Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Survey of Encouragement:

From the sermon  that I was able to do 2 weeks ago, I've had several people email me asking for the list of verses that I used.  I thought this would be a good place to include those and invite you to take a look.

The following are verses of encouragement, straight from the Word to lift us up - don't just read them, truly listen to the words!

Joshua 1:9:  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 34:18:  The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 
   and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 91:1 (911!):  Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High 
   will rest in the shadow of the Almighty

Proverbs 3:5-6:  Trust in the LORD with all your heart 
   and lean not on your own understanding; 
6 in all your ways submit to him, 
   and he will make your paths straight.

Isaiah 40:31:  but those who hope in the LORD 
   will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; 
   they will run and not grow weary, 
   they will walk and not be faint.

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

Jeremiah 29:11:  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Matthew 6:34:  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

John 16:33:  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Philippians 4:6:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Now listen to and focus on the commands God gives us regarding our role in All times (I would dare say especially the bad or trying times!)

Matthew 5:16:  In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

 - Let your light shine when things are going great and everyone would be happy anyway?  No!  We are called to let our Light shine, the light of hope within us, at all times, especially the bad, so that others will see us as having something they need - we are called to let our light shine when others wouldn't. -

John 14:13:  And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son

- let us be mindful of Why we are asking for what we desire.  Why is it we want this changed, or that removed, or this other thing added?  Let it be so that the outcome, the change, the process, the story may glorify God to others

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:  Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Rejoice when?  
Pray only when things are great or only when we need something?  
Give thanks when we really Want to?  
And, most importantly, why?  
Because it is God's will for us in Christ Jesus - in the reality that our life wasn't worth anything and yet God still sent His Son Christ, who then willingly died for us and our sins.  What a thing to know!  In knowing that, God deeply desires our happiness, our true happiness.  If we know that; if we know that Christ died blameless on the cross to cover our debts, how can we live with that knowledge of what has been done and the knowledge of what that means for our future (remember - we know how this all ends!), how can we Not rejoice always, continually commune with God, and give thanks no matter what trivial (in comparison - look at the big picture He's showing us in this verse: "through Christ Jesus") circumstances are temporarily present!?

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