ENCOURAGEMENT FOR THE HURTING

2 Corinthians 1:3-5

“Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort; 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.  5 For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”

When life is tiring, when you are struggling with your sin, when family members aren’t saved, when bills aren’t paid, when school is difficult, when work is exhausting, when your health is failing, when your loved ones are hurt, when the future is unsure, and when a good friend leaves, it is easy to be discouraged.

Discouragement is a thief.  It steals your vitality, your zeal, your joy, your peace, and your contentment.  If discouragement dwells long with you, its friends will soon join.  Their names are fatigue, hopelessness, despair, self-pity, depression, doubt, and bitterness. Sometimes, discouragement can be so strong that you even don’t want to go on living.

Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future.  It is the result of blindness.  It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow.  It is unawareness of the presence of God, unconcern for the needs of our fellow man, and unbelief in the promises of His Word.

If we have nothing to rely on, or we forget our blessing and look to our circumstances, then that is when discouragement begins to take hold. Instead, what we need is encouragement.  We need hope and peace and the knowledge that the Lord knows our troubles has great concern and compassion for us and is not leaving us unloved or uncared for.

Keeping your eyes on Jesus is the best way to be encouraged.  In Him you can have comfort and peace and encouragement.  You need to find Him and His words, and by faith rest in Him.

  1. Be encouraged because God is a God of mercy and comfort.  Verse 3.  Blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort
  2. Take encouragement because God is there in your afflictions.  Verse 4 – “who comforts us in all our affliction . . . . so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
  3. YOU SHOULD BE ENCOURAGED BECAUSE YOU CAN BE INSTRUMENTS OF COMFORT TO OTHERS.  Verse 4 ” . . . so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
  4. You should be encouraged because the comfort you receive from God comes through Jesus.   Verse 5.  “For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.”

Encouragement is something that belongs to you as a Christian.  You do not have to live in a world of hurt and doubt.  You don’t have to live alone. You don’t have to weep in solitude.  You have the body of Christ to lift you up.  You have the Word of God to teach you.  You have the Holy Spirit indwelling in you who warms your soul.

You have the God of encouragement waiting to show you His mercy and love.

But you need to trust. You need to remember the Lord’s blessing.  You need to depend on Him.   You need to keep your eyes on Jesus and Him alone.

Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,” (Matthew 11:28).

 

Slick, M. 2014. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, Encouragement. [online] Available at: http://carm.org/christianity/sermons/2-corinthians-13-5-encouragement [Accessed: 30 Apr 2014].

 

hurt

HE HEARD MY CRY

It comforts me to know that at the most helpless moments in our lives, God sends certain people to help us in that time of need. My job, although stressful at times, has enabled me to meet many people both young and old. Yesterday, Lillian (my car) got sick on the road, an older man that I had serviced at my job recognized me and stopped before I could make any calls to anyone. I had done all my dad had taught me but Lillian refused to cooperate! God simply allowed this older man to be there at that particular time that I was in need. It wasn’t a flirtatious motive present…just a God sent individual helping another. He did not leave me until he made sure I got home safely with my babies. With me not having family here in Monroe, I was truly blessed. I have no doubt that God will take care of me no matter where I go. I can remember crying out, “Oh Lillian, no, don’t you quit on me! Lord help!” Well He heard my cry because He showed up instantly.” Lillian is in the automobile hospital right now but will be out before the end of the day. All that the man diagnosed her with was definitely her actual diagnosis! GOD IS SO FAITHFUL AND HE ALWAYS SHOWS UP ON TIME. And I know my daddy will be happy that he doesn’t have to do any mechanic work today! Be blessed.

Psalm 18:26 (NIV) In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.

 

Cry Out

THE CUP OF LIFE

What is in your cup of life? Is it something bitter? Something sweet? Is it too cold? Too hot?  Is it filled it halfway? To the top? Many people love to have that morning coffee when they first wake up in the morning. Although I don’t like coffee, I have been told that “it wakes you up” in the morning. It fuels you and get you started. I am going to metaphorically compare that to the “cup of life”. Your “cup of life” should be filled with all of those great things that come from above…all of the lovely things that come from the Lord. Your cup of life….my cup of life… should consist of the Lord and not of the things that drain both you and your life. He already wakes us up in the morning. That should be enough “fuel” to get us started. When we meditate on Him…truly meditate on Him, He gives us that kind of peace that gives us more “fuel” for the day. How awesome is He! Some mornings will be more trying than others but that is when we have to REALLY seek Him…just a little more. So we should get up pouring FAITH AND HOPE in our cups, and He comes along and pours all of that warm LOVE right in. How awesome is He! He fills our cup of life up with the right stuff! Be Blessd.  (S.L.M.)

Psalm 23:5 (NIV) “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

life_is_a_cup_to_be_filled

LEAVE THEM THERE!!!

The Lord, at times, speaks to me through my dreams at night. I have taken some things to Him in prayer but I do tend to worry about these things from time to time.  Last night I had a dream that I was picking up some dirty laundry from this elder lady. Obviously, I had left it there for her to wash, dry and fold but I was lingering on her porch worrying about if she was going to do it or not. I knocked on her door several times and was getting irritated. She finally came to the door and said, “Baby you just dropped off the clothes so I hadnt got to them yet but I will.” I pretended to be okay and still, I lingered on her porch. I lingered until I woke up this morning. I meditated about the dream and smiled for I knew what God was telling me.

