Encouragement Despite Discouragement

Out of Control

Don’t Let Yourself Spin Out of Control

PERSONAL PRAYER: My heart lies open before you.  You see my insecurities, faults, weaknesses, rebellion, offenses, sins, loneliness, and a multitude of others I am not aware of.  Yet, you in you grace and mercy and love, call me unto yourself and blanket me in your arms.  This world I do not want.  Your Kingdom and sitting at the Precious feet of Jesus is what my hearts desire.  I do not profess to understand why my family and I are going through financial woes again.  My heart thinks: family knows our needs, friends know and yet no one steps up for bigger money issues we face.  The lesson I see is God is bigger than all problems of this life and they don’t even  compare to Sacrifice Jesus made on the cross for this world and ALL people in it.  I am believing with all my heart you will provide the rent and all finances for bills on the first of February, 2013.  I can not believe you would allow us to be homeless-we have come to close to this to many times and you have ALWAYS made a way.  Keep my heart from failing Lord I pray: breath your strength into my lungs-Lord you know my take on current job front-I seriously need direction- What do you want me to do?  My tears are dried up like a desert-I feel weak in strength physically and spiritually:  Deliver us Lord in the name of Jesus-I can’t go on like this: I am sorry Father, I just can’t: I’m at the end of my rope and looking for the way out YOU promised to always provide when we can’t bare anymore.  I am at end of myself-I know I can’t proceed without you.  The spinning chair above represents how my life seems.  I cry out Father, HELP, hear my plea!   In Jesus name, Amen.

Today’s promise: Overcoming discouragement brings great blessing

Do you fall into discouragement after spiritual highs?

Elijah was afraid and fled for his life.… Then he went alone into the desert.… He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die.

1 Kings 19:3-4 NLT

About this week’s promise

Elijah experienced the depths of fatigue and discouragement just after his two great spiritual victories: the defeat of the prophets of Baal and the answered prayer for rain. To lead him out of depression, God first let Elijah rest and eat. Then God confronted him with the need to return to his mission in life — to be God’s prophet.

Elijah’s battles were not over; there was still work for him to do. Often discouragement sets in after great spiritual experiences, especially those that produce a high level of emotional excitement or that require a lot from us physically. When you feel let down after a spiritual “high,” do what is necessary to restore your inner resources. And remember that God still has a purpose and plan for you.

Adapted from TouchPoint Bible with devotional commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers, Tyndale House Publishers (1996), p 311.

Digging Deeper

For more on facing discouragement, see The One Year® Book of Hope by Nancy Guthrie, Tyndale House Publishers (2005).

Through a year’s worth of thoughtful entries, the reader will learn how much God longs to lift us up, carry us through in times of difficulty and uncertainty, and give us true, lasting joy. Each daily step draws you closer to a God who truly cares and the hopeful life he wants you to enjoy.


If the devil cannot make you puffed up by pride, he will try to dampen your spirit by discouragement. It’s his best tool!
AUTHOR UNKNOWN

The upper part of The Transfiguration (1520) b...

The upper part of The Transfiguration (1520) by Raphael, depicting Christ miraculously discoursing with Moses and Elijah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

ON THIS DAY 12/25/ LONG AGO…

Isaiah 9:6

 

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

Read at Bible Gateway   Read all of Isaiah 9    Public Domain

 

God will give you peace

Where do you find peace?

“A child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His ever expanding, peaceful government will never end. He will rule forever with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David. The passionate commitment of the Lord Almighty will guarantee this!”

Isaiah 9:6-7 NLT

You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Isaiah 26:3 NLT

I am leaving you with a gift — peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give you isn’t like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

John 14:27 NLT

Peace is a person

“His peace of mind came not from building on the future but from resting in what he called “the holy Present.”

If you were navigating in strange waters or tracking through the wilderness, you would feel at peace with a competent navigator. As we move through spiritual territory that’s frightening, new to us, or full of trouble, what a comfort and support to have the Lord God, creator of peace, walking with us. He knows the way!2
1from The Quotable Lewis edited by Jerry Root and Wayne Martindale (Tyndale) p 416 2from the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 535

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

Draw Your Strength From God

God comforts those who are persecuted

ocean-dawn-with-you-always-who-shall-separate-us

More persecution leads to more comfort

“You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.”

About this week’s promise:

“The central message of Christianity, that all have sinned and are lost apart from Christ, is offensive to most people. After all, we humans are proud, and we don’t like to consider that we are ever in the wrong.
Because Christianity is offensive, those who bear its message are perceived as offensive also. Stephen became the first Christian martyr because the Jewish leaders who sent Jesus to the cross were enraged by his ringing accusation of their sin (Acts 7:51-8:3).
As believers, we must ask God for the courage to speak the truth and the grace to endure any unjust treatment that may result. When we consider the impact of Stephen’s death — the eventual conversion of the young man Saul (later called Paul) and the spread of the gospel (Acts 8:4) — we see that even terrible persecution, in God’s hands, can lead to great glory.”
From the TouchPoint Bible with commentary by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 952
For more on this week’s topic, check these Tyndale resources:
The Life Recovery Bible NLT with commentary by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop (1998) Total Abandon by Gary Witherall and Elizabeth Cody (2005) Shadowed by Jerry B. Jenkins – Fiction (2005)

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

HUMILITY

 God blesses humble people

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Humility, not humiliation

Father, You Always Said...

