Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. – 1 Peter 1.3
God has designed us with the innate ability to see his glory upon one another, but in his wisdom he withholds from us (to some degree) the ability to see his glory upon ourselves. When Moses descended from his 40 days of fellowship with God on Mt Sinai, he had to be informed that his face was aglow with the glory of God. He didn’t know it, but the people around him could see it clearly.
No matter how well we are doing in life, it’s far to easy to feel as though we are doing poorly. No matter how much progress we have made, it’s far too easy to believe that we have made no progress at all. Hopelessness and despair are not always all-encompassing realities; they are very often micro-interpretive moments of in which we feel . . . stuck, bound, fettered, or constricted. And we feel for those moments that nothing will ultimately change.
When I was in high school everyone made fun of me for being so skinny. I was 135lbs on graduation day, and I longed to be 200lbs so that no one would laugh at me any more. I hit 200lbs by the end of my sophomore year of college, and it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. Looking at myself in the mirror, I appeared to myself to be a whale! I felt like all was lost, I was over the obesity hill, and I was long past the point of no return.
If only I could go back to myself and slap myself silly! I would love to be 200lbs now! I’d have to lose 25lbs to be 200lbs right now! And so now that I am 225lbs, I am once more tempted to feel lost . . . like there is no hope. But this is a lie! It’s always a lie!
Looking back at the hopeless moments of your life, you realize in hindsight that it was not hopeless at all; you just couldn’t find the hope in it! You thought you were worse off than you were. You always feel like you are worse off than you are!
Knowing that to be the case, why not choose to see your present situation with the wisdom of hindsight? If you did, you might find the encouragement that you need to the next level of victory!
But there is something very important that we must know about encouragement before we embrace it.
Encouragement is not just an experience; it is a stewardship. When God entrusts us with it, we must be found faithful.
Be encouraged today, and make the decision to remain encouraged! Learn to look back on your present, and you’ll never be discouraged again!