I had been exercising slightly over a year when my health and fitness conscious adult son said one day, “How would you like to have a personal trainer today?” Of course he was speaking of himself as the trainer and I was to be the victim … I mean trainee! I should have suspected something was up when I saw the gleam in his eye as he spoke.
After my usual brisk 30-minute incline treadmill walk the personal trainer commenced his commands. Let’s start off with 15 dips. Dips are an exercise where your entire weight is supported on your hands and you push yourself up on two horizontal bars that are placed at waist height and a shoulder’s width apart. As I struggled through those 15 dips he kept encouraging me with the words, “You can do it! Come on! You can do it!” After those first 15 he benevolently gave me a 30-second rest. Then it was 12 more dips. Again as I struggled through those 12 he encouraged me in the same manner. Another 30-second rest. Then it was 12 more dips and I was really huffing and puffing. Just when I was about to quit (before the last dip) he encouraged again, “Come on you can do this!” That was easy for him to say because I was the one grunting! Push-ups and bench press followed the dips in rapid succession with no breaks. Similar encouraging words ensued. During that time I learned a valuable lesson about encouragement: another’s positive words of encouragement inspire us to do what we thought we could not do. I was ready to quit several times but my son’s encouraging words inspired me to continue.
The Word of God is our great encourager in life. When tempted to slow or quit we are encouraged by the Word of God to continue. The Hebrew Christians were encouraged to hold firmly to their belief and confidence three times when they faced persecution and afflictions:
- “…hold firmly to the courage and confidence inspired by what we hope for.” (Hebrews 3:6b CJB)
- “…let us hold firmly to what we acknowledge as true. (Hebrews 4:14b CJB)
- “Let us hold firmly to the hope that we have confessed… (Hebrews 10:23a NCV)
Each time we read the Word of God it encourages us to continue doing what we know is right. The Word of God lifts us when we begin to falter. It inspires us to do more than we thought we could. As we read the Word of God the Holy Spirit uses that word to encourage us constantly. Stay in the word and stay strong in your faith.