Recently, my husband, Luke, and I received a letter in the mail from my brother, Marshall. He is currently living in Los Fresnos, Texas, training to be a missionary with To Every Tribe. The letter was completely out of the blue, but it served a great purpose. Luke and I have been presented with some challenges early on in our marriage and have been in need of some encouragement. A door was closed to an opportunity for Luke to work a lifelong career job at the fire department where we currently live. Because of this closed door, the city no longer gives us a reason to stay.
Now, we will be moving to the opposite side of the state, where both of our families live, because that’s where the job opportunities lie. It’s difficult, though, because we had just gotten settled into our new city. We grew to love our cozy humble apartment, got plugged into our church, made many friends through Bible study groups, are both comfortable in our jobs, and now have to uproot. We are presented with the challenge of finding a new home, new jobs for both Luke and I, new friends, and a new church to get plugged into.
The unknown can be scary and without putting trust in the Lord it can be overwhelming. My brother knows this and wrote a letter to encourage my husband and I. Marshall reminded us how the things of this world aren’t secure but God is and always will be. In this life we may not have much, and we may be persecuted because of our love for Jesus. But apart from Him we have nothing good, and with God we have a beautiful inheritance. In His presence there is fullness of joy, no matter the circumstances. He continued by writing three Bible verses to encourage us in our job hunt. The references are Ecclesiates 9:10, Psalm 127:1-2, and Philippians 4:6-7.
Without Marshall’s letter of encouragement, it would’ve been easy to become flustered and frustrated, scared and doubtful. His encouragement kept my eyes fixed on Jesus. Now I can refer back to the Bible verses he shared whenever I start to let anxiety fill my mind. I am so thankful my brother took the time to encourage us, as it was exactly what we needed to hear. Because of his encouragement, we are better equipped to keep our eyes on God and our hope in Him.
“Encourage One Another and Build Each Other Up” -1 Thessalonians 5:11
Last weekend, Marshall married his love, Jill Rae, who he met at To Every Tribe. It was the perfect wedding weekend down in Alabama, filled with family, friends, and most of all Jesus. Both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding glorified God in many ways. Stories were shared of God’s power and the ways He worked mightily through Jill, Marshall, and friends. I don’t know about you, but when I here how God has been present in others’ lives, it encourages my desire to serve Him and makes me fall more deeply in love with my Savior.
Marshall had 5 groomsmen in his wedding party who all have a strong faith in Jesus. Just the two days alone that Luke spent with the groomsmen had a huge impact on him and it was amazing to see. The night after the rehearsal dinner, as well as the night after the wedding, the groomsmen met together, spent time with each other, and prayed for one another. Just from those two nights alone, I noticed a huge difference in my husband and the way he showed me love. It’s amazing how encouraging and and praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ can have such a dramatic impact. I thank the Lord for those men who love the Lord so deeply. They care about each other’s walk with the Lord enough to make it a priority to encourage and pray for one another.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” –Hebrews 10:24-25
I’ve been reading through the book of Acts this past month, and it fits perfectly with this theme of “encourage” that has been on my heart. In Acts, the most prominent thing that stuck out to me, other than Paul being a radical Christian BEAST for Jesus, is that each time he leaves a group of people, he finds the disciples and encourages them. Seriously, after each chapter I finish, it almost always mentions how Paul went to the disciples and spoke to them words of encouragement, before heading on his way. He made encouraging his fellow brothers and sisters in Christ a priority. And after experiencing firsthand the power of encouragement, I realize we should be doing the same daily!
God didn’t design us to be alone, and he didn’t design the “church” or “the body of believers” to walk on their faith journey alone either. We are meant to be in community with one another, and we serve the Lord best when we are encouraged by others.
If you are in need of encouragement, and you use instagram, I have an instagram specifically for my blog. The account name is writeyourstoryblog. I post daily encouragement in the form of Bible verses, quotes, and what God has been teaching me. If you use instagram, feel free to check my blog’s instragram account out. I know there are many other awesome Christian accounts I follow on instagram that I am encouraged by, so if my page isn’t want you are looking for, there are many others to choose from. A few of the hashtags that will help you find faith based accounts are #christianblogger #jesusdaily and #shereadstruth.
Remember, not only do you want to be filled by the Spirit through encouragement by others, but you also want to do the same by being encouragement for someone else. Ask others how you can pray for them, be a friend if someone needs to talk, write a letter, whatever fits your style! However you point them to Christ, they will appreciate it greatly and you will help spur them on in their faith.