“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 line of defense against an assault upon the Christian life is the maximum application of truth to experience.
“that their hearts may be encouraged”
The tense of the verb “encourage” indicates that we only need encouragement at times. Suffering in God’s design is occasional (1 Pet. 1:6). God does not expect us to suffer endlessly.
The Greek voice indicates that the resources come from outside ourselves. They are divine resources. We do not find these resources in the self; we do not earn or deserve the right to possess these privileges. Encouragement comes from God and the Word of God.
The Greek grammatical mood of “encouraged” indicates that the choice is potential, depending on whether we want to use God’s resources or not. They are available but whether we use them or not is entirely up to us. God will not force them upon us. We use them of our own free will.
God does not want us to live the Christian life by operation bootstraps; he wants us to draw upon His Word, his resources for life.
God’s will for us is to appropriate divine resources, but he will not overrule or override our volition. God wants us to relate to him based on our choice. Our volition is the basis of fellowship with him. Peace under duress is only potential. It depends on our utilization of God’s resources. His resources are available, but they must couple with our choice. Therefore, we prepare for the Christian life by learning the principles of God’s Word and applying them to our situation. We must be ready to apply these principles and promises at a moment’s notice.