When John came to the end of his letter, he underscored the things every believer can know with absolute assurance.
In the classic allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress, the main character, Christian, tumbles into the miry bog, the “slough of despond,” and struggles to get free. But the heavy burden on his back pulls him in deeper, and he begins to sink.
This image pictures what it feels like when we’re sinking in difficult circumstances—when our debts outweigh our income, when past hurts won’t heal, when discontentment marks our relationships, and when the light of heaven seems distant and dim. Discouragement, despondency, pain, suffering—these miry pits along life’s journey can pull us down into our own “slough of despond.”
Christian’s rescue came by the hand of a fellow traveller named Help...and the same is true for you today. Use these resources to find encouragement for your own life...or to minister help to those you find along life’s journey.
The Apostle John addressed the struggle of our conscience. He offered all of us some advice that is not only helpful, it is inspired by God.
When you welcome trials as friends for the good they do in your life, you can turn bad situations into opportunities to grow and mature. And what you think will certainly destroy you can actually be the very thing, which makes you.
One person really can make a difference. And you don’t have to be famous to impact this world. Each day there are opportunities to take a stand, speak in truth, and extend kindness.
Just when you think you have everything planned perfectly...something happens to change everything. It’s a good reminder that none of us know what the future holds. There’s a bigger plan unfolding...God’s plan.
Music is medicinal. It calms, soothes, and lifts our weariness. It also delights and entertains, and helps us to forget our problems. Like the English poet William Congreve said—music has charms to sooth the savage breast, to soften rocks, to bend a knotted oak.
If you have a mindset of service, it will reflect in your work and in your relationships. No matter what you do for a living, your job can be an opportunity for you to enrich the lives of others.
Being genuinely happy for the good fortune of others doesn’t come to us naturally. Often it’s easier to commiserate with friends rather than celebrate with them. But when you rejoice with those who rejoice, you’re modelling Christ.
Before Paul put the final period on his first letter to the Thessalonians he issued a double-edged command: “encourage…and build up one another” (1 Thessalonians 5:11). In a world more sinful than saintly, such a command is necessary because the spirit of discouragement is dangerous.
If everyone practiced the philosophy of an eye for an eye we’d all be blind. You see, grinding resentment isn’t resolved with revenge; it’s resolved with grace.