The Encouragement of Jesus Christ

READ HEBREWS 10

VERSES 35-36

“So don’t lose your confidence. It will bring you a great reward. You need endurance so that after you have done what God wants you to do, you can receive what he has promised.”

Why have I hidden myself away?

The rougher roads of life have beaten me down and I long to secure a peaceful retreat from the world physically, socially, and mentally. My desire to live a distant, withdrawn, and secluded life, however, is diametrically opposed to what I crave.

The true test of my spirituality has come up against injustice, degradation, ingratitude, and turmoil, and simply – the world around me has made me spiritually lazy and silent.

Why do I continue to be bothered?

I have used the social and personal silence in prayer and Bible reading for the sole purpose of finding that peaceful, quiet retreat.

When my peace and joy of Jesus Christ is just that and not for the true realization of Him it is no wonder my road has become a crumbling pothole. I do not want to be stirred up. All I want is to be retired from this world.

What is wrong with me?

I am consumed with my own existence that my gaze is always cast down instead of up. I look up to see others sharing the same uneven path. We belong to Christ. My encouragement lies in our collective encouragement as we press forward in a shared faith of redemption and a life that only can be lived through Him who saves.

The peace of God that surpasses all understanding is ours.

Dear Lord, I praise Your Name in Christ Jesus who You have given to free us from our sins. Forgive me for our selfishness and I pray not only for my encouragement but for all others who come to You for forgiveness and peace. I am grateful beyond measure for Your encouraging presence. I love you! In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

Prayer Journal tips (2)Praying for others is one of the ways we can encourage each other even if we do not know their specific circumstances or name. God intimately knows their names and their circumstances. The back pages of my prayer journal are reserved for family, friends, and others who need or have requested my prayer. I pray daily that they see God’s presence and feel His comforting peace.

 

Hearing God’s Truth

Read John 14

Verse 15:

“If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”

Why do I not listen to God? Is it because I cannot hear him in my noisy world?

I listen to people I know. I listen to their personal testimonies and take them at their word. The truth is I don’t consciously and deliberately put up my hand to God to say, “stop!”

Do I love the company of misery more?

Truth is difficult to hear through ignorant ears. Love is difficult to feel when the heart is surrounded in the barbed wire of despair. Obedient advice becomes optional not imperative when I listen to someone other than God allowing the world to consume my attention and my actions.

Why am I so insensitive and obstinate to know the one who treats me as His child?

God will never tell me, “I told you so” because He loved me first. Once I realize I have constantly shown Him disrespect, I feel the shame and humiliation of my ignorance and take responsibility for my despair by actively searching for His voice.

Dear Lord, I praise Your wisdom and I ask for Your forgiveness to being easily led by foolish and self-centered pursuits. Help me to open my ears and unburden my heart to You so I may fully hear Your voice instead of the world’s. Guide me with Your peace so I may no longer be troubled or cowardly. Thank you for the Spirit of Your Truth. I love you! I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen

Prayer Journal tips (2)

Examining our circumstances in a prayer journal will help us to gain perspective by opening our hearts and ears to hear God’s will in our life. Sometimes the words flow like a rushing river and other times they are like a drip from a leaky faucet. At one point in my prayer journal, I was only able to draw a small box in the middle of the page. In time God showed me the box was a metaphor for my authentic voice. The power of a prayer journal is the ability to trace the footsteps of our walk with God.