I love being around people that are encouraging. I know that my gifting is encouragement and that may be one of the reasons I draw energy from those type of people. But I am talking about the ones who are always so full of life even when things seem so out of control. It's those people who strengthen my faith because I see them exercising theirs in those moments when it seems like the impossible is on the horizon. To refresh something means to make (someone) have more energy and feel less tired. I love this definition because that is the very thing Jesus did while He was here on earth. Every bible story I have ever heard about Jesus was about Him reaching into the tired, weary, or thirsty and refueling them through healing whether it was physical, emotionally or spiritually. Think about His name alone it should bring a smile to our faces. As I was reading this morning I stumbled on these two verses out of Philemon and I was encouraged.
"and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ.[a] 7 For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you"
"It says the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you"-Paul encouraged Philemon and was letting him know that heart change was happening because of how he was living out his faith. I remember when I was a kid my sister hated the heat. She would whine and complain because she was so hot. I can hear her now crying without tears saying "I want some watttttteeeeer" (yes drawn out and all). I think about adults including myself who have been in that same moment of complaint, discomfort and because my attitude was bad it quickly spread and it changed the climate in the room. The same goes when you point people no matter the circumstance to Jesus. It's like you can feel the room shift and no longer are we focused on what we don't have or the healing that hasn't come but instead we see how big God is and how His love is the source of our strength. Think about when you are on the beach what refreshes you? Its not the cold drink that only holds you off for a while it's when you get in the pool or the ocean that does the trick. It's immersing yourself in the coolness that not only relaxes you but refreshes you. Gods love is the same way. When your marriage is at the point of no return, your boyfriend or girl friend has ended what you thought was forever, your finances seem to only be getting worse or the diagnoses you were told you had has now set in and defeat and what ifs are consuming your mind and it's time you stop looking elsewhere or even turning to temporary relief. He wants you to jump in I mean ALL of you because in the end your faith will be made effective, your intimacy will increase and those around you will walk away refreshed simply because you chose to trust in the power of your Creator over the thing that is making you tired and without energy to keep going. You are weak but He is strong! Be encouraged today :)