Encouraging Words Blog
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. (Philippians 4:11-12 NIV)
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4: 8-9
God tells us He has given us the ability to control what we think by taking “every thought captive”. …
Rereading this devotional got me to wondering ... Is there anything God can't use to reveal Himself to us? Is there something special in your life that God has used to show you His love?
"Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.” John 15:9
I’ve an interesting little cat. Actually, I never knew I was a “cat person” before her. I’ve always heard how independent they are – aloof, I guess. …
We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5) NASB
Yesterday I wrote about how our words affect our lives. Today I want to take it a step further and look at our thought life. Many people think it’s not possible to control their thoughts . . . that they simply “are.” I don’t agree. …
I recently say a Youtube video about a young man who was born without arms and legs. His testimony is completely amazing. He addresses the issues of why God allowed this to happen to him, why God allowed this to happen to his parents, and how he handled wanting to end his life.
I highly encourage you to watch this video and others about Nick that are online. It is my Christmas gift to you.
I give you the gift of hope.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)
You may not feel much like celebrating Christmas this year. You may be tired, in pain, or simply not feeling well. Even wrapping the presents may seem like too much to do. You may not feel “Christmas-y”. Christmas Eve may feel like any other day of the year.
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way. Psalm 139:23-24
Seems to me that once we voice this prayer, God takes us at our word. He begins to uncover and uncover and uncover. Truth be told, I used to think I was a pretty good person. However, God took me at my word and began to show the “hurtful’ ways in me. …
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. Philippians 2:3-4
Or as John Wesley commented:
“Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.”
In this season of giving, it may be easy to become discouraged about how little we may be able to do for others. …
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
It would be so easy to be in a panic right now.
Even though my husband is home from the hospital, he is not doing well. His ability to work and to drive are iffy at this point in time.
We are getting calls from creditors about medical bills that we simply can't pay. For some reason, our insurance has bumped.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35 NIV)
Are there times when you feel that God is asking too much of you? I know that I have felt that way. I think of the saying that God never gives us more than we can bear and I wonder, “God are you watching here?” I wonder what God expects of me.
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24
One of my favorite books is “Hind’s Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. The book is an allegory of the Christian life. The heroine “Much Afraid” journeys to the High Places following the chief shepherd, who is easily seen by Christians to be Christ. …
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” John 14:18
I love words. I love the nuances of words. I love our language. Unlike most folks I met in grad school, I enjoyed writing papers. I loved to find exactly the right word to convey the precise meaning of what I was trying to say.
That might be why I so enjoy reading different versions of the Bible. Words in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic can be difficult to translate. …
I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:15 NIV)
Have you ever had a verse from the Bible just reach out and grab you? This is one of those verses for me. I am thinking that God’s promises to His children are becoming a theme for me right now. I am seeing promise after promise after promise in His word.
We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted by not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; (II Corinthians 4:8-9)
Troubled. Perplexed. Persecuted. Cast down. Yep. I can identify easily with those words … and feelings. I have come to realize that it is my choice as to whether or not I stay in them, though. If I look at these verses and what God promises, I see that I need not be distressed, be in despair, nor be forsaken or destroyed.
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone wants to follow me, he must deny himself, pick up his cross, and follow me continually. (Matthew 16:24) NIV
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. "You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve. (John 6:66-67) NIV
This is a poor comparison … a VERY poor comparison and I know it, but it drove home a point for me.
I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
O Jehovah, in the morning shalt thou hear my voice; In the morning will I order my prayer unto thee, and will keep watch. Psalm 5:3
The events of the past week have caught up with me. My body, already rebelling against the cold weather and barometric pressure drops, has been impacted further by stress, the car rides, the multiple phone calls, and all the other assaults my challenged body has faced.
Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stall yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. (Habakkuk 17-18) NIV
Sometimes I don't like to talk about the things that happen to our family. Since my daughter's death, almost 6 years ago, we have gone from crisis to crisis. …
“Weeping endures for a night, But joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5
Now, I don’t know about you, but for me – it seems easier to cry at night time. I’m not sure if it is because I feel the darkness will hide my tears – if night time seems lonelier – or if it is just so much quieter and the quiet allows me to think about the things that are easier kept tucked away in the business of day.
There are times I dread the night times completely. …
For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 1:20 NIV)
Do you have a scripture verse that you lean on? One that you consider perhaps a “life verses”? I know at different times, I have depended on different verses to get me through. Currently this verse keeps popping up in different places.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. …
"God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it." (1 Corinthians 10:13).
I don’t get to church very often any more. It’s been so seldom and I’ve changed so much that few people recognize me anymore. I’ve gained weight. I’ve cut my hair very short for convenience sake. I usually don’t feel like putting on make up. …
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 New International Version)
No – my cat did not just walk across my computer keyboard. Those are letters I saw on a button worn by a gal at the store. Curious, I had to ask her what it stood for. She grinned as she replied, “Please be patient, God isn’t through working with me yet.”
Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3: 12-14
One of the things I have mentioned before that I so love about God’s word to us is that He does not simply tell us to stop doing things. …
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the LORD. "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
As we wait to see if my husbands current chemo is going to be effective, the concept of waiting is hitting home strongly.
I'd not realized how impatiently I wait for answers until this last bout of ‘what is going to happen’ has gotten hold of me. …
My kinsmen have gone away; my friends have forgotten me. Job 19:14
We often hear about the trials of Job. He endured tragic losses, pain, suffering, isolation, and the misunderstanding of others. I read those words and thought, “Wow, it happened to him, too.”
I don’t know exactly what it is about loss and suffering that drives other people away. Are they afraid it’s contagious? Does it fill them with fear that these same things could happen to them? …
But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15, NIV)
What many people don’t seem to understand is that the God of the Bible is a God who offers choices. He gives us the opportunity to decide which path we will take. …