When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Luke 7:9
Do you consider yourself a cheerleader? Have you contemplated that one of the many roles God authored for you is to cheer someone on in this great adventure of life?
We all need encouragement. We all need someone to believe in each of us. Out first focus should be to draw closer to God, allowing His truth to speak encouragement to us.
Sometimes, God uses other human relationships to encourage us. God often utilizes other believers to speak truth to our hearts, helping us to understand our heavenly father better.
When we examine Luke 7:1-10, we see several things happening. Please read this passage below.
When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people who were listening, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion’s servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, “This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue.” So Jesus went with them.
He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: “Lord, don’t trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.” Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
Another wonderful miracle! Yet another vivid testimony to who Christ is, and just how deeply He loves! When you read verses 4-6a, what unspoken words are you hearing?
Do you feel the elders justifying their request? As if, the man was ‘such a good person’ Jesus must feel compelled to come and save him.
Jesus was willing to come in the beginning before He heard of this man’s deeds. (Although the elders did not hear Jesus speak the words in Luke 6:36, Jesus had just spoken claiming that the Father is merciful.)
Jesus went along toward the house of the ailing servant. As he walked, maybe the words he had spoken to the crowd earlier (In Luke 6) echoed in his mind. Maybe Luke 6:46 was especially painful for Him to recollect: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord; and do not do what I say? I will show you what he is like who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice.”
In the next city, he is met with elders who feel the need to justify a request for His help. He’s walking along with them, maybe wondering how to possibly correct their misunderstanding of Him.
And then God provides the perfect example: Luke 7:6b-9.
The centurion understood who Jesus was. The centurion knew Jesus could work a miracle, and he didn’t need to stand next to the man to heal him. The centurion had faith that Jesus only needed to speak the work, and healing would occur. The centurion got Jesus. He realized just who He was.
And, Jesus was not only amazed by his faith, but he was also personally encouraged.
This centurion would call him, ‘Lord, Lord’ and his heart possessed a faith built on a rock. This man had heard about Jesus, heard Jesus’ words, and put that faith into practice. Jesus just found a shining example of what he wanted to illustrate in Luke 6:46. Can you imagine His emotion? God knew Jesus needed a bit of encouragement, and He provided Him with exactly what He needed, in a manner which would speak to Him.
Jesus knows each of us needs encouragement. Sometimes that encouragement is in the form of Scripture springing to mind, to remind us of His truth. Sometimes, it’s a dear friend or family member speaking a word of truth. And sometimes, it’s someone actually doing what we are called to do.
But in whatever form it comes, Jesus knows when we are in need of encouragement, and exactly which form we need for that moment.
As Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 9:8, “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
He promises to fulfill each and every need. Even the need for encouragement.
Monday: How has God met your need for encouragement in the past? Do you always find it where you’re looking?
Tuesday: Memorize 2 Corinthians 9:8. What jumps out at you about this verse?
Wednesday: Who has been placed on your heart, as someone you need to encourage? Act on that today. A card, a kind word, or a thank you gesture could mean the world to someone today!
Thursday: Some of my favorite ways of encouraging others involves the use of words: a verbal thank you, a note saying ‘you are held in prayer,’ or a card conveying, ‘you are not forgotten.’ What are some of your favorite ways of encouraging others? How do you like to be encouraged? Please share ideas with us!
Friday: Prayer: Thank you Father, for caring about my emotional state. Thank you for the encouragement You provide, just when I need it. Please help me to be sensitive to Your voice, in hearing Your encouragement for me, and the gentle nudging for me to be an encouragement for others. Thank you for your care, In Jesus’ name, Amen.