DAY 80: Strengthen, Encourage, and Comfort

Read: I Corinthians 14:1-17

Think: The last few chapters in Paul’s letter to the church flips back and forth between spiritual gifts and love. The Corinthian church had struggled to balance spiritual gifts, special abilities, and the purpose for which God had given them. So, once again Paul reiterates the theme saying in First Corinthians 14:1, “Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy.” Rather than only list the gifts, he begins to describe how they function. In verse 3, Paul describes what it means to prophesy: “But one who prophesies strengthens others, encourages others, and comforts them.” I love these three words, don’t you? 

Act: To strengthen means to make stronger, to build up. To encourage means to “fire up,” or to rally, inspire and motivate. To comfort means to alleviate someone’s feelings of grief or distress. The gift of prophecy is a communication gift that will build up, fire up, and hold up others. Roger and I have been a part of a local church since we first became Christians. Not a week has gone, in any church we’ve attended, where someone in the church wasn’t discouraged or grieving or overwhelmed or struggling. To prophesy is to communicate God’s truths in clear and understandable words to those who are desperate for solutions, answers, encouragement and relief. Whether we do or don’t have the spiritual gift of prophesy, today and everyday, we would do well to make it our goal to let our words always strengthen, encourage, and comfort our brothers and sisters in Christ! 

Pray: Dear Lord, show me who is broken and needs to be strengthened. Show me who is discouraged and needs a word of encouragement. Show me who is grieving or distressed and needs a word of comfort. Help me to bring words of strength, encouragement, and comfort to them. Use me in this way, Lord! I love You. Amen. 

Be full of faith today!