The Encourager

           Not long ago, I was feeling anxious and a bit discouraged. The career I had loved for 27 years had ended when the Christian high school I taught at closed its doors. I launched Life That Matters Ministries with high hopes and initial contributions from benevolent donors. The website was up; beautiful brochures, business cards, and other advertising items were printed; the publicist was hired; and social networks were connected.

          Then I guess I panicked. What would happen when this initial money ran out? Why isn’t anyone calling to book my seminars? Would I get another book contract? When would donations to the ministry pick up? Is anyone going to invite me to speak?

         God wasn’t answering and the days dragged on. I did, however, have one women’s conference for which to prepare, so I dove into the task of getting my workshops ready for those ladies. Women’s retreat and conference junkie that I am, I couldn’t wait to get there to fellowship with the women of God.

         Sure enough, the camaraderie immediately began to lift my spirits, but the strain must have still been evident on my face. As we moved about in the worship time to pray for one another, my friend Rosalind, the pastor’s wife, caught my eye and drew me into a hug. She whispered to me, “God has not forgotten your faithfulness and He will be faithful to reward you.” Later in the conference, I also received a prophetic word from the keynote speaker which started, “Do not worry about another dime.” God went on to speak more support into my flagging spirit. How those ladies’ words ministered to me!

          The people receiving the letter to the Hebrews must have been in my same dispirited boat. The writer encourages them by saying, “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister… do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham… He swore by Himself, saying, ‘Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.’ And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise” Hebrews 6:10-15 (NKJ).

         God won’t forget what we are doing for the Kingdom. He’s got our backs. I’m so busy with coaching writers, editing jobs, upcoming seminars, planning for a new book’s release events, and a new book contract, that my days are very full. There are still enough open squares in my 2011 Daytimer to keep me trusting God, but as I refuse to “become sluggish” and continue to believe, I will “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”

          Surely God will bless and multiply the work of our hands. Be encouraged and patiently endure. The fulfillment of the promises is just around the corner.

________________________

©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

 

 

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~ by sanewriter on December 14, 2011.

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