1 Encourage One Another
"But Joshua the son of Nun, which standeth before thee, he shall go in thither: encourage him: for he shall cause Israel to inherit it." Deuteronomy 1:38
I was seeking God's direction for my next devotional theme and I came to the book of Deuteronomy. I started to turn a few pages ahead to the book of Joshua wondering if God could show me more in the book of conquests into the Promised Land than in this book of more wanderings and law. I decided to stick with Deuteronomy and lifted up a simple prayer that God would spread light on His Word. I came to this verse and God used just two words to answer my prayer..."encourage him". I thought of the small problems in my life that discourage me from living a victorious life. I thought of the big problems in our world today and how we all need encouragement to face the future. Let's look in God's precious book and find verses that can encourage us and help us find comfort and hope in our daily Christian life.
2 Father's Day
Encouragement From The Father
"And they took of the fruit of the land in their hands, and brought it down unto us, and brought us word again, and said, It is a good land which the LORD our God doth give us. Notwithstanding ye would not go up, but rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God: And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.Whither shall we go up? our brethren have discouraged our heart, saying, The people is greater and taller than we; the cities are great and walled up to heaven; and moreover we have seen the sons of the Anakims there. Then I said unto you, Dread not, neither be afraid of them. The LORD your God which goeth before you, he shall fight for you, according to all that he did for you in Egypt before your eyes; And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place. Yet in this thing ye did not believe the LORD your God, Who went in the way before you, to search you out a place to pitch your tents in, in fire by night, to shew you by what way ye should go, and in a cloud by day." Deuteronomy 1:25-33
The twelve spies went into the land of Canaan and brought back fruit from a land flowing with milk and honey. Joshua and Caleb were ready to go in, trusting God to give them the Land of Promise. The other ten spies discouraged the people. It's probably about like that today. For every two people who try to encourage you, there may be ten who discourage you. The ten said that the people were greater and taller than they were. Sometimes we find ourselves in situations where those against us are bigger and more in number than those on our side. And as the giant Anakims lived in cities "walled up to heaven" our problems rise up in our lives and we see no way around the sickness, debt, or family problems that we face daily, We become so blinded by our discouragement we don't see the hand of God leading us, but we only see our troubles, growing to gigantic proportions in our small lives. The children of Israel were so discouraged they said, "Because the LORD hated us, he brought us forth out of the land of Egypt..." Nothing could be farther from the truth. Moses reminded them "how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place." God, in love and mercy, carried them out of the land of Egypt as a man carries his son. Just as God loved the children of Israel and called them His chosen people, God loves us and gave His Son to save us so that we could become His children. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." (I John 3:1)
3 Encouraging Your Successor
"And I besought the LORD at that time, saying, O Lord GOD, thou hast begun to shew thy servant thy greatness, and thy mighty hand: for what God is there in heaven or in earth, that can do according to thy works, and according to thy might? I pray thee, let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain, and Lebanon. But the LORD was wroth with me for your sakes, and would not hear me: and the LORD said unto me, Let it suffice thee; speak no more unto me of this matter. Get thee up into the top of Pisgah, and lift up thine eyes westward, and northward, and southward, and eastward, and behold it with thine eyes: for thou shalt not go over this Jordan. 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." Deuteronomy 3:23-28
God told Moses to encourage Joshua, first in Deuteronomy 1:38, and again here in 3:28. I have turned to the story of Moses and Joshua again to look at the circumstances. The children of Israel are ready to go into the Promised Land and Moses wants to finish the journey he began 40 years before. Deuteronomy 34:7 tells us, "And Moses was an hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated." Moses had the ability to continue to lead the people. His heart's desire was to go into the Promised Land, but God had already told Moses he could not lead them in because he disobeyed when he struck the rock when God told him to speak to the rock. He is asking God again to let him go in, and God tells him (just as parents often tell their children) not to ask again. The role of leadership is passing from Moses to Joshua, and God said, "charge Joshua, and encourage him, and strengthen him..." Imagine you are in Moses' place. You have been in a role of leadership for many years. You still have the ability to continue your work. Now, you come to the peak of your career, and you are told you must hand your job over to someone else. What are the feelings you have towards that new, younger person taking your place? You did the hard work. You put in the long hours. Now is has all been taken from you. What does Moses do? God tells him to encourage and strengthen Joshua. God has a lesson for us here. God wants us to encourage those who follow in our footsteps. Don't harbor hard feelings against those who take your place. Encourage them. Pray for them and keep trusting the Lord to lead you in the right path.
