Tag Archives: encouragement

Encouragement is the Word

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S – “Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:9-11

O – Paul writes to assure us that all who believe in Jesus will be with Him forever. We will either be with Him when we die or if we are alive when He comes back, we will join Him in the air. Either way, we are with Him forever. Our job is to encourage each other with this truth and build each other up.

A – Am I doing my job? Am I encouraging others daily? Reminding them that whether we are awake or asleep, we will always be with the Lord?
P – Jesus, thank you that you will return one day. Thank you that I am yours forever and nothing can take that away. Help me live to encourage others and remind them of this truth. Help me to encourage someone today. I love you Lord.

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Is there any hope?

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Life is hard.

Marriages broken.

Marriages full of pain.

Children in rebellion.

Children hurting themselves.

Senseless murders.

Fear in the streets.

Jobs lost.

Finances in ruin.

Loved ones lost to death.

Parents aging.

We are aging.

Chronic illness.

Chronic pain.

Terminal disease.

Dreams die.

Addictions abound.

Perversity reigns.

War threatens.

Is there no end?

Where is the safety?

Where is the “happily ever after”?

Will it ever come?

Not on this earth.

Here we groan in labor.

Here we are under the curse of sin.

Only in heaven will we know the happy ever after we long for.

God will make all things right.

In heaven, there will be no more pain for all eternity.

Jesus came to show us the way to that paradise.

We must believe in Him.

There is no other way.

We cannot make our own way to heaven.

“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NIV)

Jesus offers…

Grace for today.

Eternal security.

Treasure in heaven.

Forgiveness for sin.

Hope for tomorrow.

Comfort in sorrow.

Peace in pain.

Strength in weakness.

Perfect love.

Thanksgiving for worry.

Faith for fear.

Mansions above.

Victory below.

His presence always.

How?   

We believe in Him. 

Jesus is our hope.

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Excerpt from Amazing Hope: A 40-day Devotional by Susan Aken

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Ditch the Labels

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As one of a kind human beings,  let’s stop using labels to put each other in groups.

A label only tells us one small part of who a person is.

I’m an introvert but still different from every other introvert.

I’m a white female but that doesn’t fully define who I am.

I’m American but that doesn’t reveal my soul.

Because I vote a certain way doesn’t mean I’m like all others who vote that way.

To say someone is OCD, autistic, ugly or beautiful doesn’t tell me who he or she is.

We are individuals. One of a kind souls wrapped in bodies unlike any other. Each of us is a wonderful miracle. Assigning you a label doesn’t mean I know you. To know each other we must communicate, listen, understand and love. We need to look for the exquisite colors He put in each soul. Some of us hide them well so we need to be willing to take as long as we need to see.

“For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;” Psalm 139:13-15 (NASB)

Father, Please help me to take time to see your unique design in each soul. Help me look for your fingerprints all around. Help me let go of labels and judging others without knowing them. Please love others through me and help me to see how much you love each thoughtfully created human being.

Most of us have the tendency to judge others based on appearance or an obvious label.(often one someone else has assigned)

Together let’s determine to know who each person is inside and show them God’s love.

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1:27 (NASB)

“But now, O Lord, You are our Father, We are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (NASB)

*It’s estimated that throughout all of history, approximately 100 billion people have existed on earth.

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Photos courtesy of Pixabay.com

Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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Who Will Lead Us?

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Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save. . .. Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. — Psalm 146:3, 5 (NIV)

Injustice and violence fill the world. We hope that the next election, or leader will have the solution. My heart is gripped by fear and sadness when I see terrorism and oppression increasing. I want someone to rescue us and stop the evil. Yet, no matter which leaders are in power, evil grows. True, a wise leader is preferred over a foolish or evil one but we cannot place our hope in any mortal.

I find peace when I put my hope in Jesus. At a young age I trusted in Jesus Christ and believe He died and came to life again so that I can live with Him forever. We can find peace when we remember this world is temporary, as we talk to God, and meditate on truth:

Proverbs 19:21 “You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail.” (NLT)

Daniel 2:21 “He controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings…” (NLT)

We trust He is in control and that He will be with us no matter what happens.

Dear Father, thank you that you are sovereign over all. I place my trust in you alone. Our hope is in you! Amen

My hope is not in politicians but in the Lord God!

 

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Losing Sleep Over the Election?

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“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8

There’s so much distress about the elections right now. People on both sides are frantic. Many feel there’s no candidate they can trust. Many of us are losing or will lose sleep over this. We’re afraid someone will be elected who will:

Ruin our nation

Start a war

Increase our taxes

Change our way of life

Increase wickedness

Make us a laughingstock of the world

Hurt people

Lie and deceive

Or cause our nation to fall.

What does God say?

