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God: Our BEST Encourager

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Where do you go when you need encouragement? As you saw in my last blog, God knows exactly how to comfort us and that we don’t even need to wait for it. So why wouldn’t we automatically turn to Him first to meet our needs?

Because we often just don’t know any better!

I remember a time early in my Christian walk when I was dealing with a difficult problem. My first thought was to run to my mentor, Claylene. But before I picked up the phone I heard God speak to my spirit saying, “No. Come to Me first.” So I did. It turned out that I didn’t have to call her.

I got all that I needed directly from God. It’s ok to seek help from others, but…

our Redeemer wants us to seek Him first.

Plus, sometimes there isn’t anyone else to whom we can turn, as we see in the following biblical example:

When David and his men came to Ziklag, they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive…. David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God. (1 Sam 30:3, 6 emphasis added)

David had no one to whom he could turn, except the Lord. And, of course, the Lord came through. He told David precisely what to do and David regained everything (see 1 Samuel 30:7-19).

Additionally, unlike people, God always knows how to encourage each of us specifically. What encourages me, may not encourage you. It depends on many factors including our personality, past, purpose, and maturity level.

There are many biblical examples and many from my own life as well.

For example, during the last summer of his life on earth, my husband had many complications and hospitalizations in his fight against cancer. Before that summer’s ordeal began, I was scheduled to teach a Bible Study. When complications arose, everyone would have understood if I had cancelled it. But I needed it! Teaching kept me in God’s Word and close to my sisters in Christ. It helped me to stay focused on Jesus and my God-given purpose. Teaching enabled me to not give in to utter hopelessness. If you had been in my shoes, that may not have encouraged you, but it certainly did me!

There have been countless other times and ways in which God specifically met my needs. In times of grief, depression, loneliness, inadequacy, doubt, fear, insignificance, and so on, my Lord has met each and every need in a way designed for me.

In any given moment God knows exactly how to reassure us with whatever is most necessary and best—whether it’s His love, security, guidance, or even a reprimand.

Even when we don’t go to God, He knows how to encourage our hearts. But we can speed up the process by going to Him and His Word.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. (Rom 15:4)

We can put ourselves in the position to be refreshed by just asking the Lord, like David did:

[In talking directly to God] Say to my soul, “I am your salvation.” (Ps 35:3)

I know now that God is the BEST Encourager. Now so do you.

From this point on I will choose to go to Him first. Will you?

So until next time my friends,

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thess 2:16-17, emphasis added)

 

Photo by Anastasia Vityukova on Unsplash

Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide

 

 

Learning to be Content Part 5: The Biggest Key in How

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Learning—that’s the operative word here. We’re not born content. I just love the way the Lord tells us not only what to do but how to do it! He gives us the knowledge in His Word and then empowers us to carry it out as we do our part.

In these next 3 blogs, I will discuss the practical side of being content. We’ve touched on many of the key truths already, but having an itemized list is always helpful. Here’s the most important key:

Seek God First/Obey The Greatest Commandment

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Mat 6:33)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. (Mk 12:30)

God has to be first! Otherwise, we are worshipping other gods—the god of money, self-actualization, accomplishment…. A contented life is available, but having it is conditional upon our obedience to God.

“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul—then I will send rain on your land in its season…. You will eat and be satisfied.” (Deut 11:13-15)

May I tell you, surrendering to God isn’t a killjoy! His commands are not burdensome (1Jn 5:3). When you know the real God—His true character—He is a delight to obey. Ten times in Psalm 119 alone, the author speaks of the joy in obeying God.

I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. (v 14)*

I’m not denying that sometimes it is difficult. However, if you focus on the goodness and love of God it will be easier to obey.

“It is easy to obey God when the heart is right,” says Barnes.

“The Christian, whose will is united with the will of God, will not find obedience to that will a task.” (Pulpit Commentary)

If we find God’s commands onerous it’s simply because we have not surrendered. Our wills are not in line with God’s will. There’s a war. The more we surrender our fleshly desires the more we will want, even love, to obey His commands, and…

The more we will see obedience to our wonderful God as the best way to live!

I have discovered that the more important God becomes to me, and the less important I become, the more content I am.  As John the Baptist said, “He must become greater; I must become less” (Jn 3:30).

As you pursue living in submission, of putting God first in all things, He will communicate to you that He is pleased. That feeling of knowing you have put a smile on your Redeemer’s face is worth it all!

Make the effort to obey. You won’t regret it—guaranteed!

~~~~~

I promise not to be as long-winded in describing the rest of “The How” principles, but we have to put first things first. If you work toward this one, the rest will fall into place. He promises!

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. (Mat 5:6)

*See also Ps 119:16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 92, 143, 174.

Photo by Kalen Emsley on Unsplash

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION® NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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