4 Encouragement For Success
"Now after the death of Moses the servant of the LORD it came to pass, that the LORD spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:1-9
We saw yesterday how God told Moses to encourage Joshua and how we should encourage our successors. Today, put yourself in Joshua's place. Moses, the great leader, has died. What does the Word say about Moses? "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face," (Deuteronomy 34:10) How would you feel following in those footsteps? Moses had tried to encourage Joshua. More than that, the Lord God encouraged Joshua. Look at the promises, "Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses... There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage:.. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest." And then, we find the only time in the King James Bible the word "success" is used. "This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Do you want success as you face the challenges that come along your way? Let me encourage you today with these words on how to have a prosperous and successful way. Stay in the Word of God. Read and meditate day and night. Follow and obey God's commands. That's the way to true success!
5 Encouragement To Claim God's Promises
"Then the children of Judah came unto Joshua in Gilgal: and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, Thou knowest the thing that the LORD said unto Moses the man of God concerning me and thee in Kadeshbarnea. Forty years old was I when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadeshbarnea to espy out the land; and I brought him word again as it was in mine heart. Nevertheless my brethren that went up with me made the heart of the people melt: but I wholly followed the LORD my God. And Moses sware on that day, saying, Surely the land whereon thy feet have trodden shall be thine inheritance, and thy children's for ever, because thou hast wholly followed the LORD my God. And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance." Joshua 14:6-13
We have been looking at Moses and Joshua and today we come to the story of Caleb. He was one of the twelve spies who brought back the good report and waited 45 years as the Israelites wandered in the wilderness. In our verses above we see that he is ready to claim his mountain. Sometimes we get sidetracked in our journey and we may even lose focus on our priorities in life. We may spend years wandering in the wilderness, without any specific direction in our lives. Today I want to encourage you to claim God's promises in your life. The most important promise in God's Word is found in Romans 10:13, "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." We also read of His promise in II Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." With the promise of salvation comes the promise of eternal life. " And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life." (I John 2:25) Read God's Word and follow Him. We can trust God to always keep His promises. "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." (Deuteronomy 31:6)
6 Encouragement For John The Baptist
"Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see: The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me. And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind? But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses. But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet. For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." Matthew 11:2-11
My pastor, Jeff Woods used these verses in his sermon Wednesday night, "Facing Discouragement In Life". He made the point that if a man as great as John The Baptist could get discouraged, then so can we. John was in prison, and he was discouraged, so he sent for a word from the Lord. When we get discouraged, we need to go to the Word to find help. Preacher Woods also helped us notice the little word, "again" in Jesus' answer. "Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:" (Matthew 11:4) Jesus is loving and patient with us. He comforts us again and again. Next, we see that Jesus did not simply say, "I am He". When we are discouraged we look for a plain simple answer, but we often need to search the scriptures and find what the Lord is trying to say to us. After the disciples carried the answer back to John, Jesus was very complimentary to John. "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." (Matthew 11:11) As we continue with our devotions on encouragement, don't feel too bad when you get discouraged. Remember, that even the strongest Christians can get discouraged. Follow John's example and go to the Lord for help and comfort.
7 You're Not The Only One
"And he said, I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away." I Kings 19:14
When Elijah stood on Mount Carmel against the prophets of Baal, he asked the people, "How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baal's prophets are four hundred and fifty men." (I Kings 18:21-22) No one stepped forward with Elijah and confessed that he was on the Lord's side. On Mount Carmel Elijah was left to do the Lord's work alone. You may go to school, or work in an environment where you feel like you are the only one serving God. There may be no one to stand with you to fight the Lord's battles. But, let me assure you, you are not alone. The Lord is always with you and no matter what kind of problem you are having, you are not the only one to go through that storm. Look at Mark 4:36-37, "And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full." The disciples went to Jesus and said, "Master, carest thou not that we perish? And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:38-40) Jesus calmed the storm, but notice the little sentence,"And there were also with him other little ships." The disciples were not the only ones in danger of the storm. There were other little ships. When you feel like you are the only one with problems, look around you and you will see that there are many going through the storms. When you are the only one taking a stand for God, remember that the Lord is with you always.
