For when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn—conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus, I Corinthians 7:5-6 NIV
A couple of days ago, I was reflecting on the reason I started sending daily encouragement verses and text. I felt like the girls (my wife, daughters and daughters-in-love) were being harassed spiritually and emotionally. I wanted them to know I was praying daily for them and connecting scriptures to those prayers. I thought I would do this for a week or so. Suddenly it was a month later and I had not missed one day. That start day was July 27, 2018. I sent text messages for 5 month adding more group text along the way. Then I created a Pastorgregonline.com blog to capture my daily writings. Encouragement was and is my motivation for capturing these thoughts.
The reason I share the beginnings is because I am stirred once again about people needing encouragement. Paul captures my feelings best, “we were harassed at every turn- conflicts on the outside, fears within.” Do you relate to these feelings? There is so much turmoil and division which exists within our nation. Fears are stirred up like an evil poison over potential sickness and mistrust of others. Living in denial gives only a platitude of relief.These conflicts and fears are real and they are taking their toll on our physical energies and emotions.
If you are living with ongoing illness, pain, isolation or dysfunction in your family, you are especially vulnerable to wearied emotions. Trying to stay upbeat is like trying to hold water with a sieve. No matter how much water you add, it seems to pour out just as quickly.
Let us draw some hope on this Fear Not Friday from the well of hope which never runs dry. Paul makes two very important statements after opening up about his struggles of harassment and fear.
First, God brings comfort. Who qualifies for this comfort? The downcast. Those who are beaten down into humiliation. Those who have tried to get up, but keep getting pushed back down. Those who realize they are incapable of pulling themselves up with their own bootstraps. Those who are worn out from trying to do it right and realize their own frailties. Those who are ready to give up. God sees you, hears you, and draws close to you. It’s never been about your “doing it right”, It’s about a God who faithfully pursues you relationally because of Jesus.
Secondly, comfort comes from other people in the body of Christ. Paul said the good news about other believers from Titus brought him comfort. The body of Christ is put together by the Holy Spirit to build one another up in the Lord. Every part of the body is joined for edification with Christ the head leading the efforts.
This second revelation is just as important as the first. God uses people to finish the encouragement He provides. Have you ever looked at your phone and wished someone would call, just to talk? I have. God has an interesting principle in place of give and it shall be given. When you are needing encouragement, feeling harassed, downcast – Call someone else or begin praying for the encouragement of another. They may need to hear YOUR voice. They definitely need your prayers.
Your situation may remain exactly the same after calling or praying for someon, but not really. You have planted seeds of comfort for another. You have spread the encouragement fertilizer needed to combat the dryness of our times. You have added water to a dry and thirsty soul.
On this Fear Not Friday, let God bring comfort to your soul (mind, will and emotions). Then pick up the phone and call that person God has been wanting you to connect with. Send the letter, make the connection. God is always at work to bring comfort. Today He has chosen you to be His instrument of encouragement. Have fun.
Blessings Love y’all