December 16, 2012

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of
some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:24-24

USAPCC_2Anyone who has participated in intense physical activity, particularly endurance sports, knows how pace is important. I wear a heart rate monitor when I am participating in an activity that will need some endurance. I set my pace to a heart rate at which I can just keep running or spinning away on my bike.  However, I will very quickly start feeling the fingers of fatigue gripping my muscles if I spend any significant length of time above my targeted heart rate.

Our muscles are an incredible creation. If we can keep them supplied with enough oxygen and energy, it is amazing the distances that they will carry them.  I use a heart rate monitor to help me stay in an aerobic zone – to set a pace at which my body can continue to provide adequate levels of oxygen to my muscles.  I can get a lot (a lot is a very relative term) more power or speed out of my muscle by going into an anaerobic zone, where my body is not keeping up with the demand for oxygen, but I can only last at that level of activity for about 2 minutes before crashing.

I have been meditating on how similar encouragement in our spiritual lives is similar to our need for oxygen. I have tasted my share of discouragement. Discouragement is a cold fog that can blanket our perspective in every area of our lives.

It makes us want to give up.

It makes us wonder if it really is worth it.

It makes us think that we are just wasting our time.

The cold fingers of discouragement saps our strength and ability to press forward. It is only a matter of time before even the strongest person crashes due to sustained periods of discouragement. Living through discouragement is like function in an anaerobic zone – you can do it for a short period with a lot of power but you will crash if you stay there too long.

853688111-23082010151814Encouragement is the oxygen that we must have. I am amazed at the recovery that I receive from just a hint of encouragement’s fragrance. Encouragement clears our mind to see:

 That it really is worth it.

I am not wasting my time.

I can push forward and take that next step.

It is possible to find a pace that will take us to distances that we may never have fathomed when we are adequately replenished with encouragement.  We consume encouragement and then it is gone. It has to be replenished for us to endure on the narrow road.

The true source of our encouragement comes from God.

“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Jesus Christ, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

IS4086RF-00038636-001God is our source of endurance and encouragement. However, just like lungs pump oxygen into our system, God uses fellow believers to pump his encouragement into our minds.  That is why it is so important for believers to live in harmony with one another. It is when we are in community with one another that we are the most effective at pumping encouragement into each other. Just look in your Bible’s concordance and see the number of references for encouragement. It was one of the primary activities of the Apostles.  They were encouraging believers everywhere they went. They were encouraging believers because encouragement sustains endurance.

We desperately need encouragers in our lives.  We need to be intentional in seeking opportunities to encourage – for the sole purpose of encouraging – our brothers and sisters in Christ. That is the main reason that we come together – to encourage one another.  We are encouraging one another for a purpose; not to feel all warm and fuzzy but to endure in our callings of  love and good works so that with one voice we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

So, seek out those in your Church and life that will encourage you.  Be an encourager to others. Let’s run this race with a sustained pace provided from our God of endurance and encouragement.

PRAYER: Lord – Thank you for being a God of encouragement. Thank you for giving me encouragement and enabling me to run with endurance.  Lord, forgive me for underestimating my role of encouraging other.  Give me opportunities and intentionalness to lift up my fellow brothers and sisters to love and good works. Lord, please provide people in my life that will pump your encouragement into my resistant mind.    Amen

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  1. […] OXYGEN OF ENCOURAGEMENT – Dec. 16th […]

  2. This is awesome, we really need to keep the balance of everyday life for we are running a race. The enemy is roaming around seeking the weak whom he can devour and when we do too much for too long or when we do too little we loose the momentum and become the weak, weary and worn out , but either way we will get discouraged and it is extremely hard to get back into the balance. Thank YOU LORD for our encouraging words which seem to shake our being into the challenges of staying in the balance, staying focused on The Kingdom of GOD! Enjoyed this so much especially the prayer!!!

    • Thank you for the encouragement!
      God Bless!

  3. Thank you for an encouraging prayer of endurance.

    • I am so glad it was encouraging.
      God Bless!

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