by: Richelle Torres
Olympics – The Power of Encouragement
By Jay Bruner, Senior Pastor
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)
The Olympics are again upon us, and our national pride will come to bear as we hope and root for all those who will represent our country. We cheer them on, hoping they will stand upon the top step of the awards platform of the competition in which they competed, dawning the Gold medal. This year’s Olympics, however, will be a bit more difficult. There will be no spectators, no roaring crowds to root on their countries representative. Many Olympians have voiced their disappointment stating the encouragement of the crowd adds to their strength and determination. In some cases, the absence of the supporting crowd may actually alter the outcome. The lack of inspiring support may cause one athlete to shy away, doubt, or falter at the last moment, allowing them to be edged out. There is something to be said about the power of encouragement.
So it is in life, especially in the Christian life we are called to live. God encourages us to run this life as if it were a race. Not necessarily a sprint but a distance race. The key to success is to strip off the things that hold us back (lifestyle issues, toxic relationships, maybe even toxic settings), look beyond the finish line (our eternal destiny), run with endurance (be patient and look long) and yes, listen for the encouraging crowd. Listen to those who have gone before us, and we now represent.
So how do we do that practically?
- Join His team, get in a community of believers that are truly encouragers. Isolation is so dangerous.
- Be an encourager. Encourage others who are running this life for the glory of our Lord. Remember, “What we sow, we will grow”.
- Focus on bringing glory to God in all areas of our life. In every area of life, live to lift others and bring Glory to God as we do.
Then when this race is over, we will stand on the platform of eternity and win the prize He has set out for us.
Pray this prayer with me: “Today, Lord, help me to leave people better than I found them. Please give me words that encourage and inspire people to greater heights. And silence my tongue from words of discouragement that may cause anyone to doubt or falter. Today let me be your instrument of encouragement, for the world’s good and YOUR GLORY.”