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b).
“You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22- 23).
Jesus commanded that we are to love the Lord with all of our heart, mind, and soul and to love others as we love ourselves. Jesus’ command sounds simple enough but is nearly impossible because of the war between Satan and Christ’s followers.
“The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10)
“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
Satan is trying to destroy our faith in Jesus. One of his most effective tools to disrupt what we know to be true is to whisper lies to us that can cause us to doubt. Satan is a liar, and there is no truth in Him. With every lie, God has written the truths in the Bible that counter Satan’s attempts to kill our faith.
Have you heard these lies whispered in your mind?
- Satan: “You are a mistake!”
Bible. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:13-16
- Satan: God hates you!
Bible. “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east Is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:11,12).
- Satan: God does not care for you.”
Bible. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
- Satan: “God has no place for you in Heaven.”
Bible. “They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3,4)
Through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, prayer, and the Word of God, we are equipped to fight the fight against darkness. The Holy Spirit is stronger and smarter than Satan and his schemes and is greater than whoever is in the world. We are all fighting against Satan, and we cannot do this alone. God, in His grace, tells us in His Word, to pray for and to encourage one another continually. This is why being an encourager is essential and necessary as we live out our lives to the glory of God.
By these encouragements believers can have peace that passes all understand and rejoice in all situations. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33). Believers need not fear Satan; rather, they must trust in the Lord and obey Him. Those who are of God can boldly say, “Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.”
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” Throughout the Bible, we see instructions to encourage one another to stand firm as we fight for what we know to be true.
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” God’s Word is full of encouragement. Pleasant words, indeed” (Proverbs 16:24).