One of the worst feelings to face in your spiritual walk is discouragement. I’m sure I’m not the only one who knows how isolating it feels to have lost hope and to feel like your plan is just not working out—knowing that you’ve yet again, placed your hope in this world instead of in heaven.
To have taken leaps in your faith and in a single moment, revert back to old habits—it’s the worst.
In my spiritual walk, I’ve faced trials of many forms that have helped to shape who I am today. Each one has taught me a little of who I am and who God is. But in the middle of these seasons of trial, I was focused on how discouraged I felt, instead of looking to God. It has taken lots of time, prayer, and encouragement from others to see that God has used these to strengthen me.
The book of James reminds of this: “Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4. As followers of Christ, we’re told that we will have trials in this life. Our response to these trials is what really counts. We need to be a people that, when facing trials and discouragement, can build and lift each other up.
Encouragement is defined as the act of trying to stimulate the development of an activity, state, or belief. Well, this was my first choice definition (Google gave me 3). This definition speaks to a huge part of our lives as believers—growth. Anyone remember their high school math teacher going on about the “growth mindset?” When it’s applied to algebra, I’m not convinced (I will never know what “x” is—and I’m fine with that), but as a community of Jesus followers, this “growth mindset” is GOLD. When we gather with the intent of taking another step toward Jesus, we encourage others to do the same and we please God too.
The main takeaway is this: We all face trials and we get discouraged. As a church and as children of God, our job is to encourage our brothers and sisters in their faith—in all walks of life. Place your hope in heaven, friends. And realize that there is nothing you could ever do to make God love you any less—not even a little.
- River Float in Decorah, Iowa! // THIS Saturday (July 8th) // If you would like to join, please text Sara Rockow at 515-227-6291. The cost is a low $10 for a day full of community, sun, and fun!
- Summer Life Groups // FRIENDS. Want a community to meet with weekly this summer? Visit this link for details and to sign up. #BLESSmodel #community
- Join us for church! // Check out the graphic below for the times and locations of church services at both Orchard and Nazareth. **Please note that Nazareth has changed their worship times!
- MORE summerBASIC Events // Check out the graphic below for more details on the EXCITING happenings of the summa! #decorah #pella #globalleadershipsummit
- Global Leadership Summit // August 10 -11 // This is an incredible opportunity to grow in your leadership skills and travel to Chicago with an awesome group of people. Click on this link or email email@example.com for more details!