If you’re looking for encouragement, don’t wait to get it from people. Learn to generate your own. Our church has had several large building projects over the years. Looking back on the construction of our first building, I can remember the struggle we had with the project. If you have never been part of a church building project, believe me, it’s tough: you have to deal with delays, get the county to sign off on the project, obtain the necessary permits, and work within deadlines. This is enough to test anybody’s faith, especially a pastor’s.

During this building project, one of our members became overwhelmed at the difficulties we were facing. He said to me, “I knew God was not in this from the very beginning. We should have never started on this project.” How’s that for encouragement?

As challenging as this project was, we kept on working and finally got the job done. Afterwards, would you believe the same church member came up to me and said, “Oh, I knew God was in it all along”?

Whether others believe in what God is doing through us or not, we have to believe in it ourselves. Confidence of being in the will of God gives us the strength to start great tasks, and time spent in the Word of God and prayer is like a shot in the arm which provides the courage to see it through until it’s finished. When no one else is there to encourage us to keep pressing forward, we must encourage ourselves in the Lord.

Have you started a task for God, only to find difficulties slowing you down? Perhaps you are a teacher who has worked hard to help your students succeed, but you are facing resistance which is wearing you down. You may be a pastor struggling to get your people excited about winning others to Christ and getting involved in ministry. You are tempted to doubt if God is really behind you. Encourage yourself in God’s Word and press ahead. Your faith will bring victory.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder