The Lord wants to use you to be an ambassador of rest and refreshment to weary, worried souls. He wants to lift your spirits so that you can lift the spirits of others
For I have come to have much joy and comfort in your love, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you, brother. (Philemon 1:7)
Have you noticed how many people there are walking around stressed, depressed, and burdened down? Lots of folks you and I rub shoulders with every day are facing the turmoil of rumored lay-offs, dreaded disease, marital problems, blended family strife, financial hardship, spiritual doubts, emotional disillusionment, and the list goes on. No one ever said that life was easy, because it certainly isn't. And many are cracking under the weight of it.
Maybe you are reading this thinking, "Pastor Jeff just described me. I am so stressed and burdened right now ... and I don't know what to do." Well, Jesus gives a great invitation to those of us who are worried, worn out, and beaten down, "Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28).
The Greek word for rest (anapauo) is the same word translated refreshed in Philemon 1:7. Interesting. You see, the Lord wants to give you rest from your weariness, and He wants to refresh your soul and give you a new lease on life. He is truly a wonderful Savior.
PARTNERING WITH JESUS
In addition, the Lord wants to use you to be an ambassador of rest and refreshment to weary, worried souls. He wants to lift your spirits so that you can lift the spirits of others.
Philemon was a person like that. He had been saved and changed by God's amazing grace. The Holy Spirit was at work in him, and all could tell. Paul had great love and admiration for Philemon because everywhere he went, he was refreshing and encouraging heavy hearts. He was letting the Lord shine through Him. He was making such a difference as he cast his own burden on the Lord and partnered with Jesus to lift the burdens of others.
HOW ABOUT YOU?
Are you like Philemon? Do you cast your burdens on Jesus and let Him use you to help unburden others? You would be amazed at the impact you could have if you would simply ask God to make you sensitive to the hurts and cares of people ... and the opportunity you have to refresh their hearts with a word of hope and compassion.
Isaiah 50:4 says, "The Lord God has given me the tongue of disciples, that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word."
Recently, my wife talked to a friend who is going through terrible, ongoing bouts with vertigo. God gave Debbie a word to give to her ... and it made such a difference. After talking to Debbie for a few minutes, she really did feel encouraged and refreshed in her faith. How cool is that!?
Will you pray, "God, please give me a sensitivity to see burdened people as You see them. Give me a word for the weary one that would encourage, refresh, and bring renewed hope to that discouraged soul. I want to be a breath of refreshing air. Use me, Jesus, to make a difference today."