“…our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears. Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;…” 2 Corinthians 7:5-6
I have this verse underlined in my Bible because at one time the words, “our flesh had no rest, troubled on every side, fightings and fears” aptly described what was going on in my heart. And it was a help to me to read that “NEVERTHELESS GOD…comforted us”. If God comforted Paul, then I could trust that He would do the same for me.
But a few weeks a go, I took notice of the rest of the verse. “Comforted us by the coming of Titus.” And I thought, I don’t really know who Titus was. But Paul, at one of his lowest points, was helped by this man.
I wonder if maybe Paul would have given up….without Titus.
Not much is made mention of who Titus was, other than who he was to Paul. Here are a few more places where Paul mentions him:
I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother:… 2 Corinthians 2:13
Therefore we were comforted in your comfort: yea, and exceedingly the more joyed we for the joy of Titus,… 2 Corinthians 7:13
Insomuch that we desired Titus,…2 Corinthians 8:6
But thanks be to God, which put the same earnest care into the heart of Titus for you. 2 Corinthians 8:23
Whether any do enquire of Titus, he is my partner and fellowhelper…2 Corinthians 8:23
To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. Titus 1:4
Paul had several faithful men….Timothy, Barnabas. And he makes mention of them. But that very first verse. God comforted Paul THROUGH TITUS.
We are missing the Timothys and Barnabases and Tituses these days because everyone wants to be a Paul. Everyone wants to be out front, in the limelight, being made known for all they are doing for Jesus. And truly, Paul has been noted as possibly the greatest Christian to ever live, aside from Jesus Christ. But Paul needed encouragement. He needed other like minded friends who could hold him up and carry on the work in places he couldn’t be.
Are you an encourager? Why is it so important to be one?
Because maybe not everyone can be a Paul. But a Paul needs a Titus.
So, how do we be a Titus?
- An encourager must be sensitive
Sometimes a smile, a text, an ‘I love you and I’m praying for you’ is enough. But sometimes, the people that are hurting the most, you’d never know. Maybe they’ve been in pain so long, they are skilled at not showing it. Maybe they are good at plastering a smile to hide the hurt. Maybe they have to be strong because no one else is. And to be a good encourager, you need to have the discernment to see what no one else can. Well, how do you do that? You must be sensitive to the Spirit’s leading. And to do that, you must be in God’s word. How else can someone offer God’s comfort? A lot of the times, you have to experience it in YOUR OWN pain first. Sometimes, I think God allows us to be discouraged to know someone else’s discouragement. We have to hit rock bottom, where the only comfort we have is God Himself, so we know the loneliness of discouragement. Because that allows us to be sensitive to what someone else is going through. My kids watch a movie and one line in it should be an encourager’s motto – “See a need. Fill a need.” Sometimes we need God’s help to see, but our eyes should always be open.
2. An encourager must be selfless
Titus could have gotten jealous. “All anyone ever talks about is Paul. Paul this, Paul that….blah blah blah. What about me? All I do is try to encourage and lift him up, and I never get any recognition…” We don’t see anywhere in scripture that this is the case about Titus, though. It takes selflessness to encourage someone. Especially if you are needing encouragement yourself. But I have found in my own life, there is no encouragement like encouraging someone else. Sometimes you might be completely off the mark. You may feel impressed to reach out to someone, and it fall absolutely flat. Maybe God was testing your obedience. Maybe you were wrong. But I can guarantee you, that person you reached out to? At least they know someone was thinking about them. But what about those people who only God knows what they are going through and YOU send the word, or verse, or text? God can comfort them with His comfort THROUGH YOU. You can’t be selfish and be a good encourager. In fact you can’t be an encourager at all if you are always waiting for someone to encourage you. Guess what? It might not ever happen! But the more you pour out of yourself, the more you’ll be filled.
3. An encourager must be steady
Paul often left Titus behind to finish a work he himself had started. Titus was steady. He wasn’t just a ‘one and done’ encourager. And to be a good encourager, we must be steady. If someone tells you their burden, bear it with them. Pray consistently for them. Ask how they are doing, weeks or even months later. Why did Titus encourage Paul so much? Because of his faithfulness. His steadiness. He didn’t walk away when things got tough. He didn’t give up. He was a fellow helper of Paul. Sometimes, just knowing you aren’t alone is the best comfort. Paul said they were comforted by the COMING of Titus. You might not always have the right words. You might not always have the money to send a little gift. You might be at a loss for what to do. But you can be present. You can go to someone. You can make sure they know that they are not alone.
I have been where Paul was. My flesh couldn’t rest. It seemed every where I turned, there was just more trouble. Fightings without and awful, horrible fears within. Sometimes we have to be like David, and encourage ourselves in the Lord. But that’s the best place to BE an encourager. Because you are sharing the very Comfort that comforted your soul.
Do you need a place to begin? Here are a few things you can do to encourage someone. (All situations are different, but this is where asking God what to do and who to do it for comes in.)
Send them a text that you’re praying for them. (And do it!)
Tell them you love them.
Tell them they are doing a good job.
Send them a verse of scripture or an uplifting song.
Tell them how God has spoken to your heart with comfort or encouragement.
Cook them a meal.
Put a little goodie basket together.
Send them flowers.
Do lunch together.
Send them a good book or devotional. (I have linked a few of my favorites at the end of this post.)
SIT with them in their grief.
Be there. Let them know they can call and count on you.
Remind them that Jesus is faithful and good.
A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. Proverbs 25:11
I know our Christian world is hurting right now. We are weary, discouraged, maybe even on the verge of giving up. I have shared this song so many times, I think I can’t do it again. But our anthem in these last days should be “PRESS ON”.
If I have to stand alone, I will.
But I want to finish well, and I want to better encourage those along this journey with me to do the same.
Who in your life might be ready to give up….without a Titus?
I don’t necessarily like to suggest books that don’t use KJV, but this book below, “Red Sea Rules” has some EXCELLENT points and it was such a help to me. I just looked up the corresponding scripture in my Bible. If you are trying to encourage a new Christian, maybe this might not be the best one to send. But as my pastor used to say, “Eat the meat and spit out the bones….”
This is one of my ALL time favorites. I have read it to my children several times. There is nothing like reading what someone else has went through to end your own pity party when you realize that you don’t really have it all that bad.
The book, “If” comes alive after you read the life of Amy Carmichael. So I included it below.
I love to read…. Can you tell?? 😊