HE ALONE makes us dwell in safety.

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There’s no leader or human being who is my safety or protection. God alone is my safety. No human leader guarantees our safety or way of life. He alone gives me peace so I can sleep. Yes, trouble could come from this election. Things are certain to change. We could lose the way of life we are used to. BUT God uses all these things to bring us closer to Him. Can anyone truly harm me? My soul is secure with my Lord. The worst someone can do is to send me to my perfect eternal home sooner. And if I have to suffer in this life, it will draw me closer to Jesus. He is all I need.

Does that mean I stick my head in the sand and wait for it all to go away? No. I am still responsible to pray, be informed and vote to the best of my knowledge as He leads me. Then I leave the results to God and praise Him no matter what. He will still be God no matter the outcome.

Thank you Father that I do not have to fret or worry. You are my God and my King and you will never leave office! Praise your Holy name!

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Someday

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Someday I will paint a picture

with warm and vibrant colors.

Someday I will write beautiful words

that will dance in a person’s soul.

Someday I will write letters

to those I love and

tell them what they mean to me.

Someday I will learn how to play beautiful music

that comes from the depths of my heart.

Someday I will tell people

what God has done for me.

Someday I will teach my child

all the lessons that are in my heart.

Someday I will let my light shine

as God wants me to.

Someday…….

When is someday?

When will that be?

How long have I waited for that day to come?

If someday does not become today,

it will not ever come.

Today I will….

What will you do today?

 

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When Depression Knocks

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When the darkness comes, reach for the light.

“I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises.” Psalm 34:1 (NLT)

I tend toward the melancholy.

Awhile back I was struggling more often than usual with the temptation to depression, a lack of joy, and an oppression of the spirit. I know there are many others who struggle with this and I want to share what helps me most.

(To clarify: I’m NOT talking about chemical imbalance and I’m not discussing clinical depression here).

I’m talking about a feeling of sadness that comes for no obvious reason. Feeling gloomy or unhappy sometimes in spite of having things go well in life. It might be unexplained or it might come because of sin and suffering in the world or because of my own failings and weaknesses.

When I fall into this kind of depression, these choices help me the most:

  • Singing praise to God out loud. Spending time alone with God and singing praise songs to Him is powerful. There’s more power in singing out loud but listening to praise music is also healing.
  • Prayer. Our greatest resource. We can tell God exactly how we feel. It’s important also to confess our sins. We can tell Him what we desire Him to do in our lives. If I feel powerless to pray, I pray the Psalms. Some that have helped me: Psalm 37, 34, 32, 23, 27, 40 and 42 but any of the Psalms are helpful.
  • Reading and meditating on Scripture. Reading God’s Word is essential. Quoting Scripture out loud helps to focus our minds on the truth. “For the word of God is alive and powerful…” Hebrews 4:12a (NLT) His Word is supernatural and meditating on its truth can bring peace and calm to our souls.
  • Resisting isolation. When I feel depression coming in my spirit, often my first temptation is to isolate myself and shut others out. This only makes things worse and amplifies the darkness. Reaching out to someone we trust and can share our hearts with will often drive the dark feeling away. I’ve found that the more I keep my negative thought patterns to myself, the stronger they get. But time and time again when I share those thoughts, just saying them out loud to someone exposes them as lies.
  • Keeping a balance between physical exertion (exercise/work) and rest. If we go for a period of time without doing anything that requires physical exertion, it can lead to a depressed feeling, but if we’re always on the go and never take time to rest, that also can leave us depressed. We need balance.
  • Remembering we are in a war. We’re all in a Spiritual battle but those who seek to get closer to Jesus will meet the enemy head on. Satan will attack anyone who follows Jesus. Peter warns us, “Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour” 1 Peter 5:8 (NLT). However, we overcome him through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ, our testimony and prayer. (Revelation 12:11) “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7 (NIV)

One particular morning I was feeling the darkness. I read my daily devotions and meditated on His truth. Later, I remembered about praising God. By choice, not by feeling I began to sing praises to Him. I put on praise music and exercised while praising Him. I poured out my heart to Him. He lifted me from the pit (Psalm 40)!

Some experience depression that goes beyond what they can deal with by themselves. It may even be caused by a chemical imbalance. At those times, it is important to seek help from a counselor or a doctor. There was a time when my depression became so persistent that I went to a counselor for some months. God used her to help me tremendously! There’s nothing wrong with needing help. God created us as beings that need each other.

May God give grace and peace to anyone reading this who is suffering from depression or persistent sadness. Please use it Lord. Use it to bring them closer to you. Please shine your light into their darkness.

Please comment below if you need prayer to get through a season of depression. He loves you with an everlasting love!

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Originally published at Internet Cafe Devotions

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