Tag Archives: Encouragement for Today

When Trees Clap Their Hands

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You will indeed go out with joy
and be peacefully guided;
the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you,
and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.

Isaiah 55:12

The scorching Georgia heat radiated off the black tar of the parking lot where I stood waiting to meet my son. He was running late, and I was quickly running out of patience. To make the most of the delay, I pulled out my cell phone to check emails. But as soon as I read the first sentence, the sickening sight of a blank screen and dying battery appeared, and my frustration level escalated.

I felt a slight, welcomed breeze blow through my hair as I looked for a shady place to sit, and I glanced toward the sky to see if a summer storm might be brewing. That’s when I noticed the lone tree topped with limbs forming a perfectly shaped cross. The beautiful scene stopped me in my tracks as I felt God nudging me with a reminder that my day had been so jammed with appointments and to-do lists, I had not taken time out for HIM.  He too had been waiting for His child to meet Him…and she was too busy.

“Holy goosebumps” tingled from head to toe as I felt God bending down reminding me to align my priorities appropriately. He paused my schedule right there in the blazing hot parking lot to send me a sign of His love. The tree He destined as my messenger also served as my shade from the scorching sun. I remembered the verse from Isaiah,

“You will indeed go out with joy and be peacefully guided; the mountains and the hills will break into singing before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Joy and peace were blatantly absent from the hours leading up tho this moment, but my frustration melted into joy while I treasured this heaven-sent gift. I did not schedule this divine appointment, but I am so thankful that He interrupted my chaotic life with a holy meeting.

I pray that God will open your eyes and ears to the sights and sounds of mountains singing and trees clapping their praise to Him…or growing their limbs in the shape of a cross! Make your time with Him a priority, and He will fill you with joy and guide you peacefully through your day.

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Seeing with Eyes of Faith

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Faith is like a radar
“The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 (VOICE)
 

If you have ever driven through a dense fog, you know how difficult it is to navigate safely through the dangerous conditions, especially if you are unfamiliar with the road. Your visibility is limited, and you can’t see what hazards lie ahead.

Sometimes your journey through life can also feel like you are passing through a thick cloud bank of uncertainty.  You can’t see what lies ahead, and you feel scared and unsure of which direction you should head.  But the Author of Life sees your future clearly. After all, He wrote your story, and He knows the beginning, the middle and the end.  If you place your faith in Him and allow His divine guidance to be your radar, you can be certain that He will chart the BEST path for your life. Trust Him for all the things your human eyes cannot see.

 

Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left. Isaiah 30:21 (VOICE)

 Teach me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; Guide me in your truth and teach me, for your are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)
 
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

Hallelujah, He Has Risen!

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‘He is not here; he has risen!
Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 
‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners,
be crucified and on the third day be raised again.”  
Then they remembered his words.’
Luke 24: 6 – 8 (NIV)
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  
1 Corinthians 15: 55 – 57 (NIV)
 

One perfect man was the supreme sacrifice for all.  The unblemished Lamb of God shed His blood on the cross to pay for all our mistakes and wrong-doings.

His glorious resurrection fulfilled the prophesy of the Scriptures, verified the exact words that he told His disciples, and provided the ultimate proof that He is truly The Son of God, the Messiah.  Because He lives, death has been conquered, the grave has no power over His children, and and all who believe in Jesus will live with Him for all of eternity.

‘The Lord says,
“It was my will that he should suffer;
    his death was a sacrifice to bring forgiveness.
And so he will see his descendants;
    he will live a long life,
    and through him my purpose will succeed.”‘
Isaiah 53:10 (MSG)

Thanks be to God!

 

God’s Love in the Midst of Our Mistakes

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“Whoever digs a hole and scoops it out
falls into the pit they have made.
The trouble they cause recoils on them;
their violence comes down on their own heads.”

Psalm 7:15 – 16

Let’s face it. We all make mistakes at some point in our lives.  And sometimes the deep pit in which we find ourselves is a result of our own doing.  Improper judgment in relationships, mismanagement of finances, misuse of time, poor decisions about those with whom we associate, exploitation of power, substance abuse, gambling, adultery, lying, cheating, inappropriate media, etc.… can all lead to destruction in our lives. 

Scoop by scoop, the hole gets deeper and deeper.  Then when we wake up at the bottom of the slimy pit, which we dug with our own hands, we look up and try to blame God or others around us for our problems.  We wonder why God would “allow” this pain and suffering we are experiencing.  But the harsh reality is that our own decisions and actions caused the trouble in our lives.  Our greatest difficulties are often a result of consequences we bring on ourselves.