8 Encouragement When The Journey Is Too Hard
"But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink and laid him down again. And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” I Kings 19:4-7
Many times we come to the place where the journey is too great for us, the way is too hard and we feel like giving up. We can see three aspects of Elijah's despair which may also contribute to our periods of depression. First we see in chapter 18 that Elijah had worked hard and had a very tiring experience, on top of which he out ran a chariot. (I Kings 18:46) He was physically exhausted. Our problems seem so much larger when we don't feel like we have the energy to face them. Next, it is imperative to remember that Elijah has just had a mountain-top experience. Valleys are at the foot of the mountains. We don't always live on the mountains. Many times our victorious gains are followed by bitter defeats. Elijah became defeated by the threats of Jezebel. Last, and maybe more significant, Elijah sent his servant away and went on alone. (I Kings 19:3) We can gain much needed support from our Christian friends and family. What was the cure for Elijah's depression? The angel fed Elijah and let him sleep. We too, can benefit greatly from getting enough rest and eating sensibly. Also notice that the angel did not reprimand Elijah. Give your friends an emotional and spiritual lift when they need it. Last of all, we see in I Kings 19:15, God sent Elijah on another mission. We need to stay busy. The best way I have found to get over feeling sorry for myself, is to help someone else. We all may go through periods of depression, but God can give us strength and help us through it.
9 A Very Present Help
"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
I asked some of the people at church to share their favorite verses of encouragement with us and I will share those thoughts with you this week. When I started thinking about my favorite verse, I really could not settle on just one verse. At one point in my life this was my favorite verse. During that time of trouble God used this verse to give me peace and strength. I like the adjectives in this verse as God truly is "a very present help..." He is always here when we need Him. I pray that you will continue to find help from God's precious Word as we look at some of the verses that have a special place in the hearts of some dear Christian friends.
If you have a special verse of encouragement please send me an email and I will share some of them in our daily devotions.
10 Be Of Good Cheer, It Is I, Be Not Afraid
"But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." Matthew 14:27
"When my husband, Jim, was diagnosed with Lymphoma Cancer, terror came to my life. God gave me this verse to let me know He was in control of all that was happening in our lives. From time to time during his chemo and the times he was so weak and sick, I quoted this verse. God brought him through his cancer and now he is well. Praise the Lord!!!" Betty K.
Betty is my mother-in-law and I know that God encouraged her with this verse. She stood and testified many times how God helped her with these words, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid." The disciples were in the midst of a storm when the Lord spoke these words to them. It is amazing that still today, in the midst of our storms, God can speak these words to our hearts. The Lord is still in control of the winds and the waves and He can still speak "Peace" to our hearts. If you are sailing on troubled waters, let the Words of our Lord encourage you today. Listen as He speaks calmly, yet assuredly, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."
11 Whom Shall I Fear?
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?" Psalm 27:1
"This verse has been a comfort to me because I have had several health problems. The Lord has always been there for me." Hazel H.
This verse tells us so much! First it reminds us that the Lord is our light. Jesus is the Light of the world as we read in John 8:12, "Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." Jesus is also our salvation. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6) Next, the question, "whom shall I fear?" reminds me of Romans 8:31-32, "What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" When we grasp the meaning of these words, then we can say with David, "the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?"
12 Under The Shadow Of His Wings
"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast." Psalm 57:1
"I was having a really bad night one time and my mom read me this verse from the Bible and it's been with me always." Jennifer B.
The heading of this chapter tells us that David wrote this when he was hiding from Saul in the cave. His plea for mercy may have carried him in mind to the tabernacle, where the wings of the cherubims spread over the mercy seat. Let's look at Exodus 25:17-22, "And thou shalt make a mercy seat of pure gold: two cubits and a half shall be the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof. And thou shalt make two cherubims of gold, of beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat. And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end: even of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. And the cherubims shall stretch forth their wings on high, covering the mercy seat with their wings, and their faces shall look one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubims be. And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark; and in the ark thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel." Our friends may fail or forsake us, but we can always find the Lord at the mercy seat. Notice the 22nd verse, "And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat..." When troubles come into your life, remember that you can find mercy with the Lord, and you can hide under the shadow of his wings.
13 I Will Never Leave Thee
"...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Hebrews 13:5
"When I went through my bout with cancer I found great comfort in knowing I was not alone and that God was always there with me. I was never afraid because I knew God was in control and every thing would be fine. I went into the operating room singing, "I know my Lord's gonna' stand by me". I praise God everyday for being there for me and restoring my health." Martha J.