When we take our burdens (dirty laundry) to the Lord, we need to leave them there. He doesn’t want us to take that load back with us, not even one piece. When we take those specific things to Him in prayer, we are also taking our worries to Him in prayer. Although we continue to pray for those specific things, we must leave the burden of worrying with Him. We must possess faith in God’s timing for our lives. We must not linger around with worry after dropping off our burdens. We must not carry one piece back with us after laying them down on the altar. WE MUST TAKE OUR BURDENS TO THE LORD AND THEM LEAVE THEM THERE!

Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

bURDENS BURDENS

 

 

IN THE SYCAMORE TREE

Many of us are familiar with the story of Zacchaeus in the Bible. Zacchaeus was a tax collector who cheated many people. When he heard of Jesus coming to town, he was determined to see Him; however, Zacchaeus was too short and couldn’t even see Jesus through the crowd. He decided to climb up into the Sycamore tree so that he could see Jesus not caring what the crowd said. When Jesus saw him, he looked up and told Zacchaeus to come down because He must stay at his house. Zacchaeus told Jesus he would give over half of what he owned to the poor and would repay what he had taken from others. Jesus knew Zacchaeus’s heart. Salvation entered Zacchaeus’s home and he was saved, although the others mocked that Jesus was in the home of a sinner.

I am living my life in the Sycamore tree. I had fallen short and couldn’t see because of the crowd of worldliness around me. I got sick and tired….I got fed up….and I was DETERMINED to get it right and to see Jesus. I had to rise above the crowd of worldliness so I could see HIM clearly. When He called me by name, I went to Him and I confessed all of my wrongs and salvation is what I received. Even though others may still see me in my “old” ways, HE forgave me. I am not perfect but Jesus knows my heart and I continue to look for Him daily. Every now and then I have to climb that Sycamore tree to see Him but I SEE HIM! The story of Zacchaeus teaches us how to look for Jesus in our lives. If I have to climb a beanstalk to look for Him then oh well! Look out Jack!! Be Blessed.

“And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1-10 RSV)

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Stacy L. Montgomery

WHEN I LOOKED UP

For over half of my life, I had been looking for love in all of the wrong places. I came across many different personalities and different faces. I have been the initiator and the victim of dangerous mind games. My past devious ways even earned me a trophy in the Hall of Shame. Yes, that was me….looking for love in all of the wrong places and holding on to hopeless luck.  But little did I know that in order to receive REAL LOVE, all I had to do was look UP. GOD IS the right place…great personality and a loving face…. no dangerous mind games….trophy removed from the Hall of Shame. Yes, this is me NOW…I found love in the right place, holding to faith and dismissed the luck. I found REAL LOVE and so much more when I looked UP.
 
Psalm 34:5 “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
 
LOOK UP

I CAN NEVER BE TOO HAPPY

A comment was made to me telling me, “Girl, you are just too happy.” That felt like a slap coming right at me. I thought, “My on my, that wasn’t very kind.” So I let that person have a “PEACE” of my mind. I said you don’t know how far I traveled to get to this place. You don’t know the reason by the tears that use to drown my face. I CAN NEVER BE TOO HAPPY. You don’t know how many sleepless nights I had. You don’t know the reason why I walked around so sad. I CAN NEVER BE TOO HAPPY. You don’t know the rejection that I faced each day. You don’t know how, in this life, I lost direction to doing things the right way. I CAN NEVER BE TOO HAPPY. You don’t know how many times I chose to settled for less. You don’t know how many times, in this life, I failed important tests. I CAN NEVER BE TOO HAPPY. You don’t know how hideous the outfit of bitterness looked on me. You don’t know how many times I attacked others grave hostility. I CAN NEVER BE TOO HAPPY. You can say my happiness for attention; but I say it is spiritual intervention. If I want to shout my happiness from the clouds in the form of rain, then let it pour! If I want to shout my happiness in the form of thunder then baby, let it roar! I CAN NEVER, NEVER , NEVER BE TOO HAPPY!! S.L.M.

Psalms 32:21 “Our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.”

be happy

PATIENCE

The other day I was in the drive-thru at McDonalds. I placed an order of small fries and one hot and spicy chicken sandwhich. There were three customers ahead of me. It took me ten minutes to get to the window to pay only to find out that I had to wait longer to get some fries! While I waited patiently, God began to minister to me. This wasn’t the only time this has happened so God told me that patience is the subject. I had already paid for my food and I KNEW I would get it but I would have to wait. God told me to apply this in my life. If I have prayed about it then I should have faith and KNOW that God is going to provide. When I finally got my food, I discovered that I had a large fry, a hot and spicy and a coke! I told the worker that I didn’t order the drink and ordered only a small fry; she smiled and told me to just keep it and thanked me for my patience. I smiled and could hear God say, “Stacy, when you wait patiently, I sometimes give you MORE than what you ask for.” And that drink was on time because it was hot and I was thirsty!  S.L.M

Psams 46:10 (NIV)  “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

 

Patience