In the messages "Cords of Encouragement" and "Defeated Lions And Bears" we considered our role in the Body or Family of Christ. We saw that as we walk together down God's path, we must assume a certain level of responsibility for one another. We must encourage our Brothers and Sisters when they are down and remind one another that God is near, that our trials will soon fade; "Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today!" (Hebrews 3:13).
But as we encourage, we must do so from a position of Biblical truth. We must continually direct each other toward Christ and the life He calls us to live. It is never true encouragement to simply lend our agreement and "comfort" to a complaining or selfish attitude. This actually keeps someone down and threatens to pull us down in the process.
We began this journey through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus; "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life"
(John 3:16). Our Salvation, our eternal life, even our very existence, is based on a personal belief that Jesus died for the forgiveness of our sins so we could live with Him for all eternity. The faith of our parents cannot save us, nor can the doctrine of our church - WE must believe.
Jesus endured ridicule and humiliation from His accusers, and overwhelming pain on the cross, simply because He dearly loved us (Oh Lord, help me to better understand this love!). The joy of seeing our restored relationship with the Father allowed Him to persevere through unbelievable hardship. His sacrifice brought us Salvation - His perseverance should bring us strength and a renewed hope.
"Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
There are going to be days when the burden seems extra heavy - days when the attacks come fast and furious and feel like they will never end. It may bring temporary relief for someone to agree and confirm the difficulty of our situation, but the only way to truly ease the load is to focus our heart back to Christ and pray for His strength; "May the Lord direct your hearts into God's love and Christ's perseverance" (2 Thessalonians 3:5). We must persevere...because He first persevered for us!
There is definitely a place within the Body for compassion and the sharing of one another's sorrows; but when our burdens become seemingly unbearable, we must also encourage one another to simply put one foot in front of the other and boldly continue down His path. His grace and His strength WILL be sufficient! We will not lose heart if we focus on His love. We will persevere and not grow weary if we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and consider Him who endured.