Encourage One Another

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica in the context of the return of Jesus. They were well taught in matters focusing on his return. Nobody could know when his exact return would be, but they were to be ready, to prepare themselves for his coming. He described it like labor pains coming upon a pregnant woman. The labor pains will come, yet they will be unexpected in a sense with suddenness.

God’s people are not in the dark so that we should be overtaken as a thief. We should not slumber but stay alert, and our hope is that we will live together in Christ. He died for us that we might live with him and he has given us the gift of salvation!

In light of all of this we are are to encourage or comfort one another, and edify or build each other up. There are so many discouraging things around us. We should intentionally focus on being encouragers.

Rod Cooper told the story of the painter Benjamin West. West loved to paint as a youngster. When his mother left, he would pull out the oils and try to paint. One day he pulled out all the paints and made quite a mess. He hoped to get it all cleaned up before his mother came back. But she came and discovered the mess. West said what she did next completely surprised him. She picked up his painting and said, “My, what a beautiful painting of your sister.” She gave him a kiss on the cheek and walked away. With that kiss, West says, he became a painter.

Cooper wrote, “Every day you and I are trying to paint the picture of Jesus in our lives (figuratively speaking through your life testimony) through what we say and do. But we make messes. The last thing we need is for someone to come along and say, “What a mess!” What we need is a kiss of encouragement. It’s vital for life and for relationships.” (Rod Cooper, The Kiss of Encouragment)