"Personal cheerleaders". That term came up in two entirely unrelated conversations I had with two different people yesterday. "My husband has been my personal cheerleader from the day we met". - "She came into my life at a point where I so badly needed encouragement, and she provided it, every day during those months". We all need them. They come in all shapes and sizes - a devoted parent, a sibling, a friend, colleague, mentor, pastor, boyfriend, husband. Some come into our lives for a very specific time and purpose, some walk with us through our entire life. And so often they are not who we expect.
One area in my life where God has shown Himself so incredibly faithful is in the people he always has and continues to provide to cheer me on. Because He created me, because He has formed me in my mother's womb, wired me to be the person I am, He knows how important it is for me to have meaningful relationships. He didn't mean for us to walk through life as the "individuals" that our society puts so much value on.
Hebrews 10:25: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
He gave us hearts and minds that thrive on relational exchange. He gave us His Son who, even though He was perfect and didn't "need" to have company, chose 12 friends who accompanied Him on His journey through life. Jesus taught us what a church is to look like, a community where people live and pray and worship together, where transparency and honesty are possible and God is glorified in the midst of it.
Of course, people, no matter how close they are to us, cannot ever replace the role of our ultimate Cheerleader.
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17: May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
His encouragement is eternal !
The people that have been my most impactful cheerleaders are those who don't claim to take that position in my life. They are those who encourage me not out of their own resource of opinions, thoughts and pieces of advice, but who never tire of pointing me to the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 5:11: Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
They are those who remind me of God's attributes, His promises, His faithfulness. Because as believers, we have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, we are images of God, and in godly relationships with one another, we often are God's voice, God's mirror, God's hand and feet to one another. God, our ultimate Cheerleader, has given us His Word as an ever-inspiring source of encouragement. But, He has also given us the Holy Spirit, so that by His power, having Him live in and through us, we can be "real-life cheerleaders".
Acts 13:15: After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak."
I pray that we, as the body of Christ, can be cheerleaders for one another. That we never get tired of speaking words of love and encouragement. We live in the incredible reality of being children of God, and we have eternal life, eternal fellowship with the One who loves us so completely. If that's not reason enough to jump up and down and scream in excitement, then I don't know what would be.
Hebrews 3:13: But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.