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The Power of Encouragement

Paige Smith

Do you find yourself in a situation that seems hopeless? Are you frustrated by your seeming inability to overcome in a certain area in your life? Is there a difficult situation that you can’t see the end or resolution of?

Life can be full of winding and unexpected turns and we all need a little encouragement sometimes.

Encouragement is that second wind when you want to give up. Encouragement is when someone tells you they see your potential when all you see is your failure. Encouragement is when someone speaks life into a situation that seems hopelessly dead.

It is the genuine compliment on the day you feel the most unattractive. It is is the reassuring “next time will be better” after you’ve failed the test. It’s the “you can do it” in the midst of an impossible situation.

Are you in need of encouragement today?

I will be transparent and say that it was so difficult writing this very article because of the immense discouragement I myself felt as life issues mounted up to what seemed to be insurmountable heights.

I thought, how can I write on the power of encouragement when I myself feel so discouraged?

For the past two weeks in fact I have constantly been fighting the temptation of giving up, calling it quits. For the first time in years I feel like I did in my senior year of high school when I was doing so poorly academically and was so disappointed in myself and felt the disappointment of my relatives so strongly I ran away, leaving behind a detailed letter expressing all of the pent up emotions I had been feeling for years.

This was certainly a time of deep discouragement in my life. Recently I have found myself fighting discouragement yet again. Right now I am almost a year out of graduating and at times it can seem like I am failing, to be completely honest. I know I am not but when someone asks me what I am up to since I graduated (from the illustrious Spelman College) and I respond that I’m being a mom I usually receive wary, unimpressed looks.

Many times I succumb to this pressure of “looking successful” and add that I am also doing freelance writing and helping editing for a non profit and attend a ministry discipleship school. Yet still the waves of discouragement from these repeated subtle encounters can  come.

What has brought the most discouragement today has been the business of my life, feeling like I am constantly sacrificing and serving in hopes of staying in the process, making it to the end..yet continually messing up within my responsibilities and not seeing the fruit I truly desire within myself, my relationships, or my family life.

On top of this I misplaced a huge check the very same day tuition was due for the discipleship school I attend that would have fully covered the cost for my husband and I.

I then realized my seeming frailty was really my greatest strength.

I decided I would write from this place of uncertainty, when everything wasn’t going perfectly, and write the very words I knew someone in a similar situation to mine I would need to read.

Right now my house needs to be cleaned, dishes need to be put away, laundry needs to be folded. Right now I need to call family members and tell them I love them. Right now I have assignments that are past due that need to be turned in. Right now my son is showing behaviors that I don’t know how to address. Right now I…

Maybe you can relate to these struggles. I pray this article will bring intense encouragement to you and I both as we learn the truth of Gods response to us in situations when we feel as if we are failing.

Encouragement is powerful because it declares Gods truth, hope, and love when everything else may say the opposite.

Encouragement isn’t usually given when everything is perfect, when you are succeeding in every area, and are overcoming every trial.

It is given when it doesn’t seem like the person will make it, when the odds are against them, when they’ve lost again or seem to be in the process of losing.

Think of a race. As the runners are jogging along their families and friends will flock them along the sides and cheer them on, helping them realize their ultimate goal of crossing the finish line.

During the toughest parts of the race, that is when the crowd will encourage the runners the most.

In the times when life gets the most difficult, when it becomes undeniable how much we are struggling, these are the times many of us imagine God shaking his head at us in disappointment.

In actuality this image couldn’t be further from the truth!

Rather than condemning us for our shortcomings, God yearns to bring us encouragement in these times of defeat.

God never sees you as a failure. And He never sees your situation as hopeless. He is truth and only sees the truth of who you you are, an Overcomer.

He is also a redeemer and even in your most depressing situations, He sees them through the lens of His own resurrection power.

He is the same God that looked at a pile of dry bones and saw them as mighty army.

Sometimes areas in our lives can seem like a pile of dry bones and we don’t see how they will ever come to life.

What situation is bringing you the most discouragement today, your pile of dry bones?

Maybe it is a subject in school you are struggling in, maybe you are applying for job after job and you have yet to hear back from one. Maybe your job is bringing constant stress to your life. Maybe you and your spouse can’t seem to see eye to eye. Maybe your children don’t seem to be listening to you.

Whatever situation is coming to mind I want you envision God as your biggest fan, cheering you on shouting out words of encouragement and love towards you in the midst of these trying situations.

God is a good father. Just like a great dad encourages their children when they feel they can’t overcome or have messed up, God does the same for us.

Many of us are feeling the most discouragement in situations that are unfamiliar to us. We are like the child who first learns to ride a bike. We clumsily swivel and turn and wobble and are very aware of how much we are not gracefully riding a bike.

Yet what keeps us going in our imperfection is the parent that tells us “Keep going! You can do it!”

Instead of getting off the bike we continue on and eventually what seemed impossible becomes second nature to us and we find ourselves gliding along effortlessly, now confidently doing what before we could hardly figure out how to begin.

Today God wants to bring encouragement to you!

He sees your potential and your coming victory over present trials. He’s written out every day of your life and He already sees exactly how you will overcome. He sees your strength when you only see your weakness, and He is the only one who truly knows who you are since He is the one who created you!

I encourage you to reflect on God’s encouragement for you:

“The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭18:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:10‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.””
‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed, And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah

There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, The holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn.”
‭‭Psalms‬ ‭46:2-5‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:31‬ ‭NKJV

We can find encouragement in the fact that God is for us, even when it seems life is against us.

Even the most terrifying or hopeless situation, when it feels like our foundation, everything that previously seemed secure in our life, is falling apart. In these moments God is there in our midst, ready to help us.

When we are dismayed, God encourages us that He will strengthen us. We may have tribulations but He empowers us to overcome because He has already overcome it all.

If you would like prayer for a specific situation or would like to share an area of your life you need encouragement in, we invite you to share in the comments below. We love hearing from you! We encourage you to share, you never know how your willingness to open up will help another overcome.

2 replies
  1. Patricia
    Patricia says:

    Thanks for the article.

    If there’s ever a time I have felt like running away, it’s now. I got a job last month. I was excited at the thought of working. Less than two months down the line, I regret taking the job.

    Going to work feels like going to a place of fear and lack of freedom and independence. As I write this, I’m in church, just trying to clear my head and seek God’s direction. I don’t have the courage to go back to work.

    I want to resign but I don’t want my husband to be disappointed in me.

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Patricia!

      It is really hard when we find ourselves in situations that cause fear and the lack of freedom you are referring to; so often that can bring waves of discouragement to our hearts. I am praying for the courage to endure through this hardship and to be a light in your current situation. I pray for boldness when fear tries to come upon you and the direction of GOD even when all seems dark around you. Love & Blessings!

      Reply

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