When do you feel most encouraged? When are you most discouraged? It may be when your week is going well, then its just a matter of time before your ‘luck’ turns and something happens that steals your joy. When trials come regularly, it can lead us down a path of discouragement or even depression. If things have not been going your way for a while, we may have a tendency to think that the whole world and even God is against us at times. It is easy to look at our lives through the world’s eyes and see that we do not measure up to expectations, realistic or not, in regard to our jobs, home, family, finances, relationships, or any other device of comparison. Is there someone who believes in you and encourages you, even when you do not believe in yourself?
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:24
A missionary family who has been working in central Africa with an unreached group of people has recently had their world turned upside down. They have been making connections and building relationships with a nomadic tribe of people in the Central African Republic over the past several years and just this past month have had to leave the country and many friends, as their safety and lives were in danger. They are currently on hold to see where God leads them, as the ability to return to the ministry they had been doing may never happen. To quote a letter from this past week: “So again… I’m reminded that there are two things that stay stable for us…. Our perfect competent King, and the incredible body of Christ. That is what keeps us hopeful…. That is what keeps us going. “
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Things happen in each of our lives that we do not plan on, and that none of us would wish on others. When we lose a job, a family is divided, have health problems, or when a friend or loved one unexpectedly dies, we may question who is in control. Often we have a choice when we face life’s challenges to either let it push us into discouragement, or to make us more resilient and move forward with greater strength. Where do you turn when all you hold dear gets emptied from your life? Do you blame God or others, or do you pick up and carry on and continue to trust in Him regardless of your current situation?
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
So, whether you are having a bad day, good week, or frustrating year, don’t be discouraged. Turn to the one who made you and let Him guide you through the truth of his Word. Allow others to pray with you and pray for others, even when you don’t feel like doing so. Have joy in realizing that you have been given the greatest treasure known or unknown in salvation through Christ, and no one can take that from you. Through encouraging others, you also will be encouraged. Step out in courage and boldness and let Him guide your steps!
We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:8-9
Courage in Christ,