Life is hard. I think that is a true statement at any given time, but it seems to have been even more challenging and harder than it usually is. As we look back on 2020. Many people have lost jobs, had reduced incomes, kids unable to attend school, churches closed, orders to stay home and away from family and friends, people very sick and even dying from this terrible virus. Let’s face it, h of this year has not been fun; encouragement is hard to find. The news outlets certainly do not encourage us, many of the people you come across are worried, afraid, and many are right down miserable. Evil seems to be running at a new pace, and everyone wants this year to end!
Finding someone that is an encourager is like finding a diamond in the sands of the ocean. And when you run across someone with an upbeat, encouraging attitude, it is like a sunny day, with just the right amount of humidity in the air, not too hot, not too cold, almost perfect. My mind goes to a spring day when the temperature is around 73, it is sunny, and there is a slight breeze rustling the leaves. The world looks bright and happy.
I love these types of people. No matter what seemingly lemons God gives to these people they always find a way to make lemonade. Even if they do not have the exact amount of sugar to go into it, it seems to taste good. It makes me want to make my own. These types of people tend to be encouragers. They can see the sunny side of just about any situation, but also they simply refuse to allow a cloudy rainy day or year to dampen the joy inside of them. See joy can only be lost when we hand it over. Happiness comes and goes.
God’s word encourages us to be encouragers. I think about Paul and Silas, they were beaten and wrongly imprisoned. They could have been very angry and unkind because of the unjustness of it all, not to mention the pain of being beaten. But we read in Acts 16:40 these words: “After Paul and Silas came out of prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Seriously! These men who had suffered so much were doing the encouraging? Wow! How many of us could do the same?
I think the reason they could do this after such an ordeal is that they were confident in Christ. They understood that all of this is just temporary. Every trial, pain, hurt, wrong they experienced was a temporary honor to suffer for their Lord. They did not whine and complain that He had allowed it. Paul and Silas understood there was more at stake, and the other believers needed hope handed to them, encouragement to face their trials, and these men did it! They needed encouragement to keep going, putting one foot in front of the other, making the best of it all.
Maybe you should take a look at yourself. Do you spread love and encouragement to those around you and those you meet? Or are you one of those who grumble and complain when life is not comfortable and the way you want it? What if 2021 does not get any better? What if it gets worse? Who do you want to be. We need to band together, stop putting negative junk on social media, stop putting every angry thing that happens out there. Most everyone has access to the internet and TV people do not need anyone to tell them what unjust things are happening in our world. We get it! It is bad people are killing both guilty and innocent, but your negativity and passing it along is not needed. People are dying, and many are sick, but the government is not the answer. Jesus is!
I want to encourage you to remember this is not your home. For those who belong to Christs, we are foreigners in a foreign land. This world is not the final note that will play in our life’s orchestra. One day either we will die and go to heaven, or Jesus will step out and come to get us either way; What a glorious day!
Be an encouragement to someone today. Decide to make lemonade with whatever life is giving you. Try your best to see the positives in life. I promise that if you look to the bright side, life will not seem so heavy. Remember what we read in the book of Revelation, God Wins!
I will leave you with some encouraging words from God’s word. I pray they do encourage you and give you a lightness in your step, and a smile on your face (regardless if anyone can see it because of your mask), and remember that God is with us, He is in control, this too shall pass, and one day every tear will begone, every hurt will be over, no more sickness, no more death, evil vanquished forever!
Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Did you read it? All the more!)
Psalm 31:24 “Be stong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
Romans 15:2 “Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.”
John 16:33 ” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.
Romans 15:5 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.”
Romans 1:11-12 “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong-that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”