UNEARTHLY THING◽ ENCOURAGEMENT
A New Resolution
by Angela Dolbear
Healthy Soul = Blessing Dispenser
It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway because it’s so true.
2020 was a harsh year.
But God prevails. Always. His loving kindness is everlasting and is pandemic-proof. That’s for sure.
I learned a lot wading through the muck and the mire of 2020. I have finally learned to be less controlled by fear and anxiety. This has been a long, hard-fought lesson of which I have only gained victory over through mass amount of prayer and really good Biblical teaching.
I got some of that excellent teaching last Sunday, which I am still reflecting on and applying five days later, so I thought I would share it with you.
Pastor Lyle spoke about turning anxiety into acceptance, and then turning that acceptance into adoration for God, all through looking at Mary’s response to the angel Gabriel’s message about the virgin birth. Pastor explained how in Luke 1, we can see Mary’s mindset over her unexpected pregnancy progress through her responses. So beautiful! Mary could have been stoned to death for being an unwed pregnant girl, and she knew that.
But she showed no fear. And not only does she trust God and accept His calling for her, but she praised and adored Him for it. There’s so much more in the teaching, and I encourage you to give it a listen.
So I learned it’s how I respond to circumstances that reveals the health of my soul. Mary had a healthy soul. Being full of God’s grace (and not fear or anxiety) makes it so I can do what God wants me to do.
“A healthy soul is a soul at peace and at rest. It isn’t upset, worried, angry, ashamed, or fearful. It is strong and steady, full of love, joy, hope, compassion toward others, and confidence in God. It can handle the ups and downs of life graciously and go through everyday life with ease,” Joyce Meyer wrote in her October 7, 2020 devotional. “Any situation might cause you to think you really cannot have a healthy soul, but they don’t have the power to keep you from becoming whole again. Actually, the fact that you’re going through these things is not a hindrance to a healthy soul; it’s the reason you need one! The healthier your soul is, the stronger you will be, and the better you’ll be able to handle your most challenging circumstances.”
Meyer goes on to explain that we can’t control what happens to us, but we can control how we respond to our circumstances, and that God gave us the fruit of self-control. I love the Amplified Bible translation of Galatians 5:22–23:
“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace,
patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
The part about “how we act while waiting” stings me more than a little, I must admit.
I need to remember that I can ask God for help with anything. There are so many holy words describing His love for me and His unending willingness to help me.
I am just beginning to learn that it’s much better to face challenges with a healthy soul than with a weak or wounded one. When it is well with my soul, I am optimally suited to be used by God, standing ready to be a blessing to someone else. I am open to hear His prompting to give a word of encouragement to others whenever it is needed, or lend a helping hand.
Or to share the Gospel, which is my ultimate goal, which I make sure is written into the stories in all my novels.
Becoming a Blessing Dispenser
God put His love in our hearts when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior, and this love is dispensed through us to help others. A good place to see a picture of this idea is in Genesis 12:2, where God told Abraham He would bless him and make him a person who dispensed blessings to others:
“And I will make you a great nation,
And I will bless you [abundantly],
And make your name great (exalted, distinguished);
And you shall be a blessing [a source of great good to others]…”
The thing that really struck me in that portion of Scripture is that it is God who does the making of the blessing dispenser. He does it. I don’t have to try to do it myself, or expect myself to see and act on the needs of others. God does it. That is a huge relief to me, and something to bow my head in gratitude and praise for.
Out of the store of grace and blessings God has placed in us, we get to bestow blessings on others. That’s enough to get me excited to get out of bed every day. It is my prayer that God helps me see and seize opportunities to love people whenever He wills it.
A healthy soul is a worthy goal for all of us. It sometimes seems impossible to achieve, let alone maintain a soul that is healthy, but all things are possible with Him (please see Matthew 19:26).
Prayer Prompt: Father, please show me how to attain and maintain a healthy soul. I know that all things are possible with You, and thank You in advance for helping me heal, and in turn become Your blessing dispenser. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Angela Dolbear is the author of contemporary Christian novels, such as THE GARDEN KEY Series, and THE TORMENTOR’S TALE, all available in paperback, Kindle and audiobook formats on Amazon. Angela writes real, relevant, relatable, and reverent fiction, with an aim toward spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, while inspiring readers to laugh, cry, and crave certain varieties of food. She loves reading, writing and leading worship music with her husband Tim at their church in Nashville, Tennessee. Please drop by and sing-up for news and free goodies at http://www.angeladolbear.com/subscribe.htm. Blessings to you!