These words are an encouragement if we will believe them. Jesus also said in Matthew 28:20, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." There are so many things in the world today that we are not sure of. We don't know what troubles may come into our paths today or tomorrow. But it is comforting to know that the Lord is always there to see us through. When we accept God's free gift of salvation and invite the Lord into our heart, He is there to stay. When you feel like you are all alone without a friend in the world, just remember these words of promise, "...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Let the promise of His presence give you peace.
14 The Lord Sees Our Tears
"I beseech thee, O LORD, remember now how I have walked before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. And Hezekiah wept sore. And it came to pass, afore Isaiah was gone out into the middle court, that the word of the LORD came to him, saying, Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the LORD, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee..." II Kings 20:3-5
"It was my mother's favorite. She passed it on to me when I had the cancer. The Lord said to ask and you will receive. The Lord has healed me many times." Betty K.
God told Hezekiah, "...I have seen thy tears..." That is such a comforting thing to know. I am a very emotional person and I often try to hide my tears. I may walk away from a situation to keep the people around me from seeing my tears. I am glad to know that God sees my tears. I am reminded of the verse in Psalm 56:8, "Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?" Another comforting thought is found in Psalm 30:5, "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."
As I was reading Betty's paper I noticed her first sentence. "It was my mother's favorite." Several people have mentioned that their favorite verse was their mother's favorite verse. It is important that we pass our faith and love for Christ along to our children. We can't save our children, but we can show them the love we have for the Lord. Paul told Timothy, "When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also." (II Timothy 1:5) We need to let our children see Christ in us.
15 We Have Hope
"Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
"It teaches that a person who loves and trusts Jesus doesn't only have the guarantee of salvation but a great deal of hope as well. Hope in eternity, hope in knowing God will always be there in me in the Holy Spirit, and most hard to understand, hope in trials." Joyce E.
When we think of hope, we must go beyond our childhood idea of hope. We often said things like, "I hope it snows so we don't have to go to school tomorrow." Our "hope" was something we really wanted to happen. When we read of hope in the Lord, it is more than wanting something. Our hope in Jesus is sure. In addition to the hope we have in God that Joyce mentioned, let's look at some of the verses on hope. We have the hope of salvation. "But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation." (I Thessalonians 5:8) We have the hope of Christ' return.l "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;" (Titus 2:13) We are heirs of Christ and have the hope of eternal life. "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (Titus 3:7) Our hope is an anchor to our soul. "Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;" (Hebrews 6:19) Here is one more verse in Psalm 31:24, "Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD." Our encouraging word today is "hope", not a "grasping at straws" kind of hope, but a "sure foundation" hope that we can only find in Christ our Savior.
16 4th Of July- Free Indeed
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. They answered him, We be Abraham's seed, and were never in bondage to any man: how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." John 8:31-36
I am thankful and blessed to have the freedom I have today. But, even more, I am thankful for the freedom from sin I have since I accepted God's free gift of salvation. All I had to do was believe that Jesus Christ came and died to pay for my sin. I trusted Him to free me from the bondage of sin. I can say Hallelujah to those mighty words of my Lord, "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
17 My Help Cometh From The Lord
"I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth." Psalm 121:1-2
"When I was 16 my favorite uncle died in a plane crash. When I was 19 my only living Grandmother died, with an aneurysm in her brain. When I was 22 my oldest brother was killed in a car crash because the other driver was drunk. And when I was 35 my mother died with Lewy Body Dementia. But when I faced all of these death's that broke my heart, I would read Psalm 121:1-2 and I would receive the help that was promised in this verse." Beth W.
These verses have also been with me for many years. These are my Mom's favorite verses and I have heard her quote them often. When we have no where to turn, I am glad that we can look up with assurance that our help comes from the Lord. Beth found help from the Lord during the death of her loved ones. He can give us help and comfort that the world does not understand.