Father, You Always Said…

“You rescue those who are humble, but you humiliate the proud.”

Psalm 18:27 NLT

The high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, the Holy One, says this: “I live in that high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I refresh the humble and give new courage to those with repentant hearts.”

Isaiah 57:15 NLT

“May God’s grace give you the necessary humility. Try not to think — much less, speak — of their sins. One’s own are a much more profitable theme! And if on consideration, one can find no faults on one’s own side, then cry for mercy: for this must be a most dangerous delusion.”

Humility is not effacing oneself. It is not destroying one’s sense of self-worth. It is honest recognition of our own worth, our worth as God sees us. Pride elevated us above others, and often above God himself. But to destroy one’s sense of self-worth is also unacceptable, for it denies the value God placed upon us when he created us in his image and when he sent his Son to die for us. Christ did not die for worms but for people he loves very much, and those people have great worth or value in God’s eyes. To see ourselves as God sees us — that is our goal. From the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 1217

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

SPIRITUAL GROWTH

 

God is a refuge for the oppressed

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God blesses in the midst of suffering

 

Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy. They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Psalm 126:5-6 NLT

For he has not ignored the suffering of the needy. He has not turned and walked away. He has listened to their cries for help.

Psalm 22:24 NLT

Those who suffer the same things from the same people for the same Person can scarcely not love each other.

English: Psalm 90 of The Holy Bible, King Jame...

English: Psalm 90 of The Holy Bible, King James version, 1772. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Suffering — the soil of spiritual growth

The Bible does not promise that Christians won’t suffer. In fact, the Scriptures give much evidence that we can expect to suffer, given the evil that is in the world around us and the sin that is in us.
What God does promise is that our suffering can become the catalyst for new growth. God promises to redeem our suffering into his glory.
What griefs are you currently suffering? Can you entrust them to God, confident that he will use them to bring new growth into your life?
The worst kind of suffering is that which we experience alone. When we suffer with another person who is sympathetic to our problem, the suffering is easier to bear. Throughout history, God has sympathized with suffering people. He hears our cries. How would your life and outlook be different if you become convinced that God never failed to respond to your pain?
From the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 538, 479

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

From the TouchPoint Bible with commentaries by Ron Beers and Gilbert Beers (Tyndale) p 538, 479

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

GOD’S WORD SPOKEN “BECOMES” DOUBLE EDGED SWORD! AMEN

dailydevotion

 

 Blessings come from applying God‘s Word

How well do you apply God’s Word to your life?

He replied, “But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

Luke 11:28 NLT

You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family — calling him “Father, dear Father.”

Romans 8:15 NLT

An eloquent testimony

Actions speak louder than words. Our behavior is eloquent testimony to who we are and what we think. Holy thought and corrupt behavior cannot coexist. It is a lie to say follow Christ if you are disregarding his Word and ignoring him. And is it surprising and disappointing when we hear people give a clear Christian testimony and yet see that they have a questionable lifestyle? The Bible calls us all to holy living. We are to make every effort to live according to its guidelines. First, if we are truly a new creature in Christ, then God’s Holy Spirit is living within us, helping us want to do what is right. Second, godly living is an example to unbelieving friends, neighbors, and co-workers that we are different. People are attracted to others who are consistently kind, gracious, and loving. When they ask what makes you different you will have a wonderful opportunity to tell them of God’s love. Third, godly living is a confirmation that you are, in fact, living for God and not yourself. It is a barometer of your relationship with him. And fourth, godly living means that you are emulating Christ, who is our ultimate example of how to live.

Adapted from the TouchPoint Bible
(Tyndale House) p 1156

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House

 

HOW GREAT IS GOD’S MERCY!

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Do you demonstrate God’s mercy to other people?

But you, dear friends, must continue to build your lives on the foundation of your holy faith. And continue to pray as you are directed by the Holy Spirit. Live in such a way that God‘s love can bless you as you wait for the eternal life that our Lord Jesus Christ in his mercy is going to give you. Show mercy to those whose faith is wavering. Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. There are still others to whom you need to show mercy, but be careful that you aren’t contaminated by their sins.

Titus 1:20:23 NLT
Micah 6:8 NLT

Show mercy

Christians have sometimes been accused of shooting their own wounded. In our zeal for God, we can sometimes become impatient and judgmental with those who struggle with sin and doubt. Instead of rejecting them, Jude says, we should have mercy on them — just as Christ had mercy on us when he forgave our many sins. While we must not tolerate or accept sin, we are to love and accept others with kindness and mercy. If you know someone who has fallen away from God, your kindness may be just what is needed to lead them back to God.

From the TouchPoint Bible
(Tyndale House) p 1122

 

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House