5 Places to Find Encouragement

5 Places to Find Encouragement

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My friend Bil Cornelius said something in passing a few years back that changed my life. He said, “You have to get encouragement from wherever you can get it.”

I took that to heart. I make sure that every morning I find something to encourage me. What encourages me is different than what encourages you, and I think that stuff changes depending on the season of life you are in – so you’ve gotta figure out what works right now to keep your vision lifted.

Here are five places I find encouragement.

1. The book of Psalms Man shall not live on Psalms alone. You need the whole Bible. But there’s something real and raw about the Psalms. David constantly fought discouragement. He faced some dark times but he always directs it back to God. Keep Psalms constantly in front of you if you want to stay encouraged.

2. Sermons – I listen to a sermon nearly every morning. I’m not in a season where I’m trying to get lots of heavy doctrine. I’ve had seasons of that, but that’s not where I am right now. If doctrine is your inspiration right now then by all means – have at it. Use whatever works. Who do I listen to most? Andy Stanley.

3. Quiet morning prayer – There’s something about getting quiet in the morning. Even if it’s just a few minutes. I get up a little before Emily and say something simple like, “Lord please speak to me.” Then I get quiet. If something comes into my mind I remember I need to do I just write it on a piece of paper then get back to being quiet. I rarely hear anything besides the neighbor’s obnoxious dog barking – but I still believe God speaks to a deep place within me. I believe he breathes life into my soul and gives a deep sense of encouragement I can’t get from anywhere else.

4. Music – I love music. When I haven’t listened to it for a while and then put the earbuds back in I usually tear up. Music is a gift straight from heaven. It’s awesome. Make sure the music you are listening to is edifying. It doesn’t have to be all worship music, but the words are important. Find music that lifts your spirit, not music that feeds rage. Handel and Monteverdi and Israel Houghton are some of my favor-faves, but use whatever works for you.

5. Community – You can’t get close to God without getting close to people. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Jesus is found in community. Encouragement is also found in community. Just make sure your community is mutually uplifting. You get to encourage others and they encourage you. There’s major encouragement that comes in serving others in need, but if it’s all one-sided then you need to find a healthier community. Healthy community is life-giving and is give and take.

Stay encouraged. You have an important task on this earth. Make sure you are staying focused on the One who gives you power to do what you are called to do.

…that their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. – Colossians 2:2-3