Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today.” Hebrews 3:13
After another week of being beaten down by more medical setbacks, I slumped onto the sofa. I didn’t want to think about anything. I didn’t want to talk to anybody. I couldn’t even pray. Discouragement and doubt weighed me down as I turned on the television. I began watching a commercial showing a little girl talking to her younger brother. “You’re a champion,” she said. As she continued affirming him, his grin grew. So did mine.
God’s people have always struggled with discouragement and doubt. Quoting Psalm 95, which affirms that God’s voice can be heard through the Holy Spirit, the writer of Hebrews warned believers in Jesus to avoid the mistakes made by the Israelites while wandering in the wilderness (Hebrews 3:7–11). “See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God,” he wrote. “But encourage one another daily” (vv. 12–13).
With our lifeline of hope secured in Christ, we can experience the power-packed fuel we need to persevere: mutual encouragement within the fellowship of believers (v. 13). When one believer doubts, other believers can offer affirmation and accountability. As God strengthens us, His people, we can offer the power of mutual encouragement to one another.
How has God used the affirming words of someone in your life to comfort and encourage you during a difficult time? How can you encourage others with your words today?
Loving God, help me live for You and lift others up in love with my words and actions.
For further study, read That Skill: How Words Invite Others into Freedom.
Because of severe persecution, Jewish believers in Jesus were pressured to revert to Judaism (Hebrews 10:32–39). To encourage them to persevere in their faith, the writer of Hebrews told them to fix their thoughts on Jesus as their supreme example (3:1–6; 12:2–3) instead of their unfaithful ancestors who missed the blessing of entering the promised land (3:7–11). With an emphasis on “today” (vv. 7, 13, 15), he urged them to obey God daily and help each other every day, so they wouldn’t develop an “unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God” (v. 12) and thus forfeit the blessings of salvation (v. 18).