ENCOURAGEMENT – Part 1
Joshua 1:9 – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
A while ago, I was talking to another Christian and she complimented how I always talked about good things like love, hope, self esteem and mercy. She said she would love to hear me speak on hell fire and brimstone and we joked about it.
I went home and thought about it and I concluded that the reason I don’t preach hell is because I have never been there and I don’t know hell. The only thing I tell people is the Bible description and it doesn’t sound pleasant at all. Also, while I’m aware of balance and that people should know the other side of the coin along with its consequences of not following God’s plan for their life, I believe that if I focus on them knowing God and His goodness, they too will want to spend eternity in heaven with Him, rather than down in a lake of fire.
I am not saying that I will never preach it, I would not tie the hands of God because God could have a bestselling book in the pipeline for me called “Sinners, repent!”
Prior to becoming a Christian, I didn’t understand what hell really meant. Before I read my Bible, I would use the terms, “Gosh! I went through hell!” and I might say that while trying to get my air right, but if you read your Bible very well and its description of hell, I can assure you that you’ve never been there.
I have always stated that I don’t preach, I share. I share what God has shared with me through His word. I apply it first and see if it works and when it does, I then proceed to tell people the Good news. God is not against you experimenting with His word: keeping acting on it until you get your desired result. Acting on God’s word is an act of faith. So as not to break a trend today, I will share an encouragement with you.
You see, we all become discouraged from time to time especially the period between the time of prayer and the time of its manifestation. It also happens in other areas of our lives. You work really hard for your boss and he never appreciates you. When a loved one dies, you get discouraged. Imagine an unfaithful partner or waiting for your children.
However, our approach to managing our discouragement will distinguish us from others in the world and will define us as Christians.
People in the Bible were discouraged-1 Samuel 30—David. The devil loves discouraged people because he can easily use discouragement to lead them to depression. The following are some of the ways to deal with discouragement:
Tell God /your Pastor /friend you are discouraged.
Discouragement does not mean failure. Who is it better to go to when you’re feeling bad but to your dad? Give God your anxiety. Share it with your loved one and Pastor. A saying goes that a problem shared is half solved.
Psalm 69:1-2 says, “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me.”
For further study:
1 Peter 5:7 says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
Personal declaration for the day:
I will cast my burden and care onto the Lord and He will relieve me of my problems.
Questions for you to reflect on:
What are you discouraged about?
Have you shared it with anyone?
Who have you shared it with?