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Archive for the ‘Verses of Encouragement’ Category

A trial, an illness, financial problems, family problems, or during any situation in life. Regardless of the situation, we can cling to these truths:

*God’s love for me is unchanging.

*God’s purpose for me is Christ-likeness.

*God’s Word is my final answer.

*God’s grace is sufficient for me.

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Here are some words of wisdom from Charles Spurgeon for you:

“He who grows in grace remembers that he is but dust, and he therefore does not expect his fellow Christians to be anything more. He overlooks ten thousand of their faults, because he knows His God overlooks twenty thousand in his own case…When our virtues become more mature,…we shall be more tolerant of infirmity, more hopeful for the people of God, and certainly less arrogant in our criticisms.” -Spurgeon

These words are kind of like a short sermon from Ephesians 4:32

“And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ sake hath forgiven you.”

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And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.  And behold the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind and earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake: and after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.  I Kings 19:11-12

Have you ever heard the still small voice?  Sometimes I think we pray for things and we expect God to show us the answer in a BIG way.  We pray for and sometimes we don’t get the answer we want, or we get the answer we wanted, but things didn’t unfold the way WE thought they should  so we sit there and say “OK  God, I think you’re showing me that I should go in this direction, but if that’s not what you want, show me.”  Even though God has already shown us what He wants us to do.    I think that sometimes we expect a bolt of lightning or an earthquake as a confirmation of what God wants, and sometimes He does show us things that way, but we have to learn to hear, listen to, and obey that still small voice.  That’s how God speaks to us. 

I’m trying to get better at listening to it, I really am.  When I was praying about being self employed, I talked to God about it for OVER A YEAR.  It went something like this……

Me:  “God, I would really like to be self employed.  You know that I need more time with Grace, You know that I need to lower my stress level,  You know that I need more piano students to do it, God, please show me if this is Your will.”

God:  I just sent you 2 more piano students.  Can’t you see this is the direction I’m leading you in?

Me:  Thank you LORD for the 2 piano students you just sent me.  Please show me if teaching piano full time is your will for me.

God:  Beth, I keep sending you more piano students, how much more clear can I make myself?

Me:  God, I REALLY want to quit my job.  I just can’t do this anymore.  Please show me your will.

God:  Beth, it’s time for you to quit your job and just trust in Me, I will take care of you.  I’ve called you to be a mom, and I want to you fill that role, I will take care of the rest.

Me: But God, what about my bills?  I can’t just quit my job, let go of a steady paycheck and hope that it will all work out…….God SHOW ME WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO.

God:  Beth, you prayed specifically for 3 new students this month, and I gave you 3 new students this month……can I make myself any clearer?  I will supply your needs.  Just obey.

I remember when I finally listened and OBEYED that voice.  God gave me so much peace about finances and where my future students would come from.  Now, 6 months later, I’m kicking myself for not listening to Him sooner.

How many times have you heard the still small voice, obeyed and been amazed as you see the hand of God work?  One time, God told me 3 times one morning to call a friend of mine who I hadn’t talked to in awhile.  When I finally picked up the phone and called her, she was almost in tears, she was having a very rough day and need to talk to someone.  God knew that and He used me (even though I didn’t obey until the 3rd time I was told.) to be a blessing to her.

One time, I was driving and the still small voice told me to change lanes.  I kept driving and again came the thought, “change lanes”  I changed lanes and not even 10 seconds later, the car that was where I would have been was rear ended. 

There are many times that the still small voice speaks to us.  It says “smile at that lady as you walk past her.”  It says “call Mary and see how her day is going.”   It says “Pray for John.”  It says “Take the longer way to work today.”  It says “be nice to her even though she’s rough around the edges.”  It says “let the lady behind you get in line to check out first.”  Most importantly, it says “trust me, and obey.”

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This morning, I woke up and my eyes were VERY tired.  By noon, it was a full fledged headache.  After Grace and I had lunch, we laid down for a nap so I could get rid of this headache before teaching piano lessons this evening. 

When I woke up, I felt a lot better, and I thought back to just a few months ago when I would have a bad headache at work, push myself through the day, and still have 2 hours of piano lessons and Grace to take care of when I got home. 

I said a prayer to thank God for His blessing in my life to allow me to stay home with Grace the majority of the day, and just have to leave for a few hours each day to teach piano lessons.  I am very grateful that I was able to take a nap today and sleep off my headache instead of pushing myself like I used to have to do.  I thanked God for giving me the strength to make it through each very long day that I’ve had for the last 2  1/2 years while working on this goal of being a full time mom and piano teacher. 

So even though I don’t like to have headaches, today I am thankful that I was able to take a nap to get rid of it instead of making myself more sick by pushing myself to do things on my “to do” list and not resting like body is telling me to do.

