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395. Encouragement for Today

Encouragement for Today
IT’S WORTH CONSIDERING
It’s time for another break from all the bad news. Let’s look at a powerful word of encouragement from Daniel 11:32:

The people who know their God shall be strong,
and carry out great exploits.

Boy, do we need to be reminded of that! “But wait,” you say. “Wasn’t that whole section in Daniel a prophecy about the Maccabees and Antiochus Epiphanes? What does that have to do with us?” I’m glad you asked. A New Testament verse sums it up nicely:

For whatever was written in earlier times was written
for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope
(Romans 15:4).

We are to have hope because of the things written in the Old Testament. They were written to encourage us so that we would persevere. Hopefully, this injects new life into verses like:

“Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or
be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go”
(Joshua 1:9).

God is looking for people who will take Him at His word–people who will boldly stand up to the enemy as Christ’s Ambassador (see 2 Cor. 5:20). His eyes are moving “to and fro” throughout the earth looking for people who have given their WHOLE heart to Him. These are the ones He will support to the end (see 2 Chron. 16:9). These are the ones who will show themselves strong and perform great exploits.

AS I SEE IT
Yes, there’s a LOT of bad news out there, but believers are to live in the good news, not the bad news. Our basic problem is that we’re not walking in the truth of God’s Word. Our image of God is way too small, and so are our expectations of ourselves. If the evil in our world is to be overcome by good, those bringing the good MUST be strong and courageous, ready to perform great exploits for our Mighty God. One of the verses I reaffirm as I start every day is 1 John 5:4:

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;
and this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.

It all comes down to our faith. Do we believe what God says about us? Do we have faith that He will complete the work He has started in us? Do we believe that we can overcome the world through our faith? Do we believe that with God all things are possible, or are we focusing on our limitations? Paul said that when we are weak, we are strong, if we trust in the Spirit’s power to work within us. Therefore, we have no legitimate excuses for standing on the sidelines. So let’s end where we started:

The people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.

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ON THE LIGHTER SIDE
Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth…AMEN!


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