Tag Archive | Encouragement

The week before

1 Peter 5:6,7 – “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

Do you ever dread a week? For me, the week before vacation is a dreaded week. I’m working like a crazy person trying to get everyone seen and all their paperwork completed that might be due while I’m gone. I’m thinking and making list after list about what I need to remember to purchase and pack. I’m leaving things out on counters so that I don’t forget them. I’m trying to clean my house because if I die, I don’t want people coming into my house dirty (I know, it’s morbid. I can’t help the way my brain works!). 

But here I am on Friday. One last day this week to get those people seen and get that paperwork done. One more day to get the items on that list. One more day to remember how God has brought me through this week. 

It hasn’t been a bad week. It really hasn’t been a rough week. It has just been a week. And as glad as I am that it is Friday, I’m really anticipating Monday at 2 – when work is truly finished and I clock into vacation mode. 

But God has got it between now and then. He sees my lists. He knows my potential issues and problems. He knows what all needs to happen between now and then. I’m not worried about it. God is going to take care of it. 

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

These are the words I’m claiming and have been claiming this week. I’m choosing today to lay my burdens at His feet and walk away trusting that He is going to make it happen one way or another. And I can do this because He loves me. He, the God of Heaven and Creator of all things and Savior of my soul, loves me – a sinner choosing to give my best by following after Him. 

So on this Friday, I want to encourage you to let Him love on you. Let Him take your burdens. Let Him hold you close. Let Him show just how awesome and amazing He can truly be. Happy Friday. 

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The Encourager

Deuteronomy 3:28 – “But charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him: for he shall go over before this people, and he shall cause them to inherit the land which thou shalt see.”

Encouragement. We all need a good, hefty dose now and then. We need someone to come alongside of us, wrap their arm around our shoulder and hear those words, “It’s okay. You got this.”

Too often, however, sometimes I find myself looking at that encourager and laughing at them. I want to say, “Seriously? Do you SEE what I’m up against?”  I don’t allow the one trying to lift me up to do so. Whatever good they are trying to build up within me, I’m tearing down just as fast as they build. 

Why? Why is that? Why do we reject emotional and spiritual and, sometimes, physical encouragement? 

Pride. “I don’t need no body’s help!” (Yes, I know it’s horrible grammar but it paints a more realistic picture. Work with me here!)

Pride is a horrible, ugly monster that creeps out of us at the most yucky of times. Here we are, wallowing in the mud and someone offers a hand to help and we push it away by trying to convince them it’s a spa treatment and we like it. When in truth, we are bawling our eyes out on the inside. We want their help but pride keeps us from accepting it. 

In these verses, God is telling Moses to go and have a few words with Joshua to build him up. He needs to be encouraged. He’s about to take over as leader of the children of Israel. I underlined “children” because that’s how they acted most of the time. You know, kinda like us…..

Joshua needed all the encouragement he could get. And know what? He took it. He gobbled it up like a Thanksgiving turkey! He knew he needed all the wisdom and encouragement Moses was willing to offer. 

We can learn a lot for Joshua. When someone tries to encourage you, take it. Gobble it up! Don’t be stubborn about it. Don’t try to be all cool about it. Take it in! God knows something you don’t know and He is using that encourager to get to you and build you up. 

Listen. Listen well. God is speaking. He wants you to hear. 

Keep going

2 Timothy 3:14,15 – “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior the summer before my fourth grade year. So, basically, I don’t remember life without Christ. I have gone to church my whole life. I have attended Sunday school since before I was born. Jesus has always been a part of my life. 

And for all that time, I have learned and heard that Jesus is coming back soon. “It can’t be too much longer with the way things are going!” 

I have met people who scoff at my belief that He will return soon. Most people don’t know what to say when I say, “I hope the Lord comes back before my children have to face that!” I’m not sure if it scares them or they are just avoiding the conversation, but it seems that whomever I am speaking with quickly changes the course of the conversation. 

I have been taught to love others in all things. I have been taught to speak the truth at all costs. I have been taught to fear God and keep His commandments. I have been taught to respect others and respect myself. I have been taught that it is okay to be different when the world calls you a Jesus freak. 

But there have been times in my life that I just wanted to fit in. I wanted to be like my friends. I wanted to go to the parties. I wanted to have all the cool things everyone else had. I wanted to know what it was like to be the first to know what had gone on the night before because I was there. 

Those times are gone. 

Now, I just want my children to see their mom serving and loving God. I want others to see something different in my actions and in my words. I want to have a light in my eyes that is genuine. 

In order to accomplish all of this, I have to keep going in the way that I was taught. I have had Sunday school teachers and family and pastors and loved ones who have impacted my life in ways that they may never know. I have been encouraged by them, instructed by them, disciplined by them and most importantly, loved by them. They tell me to keep going. 

And now, I tell you – keep going. No matter the length of your testimony, keep going. When life is laying down on you like a dump truck emptying it’s contents, keep going. When you are soaring on the mountain top, keep going. When you are so confused that you don’t know if you are scratching your watch or winding your behind, keep going. 

