Tuesday, August 17, 2010

ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY

2 Corinthians 12:5-10 "The experience is worth boasting about, but I'm not going to do it. I will boast only about my weaknesses. If I wanted to boast, I would be no fool in doing so, because I would be telling the truth. But I won't do it, because I don't want anyone to give me credit beyond what they can see in my life of hear in my message, even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, 'My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.' So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That's why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong."

2 Timothy 2:3-7 "Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don't get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. The athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things."

Today as it is "Encouragement Tuesday" my family is in great need of encouragement. Today my husband was to leave for his new job only to find out there is no job. He has been preparing for this job for almost two weeks. He was excited to have this amazing opportunity and today he is asking why. Now, he is jobless. He had to quit is other job in order to take this one. He was lied to. There are those trying to figure out what is going on, but needless to say this week there will be no check.

As my husband was receiving this news about his job, he too heard from his mom. My father-in-law now has a mass growing on his kidney, an aneurysm on his heart and emphysema. The man has never smoked a day in his life. I can say proudly he has never even said a curse word. He is just an all around special man. One of those you rarely meet, and I am blessed to have him as a father-in-law. What do you do with news like this? His aneurysm is four centimeters. They only do surgery when it is five. The concern in my husband's eyes for his father is heartbreaking.

So we ask ourselves, "Did he not leave out today for this new job because he is to be here for his father?" Only God knows what is going on. But that is an assurance. To know that God knows yesterday, today and tomorrow gives us great hope. God is already there in that moment of need, no matter what the time or place. All we must do is call out to Him.

During all this, my mom is staying with us for a while. As she has suffered from Shingles, she now has other things wrong. She may be in the early stages of Dementia. We are not sure yet, but we are sure that there is something wrong. I am not sure if she is able to be on her own any longer. As she just had a doctor visit last week, we were to wait a week and see how she was. She is no better as of yet. I am fearful for my mom. How can I not be? There are many things going on with my mom. Some I just do not understand. But I know God does. He is already there in the midst of her need.

As I am simply falling apart today my husband takes my hand and looks at me saying, "He has this! We have nothing to worry about. He has always taken care of us and He always will." What an amazing husband I have. To watch him speak to the people of this company today, he was full of grace and kindness. I am not so sure I would have been. In the midst of his father and my mother being ill, he knows the Lord is in control. And here I am questioning what is going on. I cannot help but ask, "Why?" I am full well this is a time to search our hearts. I know in every trial there is a lesson. I know in every circumstance there is an opportunity for God to shine. I know in every illness there is room for healing. In every job loss there is another door to open as one closes. We have a great and mighty God who we worship and believe in. Without Him, we would be lost. Without Him there would be no hope.

Isaiah 40:10 "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."

Philippians 4:13 "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."

I am not sure what Paul's thorn was in his side. Maybe it was sickness. Maybe it was a sin he struggled with. Maybe he struggled with his flesh. But I think we can all relate to this thorn. We all have had one. If we haven't we will. We will all go through trial. We will all be touched with struggle. But it's not so much the struggle that is important as what we do with it. We could go crawl under the sheets and come out on a sunny day. We could cry, (Which I have done my share, believe me), or we could just believe. Faith is a mighty strong thing that will carry us through any Goliath this world has to charge us. We can run or we can face it knowing God has our back and is in total control. Running away isn't going to solve anything. It is in that moment of weakness that God shows just how strong He is. It is in that trial that others see a faith in God through us. Paul never gave up. Jesus never gave up. They went the distance with a faith bigger than life itself. Paul cried out to God not just one time, but three for His help. God heard His prayer. He never ignored him. He was there for Paul. Each time He answered Paul saying, "My grace is all you need." God's grace is sufficient to carry us through life. We only need to trust in that grace. We only need to believe. In hope we have everything. In Christ we have all we need.

He has never left my family. There have been times I have wondered where He was. I must be honest. There are times my faith was shaken, but God never failed to show me He was there. In those times I didn't think He was He was working behind the scenes. I may not have seen His work at the time, but later, when I was out of the storm His mighty power and glory was shining. I was looking for a quick answer. I was looking for the answer I wanted. I was looking for God to move when I said. He is not on my time table. He knows far more about my life than me. It is when I totally trust Him that I see not only the wonder of His love, but the continued work He is doing in me.

Trials will come and go, but the Lord will be here even after they are gone! I am a child of the King and there is nothing that touches my life that God doesn't know about. So in that I must trust Him. Will you trust Him today with me my friend? Today you can find a hope that brings a peace to your heart that you cannot even fathom. When we just give everything over to God, trusting Him, we can rest assured He has everything under control. I pray you are encouraged by Him today. I can only pray that my life will be a shining light for Him.
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