For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4
If you actually look at what’s going on, it’s hard to feel encouraged. We’re in economic turmoil. We have a crisis going on. There are real issues with poverty in America. I definitely see that, and I want to help.
I want to help in other parts of the world, too. There is a water crisis going on. At least in most American cities, you can go to a drinking fountain and get fresh water. And just drink. If you really needed to, you could probably go into some restaurant bathroom and take toilet water in a cup and drink it. It would still be good, in the sense that it would take care of you. It wouldn’t give you a disease.
I see a lot of suffering everywhere. So sometimes, it’s hard for me to feel encouraged.
It’s not like the scriptures aren’t encouraging. The Bible is full of encouragement! It’s just that sometimes I struggle with it. I’m encouraged by who I am. I’m encouraged in who my family is. My family is healthy, my sons are awesome, my boys are going to be great, and God has taken care of us. I don’t have a hard time sleeping at night, wondering who’s going to pay the bills. I don’t have that issue. Obviously I’m encouraged that way.
But I also have a heart for the people. I don’t want to be self-absorbed. It’s not just me and my family in this world.
Christians are lovers of humanity. That’s who we are supposed to be. We’re supposed to help one another. We’re even supposed to love our enemies! But it’s really hard sometimes to love your enemies, when you see what they are doing to people. So how do we help and love one another, even our enemies, and how do we do it well? How do we do it without judgment or condemnation?
Sometimes I think, “God, that’s impossible for me. For You it’s possible, but for me it’s not.” And yet He reminds me. He tells me, “You know, with Me all things are possible. For someone who is not a believer in Me, or who is not led by my Spirit, it’s impossible to love their enemies. But for you? You have Me in your life. So yes. You can do it. You are to show that it is possible. You are to show that your joy does not come from what you can see, but from what you cannot see.”
My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Colossians 2:2-3
Be encouraged. People everywhere in the faith are struggling with the pain and suffering they see, but they are finding ways to help. Be encouraged that God is at work. When you start looking at the world through scripture, through the eyes of Jesus, people will feel your joy. And they will be encouraged.
See you Thursday.