How to Help a Discouraged Friend
The phone rang and as soon as our telephone conversation began, I knew I was talking to a very discouraged friend. What should I do? Try to think of scriptures to cheer her? Try to recall what has helped in the past? Seek to feel what she is feeling?
These ideas may be helpful, but my immediate response should be to look to Christ acknowledging that only He has the words of eternal life. "My eyes are on You, Lord."
Looking to Christ can be done in an instant. In our spirits we turn to Him and acknowledge, "I trust You to give me all I need. I know that in myself I do not have words of life. I will say only what You give me. I trust that the ideas that come to me are Your words-not my own." We let go of the tension that can arise when we feel the responsibility to change another. That is God's work. Our work is to believe.
When I am resting in His promised provision, I can say what comes to mind knowing that I have the mind of Christ.
We must believe in the possibility of being led by the Spirit. It would be very strange if Jesus promised to give us a Counselor who would be with us to teach us at all times but then didn't give us the capacity to hear Him.
Dear Jesus, help me to remember to look to the Holy Spirit instead of depending upon my own efforts to help others.
"Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing" (John 15:4-5).