Joel Plantinga

Read: John 16:31-33

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. (v. 33)

Faith that walks never keeps the benefits to oneself. People whose faith walks always find others to encourage and invest in along the way. Isn’t it ironic that Jesus built the largest movement in the history of the world often by chasing away the crowds and withdrawing, choosing instead to invest himself in 12 men upon whom the movement of faith would be built? The Sermon on the Mount, the longest section of uninterrupted teaching in the Gospels, was not preached to the crowds but instead to Jesus’ disciples on a mountainside (Matt. 5:1-2).

When we complete tasks, we check them off our list. When we invest in others and take time to encourage them, we are literally helping them take heart in life, which also multiplies the impact of our faith. Successful people live a good life, but significant people help others live great lives, too. Encouragement is literally the process of infusing courage into another’s heart. It is the ultimate form of empowerment. What an incredible gift!

Jesus certainly wasn’t blind to the struggles. In John 16, he reminds us that we’ll have trouble in this world. But then he powerfully declares that he has overcome the world. Through faith in Jesus, we share in that victory and are called to come alongside so many others and help them find their own faith that walks. Reach out! —Joel Plantinga

Prayer: Lord, thank you for encouraging us. Help us be encouragers to others.