Paul did this with the followers of Jesus in Philippi. "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6). Paul was in aprison yet he still found a way to encourage others - to let them know that he believed in them.
He says, “Here’s what I see in you. I see in you a people who will make it to God’s finish line. You will break the tape. You will get the ‘well done.’ You will finish well. What God began, He will complete.” And no doubt, that encouragement fueled the perseverance of the Philippian Christians.
Who do you know who needs encouragement?
The film Cinderella Man is the story of a common-man hero, James J. Braddock. It takes place during the Great Depression. Braddock was an impoverished ex-prizefighter, broken-down, beaten-up and out-of-luck. Just like the rest of America was in the 1930s. He hit rock bottom. His career appeared to be finished. He was unable to pay the bills. His family was in danger. He was even forced to go on Public Relief. In a last-chance bid to help his family, Braddock returned to the ring. No one thought he had a shot. But Braddock kept winning and the ordinary working man got a shot at the title. As an extreme underdog, he had to take on the heavyweight champ of the world, Max Baer, a fighter who had killed two men in the ring.
He needed encouragement. And it came in the form of words from his wife. In the film, Mae, Braddock’s wife come to him in the dressing room just before the fight and says, “You just remember who you are... you're the Bulldog of Bergen, and the Pride of New Jersey, you're everybody's hope, and the kids' hero, and you are the champion of my heart, James J. Braddock.” She’s saying, “I’m believing in you.” She’s saying, “I see in you a champion.”
And the rest was history. Against the odds, Braddock won that fight and held the heavyweight title from 1935-1937.
Who needs encouragement from you? Perhaps things are not going so well for you. You yourself feel like you're in a kind of prison because something has gone really badly in your life. You have finance problems and the debt is so deep that there's always more month than there is money. You had a boyfriend or girlfriend, but they dumped you, moved on, and are now talking trash about you behind your back. You feel like you are the one who needs the encouragement.
Maybe God is even now reminding you through Paul's ministry to the Philippians that there's a purpose for your personal prison and there's joy in the Lord. He’s calling you to go beyond yourself and write an encouraging note to a person who needs it. Your note will make them go “Wow.” They will glorify God because of your love. You'll be showing passion in following Christ. And you won't regret it.
Paul says, "I’m believing in you." And this puts a Wow! in the relationship. Now, will you go and do likewise?
Question: What are some ways you seek to encourage others that puts a Wow! into your relationships?