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Encourage a Friend

I spend more time reading about my friends and family then I do spending actual time with them. Part of that, of course, is because most of my friends and family that do not live near me. Another reason is that most people are not planning in-person parties, gatherings, and events. Our church has continued to gather every Sunday this year. I still look forward to seeing people at the church building, whether it be inside or outside in the parking lot. I even like seeing the names of the people who watch our livestreams during the service.

People need other people. God said it in the beginning:

Then the LORD God said, "It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him." Genesis 2:18

I have seen some of my friends recently make posts on social media that indicate that they are lonely, even if they are not alone. They feel worthless and unloved. Should I scroll past these like I do posts about fairies and witches? Sadly, I do sometimes ignore the cries for help. I decided to reach out to a friend, though, when he made several vague posts about how miserable he was feeling. He needed encouragement, and I hope he was encouraged. I reminded him to count his blessings, and to remember that he is a child of God. I don't even know when he read my message, but I hope that it encouraged him, and it may have encouraged others.

This is what I wrote:

Alright, my friend. Your posts from the last hour have been popping up. What blessings in your life can you count right now? God has blessed you, not cursed you. We were studying about Joseph (the dreamer) in our Sunday School class. His brothers wanted to hurt him, and they eventually sold him as a slave. He was thrown into prison for years, based on a false accusation. He was forgotten about by the person he helped. And yet, he eventually rose from the darkness to a high position in a foreign country and forgave and blessed his brothers. You, my friend, have not been forgotten.

As I said, I do not always respond to my friends' cries for help. I make excuses, like "they are just doing it for attention" and "I don't have time to get involved". I am thankful to be able to study with other people on what the Word says. It is not just about studying, but putting what we are learning into action. That Sunday school topic was not just about learning the history of Joseph the Dreamer from the book of Genesis, but it was how God can use any bad situation for something good. It may not be instant gratification, but for those who love Him, He will do it.

Romans 8:28 (New International Version)

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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