The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(A repeat from 2015)
Encouraged By Encouraging
Sometimes, when we feel the need for encouragement, God quickly sends it by His Word, His Spirit, His church, and other means whereby we are strengthened and refreshed.
"O my God, my soul is cast down within me."
"I will extol Thee, O LORD; for Thou hast lifted me up."
Sometimes, however, the Lord doesn't immediately lift us up. No cool breeze or cup of cold water seems forthcoming. In those challenging times, a different form of encouragement lies at hand.
"For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you... Knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you. For all things are for your sakes" (II Corinthians 4:11-12; 15).
The greatest encouragement we receive is that which we dispense to others. "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). The strengthening that passes through us invigorates us personally because believers in the Lord Jesus have God's love "shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" (Romans 5:5). We look upward and away from ourselves, discovering God's own joy and peace of unselfish devotion to others.
When we feel cast down without reprieve, we can be sure the Holy Spirit moves within us to direct our attention to the needs of some other hurting soul. We may only have opportunity to pray a prayer, but what an opportunity that is! Or we may find words and ways to directly reveal the living water of the Lord Jesus to a hurting heart. Whatever the case, as our focus departs from ourselves unto the glory of God and others, our need for encouragement will be supplied in the "more blessed" way of Christ's loving self sacrifice being ministered in and by us.
We thank God for those times in which He personally fortifies our hearts. And we thank Him when we are encouraged by encouraging. Both ways flow from the presence of the Christ who lived His entire earthly lifetime in His Father's care, and in the joy of devotion to others...
"The Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many."
"Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
"Walk, even as He walked."
(I John 2:6)
Weekly Memory Verse
"In this world ye shall have tribulation. But be of good cheer. I have overcome the world."