For a politician to be attractive to a voter, at least according to his or her consultants, you must first sell despair before you can secure disciples. We must be told of how desperate our situation is and then be convinced that deliverance is only possible in the man or woman seeking your vote. Of course they give the empty platitudes of â€œtogether we can do thisâ€ and â€œlift ourselves up by our bootstraps,â€ but do they ever really come through as promised? Of course not!
The deliverance they are offering is found only in Christ.
It is easy to be discouraged by looking at our present circumstances, or our future for that matter. But if you are a born-again, blood-bought Christian, you are only a sojourner in this land. This is not our home and our hope does not reside in man. Our hope is in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is in Him that we find strength for tomorrow:
â€œOh, love the Lord, all you His saints! For the Lord preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord.â€ (Psalm 31-23-24)
One thing I do love about Christian radio is that most stations give â€œan encouraging wordâ€ for the day, quoting Scripture to bring some light to the darkness. I was having a conversation with a colleague yesterday and he was asking me if I knew of any radio stations that just gave the news without a political slant. I told him no such station existed. All news stations these days have some measure of agenda. I told him I either listen to sermon podcasts or Christian music on the way to work to keep me from becoming discouraged at best and disgruntled at worst.
Encouragement is a strong tool and being an encourager makes you one who refreshes souls. King Solomon rightly states:
â€œAnxiety in the heart of man causes depression, but a good word makes it glad.â€ (Proverbs 12:25)
Life can be hard at times and the disappointments great. When we rely on people for our hope and happiness, we are setting up ourselves for failure. Iâ€™m not saying we should avoid human relationships, but those relationships are only complete when we first get our relationship to and with Christ in order.
And we must not despair when trials come if we are trusting in the Lord. Amy Wilson Carmichael was a great Irish missionary to the country of India. Her mission brought great hope to many young Indian women, especially those forced into prostitution for religious reasons. Miss Carmichael no doubt felt disappointment and faced setbacks, but she knew all were temporary and that the Lord was always in control. She wrote:
â€œBut God is the God of the waves and the billows, and they are still His when they come over us; and again and again we have proved that the overwhelming thing does not overwhelm. Once more by His interposition deliverance came. We were cast down, but not destroyed.â€
Life can indeed makes us feel cast down. However, if you are in Christ, you can be assured that the waves that seem to overwhelm you will not drown you. I want you to remember Psalm 43, perhaps even memorize it and recite as a prayer. My Bibleâ€™s subtitle to it describes it as a â€œPrayer to God in Time of Trouble.â€ it reads:
â€œVindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! For You are the God of my strength; why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.â€ (Psalm 43)
We are not forsaken by God; we forsake God. But when we repent of our sins and confess them to God, Scripture tells us that â€œHe is faithful and just to forgive us our sins,â€ but not only forgive, but to also â€œcleanse us from all unrighteousnessâ€ (1 John 1:9).
Beloved, what are you facing today? Financial trouble? Career issues? Relationship problems? Whatever it is, take it to the Lord. Heâ€™s waiting for you right now. First, you need to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to know that the overwhelming thing you are facing will not overwhelm you. Your greatest challenge is not what you think it is; your greatest challenge is paying your sin debt. It is the greatest challenge you face because it is an impossible task.
But good news! Jesus has already paid the price! All you must do is believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins and that God raised Him from the dead, and confess this belief in Christ, and on the authority of Godâ€™s Word you will be saved.
Knowing that your future is secure no matter the outcome of this life is the greatest encouragement you can receive in this life. I pray you make that decision today.
Dear Christian, be an encourager to someone today! I pray you all have a blessed and restful weekend and please remember to go to church on Sunday.
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Copyright Â© 2012 David Jeffers