It is easy to grow discouraged in our day. Each of us has the difficult task of filtering out all the negative news that tries to find entry into our being on a daily basis. Many Christians in our day are guilty of spreading fear instead of encouragement. As we know, according to God's Word, fear is not of God.
I try to keep as many people as I can encouraged and uplifted
throughout the week. As I discuss in the introduction of my book, Be Encouraged: A Daily Devotional, Volume 1
, We are all called to be encouragers. God's Word tells us: "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near" (Hebrews 10:24-25, ESV).
According to God's Word, each of us is to be encouraging others as we follow Christ on our journey from earth to glory. We are to be looking for every opportunity to bring encouragement to others, because "the Day" of Christ's return is one day closer. Our redemption is drawing close. The best is yet to come!
It is good to be on the receiving end of encouragement, soaking in the encouragement brought to us by others. We all need that, and we need it in exponential measure in our day. What do we do when no one is bringing us encouragement? Or, what do we do in addition to the encouragement we are receiving? We are to keep ourselves encouraged.
Let me give you a formula for encouraging yourself. You can practice it, proving the equation in your life. The encouragement equation is this: Encouragement = Rejoicing + Patience + Praying. The basis for this formula is given to us in God’s Word: "Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying" (Romans 12:12, NLT).
Our confident hope is Jesus Christ, the One we follow. Our victory today, and every day, is found in Him. When trouble comes our way, we know that it is just for a season, and as we follow Christ, He will get us through. He has already overcome the world and its troubles. That is why we can rejoice in the midst of our trouble. We know that, in Him, we will overcome!
Patience is simply waiting on the LORD to get us through whatever comes our way. We wait; He strengthens.
Praying is the privilege that we are given by God that allows us to talk to Him about everything we are going through. Prayer is where we release our life to Him, leaving our present and future in His hands, knowing that He is in total control. He is directing our steps, making a way where there seems to be none.
Beloved, always remember the encouragement equation:
Encouragement = Rejoicing + Patience + Praying
It’s an equation that we all can live by and be blessed!
Know that you are loved,
Gregory A. Johnson