His Encouragement #112

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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 46:10 (God’s Word Translation)

Let go [of your concerns]! Then you will know that I am God. I rule the nations. I rule the earth.

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I am overwhelmed.

I am overwhelmed with work. I have way more work than I do hours in the day. And, honestly, I don’t see an end to my workload anytime soon.

I am overwhelmed with my book reviews. It’s an absolute blessing, but I’ve got so many books coming from publishers and authors that I feel like I’m drowning. I have many novels I want to get to, but I feel I have to read the books being sent to me by publishers and authors first. Then I feel guilty for not being able to get to the books I want.

I am overwhelmed with life. One year ago today, my step-dad was killed in a car accident. Seven months ago my daughter was diagnosed with petit mal seizures and the medicine seems to be only somewhat working and I don’t know what to do to help my kid. I’m sad. I miss my dad so much. I’m sad. I don’t want my daughter to have these awful seizures. I don’t want kids telling her she is weird because she seizes in the middle of pretty much everything. I’m sad. And the sadness doesn’t go away. It sticks on me like a cloak no matter how much I pray and give it over to God.

I’m overwhelmed with my house. I can’t keep up with the cleaning. I try to utilize my weekends as best I can, but I can only do so much in two days. And, the chores never end. There is never a point where I can say, “I did it! I did all my chores!” (If you can say this, please tell me your secret! LOL!)

†     †     †

I wanted to share a verse today that would encourage those of us who are currently feeling overwhelmed. I chose this translation of Psalm 46:10 because I love the way God’s voice is being illustrated.

God’s encouragement is this: “Hey guys! Stop stressing. I am God. I rule over everything — the nations, the earth. Because I rule over everything, I definitely can handle all that overwhelms you. If you’ve got concerns, give them to me. I rule over everything.”

Today, dear reader, if you are feeling overwhelmed, know that you are not alone. But also know that God is there for you. He is bigger than any concern you may have, and He is willing to take that burden from you. Go to Him, friend, and give Him your cares. God loves 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

Andi @ Radiant Light

Leslie @ Words of Hope

His Encouragement #111

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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:

Nehemiah 4:10 (ESV)

In Judah it was said, “The strength of those who bear the burdens is failing. There is too much rubble. By ourselves we will not be able to rebuild the wall.

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There is too much rubble.

I’ve been there. Life gets super overwhelming and I want to give up. My “give-up” feelings come when I get stuck looking at the big picture instead of seeing life’s tasks in do-able chunks. This is where the Judeans mentally are in this verse from Nehemiah. Instead of working one stone at a time, they are looking at the big picture — rebuilding all of God’s temple. The task has become a BIG burden, and now they want to give up. Life has become too much rubble.

When life gets to the point where it’s too much, I take encouragement from Job. In all of the Bible, except for Jesus, no one suffers quite like Job. But through his suffering, he draws closer to God. In Job 1:20 we are told, “Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshipped.” The extent of Job’s grief is ginormous. He is the definition of overwhelmed. But instead of giving up, he falls to the ground and worships God.

When life feels like there is too much rubble as it did to the Judeans in Nehemiah’s day, we need to go to God. We need to bear all to Him. When we do, He frees us of the burden and allows life to feel less chaotic.

Today, dear reader, if you are struggling and stuck in the big picture of your life, go to God. He’s waiting and ready to hear from 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

Andi @ Radiant Light

Leslie @ Edits & Reviews by Leslie

His Encouragement #110

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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 32 (ESV)

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Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven,
whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man against whom the Lord counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long. 4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah

5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah

6 Therefore let everyone who is godly offer prayer to you at a time when you may be found; surely in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him. 7 You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance. Selah

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.9 Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you. 10 Many are the sorrows of the wicked, but steadfast love surrounds the one who trusts in the Lord. 11 Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!


Psalm 32 is one of the most beautiful Psalms in all the Psaltry. In most translations, Psalm 32 is titled, “Blessed are the Forgiven.” We are also told that this Psalm is a “Maskil of David.” Side note, the word maskil is derived from a Hebrew word that means enlightened or wise. I think this is an important idea since the entire Psalm is about sin, asking forgiveness, and being cleansed. The reader of this Psalm would be “wise” to pay close attention to the words in this very important poem!

