Each of us needs to be encouraged in certain times in our lives. The Bible is the source for this encouragement, and God has orchestrated through His wisdom a multitude of words to uplift us and encourage us through HIS promises. The Bible tells us: "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up." (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
1."Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).
2. "For I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope" (Jeremiah 29:11).
3."The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble" (Psalm 9:9).
4. "I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me away from all my fears" (Psalm 34:4).
5. "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him" (Psalm 34:8).
6. "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1).
7. "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe" (Proverbs 18:10).
8. " Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).
9. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16.33).
10. "For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever in him should not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).
11. “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1).
12. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31).
13. "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:38-3 ),
14. “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).
15. “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).
16. "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).
17. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).
18. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).
19. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
20. “May the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you” (2 Thessalonians 3:16 ).
21. "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (James 1:2-4).
22. " And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us" (1 John 5:14).
Jesus gives us instruction on how to have a solid foundation. What many fail to understand is that laying a foundation takes work. It is not something that comes easy. Jesus said "everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them.... he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the ROCK" (Luke 6:47-48). When you dig a foundation it takes work, but when you dig deep it takes even more work. Be encouraged to dig deeper!
If you are like me there are times where you might feel powerless. maybe you feel if another thing goes wrong you will go off the deep end. If so, take these words that the Lord said to Paul "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Cor 12:9). What the Lord is telling us is His grace is more than enough to meet the challenges we face. The key is when we are in the challenge we rely on Him because that's when His grace is made perfect.
I am reading through Psalms, and today I read Psalm 79:9 which says: "Help us O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us and atone for out sins, for your names sake!" What spoke to me was how we don't talk and confess sin. Yet it is the only thing that separates us from God. Sin is the one thing that sends us to hell. Sin is the only reason Jesus gave himself freely to the cross. Yet it is the one thing we generally wont discuss freely. Help us O God, deliver us from our sin. Be encouraged to repent and release your sin to the Savior.
I wear a bracelet that reads "Hope Dealer Matt 13:3-23". In this scripture Jesus is speaking about the parable of the sower. Jesus explains that we all are one of the seeds that were sown. Some fell along the path, some fell on rocky ground, others fell on thorns. We see that none of these became productive, they all died out. Another however fell on good soil. Jesus tells us that the seeds that fell on the good soil are those people who hear the Word of God and understands it. They are the people who bear fruit and its yields are a hundredfold in one case, in another it is sixty and another thirty. Be Encouraged to be the sown on Good Soil, The very Word of God.
When challenging times come into our lives we must seek God as the foundation of our faith. Our faith is at the heart of our confidence in God and His Word. The Bible tells us "no one can lay any other foundation that has been laid, that is Jesus Christ" (1 Cor 3:11).This is why Jesus teaches us to build on His foundation. Give your heart to Him today.
The story of Joseph in Genesis chapter 37 is a story of overcoming odds, obstacles and living out God's plan. Joseph's pain and suffering are things we can identify with, yet he lived his life just as we find in Romans 8:28 "we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose". Having victory begins with God being the foundation of our life. We have to choose everyday to either be ruled by our circumstances or to let God be the rule and reign of our lives.
I was thinking about Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God" ,my focus was not the sin, but rather the "GLORY OF GOD". I believe that we cannot understand the full content of the "GLORY OF GOD". One definition of the glory of God is the presence of God, another is the perfection of God. As adopted children of God, His word speaks of the day that we will be in the presence of the perfect God. It is on that day we will understand the full meaning of the "GLORY OF GOD". That is something to be encouraged about!
In 1994 Billy Graham was in Los Angeles. At the tent revival there was a large tent which held over 6,000 people every night for eight weeks. There also was smaller tent for counseling and prayer. A friend of Billy Graham explained it this way; the real work of the Gospel took place in that smaller tent, where people gathered on their knees and prayed. Oswald Chambers said "prayer is not preparation for the work, it is the work". The Apostle Paul encouraged others that he was praying for them (Col 1:3). Prayer is such a vital role in our walk with God. I am praying for you. Who are you praying for?
