In two of our Bible studies, we have been studying letters written by the Apostle Paul. He certainly was a prolific writer, and I have found myself wondering how many letters he wrote during his lifetime and how many have been lost. But, one thing about Paul and his letters - while he wrote for a purpose, his letters never failed to have encouraging words. Here are some examples:
I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you.
I remember you always in my prayers, asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. For I am longing to see you …
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason, I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers.
I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you.
I always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in my prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For I know, brothers and sisters, beloved by God, that he has chosen you.
I give thanks to God for you.
We all need to hear words of encouragement whether in a letter, an email, a text message, a phone call, or face-to-face. I don't know whether someone has told you lately, but you are beloved by God. And this morning I want you to know that I give thanks to God for you.