The family of God is not a place for verbal putdowns, sarcastic jabs, critical comment, and harsh judgments. We get enough of that from the world. This is a place we need to assemble for the purpose of being encouraged.
In the classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, the main character, Christian, tumbles into the miry bog, the “slough of despond,” and struggles to get free. But the heavy burden on his back pulls him in deeper, and he begins to sink.
This image pictures what it feels like when we’re sinking in difficult circumstances—when our debts outweigh our income, when past hurts won’t heal, when discontentment marks our relationships, and when the light of heaven seems distant and dim. Discouragement, despondency, pain, suffering—these miry pits along life’s journey can pull us down into our own “slough of despond.”
Christian’s rescue came by the hand of a fellow traveller named Help...and the same is true for you today. Use these resources to find encouragement for your own life...or to minister help to those you find along life’s journey.
Whether you’re completing a university degree, harvesting potatoes, or planting a church, anything worth doing takes dedication and a lot of hard work.
Those who watch you perform a skill have no idea how much time you’ve spent training first. Chuck Swindoll urges us to keep pushing toward excellence behind the scenes.
Being unknown doesn’t mean a person is unimportant. Without the behind-the-scenes support people, very little would get done. If you’re in the background, never doubt the significant impact you make with your loyalty, commitment, and support.
Death is inevitable, but even death can’t threaten God’s ultimate protection over our lives. We can trust God to protect us from now till the dawning of eternity.
The church is a place like no other. You’ll rarely find such a supportive community elsewhere in life. When you hurt there are people who will stay with you and suffer with you.
If someone went over your life with a fine-tooth comb, what would he find? As Chuck says, the rewards of a life well-lived never end. They continue from generation to generation.
Good leaders will say, “Stay at it!” Ever notice how motivated and strengthened you feel when you have people who come alongside and let you know they want you to succeed? And the result? “Many people were brought to the Lord.”
Building up others means to edify, encourage, and uplift them so they will be strengthened inwardly to persevere despite difficulty. Encouragement seeks to infuse difficulty with meaning. Without that sense of meaning, hope and the will to go on fades.
You can live any way you want to, but you can only live once. Looking at it another way, you have a set amount of time to make a difference. How will you spend your time this year?