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God’s Encouragement

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. (NRSV)

None of us likes it when the going gets tough … we just don’t. We’re programmed for an easy ride. So, when we’re close to that pain barrier, there’s something we need in the mix, something that’s essential to developing endurance.

Yesterday we chatted about endurance and I mentioned how much I hate running. I remember back in the army, once a year we had to pass the battle efficiency test; a nine mile run in full military kit – boots, army greens, webbing, full water bottles and rifle … the whole kit and caboodle. Even now, forty something years on, I still get a sick feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.

I remember as we’d turn for home at the halfway point, running back past the airport, how much I wanted to give up. But the thing that kept me going, was the encouragement of my friends – their kind words, and the knowledge that sometime soon it would all come to an end.

Encouragement, as things turn out, is a key ingredient to developing endurance.

Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. (NRSV)

God’s Word is powerful, but in those tough times it can feel demanding as we push through the pain barrier. The whole point is that in pushing us, we develop endurance, we become stronger, we become steadfast, rock solid in our faith in Him.

And that … that leads to hope; certain hope, the sort of hope that never fails, that never disappoints. But why people imagine that they can do it without God’s encouragement, without the encouragement of the Scriptures, has me completely baffled.

… so that by steadfastness (endurance) and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

That’s God’s Word. Fresh … for you … today.

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