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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Time for Encouragement


Are you discouraged? Now is the time to be encouraged! David, the writer of most of the book of Psalms, knew discouragement. He knew more than discouragement. He knew acute dread and fear. As Saul sought to kill him, David hid, scared and alone. “My strength is dried up like a potsherd,” he cried, “and sticks to the roof of my mouth” (Psalm 22:15a, NIV). Even though fear tried to consume him, David developed a valuable skill. When there was no one to build his strength, David encouraged himself in the Lord. “You hear, O Lord,” he declared, “the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry” (Psalm 10: 17, NIV).

David had faith that God would encourage him, and give him the strength he needed for whatever he faced. But you, O Lord, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me” (Psalm 22:19, NIV). Do you seek to know that kind of faith?  It is the kind of faith that believes no matter what hardship surrounds you. It is the kind of faith that sustains when fear threatens. It is the kind of faith that trusts in His encouraging promise when all is dire and dark. It is the kind of faith that hears the Lord’s encouraging voice when there is no one else to encourage you.

I will declare your name to my people,” David promised. “In the assembly I will praise you” (Psalm 22:22, NIV). Praising God before others also increased David’s belief in God’s faithful provision. Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV). Speaking of God’s faithfulness increases your faith. Praising God no matter what you face is a sacrifice. It is a sacrifice of praise that can only come through faith in His unfailing love. God honors your surrender by encouraging you.

If you feel overwhelmed and face great discouragement today, it is time to focus on His Word and learn of His faithfulness. It is time to take all the energy that you place in worry, and place it in Him. He rewards those who seek Him with their whole heart. You will be encouraged when you look for Him like a drowning man needing rescue. He is there just waiting to inspire your heart, your mind, your spirit. Just as He heard David's cry, He also hears yours, and encourages you.

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