18 Be Still And Know That I Am God
"Be still, and know that I am God:..." Psalm 46:10
"The Lord spoke to my heart with this verse while I was sitting beside my husband's hospital bed in the ER. Not knowing what was causing his attacks and waiting for the pain medicine to start helping him, I sat there praying for the Lord to please help us. Gerald Loren was a newborn (8 weeks old) and was being kept in the waiting room by his sister who was 15 at the time. We communicated by cell phones so I would know when I needed to come out and nurse him then run back to my husband's side to answer for him. This verse still has a quieting affect on me. I think of it almost daily as I have it on a refrigerator magnet, journal and other places in our home. Little did I know that night the Lord brought that verse to my mind, how long that road was gonna' be and what we would face, but the reminder to "be still" was just what I needed." Vicky M.
If you have read from these pages very often you may know how special this verse is to me also. You may read some of my thoughts from this verse from our devotional theme Be Still And Know That I Am God.
19 Mother And Daughter
"Be still, and know that I am God:..." Psalm 46:10
"This verse was very encouraging during Dad's sickness. This verse kept Mom's and Shanna's attention. Someone called to encourage Shanna, and quoted this verse to her. It became my special verse when we moved back to N. C. Dad was still sick then, but God worked a miracle. I truly understand what that verse meant. He taught us to "Be still and know that I am God." Ryana M.
You may notice the similarity between our devotions yesterday and today. A few days ago I mentioned that some of the messages I received stated that the verses had been an encouragement to "Mom" and were special to "Daughter" too. Ryana's Christian faith grew in watching the faith of her Mom and older sister. We all go through storms and trials in our lives and we can become so focused on the trouble at hand, we don't notice the eyes focused on us. It is easy to be a Christian example of love, joy, and peace when everything is going well. But when we can bear the fruit of the Spirit, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith (Galatians 5:22) in the midst of storms, that's when people know our Christianity is real. May I encourage you to keep on trusting in the Lord day by day. You may not be aware of it, but there are people watching you. Your strength in the Lord can be an encouragement to them. Share your special verse with those you love. God may use it in their lives, too.
20 To Whom Shall We Go?
"Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." John 6:67-69
"At one of the lowest points in Jesus' ministry (as far as the number of people following Him) Jesus asked the disciples, Will ye also go away?" Peter's answer is encouraging (1) because it's true. ("I've Come Too Far To Look Back") (2) because Peter is the one disciple who often says the wrong thing. In Mark 9 he says something which is wrong simply because he doesn't know what to say. But here in John 6, Peter gets it right, "To whom shall we go?" If Peter can give the perfect answer, then there's still hope for me!" Michael K.
21 My Rock And My Foundation
"He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved... My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him." Psalm 62:2 & 5
"When I first surrendered to preach God showed me these verses to assure me whatever came into my life, and no matter how rough life got, if I would stand on THE ROCK everything would be okay, as long as I waited on Him who is my only foundation and hope." Nathanael L.
I am thankful for young men who answer God's call to preach. We need to pray that they will indeed stand firm on The Rock and not sway "to and fro" with different doctrines. I am reminded of Paul's message to the church at Ephesus. "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:" (Ephesians 4:11-15) Pray for missionaries, evangelists, pastors and teachers and encourage them to stand firm in their message of faith.
22 Help, Lord
"Help, LORD; for the godly man ceaseth; for the faithful fail from among the children of men.” Psalm12:1
""Help, Lord." These two words have helped me so much. I am so thankful that anytime day or night or in any situation you can say these words and you can know that God hears you and you can get comfort because you know that He hears and answers prayer." Jean L.
"Help, Lord." Like Jean, I often pray these simple words. I thought about this today and realized that there are three reasons I need help from the Lord. The first is that I am tired and weary. I awake some mornings and I feel that I don't have the strength to make it through the day. Before I even get out of bed I pray for the Lord to help me. I realize that without Christ I can do nothing. I need help physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and financially. In every aspect of my life, I need help from the Lord and I can pray that simple prayer from my heart. The second reason I need help from the Lord is that I have faults and failures. I need the Lord to help me be a better wife and mother. I want to be a better daughter and sister. I need help from the Lord to be a Christian example as a co-worker and youth leader. Another reason I need help from the Lord is that He knows all about me and my problems and He understands. Sometimes we can't talk to anyone about our needs, but we can always talk to the Lord. Our friends don't always hear what we are trying to say, but the Lord hears the thoughts in our hearts. Don't wait until you get to the end of your rope to call on the Lord. He is willing and waiting on your call.
