Have you ever had one of those days where you felt like you were one sin away from God taking back your salvation? A day when you just couldn't get it right?
Christians are very aware of sin. We're aware of when others sin and certainly aware of when we ourselves sin. Some days we feel like we can't stop messing up and can't start doing what's right.
As Paul says, "For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" (Romans 7:15 ESV). Ever felt that way? I know I have.
Satan loves to remind us of what we've done wrong, he loves to use our sin to discourage us. To overcome this, we have to go back to the basics. We have to go back to the Gospel.
Romans 8 : 1-2, ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus
from the law of sin and death.
As believers, we are not condemned by our sin, we're free of it. During those times of condemnation and discouragement, we need our fellow believers. We're all in this together, sometimes the greatest encouragement is knowing we're not alone.
Galatians 6 : 1-2, ESV
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression,
you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.
Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
We are to come alongside of each other and share the weight, to gently encourage each other.
Hebrews 10 : 24-25, ESV
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.
In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul uses the image of the body of Christ. We are all unique individuals with unique purposes, just like the various body parts, but all part of a whole body. In a person's body, if one part isn't working the way it's meant to, the rest of the body suffers.
For example, if an ankle is sprained, the body can't move properly. But other parts of the body, work to help out. The other leg will bare extra weight, the heart will pump more blood, etc. As members of Christ's body, we are called to bare extra weight for other members who are hurting.
Some practical ways of doing this are praying for each other, encouraging others through Scripture, meeting with others to share what God is doing in each other's lives, etc.
Sometimes, we go through hard times so God can use us to encourage others facing similar situations. How has God used you to encourage a friend to remember God's grace and love?