2021 is going to be the year of encouragment
|This was today's scheduled post in a MeWe Bible group.|
I started writing this post on my birthday, the day Big Tech began purging conservatives from their network, including my own Facebook account.
I picked up writing on it again today, after watching President Trump leave office and a farce of an inauguration take place, with hardly any attendees, hundreds of thousands of little flags made in China stuck in the ground to replace actual people without the media making jokes about crowd size like they did when President Trump took office, 25K troops with checkpoints and fences and barbed wire ringing the capitol, and states with rampant election fraud just now coming in with "we will begin working with you on an audit."
Nearly three million tuned in to watch President Trump's farewell speech in Florida. Barely 600K watched the Biden regime take over as a singer who openly celebrates Satanic symbols sang the national anthem. We've watched politicians run towards the left, turn their back on President Trump, cave, acquiesce, capitulate, and try to paint themselves as some upper echelon noble statesmen while deceit settles in to rule. They act as if they are above the game while asking for another card to keep in play. We see Biden, on day one of the downfall of the nation, begin stripping away everything that helped rebuild this country these past four years.
Trump supporters and conservatives are being painted as domestic terrorists with some journalists calling for de-programming and citizens to report them to authorities, while Big Tech continues to behave as if they are the arbiters of truth and get to determine what ideas and speech will be allowed. (For all of you thinking that's OK because they're a private company, Skynet was a private company, too.) It's clear they're coming after conservative and Christian thought and speech. You will not publish a book. You will not have a social media platform. You will not keep your job. You will not be allowed to own weapons. You will have your property confiscated. You will be targeted by our federal Sporadic Justice Department. You will be spied upon. You will be required to show proof of vaccination and compliance. You will not voice an opinion of your own. You will have a social credit score. You will be blocked from using online payment systems. Your money will be taken from you and used for abortion and other things completely against your faith. You will be forced to rely on government checks and subsidies. You will not be allowed to have an outcome based on work, but one based on what we think is equitable. You will not be allowed to exist in modern society unless you comply.
We're just a few weeks into a year that has many of us longing for 2020.
This is going to be the year of encouragement.
Oh, it's not going to be an encouraging year on its own. What's clearly built into this year is anything but encouraging.
Everything out there, for most of the readers of this blog, looks bleak and discouraging. You lost most of your trust last year, and by today, it's gone from everything and everyone and every system...except one.
To encourage means you give or feed courage in someone else. At any given moment or situation, we all have different levels of courage. Sometimes we have extra to give, and sometimes we're running on fumes. Sometimes speaking out encouragement to others, even when we don't feel it ourselves, actually helps build our own courage.
Encouragement comes in different forms.
Here's a weird one, but the NRA sent their regular email (yep, the NRA) and it had a curious subject line: Where's All The Ammo?, Biden's America, 3 Gun Fears You Can Ignore & More
"Hey, we know you're pretty scared right now..."
"...but you can take these three fears off of your plate at least."
"Hey thanks, man."
Relieving fears is like taking weights off of a sinking buoy. It might not be in optimal float realm, but it gets lifted up a bit out of the water. You helped put a little courage in the bank because you removed three erroneous fear deposits.
If someone is full of fear, instead of saying "stop being so scared" maybe reducing the load is the start. The media does the opposite; they find the most fearful things to say, and then some. They pile them on and because of our strange human nature, the more fearful we are, the more we keep returning to where more fears are added.
Which means we don't actually seek out encouraging sources. We seek out fearful ones. We look for sources and input that make us feel like our fears weren't unwarranted.
Some of the fears I've had about my nation, particularly since early 2020, have been completely warranted. The patterns are now locked into the culture, the liberty permanently gone. Even though it is heartbreaking to see the downward spiral this past year and the extreme quickening of it into 2021, it isn't surprising.
Isn't it strange how even when we rather know what's coming, it is still surprisingly painful?
I find it's really hard to encourage others if I'm discouraged.
It's probably going to be a different list for you, but what discourages me is too much social media, too much news, and too many people not really connected to my life vying for my attention or ear.
Tricky part with that list is we're constantly lectured and denigrated for being in "an echo chamber" and not allowing enough voices to speak into our lives. I'll be writing about that in a future blog post, but the short version here is you need wisdom to know what you should be allowing into your heart and mind.
Don't let some popular pundit or thought leader, even if they call themselves a Christian, tell you what that is. Especially if they tell you that whatever that is, you should include them. There is no need to hear some ill-defined "all sides" when much of it is deceptive and meant to control through fear, discouragement, and ultimately anger.
It requires keeping an attentive ear towards what God is telling you.
In different seasons of my life, I listened or read the works of some people, but now have zero interest and know I am to let those alone. It's why my social media and blog approach to who and what I restrict doesn't follow some cemented list of rules of magnanimous intellectual curiosity. Just today I unfollowed a Christian account on social media because there was this nagging sense (i.e. the Holy Spirit) that it was stirring up something in me that wouldn't encourage me to press on, but to get distracted with fear, anxiety, or guilt.
Because yes, there are moments where I know God wants me to block a person or unfollow them. I can't explain why; there may be others who are similar I do not.
Be attentive to that.
Don't let the enemy steal your courage from your internal account.
Do keep making deposits through:
- Talking to God throughout the day.
- Reading His Word.
- Speaking/singing praise to God. Since I'm a horrible singer, I tend to do that when no one is around.
- Watch what your input is, and how it affects your spirit. It's OK to block people, from the obvious choices even to those that put you in wrong turmoil.
- Be around and in communication with other believers in Jesus.
- Get used to my all-the-time-every-day prayer of "Jesus, please help me!"
And do speak courage into others, using words based on Truth and not false hope.
Everything is falling into place as the Bible said. It's tough, because while that is our hope, there is the worry of how long it will go on before God moves and calls his church home. We are to occupy until Jesus comes for us, and so we do not sit and wait but continue the work God invites us to be a part of, whatever that is in your life. We are to occupy in the midst of growing evil, injustice, debauchery, and hatred for God.
Jesus is King. Wickedness does not win in the end, though it is difficult to see it seeming to now. Justice will be served by Jesus, a righteous judge who sees all. The punishment is so horrible that we ought to pity the wicked who are lost or have hardened hearts and chosen their path.
Be encouraged, friend.
God is going to do some exciting things in the coming future.
I often write about things on this blog that aren't always encouraging on the face. Sometimes I feel a heavy burden to write them, and don't hit publish without wondering if this thing I just wrote will be a source of discouragement. If what I write is such, I encourage you to stop reading here. Just like some kinds of information are a perpetual source of discouragement for me and I know to walk away, it's quite alright if you do that here.