I received the best kind of text this morning. A spontaneous one from a friend who thought about me, then texted me to let me know she thought about me. That would have been enough to make me smile but she sent a powerful message of encouragement and some verses for me to think about throughout the week.
Her encouragement turned a manic Monday into a happy one.
Another friend and I are wrapping up our study of Ephesians this week, so I was reading the final verses of chapter 6. Paul ends the letter telling the believers at Ephesus he is sending Tychicus to them.
Ever heard of Tychicus? I’ve read his name several times, but I skimmed right over it without a second thought. His name is found in Acts and other letters and it’s obvious Tychicus was close with Paul and an important part of the ministry. Paul called him a beloved brother and a faithful minister and sent the man to update them on what’s happening with everything. What makes me wonder about this guy, Tychicus, is what Paul says about why he is sending him.
I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage your hearts. Ephesians 6:22
He says the exact same thing in Colossians 4:7-8. He sent Tychicus to encourage their hearts.
Paul knew what it was to be discouraged and feel weighed down with doubt and worry. He knew the pain of loneliness and fear and remembered how words of truth and encouragement were vital during his darkest seasons.
When Paul couldn’t do it himself, he sent Tychicus to give courage to weary hearts. To strengthen weakened faith. To uplift downcast faces. To give hope and light and love.
We are told to encourage one another too. (2 Corinthians 13:11, 1 Thessalonians 5:11) And do it daily, as long as it’s called today. (Hebrews 3:13)
Because every one of us needs courage.
We don’t know what each person is facing each day, but we can guess from personal experience it’s hard a lot of times. A kind word from a friend can bring a moment of sweetness in the most terrible day. Someone cheering us on can give us the extra push we need to keep at it. A note reminding us of God’s promises can lift us from sadness and help us keep believing the promises.
My friend sent a text. Paul sent Tychicus. Both were courage givers and God only knows what good happened because hearts were encouraged.
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