Written by Matt Lang
Read Read Deuteronomy 31 and Philippians 4
Romans 8:28... we know all things work together for good...
Deuteronomy 31:6 ... he will never leave you nor forsake you...
James 1:5... consider it pure joy, whenever you face trials...
These verses are some of the common things we say (or hear) when we are going through a rough patch in our lives. I have heard similar thoughts of "encouragement" from Christians or church goers many times. Although theses references are true.... why do we say this to someone who tells you where they are in life? Usually it is prompted by questions like, "How are you?" or "How are things going?"
Is it me or have we lost sight of some realities in life? When someone goes through trials in life it doesn't mean they have lost sight of God. It doesn't mean they have given up hope or they are being punished for their faith. I thought it was just part of life. Its how we learn or grow.
I wonder if we have forgotten how to "encourage one another in Christ". We feel the need to remind those going through trials that God is still with them and that we "NEED" to pray for direction. Really? Isn't the one thing most people do in times of trial call on God? We all know people, saved or not, who pray to God when things are tough.
I have friends in my life who encourage by having me over for coffee and just listening. Those who call to see if there is something they can do for my family. They might drop a gas card in the mail. Or even the classic... "I am sorry you’re going through that".
It is not for the lack of understanding that God is still near or that I need to pray for guidance, wisdom, peace and direction. Nor do trials mean I am not thankful or able to worship God. It also doesn't mean I am depressed about the circumstance I am in. Do we want life to be easier or better sometimes? Sure! However reality proves things will get tough sometimes.
Try to think of how you want to encourage someone, who you know will be praying and not lose hope. Listen instead of offer your opinion or advice. Bring them a cup of coffee or a meal. In my situations, I know my friends will pray for me.
I am so thankful for a God who does provide our needs and encourages me through the people in my life. I believe we go through trials so we stay dependent on our Lord Jesus. Encouraged daily by friendships and smiles. Reminded by life around me that we all go through trials. We need to open our eyes and see Gods provision in everything, trial or not.
I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13).... another "Christianese" phrase? Yes it is... but true enough like the others that we need to remember, whether things are hard or easy.
Question: During tough times, what have people said to you that have encouraged you in the Lord?