I did some study and commentators say the best way to analyze this Psalm is to chunk it. You will notice that I have color-coded the Psalm into chunked parts. You may also notice that the chunks fall around the word selah. According to commentators, this is not accidental. They believe selah is a musical notation calling for a pause so that the hearers of the Psalm can contemplate the information discussed in the chunk of text. I like that idea, so today, I want to discuss each segment and I ask that you, dear reader, take a pause to consider the concepts discussed in each chunk. They are filled with super important info from God. Of all the Psalms, I feel that Psalm 32 is a very real love letter to God’s children.

Chunk 1

Transgression, sin, iniquity, and deceit.

These are bad things. Transgression is when we break a rule or law that God has set up for us. Sin is when we miss the mark. Iniquity is gross injustice or wickedness. And, deceit is purposely concealing the truth, purposely misleading someone, or cheating.

Verse 3 is interesting in that when we keep silent about our sins, when we run away from God and others out of shame and guilt because of our sins, our body takes matters into its own hands. Our bones waste away and our soul groans. When we have unconfessed sin our bodies feel wrong. We sigh, our tummies hurt, our chests throb, maybe even our heads ache. We get depressed and maybe a little testy. Our attitudes stink. And, we can’t help but feel heavy, like something is pressing in on us. As David expresses in verse 4, we feel heavy because YAHWEH is pressing on us. It’s His way of calling us to Him so we can have a conversation.

Chunk 2

Take responsibility. Go to God and confess. Hide NOTHING.

God already knows.

Once you go to God, He will forgive you!

Chunk 3

When we finally go to God, we realize the truth that has been staring at us all along — God is our hiding place. He keeps us from trouble. He delivers us FROM OUR SINS. We just have to be in right relationship. We have to offer prayer. And, we have to do it God’s way, not our way. If we do it our way, we may not find God.

Chunk 4

This last chunk is my favorite. It’s written as if God is talking directly to us. He tells us that He is our Teacher. He will train us up the way we need to go. He also tells us that He has His eye upon us. I love that! I love that God sees us.

Then, God gives us a warning: don’t be like mules and horses. This is pretty clear symbolism. Mules are incredibly stubborn and horses have to be broken in order to get them to submit to the will of the owner. What God is saying here is that we need to be wise. Take God at His word. Come to Him when we mess us and ask for forgiveness. Don’t be stubborn. Don’t be the person who has to learn the hard way with stress and guilt and shame eating at your bones. Those who choose to go the hard way will have many sorrows, but those who choose to follow God’s teachings will be surrounded by His steadfast love. Being surrounded by God’s steadfast love is cause for joyous celebration.

To sum up, we all sin. We all make mistakes. “None is righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10 ESV). Don’t make yourself sick hiding your sins thinking no one will ever find out. No one can survive that two-faced kind of life. Instead, be wise and go to GOD! He’s waiting for you so He can instruct you, protect you, and surround you with His incomparable, steadfast love.

God is always the answer. AMEN and 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

His Encouragement #109

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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:

Genesis 6:22 (ESV)

Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.

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In Genesis 6:9-21 God explains to Noah that a flood is coming. He commands Noah to construct an ark to exact specifications. Gopher wood and pitch are the materials Noah is to use. He must include various rooms throughout the ark. God instructs Noah how to fill these rooms — the kinds of animals to bring, the kinds of creatures to bring, and the kinds of foods to bring. Genesis 6 ends with, “Noah did this; he did all that God commanded him.”

When I read this chapter I’m always a little overwhelmed. I’m lost in the enormity of it all. The boat is ginormous — I don’t even know what a cubit is, but I know it’s big. And then there are all the various animals, birds, and other creatures plus all the foods to keep them alive. There’s the daily upkeep of all these creatures. How did Noah and his family get any sleep?! In addition to this, Noah had to take care of his family. And, then there’s the fact that the entire world was going to die! BUT, Noah did all that God commanded him.

