Encouragement and Thanksgiving
In many of Paul's letters to the various churches, he writes to them thanking God for the work that He is doing in their lives. He sees their steadfastness in the midst of trials (1 Thess 1:3, 2 Thess 1:4), their growing love for one another (Col 1:3-4, 2 Thess 1:3b) and the saints and their growing faith as evidences of God's grace (2 Thess 1:3a).
In our day and culture, we may not always be used to such intentional acts of encouragement. At the recent Young Adults' Retreat, our YAs set aside time to write letters and pen words of gratitude to various ones in their lives. Some wrote to their parents, to thank them for their selfless love and guidance over the years. Others wrote to more mature Christians in the church who intentionally sought them out to walk alongside in their journey of faith. Many wrote to fellow brothers and sisters in the community, to thank them for years of friendship, and to encourage one another to continue persevering in the faith. As a community too, they prepared cards for the church pastors to thank them for their labor and guidance.
In keeping with the theme of encouragement and thanksgiving, the YAs have prepared a short video that they hope will encourage the rest of the church. Romans 12:10 tells us to "love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." May this video prompt and encourage all of us to think about people in our lives -- friends, parents, spouse, pastors, care group leaders, Sunday School teachers, mentors etc -- that we can encourage, and show our gratitude to for their work in our lives.