A while back I posted a song sung by Mavis Staples called, “Hard Times Come Again No More”. It was my sincere hope that the lyrics to that song would be the kick off to the theme of my new year. But alas it has not been the case. We have had one hard time after another since January 2012, and I admit, staying encouraged takes a lot of work!
In fact, having faith (especially in tough circumstances) takes a lot of ‘invested and expended energy’…each of those three words, invest-expend-energy- is an action word. And action equates to work. Thus faith is work because it is an investment of expended energy. The reason one has to ‘work’ ones faith is because we have to battle our practical knowledge of life to remain in a place of ‘faith’. Faith being hopeful of things not seen and reliant (and confident) upon the invisible truth. And the underlying truth within the meaning of faith is HOPE. Remaining hopeful when circumstances in life seem to be getting the upper hand. When we come back up from falling down only to feel as if life is punching us down again. It is the Hope, in the Faith that keeps one going. And in order to keep going we need to be encouraged along the way.
Staying encouraged in the depth of our soul–when no one else is looking, when no one else can see and know the thoughts of our mind–is when and where the act of Faith plays its largest role. It is in those times that we most ‘work’. And it has just come to me now, as I write, that I have been investing and expending an awful lot of energy in this realm. Therefore it is no wonder that when I have down time, I want to either sleep or check out. And one might assume, being life has been so heavy hitting for quite a while now, that I have been deeply committed to reading the word of G-d on a regular basis. Yet I have not. I am too tired to read. I am, most days, too tired to even watch a movie. Yet rooted in my soul is the knowledge and assurance of the Lord, his word, and my worth in Him. You could say it is magical, but only in a real spiritual sense. For there is no mystery here, the Lord has given us His Holy Spirit to comfort us while here. With that assurance and comfort I stay encouraged…tired, but encouraged none the less.
And as the Lord would have it (the Great Creator of Irony himself), out of one of the harshest (in my opinion) books in the Bible comes a passage that serves as super encouragement, for it reminds us that every day is a new opportunity, a new beginning, a new outlook. God’s compassion is new every morning, his mercy is new every morning, his faithfulness is new every morning. Be ye renewed and remain ever hopeful.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.