“WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves. Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].” (Romans 15:1-2, AMP)
Reading this verse, I’m drawn to the words, “robust faith.” Webster’s defines “robust” as: powerful; strong and healthy; hardy and vigorous. Paul urges us to be strong and to carry the weaknesses, failings, doubts and qualms of others. Sadly, it seems Christians have learned to be polite, reserved, and “politically correct.” Even worse we are often timid, weak and fail to walk in robust faith. Yet, Paul encourages us to be powerful, strong and willing to carry others’ baggage (weakness, failings, and doubts). He implores us to make a habit of helping others, of strengthening them and building them up.
I’ve prayed and asked the Lord to give me robust faith coupled with a servant leader’s heart, that is willing to put others first and sacrifice myself for their needs. I asked God to change my thinking from: (1) “What about me?” to “I will put your needs first.” (2) “What can you do for me?” to “I want to serve and minister to you.” (3) “Why did you hurt me?” to “I forgive you and will help you overcome your hurts, fears, anger and resentment.” (4) “Why are you feeling so depressed and hopeless?” to “I am here to give you hope, confidence and encouragement to go on.” I asked God to teach me to live and operate in His “Circle of Love.” In God’s Circle of Love, there is no fear, hurt, offense, or selfishness, no “me.” In God’s Circle of Love, I have robust faith, I am strong, and nothing is impossible for me.
Child of God, I encourage you to pray and ask God to draw you into His Circle of Love and give you robust faith. Be strong for those around you, give them hope and build them up.
Father, thank You for the strength and power of Your Word. Holy Spirit, teach me to have robust faith that I may be strong enough to carry the load for others. Help me to encourage them, give them hope, and build them up. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.
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