Are you encouraged? It really depends on one thing…
One of my favorite questions for people is, “Are you encouraged today?” Usually they pause, reflect for a moment on their circumstances and feelings, and respond with an enthusiastic, “Yes!” or a not-so believable, “Yeah.”
What would your reply be to this question right now —and what would the basis for your answer be?
Many people would base their response on a quick assessment of their current situation. Is their life looking good —or are things a bit gloomy? Present circumstances and feelings are not a good source of encouragement. It’s not just that they’re unstable, it’s that they’re an unfit foundation for decisions. The one thing it takes to remain “in courage” is faith. That’s it! Faith creates courage.
If you’re fighting discouragement, don’t try to force yourself to be happy. That will never work. The basic rule of gardening (and life) applies here:
Whatever you feed will grow. Whatever you starve will die.
So, if you want to kill discouragement, feed your faith.
A few things to remember about faith and courage…
Every new door is first opened by faith.
Faith is magnetic to unseen provision.
Faith in God comes from intimacy with God.
Intimacy with God makes us see that:
God is here, God is able, God is good, and God is trustworthy.
An accurate view of God heals everything, which is why the first commandment (place no other gods before me) is listed first–it’s broken before all others.
A deep and living faith is a source of infinite joy and unshakable confidence.
No matter what today holds, you can remain “in courage.”
Knowing that God, in all his sovereignty, goodness, and faithfulness, is here with you, at work in ways that you cannot see, attentive to your prayers, and active above you, before you, despite you, and within you…changes things! It changes our entire perspective on reality.
So, today, as you reflect on your level of courage, remember 2 Chronicles 16:9-
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.