Jesus told His followers, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b). Jesus did not shy from telling His followers about the troubles they would face. In fact, He told them the world would hate them (John 15:18-21; see also Matthew 10:22-23 and 2 Corinthians 2:15-16). But Jesus’ grim forecast was tempered with cheer; He followed His prediction of trouble with a sparkling word of encouragement: He has overcome the world. Jesus is greater than any trouble we face.
Without encouragement, hardship becomes meaningless, and our will to go on wanes.
Keep you eyes and heart on these things:
- Encouragement makes it easier to live in a fallen world in a holy way.
- Encouragement makes it easier to love as Jesus loved (see John 13:34-35).
- Encouragement gives hope (Romans 15:4).
- Encouragement helps us through times of discipline and testing (Hebrews 12:5).
- Encouragement nurtures patience and kindness (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 and Galatians 5:22-26).
- Encouragement makes it easier to sacrifice our own desires for the advancement of God’s kingdom.
In short, encouragement makes it easier to live the Christian life.