What lies ahead?

“What lies ahead?”
When it comes to human experiences, no one knows for sure.
Engagements can be broken and weddings cancelled.
Marriages that began with hope, love, and passion
can end before the first wedding anniversary or after the 30th.


Jobs that seemed to have so much possibility
could end in unexpected termination.
A patient could come through a complicated surgery successfully
and die during recovery because of an unrelated infection.
A day that began with a brilliant sunrise could end in a fierce storm.


A few words spoke thoughtlessly could inflict a deep wound
that takes months or even years to heal.
A conversation with a stranger
could lead to a life-long friendship.
One idea could become a multi-million business.
One blog post could provide encouragement to a discouraged soul.

What lies ahead?
When it comes to human experiences,
no human knows for sure.
But the omnipotent, omnipresent,
omniscient God and Father knows.
And has promised sufficient grace,
and added strength,
and comfort,
and above all,
His abiding presence,
and an eternal home.

This post was originally published on November 8, 2020, as “Ahead.” Rereading it was helpful to me and I am reposting it with the hope that it could be helpful to you … whether you are reading it again or for the first time. Blessings.

Encouragement from belonging

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Encouragement – something that gives hope, determination, or confidence; the act of giving hope or confidence to (Merriam-Webster).

Encouragement. I have heard it said that too much of anything can be bad for you but I do not believe that this saying applies to encouragement. There is so much in life that can attack our hope, weaken our determination, and decrease our confidence, encouragement is always needed. It is one “vitamin” on which we cannot overdose.

What encourages you? How do you encourage yourself? Chapter 30 of the book of 1 Samuel, documents a distressing time in David’s life when he was in danger of being stoned by his men who were bitter over the loss of their children in a raid. “But David encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (1 Samuel 30:6, AMP).  Many times in Scripture, God is referred to as “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (click here for examples). But not here. It is David’s personal relationship with God which is highlighted here. He “encouraged and strengthened himself in the Lord his God” (bold emphasis added). Indeed, there is encouragement and strengthening that come from a personal, intimate relationship with God. From knowing that we are His. There is encouragement in belonging to Christ.

3 [a]Blessed and worthy of praise be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ, just as [in His love] He chose us in Christ [actually selected us for Himself as His own] before the foundation of the world, so that we would be holy [that is, consecrated, set apart for Him, purpose-driven] and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted to Himself as [His own] children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will— to the praise of His glorious grace and favor, which He so freely bestowed on us in the Beloved [His Son, Jesus Christ]. In Him we have redemption [that is, our deliverance and salvation] through His blood, [which paid the penalty for our sin and resulted in] the forgiveness and complete pardon of our sin, in accordance with the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and understanding [with practical insight] He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ, 10 with regard to the fulfillment of the times [that is, the end of history, the climax of the ages]—to bring all things together in Christ, [both] things in the heavens and things on the earth. 11 In Him also we have [b]received an inheritance [a destiny—we were claimed by God as His own], having been predestined (chosen, appointed beforehand) according to the purpose of Him who works everything in agreement with the counsel and design of His will, 12 so that we who were the first to hope in Christ [who first put our confidence in Him as our Lord and Savior] would exist to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, when you heard the word of truth, the good news of your salvation, and [as a result] believed in Him, were stamped with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit [the One promised by Christ] as owned and protected [by God]. 14 The Spirit is the [c]guarantee [the first installment, the pledge, a foretaste] of our inheritance until the redemption of God’s own [purchased] possession [His believers], to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:3-14, AMP)

Whatever you are experiencing, whatever you face in this new month, you can, like David, encourage and strengthen yourself in the Lord your God.

#encouragement

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 “We wish you could see how all this is working out for your benefit, and how the more grace God gives, the more thanksgiving will redound to his glory. This is the reason why we never collapse. The outward man does indeed suffer wear and tear, but every day the inward man receives fresh strength. These little troubles (which are really so transitory) are winning for us a permanent, glorious and solid reward out of all proportion to our pain. For we are looking all the time not at the visible things but at the invisible. The visible things are transitory: it is the invisible things that are really permanent.” (2 Corinthians 4:15-18, PHILLIPS)

 

 

As we face a brand new year: A Prayer and Words of Encouragement

Father, as we face 2015, first we say thank You for Who You are. We take comfort in the fact that, Who You were before time began, is Who You are now and will be in 2015, and forever. You are our one constant, Father. Thank You.

Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for Your mercy. Thank You for Your love and Your promise to be with us always. Thank You for the Blood of Jesus that cleanses us from all sin and makes it possible for us to enter the new year forgiven.

Give us the strength to let go of all we have held onto in disobedience and fear in 2014, and take firm hold of all that You have for us. May each day find us transformed just a bit more into Your Image and trusting You more. In Jesus Name.

Joshua 1:9 by BeeSadie

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Five Minute Friday: Encouragement

Encouragement.

We all need it but sometimes find it easier to give to others than to ourselves.

But we have a wonderful example in David.

He could not have been in more dire circumstances.

His men were threatening to kill him because of their deep grief over the loss of their wives and children.

It did not matter that David was also in the same situation, experiencing the same loss.

Is it not true that our grief, our sorrow, our heartbreak can blind us to the needs of others?

David, the psalmist, the one anointed by God to be king, but not valued by his family.

This man who would later fail God in a big way but also repent without reservation.

In this most dire of circumstances, encouraged himself in the Lord.

I wonder if he had already written the 23rd Psalm or was this the circumstances out of which the psalm was birth?

I do not know.

What I do know is that he encouraged himself in his God.

I pray that we will all do the same.

And receive the encouragement He gives through others.

Five Minute Friday