Encouragement

strength

Last night I went home feeling really encouraged. Our Life Group met for a discussion and hamburgers afterward. We had eight people present and several children as well. During our discussion, I was encouraged by the openness and frankness of our discussion. That morning I concluded a series of four messages on Habakkuk. I probably needed to hear the message of the prophet as much or more than anyone else who was listening. During this Life Group discussion it struck me again how badly we believers need to be reminded that no matter what the Lord is with us. We get our strength for living in tough, challenging and even encouraging times from him.

I was thinking this morning about the times that I have most needed to be reminded that “the sovereign Lord is my strength.” (Habakkuk 3:19)

Times when I feel deeply disappointed. Sometimes the disappointments have been about some very noble causes and concerns. At other times they were wrapped up in my ego. (Somewhere in this mix are probably desires to feel appreciated, valued, or even important.) I need to hear again that it’s not about me but about him who is my strength.

Times when I feel frustrated. Frustrated at the apathy of some Christians. Frustrated at believers who have lost any sense of a vision for the kingdom of God and instead have just “settled.” Frustrated that we let anxiety and nervousness take priority over any confidence that God will lead and supply what is needed to do his business. I need to hear God is greater than our (my) faith might suggest. I don’t want to get to the end of this life and hear him say, “Why didn’t you take advantage of the power, the spiritual energy, and the resources that were available to you all along? All you had to do was ask.”

Times when I feel so encouraged! I feel encouraged about so many things. People who I see who are growing in the Lord. The difference that the body of Christ is making in our community. Marriages that are becoming centered on Christ instead of centered on individual satisfaction. Yet, I need to remember that it is the Lord who is at the root of these encouraging moments.

I want to begin this week conscious that my strength is in God. I don’t mean that in a general, vague, foundational sense. I mean that in a literal, specific, moment-by-moment sense. Each moment of this Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday, he is my dependency for dealing with life.

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