Wednesday, January 1, 2014

To Those Who Need Encouragement

Need a little encouragement for the new year? Don't feel alone. That's because every single person in the world, whoever was, whoever is, and whoever will be, needs encouragement. There's something about our human nature that requires it, that longs for it, that fuels us, that motivates us. For many, maybe even for you, the past year was not so good, and you are looking for a better year to come. 

What is encouragement anyway? The dictionary definition would be to give support, confidence, or hope to someone - words that uplift, inspire, and motivate. Don't think you're beyond needing encouragement - that you are fine without it. Even Jesus needed to hear encouragement. Otherwise the Heavenly Father would not have spoken to him out loud 3 times in the New Testament.  (1) At His baptism. (2) At the Transfiguration. (3) In the final days before His crucifixion. 

(1) As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16-17)

(2) While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17:5)

(3) “Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him. (John 12:27-29)

The Bible gives us wonderful truths to confidently place our faith in. There are many of them. You may have your own list, however, I decided to share my personal top 5.

(1) Joshua 1:9   "........Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

(2) Jeremiah 29:11 "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."

(3) Romans 8:28  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."

(4) Romans 8:38  "And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love."

5) Matthew 28:20b  "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

May these verses be a blessing to you, and may you continually see God's hand at work in your life this coming new year. And remember to be an encourager yourself. Everyone around you needs it.

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