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:
Psalm 27:14 (ESV)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Yesterday, one of my Bible study readings was in Acts — Acts 20-23 to be exact.
This part from Acts 23 rankled me so badly:
“And looking intently at the council, Paul said, ‘Brothers, I have lived my life before God in all good conscience up to this day.’ 2 And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 3 Then Paul said to him, ‘God is going to strike you, you whitewashed wall! Are you sitting to judge me according to the law, and yet contrary to the law you order me to be struck?’ 4 Those who stood by said, ‘Would you revile God’s high priest?’ 5 And Paul said, ‘I did not know, brothers, that he was the high priest, for it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of a ruler of your people.’”
Let’s break down these five verses.
- Paul is addressing a group of humans who HATE him. They hate him so badly they want to destroy him.
- The High Priest COMMANDED the people standing near to Paul to beat him up. This is contrary to God’s Law. The one man on earth who should have known God’s Law intimately chose not to follow God but rather chose to follow his EMOTIONS.
- Paul retaliates by sharing FACTS — the Pharisees and High Priest were attempting to judge Paul according to God’s rules, but they were not actually following God’s rules.
- The men standing next to Paul, in anger, respond with haughtiness — “how dare you speak against the High Priest?!” This is the piece that drives me the most nuts. I didn’t know that the Jewish High Priest was more important than God Himself.
- Paul didn’t realize he was talking to the High Priest — probably because the man was acting contrary to how the High Priest should have behaved — and states God’s Law. If he had known he was speaking to the High Priest he would have used a different tactic for sure.
It’s so depressing to me that leadership has always been corrupt. Yes, one or two or three leaders have been, or are today, filled with great intent and well-meaning, but overall leaders have been predominantly selfish, narcissistic, prideful, and evil. There truly is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9).
What drives me the most insane is how people flock in droves to follow these evil leaders. People clamor to them as if they were God. I truly do not understand the deception. I know the Bible tells me that in the Last Days people will be deceived, but to actually see it happening is mind-blowing. People with intelligence and advanced degrees turn mean and ugly as soon as Truth and Facts are presented. You can almost see the demonic in them as they spew their hate and violence.
And what is happening today is exactly what Paul was dealing with in his time too. The High Priest acted selfishly out of anger, Paul pointed out the error according to God’s rules, and the men around him say (essentially), “Don’t you know who that man is?!” As if being High Priest meant one was higher than God! Paul must have been as exhausted by the evil and stupid as I am today.
BUT, GOD IS SO GOOD!!!
I have been so frustrated lately that my prayers have been full of tears and screams. I’ve been begging God to show me people the way He sees them so I can be a woman who loves, not loathes and hates. Over a week ago, the daily verse I received in my inbox was Psalm 27:14 — Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Since that day, this concept — to be patient and strengthen yourself — has been everywhere. I’m at the point where it is very clear that God is talking to me, and in that, I feel so at peace.
Waiting is SO hard, especially when the world is falling apart. But God! God’s promise is not false. Jesus says He will come back. This means Jesus will come back. No matter how frustrating things may be today, I have to wait on Jesus. He is coming back for me. But if I am so stuck in my frustrations with today’s leaders and their sycophantic followers, I may miss the Lord. So, today, with God’s help, I am changing my focus and waiting on Jesus. I will take courage and I will be strong, and I will continue to wait on Jesus because He is coming back! AMEN!!!
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
Andi @ Radiant Light
Leslie @ Edits & Reviews by Leslie