Walking through today’s world sure has its hardships, doesn’t it?
When we consider all that has transpired since early March 2020, we can hardly catch our breath. Still, as women who are desiring a close walk with Christ, we can be encouraged!
Today, I would like to share with you three stepping stones to help us to build encouragement into our days. These are stones that I have incorporated into my life and each one has added an abundance to my Christian journey.
First, open The Word. As often as possible, as many days as possible, simply open The Word in your lap, on a table or desk in front of you. Meditating on these words will consistently serve to soothe us and to strengthen our weary souls.
Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” NIV. We all want to build trust into our lives, right? But, what if we were not blessed to be brought up in a home where we were loved, provided for, where we couldn’t learn how to trust as a child? In this case, connection to fellow believers is even more essential. Our participation here in this Ladies Who Love Christ Bible Study Ministry is a golden opportunity to do this very thing from our homes. So, along with reading the Bible, joining others in a small group is important for all who long to be closer to God. Our small study group at Piedmont Church in our hometown of Marietta, Georgia, offers tremendous fuel for our faith journey. Even amidst a pandemic, meeting online and praying for each other has given our hearts extra stamina during this unexpected and strenuous spell.
A second stepping stone to help incorporate encouragement into our days is to recognize the truth in the ancient phrase, “This Too Shall Pass”. The Word says it like this: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:35 NIV. Change is the one constant in our world. Things will change! I understand that applying this phrase to our lives is easier said than done. I have raised babies and I know how arduous and exasperating the days can be. I have walked through the passings of my parents and close friends and therefore, know the gaping grief that accompanies those moments. I have learned to be patient with myself in times of adversity, to give myself a bit more TLC than usual.
I remember to send up “arrow prayers”, prayers uttered spontaneously throughout my day. I try to recall favorite scriptures to lean into, such as: “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I Thessalonians 5: 16-18. NIV
This truth reminds me that no matter what I am going through, it will pass. In the meantime, God and fellow sisters-in-Christ will hold me up as I continue to trust in my God.
The third stepping stone to encouragement is to always remember that there is absolutely no judgement for those who are in Christ Jesus. There is “conviction” for when we fall short and this can be a feeling, a sense, that brings us to ask forgiveness. This act will draw us ever closer to God. Every time. For you see, conviction is a positive tool that can redirect us, piercing our hearts to turn away from our sin. Romans 3:23 shows us that there is no perfection outside of Christ Jesus: “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” NIV. And Romans 8:1-2 tells us more: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.” NIV. If you have never researched “The Roman Road”, I urge you to take some time out to do this. Christ is on our side. When I do not feel close to Him, I know for certain that I am the one who has moved, not God. In times like this, I want to seek Him, to reconnect with Him. God’s children have nothing to fear. Since He lives in us, He can also live through us, shining His light into our darkness.
‘No judgement’ is a gift of our salvation. God’s Son gave his life as payment for all of our sin. Our GOD does not remember our sin.
“For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth. He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103:11-12. NIV.
One of my heroes, Corrie ten Boom has given us an unforgettable visual about this: “God takes our sins—past, present, and future—and dumps them in the sea and puts up a sign that says ‘No Fishing Allowed.’”
Corrie is also known for this uplifting word:
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to an all-knowing God.”
While there are many others, I have chosen the following three stepping stones to help us build encouragement into our everyday life:
1. Open The Word regularly.
2. Recognize that the season we are living in will pass.
3. Always remember that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Rather than deciding if we are a “cup half-filled” person or a “cup-half-empty”person, let’s recognize that as believers, our cups can always be refilled when we trust in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and reach out to like-minded believing sisters.
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different…”
C. S. Lewis
“Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is.”
Let’s Start Today!
More Scripture Verses For Reflection:
1 Thessalonians 5:11
2 Corinthians 1:3-4
1 Corinthians 15:58
2 Corinthians 4:16-17
About the Author: Joan Page is a wife, mom & avid writer. She is ‘JoJo’ to two precious grands and loves this new role in life. She shares her life experience and inspiration & encouragement on her blog ‘Pages from Joan’ at http://www.JoanWPage.com & can be found on FB at Pages From Joan.