Tag Archives: Encouragement

The Bridge to Your Brightest Tomorrow

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Bridge to the brightest tomorrow

 


“The deepest pains may linger through the night,
    but joy greets the soul with the smile of morning.”
Psalm 30:5b (VOICE)
 

When you’re in the clutches of an agonizingly painful situation, it’s easy to focus on your suffering and lose sight of the bright ray of hope emerging on your horizon.  If your world is falling apart the difficulties you are experiencing can be overwhelming. Every thought is filtered through a sieve of pain, pressure and misery. Jeremiah was going through a tough time, too, and here he gives a vivid description of how he was feeling ~ including the One thing that pulled him through:

“Just thinking of my troubles and my lonely wandering makes me miserable.
That’s all I ever think about, and I am depressed.
Then I remember something that fills me with hope.
 The Lord’s kindness never fails!
If He had not been merciful, we would have been destroyed.
The Lord can always be trusted to show mercy each morning.
Deep in my heart I say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on Him!”

Lamentations 3: 19-24 (CEB)

It’s understandable that you might be depressed if you continually think about your troubles. But if you turn your attention to the God of Hope and reach down deep into the depths of your heart to say, “The Lord is all I need; I can depend on Him!” ~ your pain will be displaced with seeds of heavenly hope, which will grow into His divine joy, the kind which greets your soul with a smile. Remind yourself that God can use everything in your life for something good…even the darkest nights and the deepest pains.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18(MSG)

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God’s Compassion

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“Yet this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

Lamentations 3:  21 – 24 (NIV)

What an incredible feeling to know that God’s compassions for us never fail…they are new every single morning!  So each new day when you see the beautiful sunrise, remind yourself that God’s compassion for you is renewed and refreshed.  No matter what happened the day before ~ or in the distant past ~ there’s always a glimmering ray of hope…like a bright and glorious ray of sunshine.

Because of God’s great, immeasurable love for you, He will never forget you nor abandon you.  He hasn’t turned His back on you.  Even though you might have walked away from Him, He’s right there waiting for your return.  His compassions never ever fail.

com·pas·sion:   feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering. (dictionary.com)

The Bible is full of stories about God’s compassion for His children.  In the aftermath of rebellion and sin – times when the oppression and hardship on His followers were a direct result of their own mistakes — God’s great love and faithfulness to them was constant and never-ending.    When they finally called on Him, He was ready to compassionately step in and alleviate their suffering and hardship. “And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time. (Nehemiah 9:28 NIV)

God never changes, and His love for you is no different than His love for His children in the Bible.  You are His treasured possession.  Day after day, time after time, His compassions for your are continually renewed and never-ending. 

“The Lord is good to all; He has compassion on all he has made.”  Psalm 145:9

“Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Micah 7:18-19

Butterfly Wings

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“Yet God has made everything beautiful in its own time.”

Ecclesiastes 3:11a (NLT)

The wondrous transformation of a grubby caterpillar into a graceful butterfly is one of the most fascinating processes in nature.  The last important phase of the complete metamorphosis includes the newly formed butterfly’s struggle to emerge from its gauzy cocoon.  As the new creature works to free itself from the cocoon encasing, fluid is pumped into its delicate wings.  If someone from the outside tries to “help” the butterfly by ripping open the cocoon, the butterfly’s wings will never be fully developed, nor strong enough, for flight.  So the struggle to emerge from its protective covering is perhaps the most critical step in the butterfly’s preparation for its new life of flight.  Without the struggle, the butterfly will never be capable of flight.

Compare this process to your own life.  Are you struggling through some sort of difficulty right now?  At the moment it is impossible to envision any sort of “beauty” that could emerge from the ugliness of your circumstances.  Perhaps you long for an easy way out of your problems.  You wish that someone would come along and make everything “right” again.

But remind yourself that as you work though your challenges, you are becoming stronger.  Your “faith muscles” are being groomed and strengthened.  God will use this hardship to transform your development as a believer, and you will emerge from your trials with stronger faith than you ever would have experienced without the struggle.

