Encouragement

Read:

“for I am with you, . . .” Acts 18:10

Reflect:

Challenges and difficulty are part of life. It’s easy to tell someone else to hang in there and keep a positive outlook when they are going through tough times. But when it happens to you, staying encouraged isn’t always the easy thing to do. 

We all face setbacks. And there are more to come. Yes, that’s right, more to come. It sounds pessimistic. Those who succeed in life are not the ones who effortlessly glide through life. If anything, they deal with more discouragement than most. They respond differently to their circumstances.

They’ve made a decision they are going to get through what they are going through, convinced it won’t happen automatically. They rise up and say, “I don’t care how hard this is, I don’t care how disappointed I am, I refuse to let this get the best of me, I’m moving forward by faith.”

The thing that makes overcomers different is what they focus on during those times of frustration. For instance, Paul arrived in Corinth as a discouraged man. The reaction of the news to his message didn’t help improve his situation. There was reason for him to quit, but God gives him four things to encourage him to keep going.

Friendships

Paul found a friend in fellow tent makers Aquila and Priscilla, who became partners in ministry. Few things are as powerful as the heartfelt words of friends.  

New opportunities

As the synagogue doors were closing to Paul, God opened up a whole new world of opportunity for him to take the gospel. 

Fruit of the gospel

Though the Jews had rejected the gospel, the synagogue ruler, Crispus, and his entire family were converted. When you are discouraged, look at how others have been affected by your witness. 

The comfort of God

God tells all not to fear. God reassures us in times of trouble. God’s comfort is essential for surviving in a fallen world.

Respond:

Where do you see evidence of these four things in your life?