Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
—1 THESSALONIANS 5:11—
Matthias Frohlich: European Bible Training Center | Germany
In order to finish the race well which is set before us (Heb. 12:1), we need the fellowship of believers. Believers do not flourish apart from a local church. If they separate from the local body of Christ, they expose themselves to great danger and spiritual famine. We need encouragement and exhortation. We need to bear one another’s burdens. We need to stir and build up one another. How can believers encourage and build up one other? The context of this passage makes it clear. First, by reminding each other of the goal we are destined to by God. Pray and think about others whom you can encourage today We have a heavenly calling! “God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:9). Second, believers build up one another by reminding each other how to achieve this goal: “put on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet, the hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8). Everything Paul labored for centered around these characteristics. He wanted to see faith, love, and hope developed in the lives of believers. For this goal, he prayed, taught, wrote letters, and modeled with his life. Faith, love, and hope need to grow in our personal lives, as well as in the life of each believer around us. Praise God for the believers whom God has placed around you, to encourage you in your race. Pray and think about others whom you can encourage today, whom you can help to overcome discouragement, frustration, weariness, or sin. Help others not to despair in sanctification but to walk with endurance in a manner worthy of the God who called us.