I DO love how God has sent the Holy Spirit, and placed Him in our lives to encourage and direct. I especially love how He uses US to encourage OTHER believers!
There have been so many times in my life where I've doubted myself. I am prone to see the half-empty glass in my life (but not in ministry - isn't that odd? - JUST realized that!) and get depressed, or play the blame game (me taking the blame) in personal areas of my life. Sometimes it's justified (I should do more laundry, lose weight, exercise more...) and other times it's putting things upon myself that realistically I can't control (family relationships, weather interfering with plans, my husband's work schedule, etc). The reality is that very few families don't have issues, and it usually (not always) takes more than one person to create all the problems in those issues. (I'm learning.)
I really DO love how He will send others with a scripture for me, or even an encouraging word, just to help me get through a day. It's all I usually need to feel reassured that HE IS in control. That He has equipped us to be a counselor on His behalf, and He will put His word in our mouth to encourage others.
I also love how when I take my eyes off of MY problems, and help someone else with their problems, it makes mine look much smaller.
My problems are not really smaller, but my own perception of them is, and that's important.
Despite what current societal trends are, ME is not nearly as important as everything else. That's where helping others comes into play. It's not to earn righteousness, or make me look good to anyone; it's just to serve, to grow in Christ, to exercise being His hands and feet. It's the right thing to do. He tells us in Matthew 25:34 - 40
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’“And the King will say,
‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’"
If you have issues and problems that you are dealing with, you might consider getting involved with a servant ministry through your church or in your community. If you don't have a job, then volunteer! It's a great way to keep your resume going, and prospective employers will see that you were not satisfied to sit at home while waiting for the phone to ring (with cell phones these days, is that even a valid statement any more?). It puts the size of your problems into a realistic perspective too.
I don't know who said it first, but I frequently remember the saying,
"I used to complain about having no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet."
This helps me to be motivated when things don't look to be as rosy as I think they should. So, thank You Lord, for giving us the capacity to be great counselors, for keeping needy in our life and society, no matter how rich a nation we are. Thank You that You send Your Holy Spirit to comfort us, but also to motivate us, and to encourage us through other believers sharing Your Word.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6