I love being an encourager. I believe sharing HOPE, especially the hope that Jesus Christ has brought to my life, is essential in our day and age. So, would it surprise you to know that I struggle to, stay encouraged?
I guess it is because I so often see the glass at least half full that you would call me an optimist.
Perhaps that is true–not sure, because I sometimes feel like I am doing hand-to-hand combat with discouragement–and losing.
Those pesky little things!
Honestly? It’s the little things that seem to get me down the most.
Those mean and biting little wisecracks sent my way. Or, the silly little things that I do myself, to myself, that make me shake my head and think, “Really? When will you learn Molly-girl?”
Do you get down on yourself, and pick on yourself, too?
Yeah, me too.
I’ve got this ridiculous perfectionist that can sometimes still bully me, and try to push me around no matter how hard I tried to get it right!
God of kindness and grace
Emilie smiles and says to us all, “I call them The Nibblers!”
“Oh,” I say, “You mean those pesky “little things” that nibble away at our sense of safety, well being, and confidence when I know I’ve blown it again.”
Emilie pours herself another cup of tea as she asks us,
Have you ever noticed that it’s often the little things in life that drag you down? … the small annoyances, the petty pains, the everyday griefs that combine to pull at your spirit and nibble away at your hope?
“Ah,” I say, “Another gem from your book, A Cup of Hope.“
God’s promises: lift my head–when my hope is sinking!
- But Lord, you are my shield, my glory, and my only hope. You alone can lift my head, now bowed in shame. Psalm 3: 3 TLB
- Don’t let my enemies say, “We have conquered him!” Don’t let them gloat that I am down. Psalm 13: 4 TLB
- So I say to my soul, “Don’t be discouraged. Don’t be disturbed. For I know my God will break through for me.” Then I’ll have plenty of reasons to praise him all over again. Yes, living before his face is my saving grace! Psalm 42: 11 TPT
- You must catch the troubling foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together. Song of Songs 2: 15 TPT
Those sly little foxes
We all have them don’t we?
Those sly little foxes that try to creep up on us and nibble away at our hope.
But I have learned.
When discouragement begins to nibble away at my hope, God’s word has abundant supplies of encouragement!
I have also learned, that I have to be very stern with all the negative “voices” in my life–past and present, because while discouragement is contagious… so is HOPE!
Whether it is me, myself, or my “well-intentioned” critics, I have to keep those negative voices on a very short leash.
Otherwise? Those seeming “little things” can sink my hope, which then cripples me from sharing the Light and Hope-full news this broken old world desperately needs to hear.
Our fourth cup
Perhaps as you are reading this someone has come to your mind. Someone who is a worrier, or a fretter, or someone who is just going through a terrible time?
(I’m sending you out into the Harvest again!)
Please share a note of encouragement with someone who needs your cup of hope, won’t you?
We ALL have good days, and not-so-good days; starts and ends that trip us up on this journey of faith that we are all on.
It doesn’t have to be a store-bought card or anything fancy. Just drop them a simple line, and share an encouraging promise of hope.
You may be just the one that God will use, to carry a ray of light that someone else needs to hear, that will turn their whole day around!
We all have those days. You know the ones I mean–where everything just seems to pile in on us–and we get so discouraged.
Forgive us, when we take our eyes off of You, and Your powerful promises.
We lay our burdens down at Your Omnipotent feet.
Jesus, You truly are the Light of the World!
Help us to share Your Light this week with someone who needs the HOPE it brings. Remind us again, we are ALL a city set on a hill!
In Your Name I ask these things, amen.
* Emilie’s “gems” are shared with the permission of Harvest House Publishers. They are: Taken from: A CUP OF HOPE by Emilie Barnes, Copyright © 2000, Published by Harvest House Publishers
Photos courtesy of: Unsplash
This weeks photo credits and “My Thanks!” go to photographers: Josh Hild, Kristopher Roller, Martin Arusalu, Birgit Lengert, Delfi DeLaRua, Guilherme Stecanella