~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Discouragement has a way of overwhelming the mind and heart, doesn’t it? If one more trial or mishap comes into my life today, I just don’t think I could bear it! My shoulders begin to droop from the weight of it all. My heart is so heavy and tears are just waiting to spill over my lower eyelids at the next cross word that comes my way. Who in their right mind can enjoy living in this state? Surely when we step back and look at it in this light, we would conclude that no one would. So then why do we insist on remaining in this state of discouragement?

Oh how wonderful to be able to leave our trials behind and hit the road in search of a babbling brook nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains! Oh the peace that can be found as we sit on a rock by the brook and listen to the cardinals singing, the rustling of the leaves as the gentle breeze blows, and feeling the sunshine on our faces! What a sanctuary the Lord has given us in His beautiful creation. OK, so we can’t just up and leave and travel to our sanctuary. But the Word says that we can visit that Rock whenever we want – and at that Rock, we will find the sanctuary which will provide us with an even better benefit as that getaway in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

David pleads to God to lead him to the rock that is higher than he is in Psalm 61:2. What rock?

~1 Corinthians 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

Thank You, Lord, for this verse in Your Holy Word! Jesus promises to refresh us with living water! He is our Source for refreshing our discouraged heart! We can run to that mountain stream and sit on that rock any time we want by turning to His Word and talking to Him! His promises are ever before us in His Word, but we must do the seeking, my friend. You cannot be force fed.

~Psalm 147:3 He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.

 

~Job 16:1-2 Then Job answered and said, 2 I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.

Poor Job! He lost all of his children, his cattle – everything except a wife who told him to curse God and die, and friends who he considered to be miserable comforters. 🙁 What this dear man needed was someone with a kind word, not to be verbally kicked while he was down! It truly saddens me that usually the first ones to do this are those of the household of faith. 🙁

If the Christians who love to judge would take a “time out” of their self-righteous lives and study what God’s word has to say on the matter, it would be such a blessing to the dear brother or sister who really just needs simple encouragement! Our words have such an impact on other people’s lives. They don’t need encouragement when their lives are in order and things are going well! No! In fact, it is when they are at their lowest that those kind words can be most effective. Proverbs 18:21 says that our tongue has the power of death and life.

~Proverbs 10:11 The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

Our mouths reflect what is in the heart (Matthew 12:34). If you are not right with God in your own heart, you cannot be of any earthly good to anyone else when it comes to encouragement and uplifting one who is down. In fact, when our hearts aren’t right with God, we say things that can be quite damaging to that person. We say things we don’t mean. We say things that do not uplift the person but tear him down.

You know, there are times when a person just needs to be encouraged – nothing more. There are times when encouragement can be followed by exhortation. Giving someone advice and counsel from God’s word is only as good as the condition of the counsellor’s heart! The scriptures say that we shouldn’t open our mouths to give counsel if we are not right with God (Matthew 7:3). I believe this is where Job’s friends went wrong. I noticed that they were silent for seven days before they spoke. I can just see it now – this gave them plenty of time to think on Job’s life rather than humble themselves before God and ask Him to guide their mouths.

I have a dear friend who has been battling chronic pain for 30 years. Oh how she was judged and continues to be judged by those who claim to be good friends, family and “the brethren.” Surely there must be sin in your life if you’re so sick, or She just doesn’t want to get better or help herself! 🙁 How quickly we are to judge others! It breaks my heart!

There doesn’t always have to be a reason for a Christian’s hardships. Job’s trials were not due to his sin or his lifestyle. He didn’t lose his children because he was a drunk and a horrible father. In the midst of his horrible trial, he needed a kind word. What would have been the outcome of Job’s account in scriptures if his friends had come to sit with him, hugged him, prayed with him and sat with him? A kind word goes such a long way. It is said that a person can live off a kind and encouraging word for a week! Wow!

Our loving Heavenly Father has shown us how to encourage the down trodden by sending His Son to redeem our sinful lives! No greater love is there than this. (John 15:13) That’s compassion! While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8) He didn’t sit there and berate us before He died for us. He didn’t make it a point to kick us while we were down. Sadly, Baptists are known for this very deed 🙁 Why is that? Have they taken judging righteous fruit passed what God intended? I believe so. Remember Matthew 7:3!

Christ would never kick someone while they are at the bottom of their “pit” in life. It is while they are in their pit that His compassion comes shining through and He rescues them! Where is that compassion in Christians today? Christ makes a difference in people’s lives and our compassion should make a difference in people’s lives as well. When we have a brother or sister in Christ who is going through hard times, get yourself right with the Lord and then go make a difference in that person’s life.

~Jude 1:21-22 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Once you sit with that person for a while (without a judgmental spirit, I might add), the Holy Spirit will reveal to you what to say. Take time to listen – take time to cry with them – take time to hold them. If we all waited on the Holy Spirit before opening our mouths, we would surely make a difference in people’s lives.

If you are not going to be the one to exhort (give advice and counsel) this person, then be the one to encourage! Everyone needs a hug – everyone needs a kind word. No one deserves to be kicked like a dog while they are going through hardships. No one!