To be encouraged is to receive encouragement.  Encouragement is ever available but it may not be able to get into one’s spirit because of one kind of blockage or another.  Grief, emotional turmoil, routine activities, special events, can prevent encouragement from getting inside of a spirit.  Furthermore, life’s circumstances not being as one would like them to be can be so negative as to build a wall around the heart such that encouragement is banned from the heart.  When encouragement is blocked, hope is blocked.
 
These weeks leading to Christmas are weeks to be mindful of Jesus, the One who came into the world ever mindful of you and of me.  He IS encouragement–personified.  To receive Jesus and the life-giving message His presence offers, is to allow Him entry into a heart by seeking His way and not our way.  Do you think this is hard to do in the throes of grief?  It can be.  However, Jesus is with you in the challenges of goodbyes and transitions that are painful and unwanted.  He still and forever wants to be beside you and walk with you through this time in your life.
 
Lord Jesus, You came into this world to be the beacon of hope to a lost and dying world.  When people experience personal loss, it may seem as if all has died.  You have not.  Your life brings life anew.  Help each one who grieves, Lord Jesus, to be encouraged by Your presence and to trust Your heart of faithfulness beyond their own.  In Thee, Lord Christ, Amen.

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