“that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ”
The first defense against assault upon Christianity is truth. The truth of the Word strengthens (encourages) the believer.
“that their hearts may be encouraged”
After proper instruction in the Word, the Christian develops a spiritual edification construct whereby he will be able to face any number of challenges to his faith. If, for example, we use the promise in I Peter 5:7 “Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,” then we move behind this first defense bulwark. If we fall apart and look for emotional sympathy then Satan may take us captive.
All of us have heartaches. The difference between people lies in how we handle our hurts. Some people sulk and hide themselves from people that hurt them. When they isolate themselves like that, they sink into attitude problems. They turn on their friends. They sulk and whine. They do not want to talk to anyone. If anyone attempts to communicate with them they bite their head off. They are irritable and unkind to anyone that comes along.
Are you that kind of person? Do you snarl and snap and bite? Do you turn on your friends? If you are that kind of person, you are not behind the first line of defense. You cannot orient to God and make it count for him.
The Word of God develops an edification construct of the soul.
The heart is not encouraged by sympathy. The worst thing we can do is to sympathize with people with negative attitudes. It will confirm their burgeoning self-pity.
The best thing we can do for them is to orient them to the promises of God. That believer will never become what God wants him to be until he applies truth to adversity. Our generation of evangelical Christians go almost anywhere except to the Word of God to resolve their problems. No one but God knows the extent of the problems we have in any case. We need to call upon the resources he has given us and apply them to our situation. If we do, we will not have to constantly seek sympathy from others. We will not have to sulk as a victim. We will not have to resort to biting everyone’s head off who gets near us. We can relax. It makes no difference whether people know about our problem; God knows about it. He will honor your trust in him. We will have an impact that we never knew before.