Three Encouraging Words

1. Joy. Pope Francis says that the most powerful apologetic for the gospel is joy. Now, as joy is a fruit of the Spirit, it's not something we can manufacture, strategize, or put on. I wonder if this is the point? What if God's invitation for us in this season is not something we can control? What if his invitation is to a powerful manifestation of the Holy Spirit? What if the most important thing to be praying is that the level of joy in the Christian community would go through the roof?

Pray that God will give you and your Christian colleagues/fellow students/brothers and sisters in Christ an outpouring of joy!

2. Compassion. In Luke 10 (the parable of the Good Samaritan), did you notice how the priest and the Levite passed by the wounded man? They saw the man, but they didn't have compassion for him. Like joy, compassion can't be forced. It only comes as we see and notice the needs of the people around us and decide to allow these needs to move us. I wonder if God isn't calling us to grow our compassion for students, faculty, healthcare colleagues, patients, and neighbors--many of whom are anxious, addicted, or lonely.

Ask God to give you a heart of compassion for people around you--at work, school, and home.

3. Hope. According to leadership theorist Erwin Friedman, the leader of any group is the person with the most hope. Because we are very smart and highly responsible (as a whole), we might need some help cultivating hope. Hope, like faith and love, is a work of God. We can't manufacture hope, but we can receive it as we remind ourselves of God's love, grace, truth, and power. What if people who call themselves Christ-followers were the most hopeful people in their spheres of influence?

Pray for God to fill you with hope.

Remember... we can't really fail at what God has called us to.

Jason Gaboury is the National Director for Alumni Relations with Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, the parent organization of NCF, and the author of Wait With Me; Meeting God in Loneliness (IVP, 2020).


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