To begin I’d like to clarify something about our upcoming web events. Tomorrow, May 28th we will be hosting a meeting to start the conversation as to how and when we will come back together at POP for worship. I said “next” Thursday and not “this” Thursday, so I wanted you to have clarification. Also, the following day “this” Friday, the 29th at 7:00 we will be hosting a fellowship time for all members of POP. There, I feel better now. Onto our Daily Dose…
Its hard to believe that a couple of months of quarantine have passed and we’re still not sure when things will be back to “normal.” It’s causing many people to become scared for their livelihood and panic is replacing patience in far too many cases. We’ve got churches suing governors, people opening up their business’ in defiance of the shut down and people shouting angrily outside government facilities. People want to get back their lives and their livelihood. I certainly understand their frustrations and, maybe you find yourself in this group. If that is true, then let me give you some encouragement so that you might encourage others in similar situations.
These setbacks might seem insurmountable in the moment, but God has a bigger plan. He knows your concerns, He hears your prayers and He is already working His plan. As Christians with faith that God can do all things, we need to believe that, and we need to be encouraging each other in our mutual trials based on that truth. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 reminds us to, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
In times like these, the gift of encouragement can help in so many ways. When you encourage others in times of stress and strife, you show them that you truly care and, by virtue of being a child of God, you show that God cares too. In fact, this would be an excellent time to share with others where your hope is placed. People in stressful times need to know that God is there for them. God said in Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” That’s true if you’re entering the land that was promised to you, and it’s also true if you are called to fight other foes such as Covid-19. In every struggle, God is there. In every trial He is by your side. In every conflict he is prepared to bring you peace. That’s the message that has to be shared.
Encouragement can also help others to release some of that pent up frustration and negative energy they’ve been having to live with each day. If people were teapots you’d hear whistling everywhere you go. The devil loves this, because it causes people to rely more on themselves. Encourage others by relaying the message that God is prepared to take on all your worries. He wants you to lay your frustrations at His feet and trust in Him to change your negative energies to positive outlooks. People need to know that frustrations and negativism do not come from God. We all need to take a collective breath or two as we sail the pandemic seas together.
Finally, your encouragement to others can help to bring about peace in times of chaos. Because of sin, we have become people of anger and strife. We know what we want and we want it NOW! By sharing the Good News of what God is prepared to bring to His people, we can begin a process of revitalization and peace in the understanding that God is bigger than any problem we might face. He has had much bigger tasks than this and He has always been faithful to bring about solutions, even if they’re not done in “our” time. Remind people that they can find peace in the arms of a powerful God capable to make times like these into something quite beautiful.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us all in our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God’ (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, as we continue to wait for a safe time to return to normalcy, help us to find encouragement in you and then, in turn, share it with others. The world is becoming the devil’s playground, help us to counter this by being the best encouragers we are capable of being. Help us to put all of our hope and trust into you so that others will see, by our words and actions, how beautiful hope can be. Amen.