The Winter Olympics have begun! During the coming days, the events will be aired for television viewing. As we watch, during the day and evening, many of us will be cheering and encouraging the athletes as they compete for the Gold, as if they could hear us. In Sochi, there will be spectators, family, and friends in the stands and around the fences cheering for the athletes, especially the representatives from their own country.
Usually before an Olympic event occurs, the news reporters will try to secure an interview so that we can be informed with “Up Close and Personal” information about the athlete, their training, the risks, and their feelings about competing. Encouraging words are offered as they prepare to do their best for their event. Afterwards, especially if they medal, interviews are once again granted to congratulate them. Not everyone will be able to attend the Olympics in Sochi to encourage their athlete in person. But because of technology, the athletes can constantly receive encouraging messages from family, coaches, teammates, friends, and even competitors by way of phone, texts, and emails.
During these days, we too have the opportunity to cheer people on along their life’s journey. Our words of encouragement can be just as important and beneficial to the people we speak to or write as they are to our athletes in the Olympics. Thankfully, we aren’t limited to building people up for only 2 to 3 weeks every two years. That’s a gift we can give every day.
In his video, 10 year old Kid President reminds us that we need to tell people:
“We’re glad you’re here.”
“Life is tough, but so are you.”
“You can do it.”
“Live like it.”
God also knew that we would need encouragement. He gave us His Holy Spirit to guide, convict, teach, and cheer us on. In Hebrews, we are reminded that there is a great cloud of witnesses encouraging us to trust and obey God and do our best. And all of us need to know that God loves us dearly and has a wonderful plan for our lives.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace and was strengthened. Living in the fear of the Lord and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it increased in numbers.
When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.