Guard Your Heart, Part 2
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.
The heart of the righteous weighs its answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes evil.
If you’re struggling with your role as an encourager, give yourself permission to find a quiet place, perhaps by a lake or in a park, or sitting quietly on your porch. Spend time reading Psalm 119, noting the passion of the writer for God’s Word and the results of obedience to God’s Word: delight, freedom, blessing and rejoicing. Ask yourself if you have been going into this life battlefield without God’s strategy in mind, ill equipped because you have not spent time in prayer and listening for God’s voice through His Word. The writer of Psalm 119 describes God’s Word and obedience to it as a pathway to joy.
Note the things that frustrate you most about your friend and ask the Lord to give you a different view of his or her response to life’s circumstances. Ask Him to remind you of the grace He extends to you every day. Focus on the different aspects of His character and how each one transforms your understanding of His love for you. Research the stories of others who transparently share their struggles to find purpose and peace in similar circumstances. Visit the MARKINC website where you will find numerous redemption stories that will help you better understand your friend. If she seems stuck in depression or grief, offer to get her more help with a counselor or find a friend who has traveled a similar path who is willing to encourage your friend with her story.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the the MARKINC website and listen to the suicide audio resource with Denise Haas’ so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Suicide was on teen Denise Haas’ mind a lot, so much so that she tried several times to take her life. Her parents’ divorce shattered her world and living didn’t seem like a good option. In this compelling conversation, Denise transparently shares her story in an attempt to grab the hands of teens who are struggling with similar darkness and compel them to “just hold on!”
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.