Why You Can Be Radically Encouraged Now
by Steve Backlund
For those of you who have followed our ministry from some time, you know our core message about living a life of overflowing hope and joy through renewing your mind with truth (Romans 12:2) and establishing godly beliefs to replace the enemy's lies. Though many are encouraged by these truths, the process of establishing new strongholds of hope in your mind can be a journey that takes time. Just as athletes need to be reminded of their vision and celebrate progress in the midst of difficult and exhausting training, so do you as you work to establish new thought patterns and beliefs that didn't previously exist in your life.
Kris Vallotton often preaches, "Vision gives pain a purpose." In light of this, I've written seven reasons for you to be overflowing with thanksgiving and hope even in the midst of the mind renewal journey; reasons you can be radically encouraged not only at the end of the journey, but right now.
May these seven reasons below serve as an reminder of the vision you're working towards – a life of breakthrough, abounding hope, and joy, particularly in a key area of life where you've felt hopeless.
Why you can be radically encouraged now:
- There is no one like you – You and your calling are entirely unique and no one can fulfill it like you. There is no one on the planet who is wired and designed just like you, and who has had the experiences in life you've have. There are people you can powerfully reach that few others can.
- Many have overcome the challenges you're currently facing – Whether you're battling personal, relational, financial, or circumstantial obstacles, be encouraged that multitudes have overcome the same thing and lived a life of purpose and fulfillment.
- Your biggest challenge is not about you – James 1:12 says that a "crown of life" is given to those who overcome. This crown represents authority to impart life and breakthrough to others in the same area which was overcome. So, your greatest struggle right now is equipping you with compassion and power to influence others in the same battle.
- Your past is being turned to good – "All things work for good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose," (Romans 8:28). As we prioritize our relationship with God, ALL things from our past are working for our good. This is especially encouraging when we consider negative things that have happened in our lives.
- You are increasing your load-bearing capacity – God's purpose is for us to move toward greater influence for Him (in our families, our communities, our nations, and beyond). In order to have greater influence, we need a greater load-bearing capacity (greater strength). Both physical and emotional muscles are built by pushing against resistance. Your current difficult circumstances and emotions are opportunities to increase your load-bearing capacity for the great callings on your life in the days ahead.
- You are storing up treasure in heaven – Jesus calls us to do this in Matthew 6:19. As we think we an eternal perspective, we realize that there is much more to life than just having good circumstances here on earth.
- God's promises are true – "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful," (Hebrews 10:23). Ultimately, our encouragement comes from believing that God is faithful and His promises are true. As we declare biblical promises, we will be encouraged.
In 1 Samuel 30, David is a wonderful example of someone who encouraged himself and moved forward under extremely dire and negative circumstances. His city was burned, families were kidnapped, and his men also wanted to kill him. It was not a good day! But he found a way to get radically encouraged nonetheless. In whatever we are facing, so can we.
For more on this or to listen to this message, click the button below to listen on the Igniting Hope podcast:
ABOUT STEVE BACKLUND
Steve Backlund was a senior pastor for seventeen years before joining the team at Bethel Church in Redding, CA in 2008. Steve is a leader developer, joy activist, a revivalist teacher, and as Senior Associate Director, is a key part of the Global Legacy (a ministry of Bethel Church) leadership team. He travels extensively throughout the world encouraging churches and leaders and has authored a number of books.