That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, “Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.” Acts 23:11
Doesn’t God remind us to be encouraged time and time again throughout scripture? Here are just a few reminders:
“By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence. And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the word’s corruption caused by human desires.” 2 Peter 1:3-4
“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“The Lord is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him.” Nahum 1:7
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
God doesn’t call us to something then leave us alone. He walks along side us encouraging us each step of the way. Committing scripture to memory helps us in these trying times. Sometimes we feel God has abandoned us, but he hasn’t. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning.” Lamentations 3:22-23. I must admit that in times of trouble I sometimes don’t feel very much like reading scripture. God reminds me to read them anyway. Why? So that he can remind me that he loves me and that the battle has already been won. All I have to do is trust Him and His ways not my own. So that just like Paul, we will be encouraged to continue to do His will and good works not our own. This reminds us to walk God’s path no matter what others may think of us or how we will be received because of our faith. Be encouraged! God is good and has a plan for your life. “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:11
Gracious and Merciful God, I pray that I dig deep in Your word so that in times of trouble I will be encouraged. I pray that I remember that You will never leave me. That truth alone is so comforting. I imagine through these scriptures that I am in Your warm embrace just like a good father here on earth comforting and protecting me through difficult times and lifting me up in times of joy. I may never know the reasons You have called me to endure certain things in this life. However, I don’t need to know why I just need to go. Help me to be a faithful follower and I pray Lord that today others will see You in me. Forgive me of the times when that is not the case. In Jesus Name, Amen.