Remember that you are not alone during this rough time.  God promises to be with you through every difficult circumstance.  Turn to Him and seek His guidance to help you solve your problems.  Ask Him to give you the strength to endure the trial.  Trust Him completely and know that you will come out on the other side of the challenge as a well-developed child of God, ready to face a new phase in life.

Most of all, remember that God makes everything beautiful in its own time.  Wait patiently to see the beauty that will emerge from your struggles.

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.
Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. “
James 1:2-4 MSG

Peace that Never Ends

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The mountains may disappear,
and the hills may become dust,
but my faithful love will never leave you.
I will make peace with you,
and it will never end.”
The Lord who loves you said this.

Isaiah 54:10 (ERV)

No matter what…

   God’s faithful love will never leave you, and HIS peace will never end.  The shock of any catastrophic event in life does not shake God’s rock solid promises nor does it dilute His never-ending love for His children. Friends may disappoint us, health may fail us, enemies may come against us, relationships may break our hearts…mountains may disappear, and the hills [or even buildings] may become dust…but God will never leave us alone.  He is our Shelter, our Comforter, our Friend, our Protector, our Provider, and our Prince of Peace.

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemies before you… ”  Deuteronomy 33:27

(This post in remembrance of 9/11, U.S.A.)

Focus on the Finish Line

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RUNNING RACE

For our light and momentary troubles

are achieving for us an eternal glory

that far outweighs them all.

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 4:17 – 18 (NIV)

Hard times in life may make you feel that you are at the end of your rope, but you are never at the end of your HOPE.  When you face troubling circumstances, it’s easy to focus on the pain you are experiencing, but this verse encourages us to refocus our thoughts from what is happening around us to the One who lives within us.

Our problems should not dilute our faith or cause us to believe the delusion that God has abandoned us.  When your trouble seems overwhelming, it’s easy to lose heart and want to quit.  In the same way that athletes focus on the finish line and ignore the discomfort they endure, we should fix our eyes on the eternal reward for our faith.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”   2 Corinthians 4:16 – 17 (MSG)

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus,the pioneer and perfecter of faith…, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”  (Hebrews 12:1-2 ,3b NIV)

Unseen Footprints

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Your path led through the sea,

Your way through the mighty waters

though Your footprints were not seen.

Psalm 77:19 (NIV)

Maybe you don’t have an army chasing you like the Israelites did after Moses led them out of Egypt, but you may find yourself ensnared by a situation in which you feel hopelessly trapped.  Perhaps you feel that your back is against the wall, and it is impossible to escape from your circumstances.

When the Israelites were cornered against the Red Sea, they were terrified and felt doomed.  Moses calmed their fears with these words, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.”  (Exodus 14:13a, 14)

If you feel doomed by your circumstances and see no possible means of escape, pray and ask God to intervene on your behalf.  The same powerful Hand that parted the sea for the Israelites can provide a pathway out of your trouble.  Don’t be afraid; don’t panic.  God can open up a way out for you.  Simply stand firm in your faith and watch the deliverance God will bring you.  Follow His unseen footprints…

“But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left.”  Exodus 14:29

Choose the Road to Somewhere

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”Barricade the road that goes Nowhere;
grace me with your clear revelation.
I choose the true road to Somewhere,
I post your road signs at every curve and corner.
I grasp and cling to whatever you tell me;
God, don’t let me down!
I’ll run the course you lay out for me
if you’ll just show me how.”

Psalm 119: 29 – 32 (MSG)

Navigating your way along the roadway of life can seem like a confusing maze.  Around every twist and turn there are unexpected surprises, giant potholes, and sometimes dead ends. 

Most of us wouldn’t think of striking out on a long journey without first consulting a map or plugging the destination into our GPS.  God’s Word is our roadmap for life.  Seek His guidance along every step of your journey, and He promises to direct you on the “true road to Somewhere.”  Post His road signs at every curve and corner, and cling to whatever He tells you.  Trust Him to barricade any road that leads Nowhere and show you how to run the course He has laid out especially for your life.

As He graces you with His clear revelation and direction, take time to enjoy the majestic scenery on the road to your eternal destination!

“Your Word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

Ps 119:105 (NIV)