Sometimes the best you can do is to simply practice not quitting. 4 simple bits of inspiration to help you keep going and hold onto hope for another day.
Early that morning I prayed, “Lord, I need encouragement today. Would you please send someone?”
So around noon, I asked again. “Jesus, I’m really struggling. I don’t know why, but it’s getting hard to hold back these tears. I could really use some affirmation.”
It went on like that all day. And by the time night fell, there was no holding back the tears.
Overwhelmed, exhausted, and undone.
Barely able to hold onto hope.
It felt like I was the only one in the world.
I knew it wasn’t true. But truth was no match for the tears.
We all have days like that. In the end, God used my down day to remind me of what I’m doing here in this itty bitty corner of the world. I often write the posts that I needed to read at some point in my life. Posts that affirm that life is hard, but it is never without hope.
This one may or may not be one of those.
Perfectly UNPerfect Encouragement to Hold Onto Hope
I listened to a podcast that highlighted some marketing trends in our culture. One of them is “Unperfection.” (No, that’s not a typo ~ that’s the actual word they are using. Kind of appropriate, don’t you think?)
It’s the idea that we love things that show human vulnerability and are not completely perfect. Brands are striving to be more human and less polished.
Well, you just got the vulnerable human thing.
So here’s the rest of a very UNperfect, UNpolished post with four random pieces of encouragement I hope resonate with you. Sometimes you don’t need the shiny, polished words. You need the raw thoughts that match your undone heart.
1. Sometimes the best you can do is practice not quitting
We quote Dory from Finding Nemo in our home often. I know it’s not the most challenging biblical wisdom, but “Just keep swimming” gets the job done. Sometimes it can’t be perfect. In fact, often it can’t be perfect.
Sometimes the best we can do is to practice not quitting.
Maybe there’s something in your life that you’re not going to be able to master right now.
Maybe you need to be ok with practicing not quitting.
If you practice not quitting today, you can work on baby steps forward tomorrow.
Here’s some actual biblical wisdom. Consider this: the apostle Paul’s famous “press on” inspired truth begins with saying, “I don’t have it all together.”
“Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect,
but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”
2. You can either come apart and rest or you can come apart at the seams
This is based on Jesus’ invitation to his disciples recorded in Mark 6:31.
Sometimes our problems stem from exhaustion when we tackle too many projects at once. We were made for rest. And if we don’t get it? Well, we will come apart. And when we come apart, we’ll find it hard to hold onto hope … or anything else for that matter.
What about you?
Where do you need to carve out time for the things that are foundational?
Your body, mind, and soul are not machines.
3. Hopelessness is deception
1 Kings 19 records Elijah’s time of being undone.
After the Mount Carmel victory, Queen Jezebel put a bounty on his life. Instead of reacting with strength — like you would expect a prophet who had just put 850 prophets in their place — Elijah ran for his life.
He ran into the wilderness. There, he asked God to just let him die. We get further insight into his state of mind and complete despair in 1 Kings 19:14. He felt alone. Undone. And there was no convincing him that anything good had come out of his efforts for the Lord.
First, God took care of Elijah’s physical needs.
Next, he gave him a perspective shift. Because this was the reality: God had reserved 7,000 in Israel for himself. And He still had a job for Elijah in His plan. (1 Kings 19:15-18)
Elijah had lost his perspective. The smaller ruler Jezebel had clouded his view to the bigger picture.
How often that is the problem for us. Can I get a witness?
When the enemy starts whispering, if I start listening, it won’t be long before I believe that all is lost. And here’s another thing:
Once I start to listen to the enemy,
I begin to underestimate the impact of my obedience.
And once I begin to think that I don’t matter, I’m headed down a rabbit hole.
What about you? Who have you been listening to lately? Is there a voice that needs to be silenced?
Whatever you have been called to do for the Lord matters. It matters. Don’t let the enemy steal your joy or silence your testimony.
4. Encouragers need encouragement
Those with the mission of encouragement need to be reminded of what a difference you make. Because often, you aren’t going to hear it from those you are trying to encourage. It’s part of being broken ~ those broken usually have a broken response system as well. And they may not do the best job of letting you know how much your efforts mean.
You are on the front lines, but there are no medals in this battle. You may need a fresh supply of encouragement yourself. I wrote something just for you: Dear Encourager ~ 3 things we want you to know.
And if you are gifted at encouragement, may I remind you to keep an eye out for fellow soldiers on this battle front? Encourage your fellow encouragers as well as those who obviously need encouraged.
Life is hard. The battle rages fiercely. We need each other.
An UNperfect ending
Well, that’s it. My UNperfect post.
Vulnerable and a little random.
And certainly without a stellar ending.
Sometimes we need to let others see our “unperfection” so they know they aren’t alone. When we think it’s not supposed to be hard, it gets harder. And if we think we’re alone in the harder … well, that’s when it’s the hardest.
Dear friend, you are not alone. Practice not quitting. Hold onto hope. Place your eyes on the bigger ruler. Get some rest and take care of you. Be encouraged. Tomorrow is a new day!
Jumpstart Prayer Challenge
If you are barely holding on, your prayer life may have suffered as well.
If you could use help restarting your prayer life,
I’ve developed a free 5-day prayer challenge that will guide you in that.
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Combat feelings of discouragement and brokenness and hold onto hope with survival-grade faith.