Encouragement for the Climb


To encourage another is to bolster, stimulate, refresh, fortify, strengthen, reinforce, and sustain one’s confidence in a resolve.

I ski up mountains. I know, you might ask “Who does that?” I do. It’s an opportunity to physically exhaust myself in order to strengthen my resolve to be a true disciple of Jesus. You see, I’m naturally self-focused and pride-filled (Jeremiah 17:9). Maybe this resonates with you?

On my latest climb up a popular ski mountain in Arizona, I was reminded how important encouragement is. Weary and tired, I struggled to reach the top of the 2000 foot climb. Close to the summit, several groups of downhill skiers took the time to bolster my determination with kind words.
One fellow mountaineer took the time to belittle my less than stellar efforts to summit in a timely manner.

As I climb, my purpose is to lay aside my needs for comfort, security, and pleasure to embrace service, sacrifice, and selflessness. In order to become a servant to all I must first yield. For me, climbing a ski mountain symbolizes this posture. I enjoy going off to a quiet place to ask the Lord how He would like to stretch my attitude and thinking about such things. He is my primary source of encouragement.

I consider how the God that created the Universe cared enough about me and you to come to earth to wash the feet of His disciples and to lay down His life in service for me (John 13:8). What greater aspiration could I have then to do the same for my family, friends, neighbors and colleagues (John 15:13)?

I’m called as a true disciple to implement this posture each day (Matthew 16:24). We will grow weary in our efforts apart from encouragement from the pulpit, the Christian radio station, my daily devotion, my husband, my small group, and my mentor mom.

Our children need regular doses of encouragement if they too will grow to become true disciples of Jesus. Consider where and when they are receiving encouragement.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24

To encourage another is to bolster, stimulate, refresh, fortify, strengthen, reinforce, and sustain one’s confidence in a resolve.

Truthfully, I don’t think I would have reached the summit on that day without the helpful words from the downhill skiers. I was strengthened in my decision to summit by their enthusiasm for my endeavor even though they did not grasp why I was skiing uphill.
We are made for more than this world has to offer. You can REACH for the glory of heaven every day.

  • R – Resolve to be a living sacrifice as an act of worship (Romans 12:1).
  • E – Envision Jesus washing the feet of His disciples as a motivation (John 13:5).
  • A – Acquiesce temporal pleasures found in this world to store up treasure for the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:19).
  • C – Count the cost to be a true disciple (Luke 14:28-30).
  • H – Be holy as He is holy (1 Peter 1:16).

 Written by Edy Sutherland

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