In the letter that the Apostle Paul wrote to the Church of Galatia, he says “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to who be all the glory forever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3-5). I enjoy the way Paul writes to the church. He immediately proclaims Jesus and that He died for our sins and he tells them why Jesus sacrificed himself. Paul says it was the will of God the Father. Which means this was not something that was done by accident or at the spur of the moment. In-fact that was the plan was for Jesus from eternity past. This means that God was thinking about us and the forgiveness of our sins even before He created man, before He created the world, even before He created the universe. That is something to be encouraged about! God loves us so much that had His master plan in place from eternity past for each of us.
Look at God's massage in this incredible verse from Galatians, "For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery" (Gal 5:1). These are powerful words that Paul is teaching. First, we are set free from the sin of our old life. Second, we are to stand our ground and not fall back to the slavery we are saved from. Be encouraged to let your freedom reign!
Have you ever been discouraged when someone has taken advantage of you? I mean you go out of your way to help them and they take you for everything that you gave. God knows all and see's all. The bible tells us "God is not unjust: he will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them" (Hebrews 6:10) What an encouragement we don't have to worry about how others may take advantage of us, as long as the work we do is for the Lord. He loves you!
Often we spend more time complaining to others about life than we do speaking to Jesus about our problems. Lately I have fallen into that category. But I have found Psalm 46:1 tells us that "God is our refuge and strength a very help in trouble". That is encouraging to know. We don't have to whine, moan and complain to others about how life stinks, God is our refuge even in the midst of complete destruction. he is not just a temporary retreat, but rather our eternal refuge and strength. Be encouraged!
That old commercial said "you can learn a lot from a dummy" certainly the writer of Psalm 31 was no dummy, but we can still learn from him. He cries out to God and says "you are my rock and my fortress and for your names sake you lead me and guide me" (Psalm 31:3). Even when I am a dummy, God is there grounding, protecting, leading and guiding me. That is encouraging!
I don't know about you, but I wrestle with things in my life. Often life issues stem from pride. I bet James the brother of Jesus has an issue with pride as well. But James goes on to tell us "God opposes the proud, but gives grace tot he humble" (James 4:6). I am encouraged by that verse because the grace that God gives the humble, is the grace of His one and only Son. That is encouraging!
In Romans the Apostle Paul shows us the struggle in his life with sin, "for I do not understand my own actions, For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate" (Romans 7:15). He knew this would be the ongoing struggle in each believers life. When we struggle and end up doing the very things we hate, we can be encouraged of God's promise. God promises Victory in Jesus. Be encouraged.
Tonight at 12:00 a.m. a New Year begins. If you are like most folks, you will be anticipating the New Year to come. It is the idea of starting over, a restart if you will. It is the idea of the past is the past and now we have a new year to change some things that need changing or perhaps to try to gain ground on some sort of resolution. But I find that we can try to change as much as we want, without God we always fall back into those same sins, problems and old life styles. God’s Word and His wisdom speaks to us about who really starts things fresh and new. Revelation 21:5 tells us “And He who was seated on the throne said, Behold, I am making all things new”. If you want a successful “NEW YEAR” it begins with JESUS in your life.
The bible tells us; "Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them" (Psalm 34:19). The first part of this verse may not sound very encouraging, but the fact is life is not perfect. Let’s face it we ALL have imperfections, sin, troubles, and faults. Thank God for His Son covering us with His righteousness and delivering us from unrighteousness. That is encouraging!
Franklin Roosevelt said "when you are at the end of your rope, tie a not in it". During the Christmas holidays there is a lot of stress. Many feel the pressures of life and say the just can't handle one more thing to go wrong. I want you to know that from time to time most everyone has had that feeling, but God. God gave us His Son so we could find rest from the troubles of life and sin (Matthew 11:28-30). Jesus lifts our burdens by carrying them Himself. Jesus is there for us all.
As you begin your week I want to encourage you to encounter God. An encounter with God, requires both faith and action. Faith equals action and our action requires us to make the adjustment in our lives to join God in what He is doing. Pick up your cross daily (Luke 9:23). Remember Moses could not have stayed where he was and stood before Pharaoh at the same time.
Discipleship is not a step by step process, but rather a life on life relationship. When Jesus was working with his disciples, He shared His life with them. By doing this, He passed His character, His knowledge and His skills into them. JESUS essentially poured Himself into them. Be encouraged today to not only find someone to disciple you, but also for you to pour into.