You Have A Choice

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Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord , “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Psalm 91:1‭-‬2

Everyone needs encouragement in their lives. Encouragement infuses hope and strength when life gets tough. But, as you grow and mature in life and in your walk with the Lord, you will realise that most times there is no one available to encourage you because everyone around you seems to be dealing with their own crisis or are so self absorbed they don’t realise what’shappening right in front of them. It looks like the world is so self-consumed that encouragement from others and for is scarce. 

The pressures and busyness of life leave little room for anyone else, and, with a lack of encouragement people are becoming hopeless. They are turning to destructive behaviours, becoming addicts and even contemplating suicide. We are all in need of someone in our lives to lean on, to find comfort in, and to share our burdens. Unfortunately, someone may not always be there or even if they are around they are dealing with their own problems to recognise you need help. 

I am sure Jesus faced times where he needed encouragement, and I am reminded of the night in the garden when he was arrested. Even though he was surrounded by his disciples for years, in his most desperate moments for support and encouragement, they all bailed on him. Judas took it one step further and was responsible for selling Jesus out.

Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.”
Mark 14:49

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Just like Jesus, we face moments like these when the ones we are looking to for motivation are not available. They’re either unavailable because they simply don’t care what impact their actions are having on you, or, perhaps, it is not that they don’t want to be there, but as I mentioned before – they too are facing their trials and hardships. How did Jesus get through those moments of abandonment and isolation? I believe he encouraged himself because there were only two options:

1. Give up and lose the war over sin and death forever

2. Encourage himself and win the battle for all humanity

Jesus chose option two because his love for humanity was greater than himself. The writer of Hebrews tells us Jesus made it to the end despite all his hardships and encourages us to keep our eyes on him when faced with the same things.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we are in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honour, right alongside God

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1‭-‬3

Jesus kept his eyes on the prize, which was us (humanity) and encouraged himself to the end when no one was there to spur him on.  

Today, we have the choice to either look to those who leave us stranded or keep our eyes on Jesus and learn from him on how to encourage ourselves in the Lord. I pray that you would find strength in your difficult times to choose hope even if you feel like there is no one to encourage you. Jesus did it, and so can you!

“If you’re struggling today, remember that life is worth living and believe that the best is yet to come. Remember that you are loved, you matter, and never forget that there is always hope.”  ― Germany Kent

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