It can be difficult to know how to encourage those you know who are hurting or reeling from trial with Christlike comfort. The world has its prescription for how to make someone feel better about themselves, but how do we “weep with those who weep” and give courage to those who are aching with words that will truly bind up and heal? Leslie tackles the difference between the worldly comfort that leads to self-pity and Christlike comfort that turns eyes to Jesus and reminds others of unshakable truth!
Self-pity may not be an obvious sin when stood up next to others. In our culture, we are repeatedly reminded to coddle ourselves and be soft to one another when we are going through hard times. While it’s easy to fall prey to the lie that we need to be pampered whenever we brush up against hardship, when we take the bait of self-pity our spiritual life suffers tremendously and we become limited in the ways we can serve God and be outward-focused towards others He has placed in our bath.
A simple definition of spiritual fortitude means gaining the supernatural strength to be an overcomer no matter what trials or difficulties come our way. In other words, it is the opposite of self-pity. Fortitude is different than human willpower. Practicing spiritual fortitude is all about exchanging our weakness for the strength of Jesus Christ. It means coming to the end of our own strength, laying our weakness before Jesus, and surrendering with an, “I can’t, but You can!” approach.
Believe it or not, fortitude offers true comfort to those who are suffering. Human sympathy cannot lead others into truth, but when we fasten the souls of those we love and care about to Jesus Christ, we are leading them to be more than conquerors through Christ. This doesn’t mean that we don’t deeply feel the burdens that others carry but we are not meant to leave others in a state of disappointment or despair. Instead, we are called to lead them towards Truth.
Begin sowing strength into your own life and the lives of others instead of sympathy ad read stories of faithful Christians who have been more than conquerors when faced with difficult situations. Some of our favorites are: If I Perish by Esther Ahn Kim, Evidence Not Seen by Darlene Deibler Rose, The Pastor’s Wife by Sabina Wurmbrand, The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom.
If you’re facing trials or you know someone who’s struggling, it’s time to rise up and practice spiritual fortitude. Remember that God’s Word says we have everything we need for life and godliness. (See 2 Peter 1:3.) Life in this world won’t be easy, but in every difficulty He has called us to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith. (See 2 Timothy 4:7.)
- 1 Corinthians 16:13
- Ephesians 6:10
- Galatians 6:9
- 2 Timothy 2:3
- Philippians 4:13
- 2 Corinthians 12:10
For more encouragement, visit us at SetApartGirl.com. It’s one of our favorite places to serve you with fresh, Christ-focused content to cheer you down the narrow way of the Cross.