Thursday, December 10, 2015

Family Encouragement Goes A Long Way

Family encouragement means so very much doesn't it? If we have it we are soaring in our mission to live out God's plan for our lives. If we are missing out on encouragement it squashes the spirit and causes one to question themselves.

Encouragement from family sets a fire underneath us and gives us courage to spread our wings and fly. We gain such inspiration from those who give us encouragement. It's hard enough at times to have confidence in ourselves. When we are doing what God has called us to do there are times we must face our fears and would so love for someone to be at our side with us encouraging us with hope. 

I  have a family member who thinks what I do, writing and sharing Jesus,  is a waste of time. They believe that I spend too much time writing when I should be spending time doing other things. Yeah, that hurts deeply. I work so very hard at everything I do. When I get time to write it's like an escape. An expression of my love for Jesus. Writing is not just a passion for me. I know without a doubt that this is what I am suppose to be doing.

God instilled dreams in all of us. I want nothing more than to bring Him glory from the gifts He has so graciously given me. It's so amazing to be able to share those dreams with family and friends. To just tell someone, "I hope your day is blessed", gives a strength that is needed to face the trials of the day and it shares how much they are loved." How wonderful it feels to be thought about, prayed for,  and encouraged, right? 

Having family believe in you gives the heart great encouragement. It's having cheerleaders at your side. It doesn't matter what we are called to do. Encouragement for our journey is huge. It's crushing when family doesn't believe in what you are doing. When we make the choice to lift one another up it stirs the heart to joy and gives such a powerful strength for all that we are doing. We face enough obstacles in this life without destroying the dreams of those we love by not believing in them.

"Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing." 1 Thessalonians 5:11

"Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers." Ephesians 4:29

"And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as in the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:24-25

There are times I feel like giving up. I begin to question myself. When those times hit me I pray. I ask God to show me the path and to allow me to see the way forward. He is good to give me strength and wisdom. He fills me with everything I need. Whether or not anyone believes in me I know without a doubt that He does. After all it is God that placed this passion within me to use for His glory. 

How about you? Do you have the encouragement you need? Are you surrounded by family who believes in you? My husband is my greatest cheerleader. It makes my heart smile to hear him say, "Rob, you're doing a great job". To have a church family behind you is a treasure. To have friends praying for you is a wondrous gift that will leave behind a legacy that points to Jesus. But even if I had no one believing in me, Jesus is enough. I know He understands. He too had family that didn't believe in Him and didn't encourage Him in His ministry. 

In John 7:5 it says, "For even His brothers did not believe in Him". I have been pondering what life was like for Jesus at home with His siblings. Of course He had encouragement from His parents, Mary and Joseph, but His siblings didn't believe in Him. Jesus knew they didn't believe. The world hated Him, but don't you think it even hurt more to know that His family didn't believe?

"The world cannot hate you, but hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil." John 7:7

"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the wold, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:18-19

Every year around the birthday celebrations of my children I love going back and envisioning their arrivals. I often share the details of their grand welcoming into the world. What was that like in the home for Jesus? I mean did Mary and Joseph make a difference? Of course each child was loved and wanted, but the birth of Jesus kind of stands out among the rest, right? Did the other children enjoy hearing the story of the night in the manger or were they sick of hearing about it? 

We know how Jacob made a difference in Joseph and his brothers. They hated him. They hated the difference and the favoritism that their father held for baby brother. {Genesis 37} But we too see that God had a HUGE plan for each of them. The day did come when Joseph's family believed, not only in Joseph, but more importantly in God.

James is the brother of Jesus. From this brother we get the Book of James. He didn't come to believe during the ministry of Jesus. It would be later that he would believe and come to preach in the Jerusalem church.

"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers." Acts 1:14

"After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles." 1 Corinthians 15:7

"Is this not the carpenter's son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?" Matthew 13:55-56

Did you catch brothers? So, more than one came to believe. Don't you know this was the hope of Jesus all along? Everything in God's perfected time. We don't always understand when family doesn't believe, when they don't encourage us in our journey of living out our life for Jesus, but friends, I believe in God's perfect timing. There is never a prayer that dies. When we continue to live Jesus and do the passionate gifts He has bestowed upon us we leave behind a legacy of trust, hope, and faith. Although not every family member may give me encouragement, but in return I continue to give them love and grace.

"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing." 1 Peter 4:8-10


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