Tuesday, 13 July 2021
Title: Hold Each Other Up!
By: Cecilia Tan 陈俊芳
1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
“Encouragement” says prolific author Doug Fields, “is a constant yes in a world that says no!” The central portion of the word “encourage” is the French “cœur” which means “heart”!
Apostle Paul experienced countless trials throughout his life. God sustained him by providing encouraging friends to walk alongside him. Among those who provided practical support, strength and encouragement to Paul when he was enduring hardship were Barnabas (Acts 9:26-27), Epaphroditus (Philippians 2:25-30), Timothy (Philippians 2:19-23) and Mark (2 Timothy 4:11).
Paul not only received encouragement from others but knew how to encourage others as well. As he travelled on his missionary journeys through the Mediterranean, he founded many Christian communities. He kept in touch with them by personally visiting them, writing letters, giving them advice, instruction and encouragement to stay strong in the faith. Even after he had been imprisoned in Philippi, he met with fellow believers to encourage them (Acts 16:40).
PBC currently has a ministry to encourage seniors to know and love God better, so that our golden years may indeed be our best years! This ministry is appropriately named “Karis” ministry. “Karis” is derived from the Greek word “charis” which means “grace”.
Under the able leadership of Sister Stella Hoo, this community of seniors encourage one another to allow God’s grace to increasingly work in our lives so that we can more and more be like our Lord Jesus. And as our lives are transformed to reflect Christ’s image, we are then able to touch other lives and draw them into God’s kingdom.
Why is there a need for encouragement? The Christian life is a pilgrimage. Sometimes the road is difficult, especially for some of us who may be plagued by fear, anxiety, worry, anger, sorrow, guilt, hopelessness and other negative emotions. Many others could be struggling with health, financial and relationship problems. In today’s pandemic world, many of us could be living lives of quiet desperation, struggling with loneliness and isolation. Understandably so, as our freedom of movement as well as our freedom to assemble together, have been severely restricted with the enforcement of the different forms of MCO (Movement Control Order) since 18 March 2020 and this enforcement is still ongoing!!
Our pilgrimage is not a bed of roses. It is critical that we are in a community of believers. When a crisis occurs, we can draw strength and comfort from our fellow believers. We can, in turn, be a source of support and encouragement to those around us in their time of need.
We can use Scriptures, powerful lyrics of hymns, words (spoken or written) to bless, affirm and build others up. Or we can perform acts of service such as sharing a meal, giving a ride, running an errand or teaching and sharing knowledge. We can pray and intercede for those with prayer needs. We can empathize with a smile 😊, a hug🤗, a thumbs up 👍 or a listening ear👂. (For now, best to observe physical distancing, and do these virtually!)
Many are anxious, apprehensive and depressed in these pandemic times. May we strive to bring comfort and encouragement to them. May it be our hearts’ desire to HOLD EACH OTHER UP and bring joy to each other’s pilgrimage!
Our Heavenly Father, thank You for the love and support of encouragers who walk alongside us in our life’s journey, who remind us that there is hope in You, glorious hope, no matter how painful the circumstances we are in. Help us, in turn, to be intentional, regular and creative in bringing encouragement to others who need it. We ask in the name of Jesus. Amen.
多产作家道格·菲尔兹(Doug Fields)说：“在一个说 “不”（no）的世界里，“鼓励” 是永恒的 “是”（yes）！”“鼓励” 这个字的中心部分是法文的“cœur”，是 “心” 的意思！
班底浸信会目前有一个事工，鼓励年长者去认识和更爱主，好让我们的黄金岁月成为我们最好的年华！这个事工恰当地命名为 “卡里斯”（Karis）事工。“Karis” 源于希腊语 “charis”，意思是 “恩典”。