We’ve all been there. You look around and all you see is gray. The sun can’t shine bright enough, you feel like you are under attack, there is no end in sight, and there is nobody there to help you. Yep. Been there and got the lousy t-shirt.
So, what do we do? How do we get through? Where will we find the strength to get out of bed, put on a smile and head out the door to meet a world that we feel is out to get us? When will this feeling stop? What can we do for ourselves, and what can we do for those we love who feel this way?
#Encourage them. #BeEncouraged yourself!
Webster’s defines the word “encourage” like this:
To give support, confidence, or hope to (someone); to give support and advice to (someone) so that they will do or continue to do something; to help or stimulate (an activity, state, or view) to develop.
The next book I will be going through for my daily reading and reflection is 1 Peter. An overarching theme of the book is that even though we are suffering, we can have hope! All is not lost! There will be a day when the struggles we face will be nothing but a memory at worst, but they also have the potential to be a milepost we can look back on where we saw God do a huge work in our lives! Something to be thankful for!
When Peter wrote this book, the early church was under heavy persecution from not only Rome, but also from the Jewish leaders who refused to acknowledge Christ as the Messiah and Savior they had been looking for. The people were tired, had been driven from their homes,were living on the run in fear, and were starting to doubt their decision to follow Christ. Peter was #Encouraging the readers of his letter to continue to strive and even thrive while they were still under persecution. They could still live in hope!
Lately I have been struggling, feeling down and like a heavy dark cloud has been around my mind, and last week I realized that even though I have been spending some time briefly each day reading my Bible, I had not been really digging in and thinking about what it had to say. I was doing the equivalent of grabbing a snack in the morning and expecting it to last me the entire day.
I was walking out the door a few days ago and it finally hit me, “When was the last time I spent some real time talking to God and reading His Word for the #Encouragement I know is there for my life?”
Answer? Too long. Far too long. So I got back in and already I feel a little better. Some of that has come from what I have been able to pull from the Bible during my personal quiet time and some of it was a great message in church from our Youth Pastor. I have also gotten back into spending some time really studying, reflecting, and applying what I read. All of these are working to do what God has promised His Word will do – draw me closer to Him, and as a result I get #Encouraged.
When you are spending time with God, His light shines around you. It may show you the way out of your trial, but even if it doesn’t take you out of the situation you can see it through His light and that makes it more tolerable.
I’m looking forward to this next book study. I have been challenged by James to keep looking in the mirror to see where God wants me to grow, and now I am excited to see how God will use Peter to #Encourage me when I face trials and struggles in life. I hope that as I share what I learn, it will be an #Encouragement to you as well!
Relentless Living doesn’t guarantee that we will go through life without feeling dark times. It also doesn’t mean that someone will always be there to #Encourage you. We need to be in the Word and looking to God for #Encouragement. It all comes from Him anyway. He just uses people from time to time! Keep drawing closer to Him and doing what He asks and you will find that #Encouragement as He directs you where you should be and into the lives of others that you can be an #Encouragement to as well!
As always, feel free to read and share and go to the Relentless Growth Facebook Page for daily posts!