The Upper Room devotional reflection for Saturday, October 22, 2022, comes to us from Steve Lawrence of Kiambu County, Kenya.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,
25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
THE GIFT OF HOPE
As a youth pastor, I frequently interact with young Christians struggling with everything from depression to failed relationships. Many come to me seeking help, prayers, advice, and comfort. In listening to their problems, I have come to realize the gift of reassurance. These young students do not want to hear me say why life is unfair to them. They do not want me to explain a solution to their problems. They want a reason to have hope.
And so, I remind them that their current problem is a storm that will calm down with time and that God is with them. I tell them that God promises to see them through difficult times and to make their paths straight (see Proverbs 3:5-6). I find that their faith is bolstered, and they find the strength to continue through their obstacles when they hear this divine reassurance.
Proverbs 12:25 reminds us: “25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.” We all need encouragement and reassurance to help us overcome obstacles and to strive to be our best. Steve’s reflection reminds us that what is often needed of us, when interacting with someone going through a challenge, is to be present and to genuinely encourage them. Genuine encouragement requires listen to someone’s struggle, praying to God for insight, and offering encouragement that points them to the spirit of Christ within them. This day, may you yield yourself to be used as a conduit of God’s compassion for others.
Heavenly Father, thank you for your constant love. Help us to share this love with others by reminding them of the hope that you offer us. Amen.
-- Steve Lawrence
Thought for the day:
When I listen to others’ worries, I can offer the gift of hope.