I have tried to give you something besides “feel good fluff.” Some that are a bit challenging, but at least a few that are more of a pat on the back or a reminder of the wonder of salvation.
But here is the problem, writing comes more easily when I am scolding myself, which I often need. So if some of these have seemed a bit hard, that is why—it is really me I am talking to. I just hope you are able to find something in it that may help you as well.
God has always expected us to help one another that way, hasn’t He? I just checked and in the New Testament alone, I found some form of the word “reprove” 12 times, some form of “rebuke” 27 times, and some form of “exhort” 43 times for a grand total of 82. Then I looked up the other side of things. I found some form of “comfort” 35 times, but some form of “encourage” I found only 4 times! God certainly knew that there would be more times I needed to be straightened out, and fewer times I would deserve a more positive reinforcement.
But isn’t it nice that the word “comfort” is found so often? Sometimes I think I can’t possibly do this. No matter how hard I try, I always fail yet again. But that really isn’t true. Sometimes I do get it right. I am making progress—but Satan does not want me to see that. He does not want me to be encouraged and comforted.
And I have a hard time believing that any one of you who has been a Christian for any amount of time has not, at least once in awhile, succeeded in your fight against sin, too. Don’t listen to him when he tells you that you always fail. You don’t. And I know that because I know Who your helper is. I know the promises we have been given—you will not be tempted more than you can handle, and there is a way to escape it. I know you have escaped it at least once, or Satan would not keep trying so hard. After he gets you, the need to tempt you is gone.
So hang in there. I’m hanging right beside you. We’ll help one another, rebuke one another, reprove one another, exhort one another, encourage one another, and comfort one another. If this were not doable, we would not have been told to do it.
You are of God, my little children, and have overcome them, because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. I John 4:4
Strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, “Be strong; fear not; behold your God will come with vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.” Isaiah 35:3,4