Words of Encouragement
Recently, especially in the past week or so, I have been involved in a number of incidents where people are just struggling with their situations in life. I don’t mean that they fundamentally wish they were somewhere else, but they are questioning staying the course, keeping the faith, or whatever else you may prefer to call it. Sometimes, that is difficult to understand. After all, what goes through peoples’ minds when they start to question a position that they have adopted, by choice or otherwise, and it seems impossible to keep the faith?
I know that sometimes I have made decisions about things and then, in the dark of the night, I start to question my decision and begin to go back and re-assess all the steps that led to my initial course of action. Somehow, things seem darker and a little scarier in the middle of the night.
Yet the Scripture tells us that quite clearly that God is for us and that He loves us more than we can possibly imagine. So when we feel that we are to adopt a certain course of action, it must be our human frailty that causes us to change our minds, unless God has a better idea. King David, in one of the Psalms, even acknowledged that he thought of God throughout the watches of the night. And I have to say that many times, I have been awakened from a deep sleep by what I perceive to be the urging of God to spend time with Him and consider a different course of action that I may have already embraced.
Usually, when that happens, I find that my human solution is one that allows me to “get even” or to exact retribution against someone who has wronged me. Of course, by the time I am done with my middle of the night discussion with God, my heart has undoubtedly softened and I am seeing things from a different perspective. Now that’s how I handle things when I feel that I am in control – but when I am the victim of somebody else’s anger, or their desire to hurt me or make me suffer, it is more difficult for me to let go of the issue. After all, I feel wronged and want to set the record straight.
Or I begin to doubt everything and just want the whole mess to go away. More than once I have just wanted to fall asleep until the situation was resolved; or to be able to bury my head in the sand and defer the decision until a later time when I will feel more capable of handling the outcome.
So rather than go on and on about all the different ways that we question ourselves or others, perhaps it is best tonight to keep this short and just go to the Bible and listen to what Paul says about our need for encouragement. In 2 Thes. 2:16-17, Paul lets us know, “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” In other words, accept the invitation to turn the issue over to God and let Him handle the details for you. If more of us did this, it would make for an easier life.
You have probably noticed that each of these posts has a specific format. It didn’t start out that way – it just evolved…. So each evening, I tell a story and then use an appropriate Bible verse. After the verse, I provide an encouragement and, finally, a prayer. Unless something is really different for the evening, people can depend on those elements in each post. You wouldn’t believe how many people, when they are busy, may skip the story, but jump right down to the verse and the encouragement. Do you know why? Because people need encouragement, hope, or faith that they are in the will of God.
My encouragement this evening is that God knows your needs and how things will all turn out. So rather than second guess yourself, turn the matter over to the Father. And my prayer is that you will bask in the peace of knowing that God has you covered and that you are being encouraged by the God of the Universe and His Son, Jesus Christ. Grace and peace…