Encouragement

The Worm became a Splendid Butterfly

Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your hearts on things above! Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things! Colossians 3:1-2

Paul reminds us that those who believe on Christ--should live a risen life.

We live on the earth at present. We walk on earth's streets. We live in material houses, built of stones, bricks, or wood. We eat earth's fruits, gathering our food from earth's fields, orchards and gardens. We wear clothes woven of earthly fabrics. We adorn our homes with works of art that human hands make. We engage in the business of earth. We find our happiness in the things of this life.

Why Do We Have to Suffer?Premium Content

Jesus said "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Matthew 5:3

How can this be? How can I be blessed if I am suffering? What good does suffering do? . Philip Yancey says:

    "Blessed are the poor in spirit." Why? Because "theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:3)
    The poor, the hungry, the mourners, and those who suffer are blessed (Matt. 5:3-6) because their lack of self-sufficiency is obvious to them every day. They must turn somewhere for strength. People who are rich, successful, and beautiful may go through life relying on their natural gifts. But people who are needy, dependent, and dissatisfied with life are more likely to welcome God’s free gift of love.

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Flowers And New LifePremium Content

See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.
Isaiah 43:19

“Everything’s just so hard!”

My friend was sharing about a million things that seemed to be going wrong all at once. A couple of big issues and a bunch of smaller ones piled on her shoulders until she felt buried. She knew intellectually that it would eventually pass, that things weren’t as awful as they seemed, but knowing couldn’t halt the emotional, gut-churning fear and resentment.

Ever been there? (Yes, I see all those nodding heads.)

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When We Wrestle with OurselvesPremium Content

It's really hard to keep remembering that my fight isn't against those around me who oppose me, but rather is about whether or not I can stand in the will of God. Sometimes, I think, that the devil, he is me, that when I look into the mirror, my worst enemy is my own desires. I simply have a hard time waiting and waiting is what I need to do to allow God to work in the lives of those around me to do His will for me.

Ephesians 6:11-12 NKJV

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God Waits for Us to Draw Near to Him

When all the fighting and protesting is done, God waits for me to draw near to Him. I think that I make more trouble for myself than my own circumstances ever do. I try to control, to manipulate, to manage. And all that is so painful because I am working in a realm where I have no ability and certainly no talent. When I'm honest (which I'm finding isn't nearly as often as I'd like it to be), I can admit that I'm really not very good at decisions. Many of the ones I've made have been simply horrible with drastic results. But when I wait on God and allow Him to make the decisions, things work out so much better. He's really so much better at decisions than I am, and rightly so, because He sees the future and knows what's best for me.

Stand Firm when Emotionally and Physically Exhausted

Our pastor shared this scripture with us yesterday. It was God's timing (which is always amazing to me) because this year I have felt burdened excessively. It's been one of those years when there wasn't one burden, one tragedy, one suffering, but rather one after another after another after another until I've felt that I could barely breathe. I certainly have become rather gun shy, wondering what possibly could happen next and knowing that, in all likelihood, what will happen next will be painful, unpleasant at best.

2 Corinthians 1:8-10 NASB

No Matter How I Feel, Christ is My Righteousness

Galatians 6:12b
"...the cross of Christ alone can save." (NLT)

David Wilkerson, in the World Challenge Pulpit Series of April 26, 2010, writes:
"No matter how I feel, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many doubts may arise, Christ is my righteousness. No matter how many accusations I hear from the devil during the day, I stand on this: God sees me as righteous in Christ!"

God Backs Up His Promises to Us

Hebrews 7:22, 25
"Jesus has become a surety of a better covenant... Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."

When My Prayers Seemed Unanswered

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me! But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you--for My power is made perfect in your weakness!'" 2 Corinthians 12:8-9


Many prayers which seem to be unanswered--are really answered. The blessing comes--but in a form we do not recognize. Instead of the very thing we sought--something better is given!

The burden is not lifted away--but we are sustained beneath it.

Don’t Be AfraidPremium Content

The disciples were sitting in a boat. [Matthew 14:26-32] After a long night battling the wind, they saw a man walking toward them on the water. Tired and bleary-eyed, they imagined that a ghost approached from the mist. They cried out in fear.

walk-on-water

It was Jesus, and He said, “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

Don’t be afraid.

Really?

Wouldn’t you be afraid? Did Jesus seriously expect them to suddenly stop feeling fearful?

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