2 Corinthians 7:5-6 When we arrived in Macedonia province, we couldn't settle down. The fights in the church and the fears in our hearts kept us on pins and needles. We couldn't relax because we didn't know how it would turn out. (6) Then the God who lifts up the downcast lifted our heads and our hearts with the arrival of Titus.
Think about what Paul wrote. He was facing trouble on the outside, as well as internally. His heart was full of dread and fear, then God sent a great gift! What was the gift? Titus. The name Titus means "nurse." A Nurse is a great help and assistance to a doctor. He/she many times are the hands, words, and care of the doctor extended. The nurse represents the doctor.
Some of the people around you, even successful ones, are dying on the vine for lack of encouragement. Solomon writes, "How delightful is a timely word." (Proverbs 15:23) Isn't that true? It's delightful to receive a timely word. The Message says, "The right word at the right time - beautiful!"
Encouragement brings emotional healing, restores hope by putting the problem into perspective, and makes the day more bearable. Is there someone you know who needs encouragement? A prisoner trying to stay strong in a hostile environment while repaying his debt to society? A divorcee trying to rebuild his or her life? A breadwinner who's out of work, worried about their family? A widow who needs companionship? A servant of God labouring in an obscure and difficult ministry? Everyone is struggling with something - so everyone needs encouragement.
William Barclay writes, "One of the highest of human duties is the duty of encouragement… it is easy to laugh at men's ideals; it is easy to pour cold water on their enthusiasm; it is easy to discourage others. The world is full of such discouragers. But we have a duty to encourage one another. Many a time a word of praise or thanks or appreciation or cheer has kept a man on his feet. Blessed is the man who speaks such a word."
Paul writes: "Outside, trouble was on every hand… within us, our hearts were full of dread and fear. Then God who cheers those who are discouraged refreshed us by the arrival of Titus. Not only was his presence a joy, but also the news that he brought" (2 Corinthians 7:5-7 TLB).
Mark 2:17 On hearing this, Jesus said to them, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."
Jesus is the great physician, the doctor. Every doctor needs a Nurse. God is looking for "Titus’" to step into situations and bring joy, cheer, encouragement, refreshment, and good news to those who are down trodden and feel like giving up. So many people are battling deep pits of despair, discouragement and depression. There is a great need for Titus’. There is a great need for Nurses in the kingdom of God.
The question that I asked myself after reading these verses was, "when I arrive at a place, do I bring encouragement? Do I bring joy? Good news? Do I refresh those who I come in contact with?" Or, am I messenger of bad news, discouragement, and do people avoid me because of my negativity?
I hope and pray that I am a nurse (Titus) for the great physician. God knows in my heart, that is what I desire! But desire left alone, isn’t effective. I must allow it to drive me to action!
So, be a Titus - encourage someone today. Amen?
"Lord, as I said above, my heart's desire is to encourage someone today. I believe that you will bring people in my path, divine appointments, that need some help because they are battling discouragement. May I be ready and willing. In Jesus name, amen!"