Verse 22 of Genesis 6 struck me on two counts.

Count #1: Noah DID all that God listed in Genesis 6:9-21 because Noah is obedient.

Count #2: Noah just did. There’s no complaining. There’s no whining. He just DID.

Count #2 is what struck me the most. It has humbled me. I am a whiner. I am a complainer. My greatest fault is that I see the problem, NOT the BIG God standing right next to me. Noah just saw God. How much better would my life be if I was more like Noah and less like myself?

When big problems come my way this year, I want to focus on God more than on the enormity of the problem. Because, in all honesty, the God I believe in and love with my whole heart is BIGGER than anything I will face. I want to be like Noah. When God commands me, I am going to DO.


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

His Encouragement #108

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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 8:3-4 (ESV)

When I look at your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?

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Merry day-after Christmas!

Today, I want to discuss how amazing God is.

In Psalm 8:3-4, David expresses a unique dichotomy — God, the Creator of the UNIVERSE and man. As the Creator of the universe, God used His fingers to make the moon and the stars. He meticulously set each star in its proper place.

And, it goes beyond the moon and the stars. God set the oceans in their exact spots, and the waves obey His command. He created the massive redwood trees and planted each one exactly where He wanted. The mountains of grandeur all over the world — the Rockies, the Sierra Nevadas, the Alps, the Andes, etc. — were all precisely created and “planted” exactly to God’s specification.

And, then there is us.

Of all the amazing things in our world created by God, the most spectacular aspect is that God wants a personal relationship with us. God is mindful of us. This means He is conscious of us. He knows us and He knows our worries, problems, and fears. God knows when our days have been good and when they have been bad. He knows our likes and dislikes. And, He cares for us. When we hurt, God hurts. When we are filled with joy, so is God. Isn’t that truly outstanding?!

Today, dear reader, rest in the knowledge that God, the creator of the stars, sees you, cares about you, and wants a relationship with 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

Andi @ Radiant Light

Leslie @ Edits & Reviews by Leslie

His Encouragement #107

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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 68:6 (ESV)

God settles the solitary in a home; He leads out the prisoners to prosperity, but the rebellious dwell in a parched land.

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God settles the solitary in a home

Have you ever felt lonely? I mean authentic loneliness? The kind where even when surrounded by people you still feel alone? I have, and it is one of the worst feelings in the world. But in Psalm 68:6, God promises to give a family (or friend) to those who are lonely. And, in Jesus Christ, we are NEVER alone. AMEN!!!
He leads out the prisoners to prosperity

Note that this says “prisoners” not “criminals.” God is not about awarding criminal behavior. David wrote this Psalm praising God and His ability to deal with our enemies. In this snippet of verse, God promises that He will free those in bondage to some sort of slavery. God sees our situations. They pierce His heart. And one day, the slave will be free. And not just free, but they will prosper by God’s hand. AMEN!!!
But the rebellious dwell in a parched land…

I have a strong sense of justice. Injustice, unfairness, illegal activity, pride, and all other evils drive me insane, especially when it looks like they go unpunished. My favorite type of story is the one where the bad guy loses and the good guy wins. When I read the Psalms penned by David, I get a strong sense that he felt exactly the same. Evilness and mean people wore him down!

If one reads between the lines, God’s promise is that the mean-hearted, evil-loving villains of this world are not pulling a fast one over God. He sees ALL things. One day, these “rebels” will dwell, reside, inhabit, remain in a “parched land.” For someone like me who can’t stand the smirk of an evil villain, this promise means everything. Not because I love the idea that bad people will hurt. I hate that people will hurt. It damages my heart. But I love that this implies that God sees. No one gets away with anything. If you’ve suffered harm because of someone else, God saw it. He will deal with it in His time. 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

His Encouragement #106

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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!

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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.’ And the high priest Ananias commanded those who stood by him to strike him on the mouth. 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?’ Those who stood by said, ‘Would you revile God’s high priest?’ 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.

  1. Paul is addressing a group of humans who HATE him. They hate him so badly they want to destroy him.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5.  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