I don’t like to take medicine if I don’t have to, so here are a few things I do to get rid of headaches:

  • Soak in a hot bubble bath
  • Drink coffee (I only drink coffee once or twice a year, so when I have a headache, it’s pretty effective for me.)
  • Get Fresh Air
  • Go to the Chiropractor
  • Get a massage (if it’s REALLY bad, and I have the money for it.)
  • Go to sleep early
  • Take a nap
  • Use an ice pack
  • Heat up an aroma therapy bag
  • Cut cold cuccumber circles and put them on your eyes to help them relax

“In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”  I Thes 5:18

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Tonight as I was putting Grace to bed, she asked if she could have her Bible in bed with her.  She usually takes a book to bed with her and looks at the pages as she’s falling asleep. (The hall light is on so she can see without hurting her eyes.)  I said, “No honey, let’s leave your Bible on the shelf so you can take it with you to Sunday School tomorrow.”  “But Mom…..” Grace started whining “I just want to see what the Lord has to say.”  I chuckled to myself when she said this.  It was so sweet and innocent.  “OK, but don’t take it out of the cover.” I said as I handed her Bible to her. 

I replayed her words in my mind and I realized that I haven’t shared a favorite scripture verse with you in awhile.  I have so many favorites, I especially like the Psalms.  King David is so transparent with us as he writes.  Here is the passage I’d like to share with you.

Psalm 61:2 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  (I added the italics for emphasis.)

David, the King of Israel was not afraid to admit that at times he gets overwhelmed (If I had to live David’s life, I would have been more than overwhelmed……) But his secret is that he cries out to God when his heart is overwhelmed and goes to the Rock that is higher than he is.

David gives up and stops trying to do everything on his own and fix everything the way that he thinks it should be, he realizes that God is higher and bigger than he is and has a much better plan than we as humans could ever have.

This reminds me of the old hymn, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”  one line of the song says “Oh what peace we often forfeit, oh what needless pain we bear all because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.” 

Sometimes because of our human nature, we try to do things on our own and we resort to prayer after we’ve tried everything else.  I am always amazed when this happens in my life.  I leave God out, make a mess of things and ask Him to fix it.  I am amazed that He does fix it for me even though I should have gone to Him FIRST, and things end up so much better than I had imagined in the first place. 

I’ve been trying to remind myself to take things to God BEFORE they become a problem and BEFORE I try to do anything to resolve the situation myself…..when I remember to pray FIRST, things go much smoother.

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Psalm 68:19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Selah.

This is one of my favorite verses.  Sometimes we feel like we’ve had a “bad day” or we feel like things aren’t going the way we want them to.  Maybe you’ve been praying about some things and you don’t see the answer, or why it’s happening.  Sometimes, we only thank God for the BIG things, or we only consider the BIG and EXCITING things to be blessings, but David says that God DAILY loads us with benefits.  Once I began meditating on this verse, I began realizing that there are SO many little things each day to be thankful for.  So many little needs that God takes care of for us and so many little things He gives us each day.  Some of the little blessings God has given Grace and I lately are:

  • Good health
  • Safety (I have nearly been in 3 wrecks this year from drivers who didn’t stop at a 4 way stop in our neighborhood.)
  • Saving money (coupons, finding ways to cut costs, providing things that we don’t have to buy, finding things on sale :-))
  • Encouragement
  • Love
  • Salvation
  • A reliable car
  • New piano students
  • Time together
  • New Friends
  • Strength for each day

Today as you go through your day……try to find the little things that God is blessing you with and Thank Him for taking care of you and your family. 

Psalm 68:19  Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits…….

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I’d like to share with you a passage of scripture that encourages and strengthens me….Psalm 46.
 Here it is for you……I’ve made my comments after each verse.
1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
God is my only refuge from all of the “junk” of this world……He gives me my strength.  He is always with me and helps me when I face hard things.

2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Because of this, I’m not afraid.  Even if my world as I know it is turned up side down and I feel like everything is out of control.

3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof.  Selah.
Even when I face storms and pressures in life, I will rest in Him….. (Selah is a musical term that means “rest” or “pause”  it’s kind of like a fermata.)

4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
There is a place of quiet rest, near to the heart of God.

5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
God is in the middle of every situation that comes my way in life.  No matter what I understand or don’t understand about why things are happening to me, God is in control.  He will guide me through it all.

6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
The voice of God is more powerful than anyone or anything on this earth……He will take care of the details, even when I don’t understand or don’t know what is going on, I just need to trust Him.

7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Wow, I don’t know if I can even try to touch this verse, but here goes……The LORD over the entire earth is with ME, the same God that took care of Jacob is MY refuge……I rest in Him.

8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
To God be the Glory, GREAT things HE hath done……I need to remember all of the wonderful things God has done for me in the past and know that even though I don’t know what the answer is to what I’m going through right now, I can trust Him, because He will continue to do GREAT things in my life.

9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
God can do what is humanly impossible.

10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Rest in me…..sit back and relax…..stop worrying…..I have it all under control.

11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Again, I remind myself that the same God that is LORD over all the earth, the same God that Jacob had, He is my God.  He has the same power today as He did in Jacob’s day and HE is MY refuge…..I can rest, I can sleep peacefully when I give Him all of my burdens.

I pray that these verses and my comments on what this Psalm means to me are a blessing and a help to you.  I’ve learned that the less I try to do my self and the more I trust God to take care of things, the less stress I have in my life, the more sleep I get, and things turn out WAY better when God takes care of it than when I do, because the God of Jacob-He is my Refuge too.

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