Thursday, April 26, 2007

The encouragement of a friend

Today I began to wonder if my blog, these simple (not to mention simple-minded) thoughts are in and of themselves something of a "downer." I am admittedly more melancholy than merry and I wonder if this, the chronicle of my journey of faith and the struggles thereof, reflect my tendency to see the glass half empty.

I struggle, I question, I doubt, I stumble. By no means do I consider myself as having arrived at any degree of spiritual maturity or milestone. And as I seek to communicate in words the now and the not yet of living out my faith, I want above all to be authentic and for that authenticity to somehow bring encouragement to you, the reader, in your pursuit of the faith-full, Jesus-full life.

This week I was profoundly encouraged by an email from a dear blog friend. I had confessed to her the doubts and insecurities that were threatening to overwhelm me. It's funny because I had just boasted in the faithfulness of my God in this same area of my life in a prior email to this friend. I want to share with you a portion of her exhortation to me:
And this is where you practice and apply the doctrines you know and teach to others:

2 Cor 10:5 "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."
*Are your insecurities a conviction of Scripture? Then take them there to be sanctified by His truth.

Heb 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him."
*Only God requires faith, the enemy would have us see with eyes that he can then blind.

2 Tim 1:7 "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline."
*Where is God asking you to demonstrate His power, His love, and His self-discipline--these are communicable attributes of God given to His believers for His work.

2 Tim 2:15 "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth."
*Is your conscience clean before the Lord, having sought Him first, godly counsel and divine wisdom?

Col 1:16 "For by Him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by Him and for Him."
*Even [this area of insecurity] were created by Him and for Him--you are His vessel in this new place.

1 Cor 10:31 "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
*Having taken this step of faith, you persevere on its path, knowing that every step is for your good and His glory.

A prayer for you, from Eph 3:16-21 "I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge--that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever ! Amen."
*Friend, be encouraged not by feeble words hastily typed by this one, but by eternal words etched in timelessness because they contain a truth that never fails nor forsakes.

Much, much love that as you bear up under this attack, whether from within or without, at its end you will know Him more clearly and more dearly for He is faithful to hold His children.

She speaks Truth. May you be encouraged as well...

5 comments:

  1. A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver.

    How wonderful to have such a friend and how generous to share that friend's wisdom with us!

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  2. What encouragement!! We all need friends like that one.

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  3. What a wonderful friend you have to encourae you that way!

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  4. What wonderful encouragement!

    Kim

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  5. Hi Lisa,
    How wonderful to have a Barnabas in your life! Blessings!

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