“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NIV)
“Gooooooooooo, Jennnnnnnnnnnnnnniiiifffffffffeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrr!” I can still hear my mom calling from the bleachers as I ran the 1600 m around my high school track. Some of the high schools had cinder tracks back then, but ours was a new black rubber track. I pounded my spikes into the rubber, determined to take my mom’s encouragement and keep gooooooooiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnggggggg!
Encouragement. We all need it in this race called life. I find my inspiration in God’s Word every day. My TEA CUPP Prayers with Jesus are like a cup of cold water to my thirsty soul. However, at times it sure helps to be heartened by another Christian. As Christian athletes we are called not only to train for ourselves, but also to encourage others in their training.
My favorite daily devotion (Our Daily Bread) gave a beautiful example of this on April 13th , 2008. The devotion is entitled, “Cheering Each Other On.”…
A mile from the finish line of the London Marathon, thousands of onlookers holding signs lined the route. When spectators spotted a family member or friend coming into view, they shouted the person’s name, waved, and yelled encouragement: “Just a little farther! Keep going! You’re almost there.” After running 25 miles, many competitors were barely walking and ready to quit. It was amazing to watch exhausted runners brighten and pick up the pace when they saw someone they knew or heard their name called out.
Encouragement! We all need it, especially in our walk of faith. The book of Hebrews tells us to keep urging each other on. “Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, . . . but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (10:24-25).
The New Testament is filled with the certainty that Christ will return soon. “The Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5). “The coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:8). “Behold, I am coming quickly” (Rev. 22:12).
As we “see the Day approaching,” let’s keep cheering each other on in the faith. “Keep going! You’re almost there! The finish line is in sight.”
And so, my TEA CUPP friend and athlete, I encourage you. Keep running! Keep exercising! Keep reading your Bible and praying! Your labors are not in vain. God will surely bless you.
But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)
The LORD remembers us and will bless us. Psalm 115:12 (NIV)
Holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain. Philippians 2:16 (NKJV)
KEEP GOING! YOU’RE ALMOST THERE! THE FINISH LINE IS IN SIGHT!