“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.” For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:1-6
Do you ever feel that scripture has been written to you through our Heavenly Father? Oh right, hello, it’s Jillian writing under cover for our Bible Journal author Luke today! I’m writing for him because a few weeks ago he wrote for me when our daughter was very ill. At the time I asked him to be sure to allow me to return the favor, and today, he did! I accepted the opportunity blindly. I hadn’t looked ahead in the scripture and to be quite honest, I had fallen behind on reading God’s word. In fact, for weeks we’ve been drowning in turmoil at our house. Our three year old continues to struggle with seizures daily, her new medication makes her aggressive and volatile. Our two year old has been ill and we’ve spent most of our time trying to protect our truly sick kid from all the germs! On top of that I’m working at two new jobs and trying to find a livable working Mom balance. It has seemed as if each day brings a new challenge for me to endure. It’s taken me to that place of asking, “why me?” When are these hardships ever going to end for our family? I fall prey to the constant social media trap that lures us into believing that everyone else is living a flawless life. And then I read this:
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4
There it is. Paul is literally speaking to us. He’s revealing the promise of the living gospel. Not only that but he’s encouraging us to build one another up through faith in Jesus Christ. Don’t miss it! Today’s reading was specifically designed to give us hope and empower us to hold one another up. He then goes on to say that when those of us that are strong hold up others that are weak, we’ll live in harmony. What a convicting message to hear when our small corner of the world has become so divided. Paul’s message is simple. We must be strong in our commitment to the Lord and reading His Word. In turn we must then hold up our fellow Christians and support them when they are weak. It’s only through the God of endurance and encouragement that we can praise him with one strong voice. I hope you’ll take this simple message today and use it. Use it to praise Him for making you strong and unshakeable in the face of the enemy or use it to hold others when they need support.
Lord, we thank you for words that come directly from you when we really need them. We know that when we stand together we are stronger than when we stand alone. Thank you for blessing us with your presence and for giving us endurance for the long journey.