Ever feel like you’re on the edge of losing it. Just too many things piling up. Too much uncertainty. Nothing solid to stand on.
There’s a powerful way to overcome this. One that we can tend to underestimate.
Ash Barty looked out of the second set of the Australian Open. She was five games to one down. She fought back against a player who appeared to be well on top to win it 7-6.
How’d she do it and what can we learn when we’re up against it, when giving up seems like the best option?
What’s the key to not only getting through but truly conquering? Becoming a conquerer?
The Power of Encouragement
When was the last time you considered the power of encouragement.
I was discussing this with some of my running friends last week. The difference our mindset makes to our performance. The difference between ‘oh no, a hill’ to ‘a hill- let’s attack it’.
What strikes me is the way it’s not just power and talent that wins matches but the mental strength to fight your way out of tough situations.
And this mental strength doesn’t just come. They always look to their players’ box and thank those who have believed in them. I don’t think we should underestimate this.
No one who makes it to the top gets there alone.
Ash Barty employs a mindset coach, Ben Crowe. Something which is becoming more common.
Real encouragement reminds us of who we are. It doesn’t take the situation away but gives us the belief we can conquer it.
The power of our words
There is great power in words to build up and to tear down. Even if no one is saying anything to us, the silently felt expectations and our inner dialogue can do this.
What do we tell ourselves when we’re getting hammered? What do we hold onto.
It’s often the words spoken to us throughout our lives.
There needs to be something positive there to draw on. And it needs to be true. Because we’re so good at brushing aside positive affirmations that we don’t believe about ourselves.
God see you and knows you better than you know yourselves.
Before you were born he knew you. Before the harsh realities of life brushed up against your soul. And he has a call on your life. His words bring life. His words expose the lies you’ve believed and draw out the potential he has placed deep inside you.
In just about every account of God calling people in the Bible, the person tries to say no because of their feelings of inadequacy. Jeremiah said, I’m too young!
What’s your ‘I’m too…’? Don’t believe it.
God replied to Jeremiah, ‘I appoint you.’ In other words, I have selected you for this. I have chosen you for this assignment and I have given you everything you need to smash it out of the park.
And he knows we can’t do it on our own. That’s why Jesus left his home in heaven to share in our humanity. All the imperfections and uncertainties of life. And to die so that we could know life.
The ball’s in your court.
Reflect on these words of God to Jeremiah. Ask God to build up what he has put in you and to tear away the lies and the fears that hold you back.
‘I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.’ ‘O Sovereign Lord,’ I said, ‘I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!’
‘The Lord replied, ‘Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!’
‘Then the Lord reached out and touched my mouth and said, ‘Look, I have put my words in your mouth! Today I appoint you to stand up against nations and kingdoms.
‘Some you must uproot and tear down, destroy and overthrow. Others you must build up and plant.’ (Jeremiah chapter 1 verses 5 to 10)
Tom Anderson is pioneering www.haventogether.com, an online church plant supported by his in-person church, Catalyst, Ipswich. He has a young, growing family and enjoys playing backyard sport. Tom is a keen long-distance runner, averaging 21km each day last year. He has worked as a teacher for eleven years and enjoys perfecting a flat white on his home espresso machine. Tom would welcome a visit for a coffee some time… or an online catch-up via Zoom. See the Haven Together website to get in touch.