Tag: challenges

Discouraged? Don’t deny yourself the encouragement God has for you!

This week I’m volunteering at and attending a Christian Writers Conference. In the past it has been a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the craft of writing, but even more, a chance to meet with and connect with people who are gifted like me, and be encouraged by them.CCWC001

Yes, it will interrupt the usual flow of my week and take me out of my comfort zone with realizations of how much I do not know and still have to learn about writing better and the process of publishing. But what a gift, a blessing to be able to receive training and support from others God has gifted similarly.

pexels-icsa-1708988How encouraging to sit at the feet of those who have been where I am and have succeeded. To learn from mistakes they have made without having to make those mistakes myself. and to be recognized and rewarded for my efforts along with receiving encouragement and guidance.

What are you in the midst of that you would appreciate some guidance and encouragement for?

God has planned for and placed just what you need within your grasp. You need only reach out to receive it.

question-mark-40876__340Do you face challenges at work? With a hobby? In your marriage? Parenting? Grand parenting? Are you looking for direction to find your purpose? Your strength? The solution to a difficulty? Encouragement to keep going?

Be willing to interrupt your usual schedule to go where you can find the encouragement you’re looking for. To learn something new. To hear from someone who’s been where you want to go, or who’s had a victory over what you’re struggling with.
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No more suffering in silence!  Call a friend, a co-worker. Take a class. Attend a conference. Seek a mentor or counselor. Talk with a doctor or someone at your church. Find a support group in person or online.

holding-hands-752878_640You are not alone. And I believe God will not give you more than you can handle. But He doesn’t intend for you to handle it all by yourself.

He has provided. It’s up to us to open our eyes and see it. It may not be in your comfort zone – but it is within your grasp.

Reach out!

A “Wake-Up Call”

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I have received a “wake up call,” have you?

In a hotel, it’s literally a phone call made to your room to wake you up for whatever you have to do for the day. It’s a call that you preschedule according to your own needs of the day.

When it comes, you simply answer it and it’s over. Unless you arrange it, they do not call again, and would never come to the room and insist you get out of bed and begin your day’s business or requirements. It is a courtesy.

Your choices are to stay in bed and sleep some more, or to get up and begin your day. Your choice.

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Sometimes a wake up call is created by circumstances. It could be an opportunity you thought you had that passes you by. In business. Or in a relationship. Maybe a person moves out of your life who you thought you would have lots of time with.  Or a health issue.

Some wake up calls are humorous. Like your first gray hair. Or your first wrinkle. Or your child starts kindergarten. Or college.

However, a wake up call from God is different.

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You do not prearrange it. It comes when it comes – often when you least expect it.

Things may have been going along smoothly, when something happens that makes you acutely aware that your time and energy are not unlimited.

God will never insist that you get up.  A wake up call from God is a blessing.  Dealing with the call is still your choice. Go back to sleep, or get up and go.  If you choose to get up and go, here are three suggestions:

1 – Thank God for the opportunity to be woken up and for the assurance that all your days are in His hands

Without the call you could have wasted much time and energy doing things that don’t really matter. Ask God to help you “fix your eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18

And be reassured that “all the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16  That is a promise.

 

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2 – Spend time in prayer

Ask God to show you where you are wasting time and energy: in activities and in relationships. Ask Him to clarify and adjust your perceptions and priorities

Make a list, and be willing to give up those things that are not beneficial. And spend your time and energy on those things that He shows you are important.

 

3 – Ask God to grow your faith to meet whatever challenges this wake up call has raised. And to give you the encouragement you need to persevere

Paul made this statement about his circumstances and the difficulties he had been through: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  2 Corinthians 4:8-9 It seems this is true for me and most other believers as well.

I am encouraged to know that God is “able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power” Ephesians 3:20 And that He is sovereign over the broad strokes and the details of my life. I believe that He will not let one thing be wasted if we ask for Him to be at work in us. And that whatever we experience, “our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Corinthians 4:17

My wake up call last week was a diagnosis of a very treatable form of breast cancer.  I am very grateful for this reminder to be busy about the things that are eternal and that God would have me do.  And for the assurance that nothing can take away a single minute of life God has ordained for me.

I have been very encouraged in this challenge through prayer and scripture.  If you could use some encouragement, here are two places I go every day:

31 Days of Praise by Ruth Myers free download website

my Daily Bible Prayer blog

I pray for each of us: Father, when we are hard-pressed, make us stronger. When perplexed, light our way with Your truth. When we are persecuted or struck down, raise us up in Your strength.

Do not let us be overwhelmed or discouraged by what is temporary. But renew us day by day as we come to You in prayer.

Thank You for Your grace and help. Thank You that You will never leave us. That You will always love us. And that we will always be Yours. Amen