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.”
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.
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?
Imagine this was your last winter. What would you do? Would you build a snowman just because you could? Would you enjoy a roaring fire and a good book? Would it make a difference if you knew this was your last winter? You bet it would.
Author John Bunyan was in a seemingly hopeless situation when he penned Pilgrim’s Progress, a book still impacting lives today...300 years later. Whatever tough stuff you’re dealing with remember God is with you, working through you, in His perfect timing and in His perfect way.
Beginning days are often the hardest ones. Chuck Swindoll says, “How do we learn consistent faith? We learn it one day at a time. We learn it through endurance.” He’s right. As you walk into a new situation, don’t lose heart. It’s just one more opportunity to grow and learn and trust.
How specific are you in your prayers? When you talk to God, talk about your needs—don’t beat around the bush! God does His most ideal work when we are in an impossible situation. And He always proves Himself faithful.
No matter if we’re four or 84...when we’re told not to do something, we immediately want to. Don’t touch wet paint. Don’t walk on the grass. Don’t fish off the balcony. We’re all guilty of wanting to do what we’re not supposed to. And that’s why we all need God’s grace.
Negativity is all around us, but it is possible to rise above it. The key? Grace. Grace changes our attitudes, and makes an incredible difference in our relationships. Grace will give you a "yes face."
The Apostle Paul prayed to God on the Ephesians' behalf that they would be filled with the love of Christ and the strength of His Spirit.