Welcome to His Encouragement Thursday! I don’t know about you, but Thursdays are my struggle day of the week. By Thursday, I have already been working hard at school and at home, and I just wish it would hurry up and be Friday already. LOL! I definitely need a little extra Jesus time on Thursdays.
Trisha, my blogger friend at Joy of Reading, and I decided on calling this post “His Encouragement” because our real source of peace, strength, and security can only come from Jesus Christ. He and He alone is our constant! We pray and hope that these Thursday posts become a real encouragement to you and help you end your week strong in God’s love and purpose for you. God bless!
Today’s Thursday Encouragement comes from:
Ezekiel 9:4 (ESV)
And the Lord said to him, “Pass through the city, through Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations that are committed in it.
This has been an awful week. Remember the book, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day? Yeah, well my book would be called Nicole and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good at All, Rotten, Bad Week!
I’m not going to get into why this was an awful week, but I will tell you that by Tuesday I had lost hope. Absolutely no dramatics in that … I lost my hope. And, I was angry. Hard, ugly, screaming angry. An angry that I’ve never felt before. An angry that threw my Bible across the room! I’ve never felt more abandoned and betrayed in all my life.
The anger was still there even yesterday morning as I read 2 Thessalonians 3:3. In fact, the words in the verse hurt me so badly I almost gave up completely. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 states, “But the Lord is faithful. He will establish and guard you against the evil one.” WHAT?! Guard me?!! All week I’ve felt like the little daughter desperately seeking her Father’s help only to be left alone, vulnerable, and scared. I’ve had my heart ripped out of me, stomped on, and left alone to pick up the pieces. And the people responsible for the damage continue their lives like nothing has happened. I’ve not felt guarded against the schemes of the devil this week. Instead, I felt like I was tossed into the epicenter of stupid, ugly, and hurtful, and I felt a loneliness I’ve never experienced in all my 38 years.
2 Thessalonians 3:3 scared me. If God is faithful, why did I feel unprotected? If He promises to guard me against the evil one, why did I feel so exposed? Not going to lie, fear reared its ugly head. On loop in my brain, all I could hear was, “You are a fraud. Your faith is weak and stupid. God allowed the bad this week because you deserve it. You call yourself the Christian Fiction Girl, but you’re as floundering as any unbeliever. God doesn’t love you!” When I say I got to a point where I lost hope, I mean I really lost hope.
In my attempt to get back on God’s track, I persistently kept reading my Bible and praying. I would NOT give up and I would NOT give in to the awful feelings I was experiencing. In this, God took me to Ezekiel 9. I am not very smart when it comes to the book of Ezekiel. Best I can surmise, Ezekiel 9 is about God sending a team of destroyers through Jerusalem. One person on this team was commanded by God to mark His righteous people. The mark was a sign to the supernatural destroyer team to stay away from God’s true followers. Those without the mark were to be decimated because of the evil they allowed to wreak havoc in God’s beloved city.
I know this sounds so odd, but I cannot describe the relief I felt upon reading Ezekiel 9, especially verse 4. First of all, Ezekiel 9 proves God sees everything happening — the good and the bad. Nothing can take God by surprise because He sees it all. God knows exactly what happened to me this week. I wasn’t alone when I was going through this bad time! Secondly, Ezekiel 9:4 proves that God GUARDS His kids. God is faithful in protecting those who have a righteous heart for Him. This understanding stopped the ugly words flowing through my brain and helped me understand what was truly going on this week. The devil is a jerk who was trying to drag me away from God. But God is faithful. He guarded me and kept me on His right track even though I was weak and angry. He brought me to today where I feel loved, heard, and protected. God is truly so, so good!
If you are struggling today with anger, sadness, depression, loneliness, etc., know that God sees you. You are not forgotten and you are not alone. God has marked you as His and He is faithful to protect His kids. Just go to Him in prayer. He is there for you!!!
NOW, IT’S YOUR TURN!
WHAT BIBLICAL VERSE IS ENCOURAGING YOU TODAY?
Check out more Thursday Encouragement from my fellow blogger friends:
Trisha @ Joy of Reading
Jacquelyn @ A Heavenly Home
Jessica @ A Baker’s Perspective
Becca @ The Becca Files
Gina @ Stories by Gina
Rebecca @ Rev. Rebecca Writes