When you have those times of life when you are discouraged and if you live alone with no one to converse with, do you reach out to a friend for a word of encouragement? Do they “listen” with their ears and hearts? Perhaps, they are too eager to give their opinion. It’s not always words of inspiration, but quite often adverse. These persons may choose to diminish our heartaches, to validate their circumstances are worse than ours. We understand life is not always ideal. Nonetheless, we seek the “gift of encouragement” during these perplexing situations.
Isn’t it wonderful that because God always knows our needs, He often gives us what our fellow mankind refuses? After reaching out to a friend while encountering a particularly arduous situation, I realized they lacked understanding or concern. God knew this even before I telephoned the friend or read His word.
As I read my devotional, Chuck Swindoll shared what I needed, “encouragement is the opposite of discouragement. Hope is the opposite of despair. When you accept the fact that sometimes seasons are dry and times are hard and that God is in control of both you will discover a sense of divine refuge, because the hope is then in God and not in yourself.”
However, when you know someone has confided in you seeking encouragement, I trust you will use God’s gift of “hearing and listening” to be an inspiration to them. Romans 5:3-4 NKJ, “And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character, and character hope.”