We Need Each Other

Saturday, May 2

Paul was human. He is viewed as a great man of God, willing to endure anything for Christ, accepting persecution with grace, and having a positive attitude about life. Despite his glowing accomplishments he was at times fearful, uncertain, and in need of encouragement. He had “no peace of mind” when Titus did not appear in Troas (2 Cor. 2:13). He said he was “wasting away” in 1 Cor. 4:16. He went on to Macedonia and had “no rest.” His account of this in 1 Cor. 7:5 includes “conflicts on the outside, fears within.” Then he was comforted by God, “who comforts the downcast.” Paul was further comforted by the coming of Titus and the fact that the Corinthians comforted Titus (vv. 6-7). Apparently Titus needed some TLC, too. He was also encouraged and “refreshed” by the Corinthians (v. 13). This was not the only time Paul was discouraged. After being rejected by the Jews, Paul went to the Gentiles and many were converted. God, knowing that the persecution was only beginning, came to Paul at night in a vision, saying “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city. This must have fortified Paul when the Jews brought false charges against Paul, which ended in a public brouhaha. Just as God had told him, he was not harmed and it let to more opportunity for Paul to minister to the Gentiles. The point of all this is that we all need comfort from God, but we need encouragement from others, too. It’s nice to be on the receiving end of encouragement, but there is a giving side, too. Take a good look around you. Spot someone who is in need of encouragement and “have at it.”

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