23 Looking Unto Jesus
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds." Hebrews 12:1-3
Our youth group did a Bible News Broadcast skit and a portion of it focused on Hebrews 12:1, "...let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us". The encouraging point I want to look at today comes in the next two verses. "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." Our faith begins in Jesus and we can be just as sure that our faith will finish in Him. If you find yourself weary and faint in your mind, look unto Jesus. He can give you the strength to run the race with patience.
24 Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled
"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:1-6
Have you ever looked at the context of the first verse of this chapter? Look at the three verses that precede this. "Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice." (John 13:36-38) Jesus had just told the disciples that He was going away. He had just told Peter that he would deny Him three times. I can understand why they were troubled. But Jesus said, "Let not your heart be troubled..." and he continues the thoughts on His going away. When our family or friends leave us we are troubled. Many of us can quote those reassuring words of our Lord. "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." Jesus is coming back. He will take all His children home. He is the only way to heaven. Won't you believe in Him today and accept His free gift of salvation? You may feel like your sin is too much for the Lord to love you. Look at Peter. He denied Jesus, but Jesus still loved him. Trust in the Lord. He can give peace to your troubled heart.
25 When We Can't Pray
"Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God." Romans 8:26-27
There have been times in my life when I did not know how to pray. Sometimes storms come so suddenly and fierce that it catches us off-guard and knocks us off our feet. I am so glad that in those times the Spirit makes intercession for us. We also see in verse 34 of this same chapter that Jesus also makes intercession for us. "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." We also read in Hebrews 7:25, "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them." That is comforting to know. I can pray and Jesus hears my prayers. But in those times when my tears flow so heavy and I can't find the words to pray, the Holy Spirit and my precious Lord pray for me.
26 Joint-Heirs With Christ
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together." Romans 8:14-17
One of the most amazing things about Christianity is that we can become sons of God through the saving grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even on our best days, we are so unworthy of God's love. He loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die in our place. We have all sinned. We are guilty. There is nothing we can do to merit God's amazing grace. When we understand our lost condition and accept God's free gift of salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, we become children of God. He is preparing a home in heaven for us to live throughout eternity. Let these words encourage you today. This life may not give you all the riches or fame that others enjoy, but we have so much to look forward to in eternity.
27 All Things Work Together...
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
This is such an encouraging verse I printed it on a small card and have it posted on the wall of my cubicle at work. I was really planning to use this verse earlier this week, and saw the preceding verses in the chapter that we looked at Tuesday and Wednesday. I would love to be able to encourage my Christian brothers and sisters as Paul encouraged the young churches. Many times we don't understand all the things that happen in our lives, but God's Word tells us plainly "...that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." When I get up each morning I don't know what I will face that day, but I do know that God is in control and it will be for His purpose. When I go to bed I may wonder about some things that happened that day, but I have the assurance that God will work everything together for good. I can look back in my life and see how some painful events worked together for good. We only see our small fragment of time and space, but God sees the universe for all eternity. I hope these words can give you strength and encouragement today. Amd if they do, you may want to print them and post them where you can read them daily. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
28 If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?
"What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" Romans 8:31-32
What an amazing statement, "If God be for us, who can be against us?" If there comes a time when your best friend deserts you, think of this verse. When you feel like the whole world has gone against you, try to remember this verse. If your trouble still seems overwhelming, look at the next verse. "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" God gave His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on a cruel cross to save us from eternity's hell. If He loved us that much, why would we ever doubt His love? God has shown His love to me over and over again. He gives me strength step by step. He protects me moment by moment. He provides my needs day by day. What a wonderful Savior we serve!
29 Who Shall Separate Us From The Love Of Christ?
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:35-39
Paul asks the question in verse 35, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?" Then he declares his answer. Well, I am also persuaded. There are enough people going about today that don't know what they believe or where they are headed in life. I don't know where God will lead me, but I know the God I serve, and nothing can separate me from His love. Death came and separated my Dad from me three years ago. But I know he is in heaven and I will see him again. But even death cannot separate us from God's love. Angels, principalities, nor powers can separate us from God's love. We are under powers here on earth that can have a certain control over our lives. We can lose our jobs, our health, and our possessions, but we would still have God's love. So what are we to do with this love that will not let us go? Paul said, "...we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." (Romans 8:37) God's love gives us power and strength to conquer those things that stand against us. When you lay down to sleep tonight, rest in the knowledge that God loves you, and that nothing can separate you from that love.
