Sunday, June 1, 2014
Sometimes I can be too critical of myself and the things I do. I can look back at a moment and remember stumbling through something important and I feel the embarrassment all over again. Maybe it's just me, maybe its you too. I guess we all can be overcritical of the things we say, and the things we do, possibly the things we didn't do, didn't say.
But one thing I do know, that God doesn't want us to be discouraged, he wants us to be encouraged! I don't think I encourage people as much as I should, but I know that when I am encouraged it builds me up, makes me stronger, it makes me believe in the things that I do and why I do them. Today someone made the comment to me "I wish I was doing as much as you do, when I was 20". I was a little surprised by the comment because in my mind I'm not doing enough. Sometimes I can't fulfil my expectations of myself. I want to do more with my life, be more adventurous, love Jesus and love people just a little bit more.
So, I want to encourage you, whoever is reading this. You may never feel like you're doing enough good in this world, you may be discouraged, and people won't always encourage you. But I do know one thing, that when you follow God's will for your life, you are doing enough.
You are doing enough. You are enough.
Sometimes I sit down and pray, or even think about the great things I'd like to do one day. They seem near but not near enough, my thoughts can be impatient. But God knows the perfect timing for each event to occur in our lives. Maybe its not today, maybe its not tomorrow, but God will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). Sometimes following God's will for your life is waiting. In waiting he's preparing you - preparing you for what he will have you do in the future.
This is something I've been struggling with. I want to do more than I am already doing because I don't see the results of my hard work. I've been discouraged. But now I have been encouraged! Your hard work will pay off, God promises his reward to those who are faithful to him (Colossians 3:23-24).
God has also taught me something else. That in order for him to use my abilities, my skills, and even my passions, I must be reading his word - the Bible. Spending time with him. It's the Christian's instruction manual to living a God-praising life, a fulfilling life. This relates to the topic of encouragement so well. See, I was discouraged because I was not seeing the results of my hard work, and because I was not feeling strong and confident in what I was doing. And because I wasn't reading my Bible regularly (due to busyness), I wasn't being strengthened like I should have, which led me to believe my hard work for God was going nowhere.
But now, I do read my Bible. Not always on a regular basis, but I'm working on it with God. And as a result of it, I am far more encouraged in all that I do. I believe that when I do things for God's glory, people can see that, they can tell, but I believe that they can also tell when I'm running on empty. I can't run on empty when it comes to serving God and spending time reading my Bible. Like I car can't go far with little gas, I can't go far with little time spent with God.
I think my point comes down to this quote I heard recently "spending time with God puts everything else into perspective". I have seen this to be true in my life. So, if your life isn't working out for you, if it isn't fulfilling - open up God's word, it will offer you so much more encouragement than the words of anyone else you hear.
And thank you to the person who encouraged me today - it was much needed and much appreciated! :)