If you find yourself at rock bottom due to ramifications of your own mistakes, there is a brilliant ray of hope shining brightly into the dismal abyss. Regardless of what you might have done to land in the depths of this destruction, God stands ready with arms wide open to grace you with His blessed redemption.  His unfailing love and compassion for you is so great that you can never fall so far that you are out of His reach.  He holds the deepest valleys in His mighty hands, and wherever you find yourself, He is there. Yes, He will sometimes allow you to suffer the consequences of your bad decisions, but He’s always ready to redeem your life once you call to Him for help.

There is no pit deep enough to outmatch God’s unfathomable love for you.

Lift up your arms to the Lord because He’s already waiting to pick you up.   His eyes are full of grace, mercy, and compassion…not condemnation.  Call to Him for help, and He will hear your cry.  “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  Romans 8:38 -39

“I called on your name, Lord, from the depths of the pit.
You heard my plea: “Do not close your ears to my cry for relief.”
You came near when I called you, and you said, “Do not fear.”

You, Lord, took up my case; You redeemed my life.”

Lamentations 3:55 – 58

Related Verses:

“For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone.”  Lamentations 3: 31 – 33

“In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.”  Isaiah 38:17b

“Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Psalm 139:7 – 8

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.” Psalm 71:20 – 21

“And they will go to others and say, ‘I have sinned, I have perverted what is right, but I did not get what I deserved. God has delivered me from going down to the pit, and I shall live to enjoy the light of life.’ “ Job 33:27 – 28

“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2

God Leads The Way

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“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;

He will never leave you nor forsake you.

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)

With God as your life’s Heavenly Navigator, you never have to worry or be fearful when forging ahead into uncharted territory.  You can confidently trust that the Lord is going before you, guiding you in the path that is best for you.  He promises to be with you each step of the way…even in the deepest, darkest valleys and through the most treacherous terrain. When the going gets tough, He will never abandon you or forget about you.

Perhaps you are struggling with decisions about your career, finances, relationships, child-rearing, education, or even treatment options for a health crisis.  You would never travel to a new place without consulting a map or GPS system. Why do you think that you could blindly traverse though life’s journey without consulting God’s divine wisdom?  He is your holy Field Guide for your earthly trek. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or afraid, focus on the fact that God is already ahead of you, leading the way.  He knows the plans He has in store for you ~ seek His excellent guidance and ask Him for wisdom.   With Him by your side, you can have confidence that the choices you make are best

He’s already in your future…follow His lead.

“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.”
Jeremiah 29:11
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Genesis 28:15
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”
Deuteronomy 4:31

Do Not Fear…God Is Here

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“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;”
I will help you.

Isaiah 41:11;13

My Precious Child,

No matter what you are facing, don’t be afraid or intimidated.  Don’t be discouraged or dismayed.  As you walk through the “wilderness” of the world, there’s no need to fear because I’m your God, your Heavenly Father, and I’m always watching over you.  Don’t panic.

I’m the Friend who will never leave you alone or forget about you.  I’m right here by your side.  When you feel too weak to go on, I will give you the strength you need to endure.  I will help you through this. I will hold you up and support you.  I won’t let you fall. I will hold your hand with My firm grip.  I’m not letting go!

Believe in My promises to you. You have nothing to fear.

Love, your Heavenly Father

Trust that God is big enough to supply anything you need:  comfort when you’re in pain or grieving, healing when you are sick, safety when you face danger, compassion when are heart-broken, friendship when you are lonely, support when you are weak, courage when you are fearful, provision when you are in need, and never-ending, limitless love and grace to all.

The Collector of Tears

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You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

Psalm 56:8 (NLT)

Is anyone crying?  God is listening.

In fact He cherishes you so much that He catches each one of your tears with tender compassion and records them in His ledger.  Not one tiny tear goes unnoticed by God.  You are precious to Him, and He cares deeply about your pain.

“This is what the Lord, the God of your father David, says:  I have heard your prayer and seen your tears;”

Isaiah 38:5b (NIV)

If you are overwhelmed with a heavy burden of sorrow, grief, regret or heartache, your loving Heavenly Father promises to be close to you.  He keeps a watchful eye on His children, and His ears hear your faintest cries.  He comforts those who are crushed in spirit.

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles.  The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. “

Psalm 34:  17-18 NIV

If you are brokenhearted, you are not alone in your agony; the Lord is right there beside you.  He knows your most private anguish.  So when you feel like no one cares or understands, remember that God sees your weeping and hears your cries.  He keeps an account of your sorrows and collects each precious tear.  God even promises that those tears, like tiny seeds, will one day reap a harvest of joy!

“Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy.” Psalm 126:5

 “The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces;” Isaiah 25:8b