So I had to recall back just a few months ago when I was ordained and installed as a pastor. What a wonderful day that was for me! God had graciously given me this call here. I heard words from my fellow brothers in the ministry as they shared words of encouragement to me in the laying on of hands. Now still green behind the ears, the role was reversed.
Last Sunday I had the opportunity to go to the installation of one of my brothers in the ministry at an area church. I was excited because I could proclaim some words of encouragement to him. The words I heard helped me. So now the question dawned on me all last week. What passage should I use? Who am I to give him encouragement? I wanted it to be memorable. I had about ten passages flowing through my mind. Finally it dawned on me. I should speaks words of encouragement based on a passage that I found especially encouraging. So I decided to use Isaiah 41:10. “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Those words are particularly comforting to me. Whenever the stresses of the ministry start to catch up to me, God’s words here give me the strength to keep going not afraid. God upholds us.
As I look back on Sunday afternoon, what a privilege that was. The whole service reminded me of why I am here. It strengthened me. What’s more, I got to encourage a brother who has been at a church for less time than I have. God willing I hope to have this opportunity again. A few months ago I was the one kneeling and hearing encouragement. Last weekend, the role was reversed. What a joy and privilege that was.