4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
5 May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
6 that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God. – Romans 15:4-7
It’s has been said that the Christian life is not a sprint but a marathon. We are being taught endurance and encouragement. The scriptures have been given to us as an encouragement that we might have hope.
When running a marathon, needing endurance, it helps to have people who are giving you encouragement. Runners describe times when they “hit the wall”. This refers to the point when the body has used up the readily available store of glycogen. This results in overwhelming fatigue and strong negative thoughts as your brain wants to shut down all activity and allow your body to recover. When you feel discouraged that is the time you most need encouragement.
God in His wisdom has placed us in the body of Christ. We are not left alone to walk (or run) the Christian life. We have our brothers and sisters and as they encourage us and point us to Jesus we will be able to endure and be encouraged. The promises in the bible revive us and give us strength to do the will of God
Jesus, as He faced the cross, would have felt such weakness, agony and massive discouragement in his emotions. He had been abandoned by His disciples and was about to be separated from His Father, facing death for our sake. His body was abused and weak from the scourging. No one would have “hit the wall” as much as He must have. But, even when He was hanging in excruciating pain He quoted from the scriptures (Matthew 27:46) and He offered hope to the thief who was dying next to Him (Luke 23:43). Even in that dreadful situation Jesus endured and gave encouragement to another person. Jesus even asked John to care for His mother, from the cross (John 19:26).
The power that Jesus displayed of endurance and encouragement now lives in us through the Holy Spirit. God dwells in us. We are His body (1 Corinthians 12:27). We are His temple (1 Corinthians 6:19). God wants us to live in harmony with each other and he has given us all we need to do that. So that with endurance we can encourage each other to glorify God.