Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
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My friend and I have a slogan we jokingly say to each other when one of us starts to stress out about things that are happening in our lives: “You know what you need to do: just shut up and pray!” It’s a reminder that we can’t fix a thing by dwelling on our problems. It also reminds us that we need to run to God, because He is our joy and our hope when the world seems to be falling apart around us. Our little slogan brings much-needed laughter into our sometimes very stressful lives. I’m thankful I have friends who remind me that my hope is in God when things seem to be spiraling out of control.
We don’t need to be experts on anything to reach out and offer encouraging words to others. Often a simple reminder to keep going and keep looking to God are all that is needed. I can’t begin to count the times my First Place 4 Health group members inspired me to not give up. They have encouraged me to keep my focus on the hope that comes through my relationship with Christ, to be patient, even on my less than perfect days, and to pray faithfully.
Never underestimate the power of friendship, and remember that just a few short words of encouragement may be exactly what one of your friends needs to hear today to keep her going on the journey to better health.
Action Item: What can you do today to reach out and encourage a friend? Is God placing a specific person in your thoughts? Write this person’s name in your jour-nal along with a way you can encourage her this week and then follow through with your plan.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, when life seems overwhelming and hopeless, remind me to go through with Your plan.
Joni Shaffer, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania