Every time I ran into him, I found him to be optimistic, smiling and full of enthusiasm. But a few months ago, I found him kind of down and out, his eyes no longer bright, the smile missing.
Over a cup of tea, we began to talk about the struggles he had been going through. During this conversation, he looked up with tired eyes and simply said, “I just need some encouragement.”
I was surprised and thought it odd to hear these words from his mouth. He is a Christian leader, responsible for hundreds of pastors and workers under his leadership, and here he was being so vulnerable, admitting his need for someone to come alongside him and lift him up.
You may be in that same place today. You may not have said out loud, “I just need some encouragement,” yet in a thousand other ways you have “said” it—that look of despair and sadness, the sighing, the questions asked, the frowned face, drooping shoulders, pleading eyes.
If truth were known, you are craving some kind of encouragement . . . looking for it, longing for it and grieving because you have not found it.
Where are you? Hibernating? In the valley of discouragement? Is a heavy, dark cloud covering you? Do you wish to quit and run away from life itself?
I have been there.
The painful shadows of hopelessness and discouragement have often stretched across my path. There are times I have wished to get off from this fast-moving train of life. Many times I have said, “This is enough. I can’t handle it anymore.” I have shouted in silence, alone in the crowd.
But I want to assure you; you are not alone in the struggle. Jesus understands.
He experienced the awful, bitter waters of being tempted to remain discouraged. Hebrews 4:15 reminds us that “we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are.”
Take courage. The Lord will lift you up. He has done it for me a thousand times. No pit is so deep that He cannot reach you. No valley too bleak that He cannot escort you out. No night so dark that His light cannot penetrate.
There is hope.
You are important to the Lord. He made you and cares about you deeply. The pages of this booklet are His way of reaching out to you today.
© 2004 by KP Yohannan, the president and founder of Gospel for Asia. It was written with the intention of encouraging and edifying the Body of Christ. To learn more about Gospel for Asia or to receive additional free resources, visit Gospel for Asia’s website.