Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. – Hebrews 10:23-25 ESV
Originally, I was going to highlight just v24-25, but I realized that v23 sets the WHY stage? God made man, and God knows our frame; what we can handle, what we need, what sustains us. See Psalm 103:14, and also Psalm 139:13; You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. God tells us that Man was created in the image of God, in the image of God He made man and woman. (Genesis 1:27) God has OMNI-purposes for every action, and Jehovah made us in His image, in the God class, yet lower than the angels. Just like ABBA, our Daddy, we were created to STRIVE PURPOSIVELY. Man was created to HAVE a WILL TO MEANING! Victor Frankl was born in Vienna in 1905. He trained as a psychiatrist and neurologist, working from the framework of existential therapy. During World War II, Frankl spent about three years in various Nazi concentration camps, an experience that greatly influenced his work and the development of logotherapy. Frankl observed that those who were able to survive the experience typically found some meaning in it, such as a task that they needed to fulfill. Dr. Frankl survived Auschwitz and the Holocaust when millions of others did not! We WILL survive this world, but we need hope and encouragement- a reason WHY!
Leader, this world is getting darker and darker. Christians in America, and in Canada are starting to experience some of the persecution that our brothers and sisters around the world have endured for millennia. America is no longer a country that seeks after Yahweh, we have made Government and Self, our gods. As America moves into an irreversible state of idolatry and apostasy, encouragement is needed for the TRUE FOLLOWERS of CHRIST. “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering”. This is why we are told to always give a reason for the hope that we have- it is a way God created to REMIND us, to REMEMBER who we are and WHOSE we are. Our hope is not in government, not in Joe Biden or Donald Trump, it is not in a good economy or a bad economy, or a therapy masquerading as a vaccine- our HOPE IS IN JESUS! But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. (1 Peter 3:15) This is why we are told to NOT forsake the meeting together- but encourage one another as we see THE DAY drawing near- and it is DRAWING NEAR! Encouragement means to; put courage into someone! Many use today’s verse as a reason to implore people to attend regular church services, but might I suggest that it is much broader than that. In today’s technological world we can MEET TOGETHER on text, on social media, email, phone, Facetime…. We are told to be aware of the WILES of the devil. If you put on your SPIRITUAL EYES (2 Kings 6:17), you will see the purpose is to separate the flock, and to discourage the worship and connection to Jehovah, Yahweh, Adonai, El Shadai, El Elyon! Government wants to be your god!
Conduit, God knows we need to LIFT each other up and PUT COURAGE in each other to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT! There is strength for the journey in encouragement. Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) All throughout the Bible God is telling us to be an encourager to the brethren! A man in the early church named Joseph was given the nickname “Barnabas,” which means “Son of Encouragement” (Acts 4:36). What a blessing Barnabas was to the believers of his day! We are the TERMINAL CHURCH, what has been WRITTEN ABOUT, is now COMING ABOUT. Jesus told His followers, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33b). Jesus did not shy from telling His followers about the troubles they would face. In fact, He told them the world would hate them (John 15:18-21 But Jesus’ grim forecast was tempered with cheer; He followed His prediction of trouble with a sparkling word of encouragement: He has overcome the world. Jesus is greater than any trouble we face. Without encouragement, hardship becomes meaningless, and our will to go on wanes. The prophet Elijah struggled with discouragement (1 Kings 19:3-10), and so do we. It is important to remember that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against . . . the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12). This truth makes encouragement all the more important. It is not just that we face the world’s displeasure; we are caught in the crosshairs of a spiritual battle. When we are encouraged in Christ, we have strength to put on our spiritual armor and remain steadfast (see Ephesians 6:10-18). I encourage you to set up an encouragement network. A regular pattern of encouraging others and allowing yourself to be encouraged so you have what you need to FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT! And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all. (1 Thessalonians 5:14)