Sometimes, as believers in Christ, we say things offhandedly to others to encourage them and we truly believe we are speaking words of encouragement, but as the word offhanded implies, without prior thought or preparation.
Over the past year my family has gone through some heavy struggles as I’m sure you have experienced in your own family as well. As of late, whenever I have heard these words, “You must be doing something right or headed in the right direction because the enemy is pushing back,” I have butted up against them. Something about these words suddenly does not resonate with my soul. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have used this same encouragement numerous times.
However, and not long ago, Holy Spirit began speaking to me about where the truth of the encouraging words I speak are found in his word. That when I encourage others I ought to practice encouraging with His words, that resonate deep within our soul, and not offhandedly with the tongue of the world. I have been contemplating and asking Jesus where in his word does it say that when we struggle we must being doing something right because the enemy is pushing back?
This morning I came across this verses.
For to you it has been granted for Christ’s sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Philippians 1:29.
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. 1 Peter 4:12.
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. “Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11,12.
It is for the sake of the name of Jesus that we find ourselves in the midst of struggles! Yes, even those struggles that don’t make sense, the ones that seem so very illogical. So many times I lose sight of this truth. When I became a believer in Christ my greatest joy and hope is eternal life with Him; the world didn’t stop spinning and life didn’t stop happening because I became born again! The testing we endure is of our integrity, virtue and constancy. It is our faithfulness to Christ that no matter the struggle we will keep our eyes on him and trust in him only. And we should rejoice and be glad because this is not our home, heaven is and that is where our reward awaits us!
Finally, we are encouraged to speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord. Ephesians 5:19.
Precious One God speaks to us in many ways but how are we to practice Ephesians 5:19 if we are not reading and studying his word consistently? How does Holy Spirit help us recall His words if we haven’t written them on our heart? (Psalm 119:11).
Speak life, speak truth, speak God’s word.