Thursday, June 02, 2011

Recovery Devotional 363 Refreshing Souls

JMD Devotional 363 2 Corinthians 7:5-6 Refreshing Souls

For even when we arrived in Macedonia, our bodies had no ease or rest, but we were oppressed in every way and afflicted at every turn--fighting and contentions without, dread and fears within [us]. But God, Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers the depressed and the sinking, comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us by the arrival of Titus.

Our inner monologue can make or break us. It is easy to fall into the rut of wallowing in toxic thought (“woe is me”, “life is bad”, etc.) We could all use some help when we are down to see the lighter side of life. When it comes to encouragement, opportunities abound. There is an exchange that takes place with every conversation; some people tend to be fountains and others drains. Put another way, some people are joy-givers and others joy-stealers. It is healthier to be positive; but it takes effort and mental discipline to see the good in difficult times. Everyone has influence, and we are called to use that influence for good; we have a responsibility that extends from ourselves to our neighbor. The heart of God yearns to comfort his children; and we are His hands and feet: His representatives. We have no idea how much encouragement a kind word, a sympathetic ear, or a friendly gesture may bring to another.

Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety in a man's heart weighs it down, but an encouraging word makes it glad.
Proverbs 17:22 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 15:30 The light in the eyes [of him whose heart is joyful] rejoices the hearts of others, and good news nourishes the bones.

Dear God,
Guard my mouth, and keep me from bringing others down through careless conversation and habitual negativity. Transform my presence and countenance; open the valves of joy and grace; bless others through me. Help me to take the goodness out of my basement and display it up front to encourage people. Your presence in my life is overwhelmingly positive. Make gladness contagious in my life. May God be magnified.

All (but*) quotes are from The Amplified Bible, published by
the Lockman Foundation. (AMP)
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
*New International Version (NIV)
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society
**Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group. (Eugene Peterson's easy-to-read, contemporary Scripture translation)

I originally produced these blogs between 2006 and 2007, which were then published in my book, JMD Recovery Devotionals. In 2010, I am sending these out to a few people as I review them and see if my point of view has changed.

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