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Monday, September 24, 2007

Imparting Courage - Encouraging others

Hebrews 3 tells us to "Encourage one another daily." I believe we are told this because we really need daily encouragement. As the days wear on, we need someone to tell us:

"You can do it!"
"It's okay...God will use this circumstance and turn it for good."
"You are God's first choice for teaching your children; He will equip you." "God does not call the equipped, He equips the called...you were called by Him to homeschool your children."

It's so easy to get discouraged because we are human; we make mistakes; we sometimes do things the messy way, the wrong way. But, as Christians, we are always growing, learning and changing. This happens more quickly if we don't allow discouragement and despair to toss us into a pit.

It's easy to fall into a pit of discouragement if you don't have someone coming along side you, imparting courage to you as you make your way along the sometimes rocky, sometimes smooth homeschool trail.

If you feel like you are slipping into a pit, remember that sometimes we are lonely, sometimes we run into troubles, difficulties and challenges - this is the normal life. It's really what we believe about those difficulties that can keep us plugging along so that we can get to the smooth path again. We must believe that God has a good plan for us and wants the best for us and our children. He is on YOUR side (even though you are not everything you think you should be). He is for you.

The Word God spoke to the prophet Jeremiah is for us, as His children, today:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future."

If you feel you've already fell into that pit, let me encourage you with Psalm 40:

I waited patiently for the LORD;
He turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.

God wants to give you beauty for ashes, and a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness (Isaiah 61). So, get rid of that spirit of heaviness by praising Him today. Put on your favorite praise music and just begin praising Him - you'll find that a spirit of heaviness can't stand in the presence of praise and you'll begin to feel better. Believe that God wants to remove those rocks from your path, and wants to make your way smooth. Believe that God is for you. He really is. Though it may be tough right now, God always brings green pastures and still waters after the storm. You can rest in that truth.

I hope this encouraged you today.