Encouragement That Doesn’t Sound Like It

Encouragement That Doesn’t Sound Like It

Last week a dear friend was telling Emily and me some of the challenges she is facing. She and her husband have taken on a huge task that they aren’t quite sure they are up for. I felt like it was the perfect moment to share one of my favorite pieces of encouragement from Solomon. I blurted out: “If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small.” (Pr. 24:10)

Apparently, that verse isn’t quite as encouraging to others as it is to me. I got some really shocked looks. Emily rebuked me, “That’s not encouraging!” I had to immediately explain.

The first time that verse took on meaning for me was during one of the most challenging times of my life. It reminded me that you don’t know how strong you really are until you get put to the test. When the relationship gets tough and you don’t give up. When your boss seems like he’s trying to kill you, but you push through. When you think you can’t handle another exhausting day with your kids. When you make it to the other side you’ll realize that you were way stronger than you thought you were.

And trust me, if you are leaning on God’s strength, you will make it to the other side. I’m certain of it. Not only will the experience show you that you are stronger than you thought, you will have actually become even stronger through the process. (Or, if you do happen to die in the process, all your problems will be solved. How’s that for encouragement!) This is why we exercise. Resistance is always what leads to strength. You’ll never grow if there isn’t a force opposing you.

So be encouraged with that verse that doesn’t sound encouraging. You are stronger than you think. You will get through. You won’t faint. And on the other side you’ll see God was with you all the time, offering a strength you never imagined was in you. It’s his strength.

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. (Psalm 29:11)

For the record, from now on I’ll probably lead with that verse from Psalms to encourage others. Then I can share Solomon’s wisdom. 🙂