Monday, August 24, 2015
Encouragement. What is encouragement? Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as, “Something that makes someone more determined, hopeful or confident.” Alright, that sounds simple enough. Is it simple, though? Is there a way to be so encouraged that we live “determined, hopeful and confident” on a daily basis, even on the days when life just doesn’t feel encouraging? So often life seems to leave us discouraged. This feeling not only comes in the trials and storms, but many times in the mundane “normal” parts of life where routine rules. Many people are weary after the summer and are looking forward to the changing of seasons, where as some of us may be discouraged just thinking about the challenges or changes that will come with autumn. Whatever the case may be for each of us, I pray that by looking at the character of God we would draw encouragement and learn to live so deeply rooted in Christ that we would also be an encouragement to others.
To find encouragement in the midst of our world, we have to go to the source of encouragement- God Himself. There are many parts of God that we can draw encouragement from daily, but we are just going to focus on a few parts of who He is.
God is Peace
Jesus is the Prince of Peace, He is the creator of peace, He is peace.
His entire purpose in coming to earth was to redeem us, which in turn gives us peace with God. That peace He gives us is the kind of peace that overcomes sin and separation from God. Isaiah 53:5 says “But He was pierced for our transgressions, crushed because of iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.” What does the peace He gives us look like beyond peace in Salvation?
There is a deep, daily peace that is available to all who have put their trust in Christ and what He did to bring us peace with the Father. This peace is a practical foundation in life that gives us the ability to trust God and rest in His promises despite whatever may be going on in our lives or around us. If peace is the opposite of fear and if He Himself is peace, then through His power we have the ability to cast aside all fear and doubt. 1 John 4:18-19 says, “There is no fear in love; instead, perfect love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment. We love because He first loved us.” How do we practice living in that? I think the answer to that question is summed up in Isaiah 26:3-4, which says, “You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in You. Trust in the Lord forever, because in Yah, The Lord, is an everlasting rock!”
If we keep our minds and hearts dependent on Christ He will bring us a satisfying, overwhelming peace which in turn will make us more “determined, hopeful, and confident” through the power of our God of peace.