Have you ever been in the place where you felt your battery needs to be recharged? This is where I find myself the last few weeks.
This year has been a game changer since I have been back from our missions trip. I can truly say I am closer to the Lord in my walk than I have ever been. He has shown His faithfulness over and over. The opportunities to encourage others have been such a blessing. God has created this writing tool to truly reach others and I am so thankful for the counsel of the Holy Spirit. Also, thankful for the feedback and testimonies that have been shared with me.
I believe for us Christ followers to change this world we need to be real, transparent and giving of our time and resources. The problem that I am finding is I have given until I am drained. There are some in my life that have drained my energy. I feel exhausted and it is both the physically and soul kind of exhausting. I have been on a quest to unveil why I find myself in the same lesson so many times in my life. The one where the line has been crossed from friendship to being taken advantage of so many times. I tell myself it is something I am attracting. The Lord will allow the lesson to continue to come around until the lesson is learned. I talked to a few that I value their words of wisdom and I have searched many articles and I find that people seems to see Christian fall in categories for the most part. The holier than thou group and the take advantage of you group and yes, the hypocrite group which I don’t even want to dive into that one. There is a group that are the real deal, they are the difference makers and they are turning this world upside down. During my search, I found this quote, “People who are givers by nature naturally draw people who are takers by nature. ” I could hear in the back of my mind. JACKPOT…. Johnny , we have a winner, Ding… Ding… ding. I think I might have found the key in this quote.
I am finding myself telling the Lord that I KNOW your word says that the joy of the Lord is my strength but I am finding less joy these days. Loving and serving others is not for wimps. Lord, you know my thoughts anyway so I have to tell you sometimes I just don’t like people. Talk about being transparent. Well, that is about as real as it gets. I KNOW in these less than joyful times to get in the word. It is time to get in the trenches and dig deeper. Pray harder. So, of course I open the word and turn to David and Paul. Theses men were warriors for the Lord and yet very transparent. Paul, speaks many times of being thankful and in need of encouragement. He speaks of friendships he treasured and companionship he needed. Paul felt it strongly when he was in prison or in a difficult situation. He writes about how much he relied on the encouragement of others around him.
Philemon 1:7 “Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints”
Philippians 2:19 “I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state” . He wanted good news about the Philippians, and he said the report from Timothy would be encouraging to him.
In Colossians 4: 11 Paul talks about a man named Justus. Paul said of these people, “These are the only Jews among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have proved a comfort to me” .
Then there is King David. Yes, my favorite. So many scriptures tell us where David renewed his strength in the Lord. There are many scriptures where David is drained physically and emotionally. He found himself many times on his face in grief. King David needed flesh and blood to help him also. There is one time when David is being hunted. He’s a fugitive. He is running for his life from the most powerful man in the land. He’s running from the king. He needed someone to come alongside of him and rejuvenate him, someone to help him with his weak battery. God sent just that kind of person in the person of Jonathan. 1 Samuel 23:16 tells us, “Then Jonathan, King Saul’s son, arose and went to David in the woods and strengthened his hand in God” Other translations will read this way, “Jonathan encouraged David in God.” He strengthened his hand in the Lord. They loved each other deeply. What kind of love did Jonathan have when it was his rightly place in tradition to be the next reigning king and yet he knew it belonged to David. Think of the jealousy and competition and all the other feelings that Jonathan could have felt but his true love for David conquered them all. Jonathan put his own life in danger by helping David. What a loyal friend to David.
I believe the Lord gave us these scriptures to remind us that even the fiercest warriors needed encouragement and refueling . I still have many questions. Like, how can certain people not see that they have taken so much and given so little and yet they still think they have done nothing wrong. How can they be walking with the Lord and not be aware of their actions that have hurt so many. How can they know what it is like to be encouraged when they are down or be remembered during their birthdays with beautiful things to open and yet when our birthday rolls around there is nothing. When I am sick I don’t even get a phone call or a meal like I have brought on many occasions has never graced our doors from them. The endless dinners and giving them money and then you see these same people purchase crazy things the very next week after they were crying to you how broke they were and so happy to take our money.
I give because it is my love language. I know I have been given the gift of encouraging others. My App test showed me two things. One, the gift of Exhortation which is the divine strength to encourage others through the written or spoken truth and Biblical truth. Mercy- The ability to feel empathy and to care for those who are hurting in any way. This is so my personality. I am called a Phlegmatic personality on my app test by 70 percent. The test states that the achilles heal of this type is in order to not be taken advantage of they need to be stronger and learn how to say NO. I battle this still at 48 years old. Two simple letters, really why is it so hard?
This really is not just a rant. I really want to emphasize that everyone needs to be an encourager. It’s easier for us to focus on how we need to be encouraged. But it’s more important to remember that all of us need to be encouragers.
Even if being an encourager is not your main personality characteristic , being an encourager is not an option. I read an article that stated thirty-two different times in the New Testament we read that there are things that as believers we are to do for “one another.” Be kind to one another. Love one another. One of those “one anothers” things is encourage one another.
Hebrews 3:13:- “Encourage one another.” This is not just for a select few to do; it is for all of us. We know from the Scripture that God is an encourager. Romans 15 calls Him the God of encouragement and comfort. So when we encourage others, we are being like God. We are ministering His characteristics to others. Isn’t that what this walk is all about? More of him and his character and less of us.
I hear so many people tell me you are my best cheerleader. I guess writing these words on this page is therapy for me but I am wanting it to be a reminder for us all. Each one of us is blessed with having that certain someone that is an encourager to us, please remember they need encouragement also. They need to be lifted up too. It makes their day when they are remembered every now and then. Don’t forget as the scripture says Iron sharpens Iron , well you have to do some sharpening back. Sharpening a tool is a back and forth motion against the metal. It is the same concept with relationships. Back and forth. Give and take. Encourage and be encouraged. It is a balance. I am praying for wisdom and divine discernment and revelation that I find the balance so I can continue strong. So that I can get back up on this track that I am on and I can finish this race well for my Savior’s purpose and glory. I ask for your prayers and if you have battled this and have overcome it, I would love you to share your message. Your test that became your testimony. Thank you for walking beside me in this journey ~