It would certainly be a lie to say that I never struggle with staying encouraged. In fact, fully embracing and living according to the truths that I write in these posts is easily just as hard for me as it may be for those reading it. Typically, the dose of encouragement that I am posting reflects what I am personally going through, of which brings me to today’s topic. Have you ever had a week where it just seems like every little thing that could go wrong, does? Whether it be a supplement not coming in the mail due to the wintry weather conditions, appointments getting canceled, conflict in the household, or even something small like tripping over your pet in the hallway, some weeks it just seems like the whole world is against you. If you are anything like me, you like things to always go “right,” and when everything seems to turn around and slap you in the face, over and over again, it can be a rather tough to stay positive and rise above.
Truly, there is only so much we as humans can physically do to make sure everything in our day-to-day lives goes smoothly. Even when we do everything right, we still may fail, and if we don’t fail this time around, someone else is sure to disappoint us or let us down, of which can leave us very frustrated. So how do you find encouragement, when it seems like everything that happens is just tearing you down one piece at a time? Just this past week I came across a devotional that discussed taking hold of the hope that God gives us, and thus be greatly encouraged. What is this hope? Ultimately, it is the promise of heaven, of which is our birthright for us Christians. The writer points out that we can’t simply sit back and expect the encouragement to come to us, rather, we must look for it, grasp it, and never let go, despite how hard the storms of life may throw us. The apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 3:14, we must “press on toward the goal,” the prize being eternity in heaven with our heavenly father, of which we have already obtained by accepting the free gift of salvation. All that we must do is own it, focusing solely on what God has already done by dying on the cross, what He is doing in your life here and now through your chronic illness, and where you will ultimately end up at the end of this life full of struggle and disease – heaven. If we dwell on all of these things, instead of all that is going wrong around us, we can find hope, which ultimately brings encouragement to our souls. It’s hard, really hard, especially since we are made up of flesh and bones, unable to see beyond what the present circumstance will bring. We cannot see into the future, and though we can try to plan in advance as much as possible, we have no idea what tomorrow, or even the next few hours of our life will bring. So when everything seems to come crashing down, and all of your plans to get better are seemingly ruined, remember one thing – every trial that goes by, every bump in the road, and every tear that you cry, is bringing you one step closer to being in heaven with Jesus, where you will spend eternity. Just as we are unable to control the future, the human mind is also unable to physically fathom what eternal life, without any pain, sickness, or trial, looks or feels like. However, this does not take away from the hope and encouragement that we can feel by constantly reminding ourselves that it is coming. Even if it seems like everything of this world is working against you and your healing, remember that Christ is still living in you, working through you, and carrying you, all the way to your ultimate, eternal destination. Regardless of how unfair, painful, and confusing the trials of life may become, holding fast to this hope that comes with seeking above, will always help us rise above.