There is a purpose in all of this. Jesus doesn’t just set us down here and say, “Go at it!”  No, He has a purpose and plan in each and every action and thought. Just keep going. 

A bit of enourgement

1 Peter 5:10 – “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (NIV)

Note: I have been using KJV lately but always read NIV along with it. When I did the research on this verse, I noticed that the NIV was closer to the original language of the verse than KJV. This is not always the case. I encourage all readers to look up all the verses. Never take anything anyone says about Scripture without confirming it yourself through prayer.

Now, onto the verse.

When I read this verse the other day, the first thing that caught my eye was the last four items. Items of encouragement after a dismal reminder that we would suffer. No body wants to suffer. No one wants to face hard times. Unfortunately, that is just the way that things are. No one’s life is a bed of roses (which, why do we say that when roses have thorns?).

Let’s get onto the encouraging stuff:
Restore you – In the KJV, the word used is “perfect”. Both words are correct. The original word means “to complete thoroughly, i.e. to repair or adjust, mend, (make) perfect, prepare, restore”. So what does that tell us? Suffering can break you. Duh? How many bodies have we seen broken by suffering? How many lives torn apart? Need I go on? But Christ is in the restoration business. He is ready and willing to put us back together. Makes me think of the movie “Toy Story” when Woody is repaired after Andy broke him. God does the same thing for us.
Make you strong – In the KJV, the word used is “stablish”. In the original language, the word used is “confirm”. They are all right. The original word means “to set fast, i.e. to turn resolutely in a certain direction, or to confirm, fix, (e-) stablish, steadfastly set, strengthen”. When we falter or sin, Jesus provides us with the opportunity to turn around away from our sin by confessing them to Him. He gives us the strength to walk away from that sin and keep us away from that sin. Sometimes in our life, our suffering comes from unconfessed sin, not always, but sometimes. Jesus has the desire to pick us up and turn us around steadfastly in the other direction. We just have to ask for His help.
(Make you) Firm – In the KJV, “strengthen”. The original word means “to strengthen, i.e. confirm (in spiritual knowledge and power)”. Jesus will use this opportunity of suffering to build up or strengthen your spiritual knowledge and power. He will use this opportunity to make your choice in Him more firm. Either way, princess, suffering is a time for growth. We just don’t see it at the time.
(Make you) Steadfast – In the KJV, “settle you”. The original word was translated “establish you”. The original word means “to lay a basis for, i.e. erect or consolidate, (lay the) foundation, ground, settle”. Jesus will use this opportunity of suffering to expand and further your knowledge base. This firming of your foundation will calm you down and give you greater assurance that He is in control. You will have greater security.

All of these things happen in one way, and one way only – through Him. You cannot receive this assistance on your own. You cannot get this help from someone around you. Your therapist cannot provide this level of comfort. This verse clearly states that He Himself will provide this comfort in your suffering. The original language is clear here. The word used is a reflective pronoun. That seals it. That settles it. It’s kind like this, you know when you get frustrated that something has not gotten done and you find yourself saying, “I, myself, will make sure that it gets done.” That means that it WILL get done, right? That is the language used here. Jesus WILL get this done. No questions asked.

Today, princess, I just wanted to share a bit of encouragement that might help you get through a rough time in your life. We all have them. I know that there is a lot of language stuff in this post, but sometimes we need to know what is going on behind the words to get the real meaning. I would encourage you to check this information out for yourself. Study this verse and apply it’s meaning to your life to grow. We all need to grow. We should never stop growing spiritually.

Fishing

Matthew 4:19 – “Come, follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.”
Some people love to go fishing. I am not one of those people, but I do love to eat them.
Jesus was talking here of a different type of fishing. This type is getting the love of Christ into the world so that they may come to know Christ. You have to use the right bait. You can’t live like the devil all week and expect someone to come to church with you on Sunday. People watch you. They hear you. They can observe who you really are by how you live your life when you think no one is watching.
So be careful, princess. Guard your words and actions with the armor of God.
I heard a speaker say one time – God has said to us “You catch them, I’ll clean them.”

Sing on sister

Psalm 63:7 – “Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.
I love to sing. I like to sing all kinds of music. I like to sing for all kinds of reasons. Lately, I find myself singing Christmas songs.
Have you ever been so uplifted that songs just pour from your soul? Have you ever been so overwhelmed that you sing out your problems just to make them lighter? Have you ever found yourself humming while you go about your daily tasks? For me, yes, yes and yes.
When I read this verse in Psalm, I could not help but smile at the beauty it portrays. Can’t you just see yourself crouched in the corner because of a monster of a problem and then hear yourself singing praises to God because of His protection? I know I can. Singing during a crisis reminds us of the joy awaiting us on the other side.
My encouragement t for you this week, dear princess, is this – sing. Sing for all you are worth in every situation you find yourself in this week. Let your praises to your Heavenly Father lift you “to the rock that is higher than I.”(Psalm 61:2)