James River Blog

Category: Life Challenges

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Why Encouragement Counts

One leader asked a simple question we should all consider, “If the people around you depend on your words for nourishment, are they dying of malnutrition or are they thriving?” The truth is that our words matter. We make a choice each day how we will use our words to build up or tear down. Every day we come in contact with people who are craving encouragement.  Although we may not always know what they are facing, our encouragement may be exactly what they need to make it through to the other side.

Where is God When You are Suffering?

As we go through life, we will experience suffering. At times, suffering is physical pain caused by an injury or disability, other times its emotional or mental anguish. Suffering could be the result of the loss of a relationship, or an uncontrollable economic hardship which has brought us to our knees. It could be abuse, or death of a close friend, or a host of other issues. The point is that we will all suffer to some extent, but the question often boils down to, why? And is there any meaning is suffering? Well, the answer to that questions comes down to who you ask.

How to Overcome Fear and Anxiety

Experts call fear an “illusion that’s neither tangible nor visible.” We often don’t even realize why we are fearful. Fear is an autonomic response, meaning we don’t choose to trigger fear or even know it’s happening until we are consumed by it. Once it has started, we try to rationalize our anxiety, replaying what happened that day, week, or month… Rationally the event that triggered the anxiety seems small in comparison to how we are feeling, but our emotions are often not rational. However, our lack of choice when it comes to being fearful doesn’t mean that we can’t choose to move through it. There is a decision that has to be made: will I trust God, or will I allow my fear to control me?

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