30 We Have Everlasting Life
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16
Peter asked, “What shall we have therefore?” (Matthew 19:27) In this very familiar verse, John 3:16, we learn that we can have everlasting life. Jesus died that we might live. He paid the price for our sin. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3:23) “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:23) When we Acknowledge our sin, Believe that He died to save us, and Confess with our mouth, we can be saved and receive everlasting life. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 5:24) Death is just a step up into heaven where we will live forever with our God and Savior.
31 We Have Forgiveness
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;” Ephesians 1:7
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.” (Jeremiah 18:2-4) In verse 6 the Lord said, “…Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand…” God’s message here was to the house of Israel. But we can apply this to our own lives. Our lives get marred. We fall into sin’s temptations. But I am so glad God doesn’t throw the clay away. He forgives us and molds us and makes us as He sees fit. Thank God for His mercy and grace. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
32 Delight Thyself In The Lord
"Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass." Psalm 37:4-5
"This is my favorite verse in the Bible. After I graduated from high school, I didn't know what to do. I couldn't find a job, and I was single. I lived at home, worked around the house, and wondered when or how things would change. This verse became very special to me. I knew I just had to delight myself in the Lord. In His time, He would give me the desires of my heart; in His time He would bring it to pass. This encouraged me to keep on trusting the Lord and wait for His timing. I can happily say He did give me my desires. About 5 months ago I started dating a wonderful young preacher, and a week later I was blessed with a full-time job at a vet's office. God gave me my desires, and I know He will continue to lead my life as long as I trust in Him." Susanna K
33 We Have Living Water
“Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water…But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:10 & 14
The Samaritan woman went to the well to draw water and left saying, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” (John 4:29) Everyone is searching for something. The woman could not see the living water and said to Jesus, “Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep…” (verse 11) Do you remember feeling that way when you were lost in your sin? Did you long for something, but have no way to draw it to you? Did you reach out for something, only to find that the well was too deep and you could not reach it? Many today reach out for alcohol, drugs, or relationships trying to find life for their soul. Each time they drink of those wells, they have to reach deeper and deeper. But Jesus has living water. Once you drink from His fountain, you no longer thirst for the things of the world. You want to say like the Samaritan woman, “Is not this the Christ?” Have you accepted the Lord’s invitation? “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
34 We Have The Word Of God
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105
God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet, guiding each step that we take. If we need guidance for today, we can pray and read God’s Word and trust in His leading. There are also times when we need God’s leading for our future; what direction we should take in our schooling, jobs, or marriage. Then it can be a light shining before us, illuminating our path ahead. All of Psalm 119 is devoted to the Word of God. Verse 11 says “Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” God’s Word not only gives us light, but it can also give us strength in times of temptation. If you have trouble with a particular temptation, find a verse for strength and learn it, meditate on it, and God can use His Word to help you in those times. Finally, after we learn the Word, we must be doers of the Word. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” (James 1:22) This not only applies to the things we should not do, but also to the positive aspects of His Word. “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings. Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (I Thessalonians 5:16-22) Those are just a few of the positive things we are told to do in God’s Word. God doesn’t try to “keep us in the dark” about His leading… He has so graciously given us His Word.
35 Be Not Weary In Well Doing
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." Galatians 6:9
Once again I have watched the faithful men and women of our church serve the Lord by serving others. We have seen young boys and girls cry out to God at an old fashioned altar of prayer. The preachers and singers at Youth Jubilee are the ones we notice. They shall reap the fruits of their labor, as we have seen in the young lives who have been saved. I am thankful for Preacher Jeff Woods and the other pastors who have come together to focus on the young people of our communities. But today, I want to encourage all those who aren't standing in front of the crowds. I am thankful for the men of our church who kept sodas, water, and tea in ice during these hot summer days. I am thankful for the women who worked in the kitchen cooking meals and serving the people with no thoughts of payment for their service. I am thankful for the young man who is faithful to push a vacuum cleaner across the floor and those who keep the trash emptied. I pray that God will bless the women who worked together to wash dishes and wipe the tables after the crowds moved to the worship services. God sees their faithfulness. I believe that God will reward their faithfulness just as He will the preacher who preached the message. We may grow weary in serving the Lord, but may I encourage you today to keep on keeping on. God has promised, "...for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not." You may feel like your service has gone unnoticed, but let me remind you that God sees your faithfulness. To those precious men and women at Pine Grove Baptist Church, God bless you for a job well done.