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Friday, September 15, 2017

Beyond Yourself

Are you discouraged?  Perhaps, you have done what the Lord desires, but you have seen little result. If you have done God’s will, the result of your effort is not your responsibility. It is His. He will bring about what He desires from your obedience.

Now is the time to be encouraged. David, the writer of most of the book of Psalm, knew discouragement. “My strength is dried up like a potsherd,” he cried, “and sticks to the roof of my mouth” (Psalm 22:15a, NIV). Called beyond his own strength, David chose to believe in God’s purpose and promise. When there was no one to build his strength, David encouraged himself in the Lord. He allowed the Lord to develop this valuable trait. Waiting for the fulfillment of God’s will, David feared for his very life. Chased by Saul—hiding in caves, he cried out, “You hear, O Lord, “ the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and in oppressed, in order than man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more” (Psalm 10: 17-18, NIV).

David had faith that God would give him the strength he needed for whatever he faced. But you, O Lord, be not far off,” he cried. “O my Strength, come quickly to help me” (Psalm 22:19, NIV). And then David reached beyond his weakness—his fear—his despair, and promised God his praise. I will declare your name to my brothers,” he promised. “In the congregation I will praise you” (Psalm 22:22, NIV). Praising God increased David’s trust in God’s provision for His promise.

David surrendered his discouragement and believed in God’s purpose—in his promise—no matter what his eyes saw or his ears heard. “Through Jesus,” the writer of Hebrews declared, “let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name” (Hebrews 13:15, NIV). Reach beyond your feelings, and surrender just as David surrendered his feelings. Speak God’s faithfulness. Encourage others, even when you least feel like it. Only through Jesus’ sacrifice can you offer a sacrifice of praise. God will honor your surrender by encouraging you. And you along with the psalmist will be able to declare, “I run in the path of your commandments, O Lord, for you have set my heart free” (Psalm 119:32, WEB).

© 2017 Lynn Lacher

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