2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 Encouragement, Strength & Hope

 

Hope in prayer

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17

Life is tough. There are never ending problems everywhere. There is pain. There is suffering. There is violence, hatred, sickness, death and sin. When a person looks at the world, there does not appear to be any hope.

People all around the world are committing suicide because of the loss of hope and the amount of pain they are in. All types of drugs are used by people to help cope with all the pain that they are going through, both physical and emotional. Doctor’s prescribe many different types of drugs to people to help them calm their nerves and be able to deal with life.

Fear runs rampant among people. Fear of the government, fear of other people. Fear of death or sickness. Fear of the unknown.

Even in the church, there runs a level of fear. People fear that they are not good enough for God and will not be allowed into heaven in the end. They fear that God has not forgiven them.

Yet, God does not work with fear, He works with love and grace. God is there to encourage a person and give Him real hope and strength to make it. Believers have a hope of a better life, one that will be found in eternity. This can encourage a believer to stay strong and true to God’s word, despite what this world looks and acts like.

God, in His great love and grace, is giving every believer strength to do what needs to be done, to do the good works He has called every believer to do. He is giving strength to overcome sin and be His witness in this world, and to look past the momentary and painful sufferings of this world.

Take a look at what God has given you. Take a look at what God has promised you. Be encouraged and rely upon His strength to keep moving forward in His ways, to do good and be His witness.

Know that some day you will inherit eternal life in heaven. All that you are going through today will be worth it when you step into eternity with God.

Be encouraged and strengthened today.

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know the salvation He is giving you; that you will know God’s love and grace to you; that God will strengthen you; and that God will encourage you to keep going in Jesus.

Advertisements

Colossians 4:5 Using Opportunities Correctly

 

Immigrants

Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5

All around the world in every nation and every city or community, there will be people who are outsiders. These are people who have moved into the area from some other location. This location can be from the same country, maybe only a few miles down the road, or from across the ocean. Regardless of where they come from, they are outsiders.

When these outsiders come from another nation, they are called immigrants. There is currently lots of discussion on how to treat those immigrants and what should or should not be done with them. Some want to kick them out, some what to put them in jail, and others want to let them stay.

The same problems arise with people who are outsiders coming around the church. These are people who are not believers. How does one in the church act towards them?

Often many believers treat them with distrust and hatred, not giving them an opportunity to know Jesus.

Paul says that the believer must be wise in how one acts towards them and to make the most of every opportunity.

Wisdom can be seen in being careful in choosing the words and actions spoken. Every believer is supposed to be a witness of who Jesus is and a representative of His great love and mercy towards others. This takes great wisdom from God to know.

The believer is to take every opportunity he can to show God’s love to the outsider–the non-believer, the world. This can only be done with love, mercy and grace in both words and actions.

Every day and at every moment there are many opportunities to be a witness to an outsider. More than half the world is an outsider to God.

Instead of being afraid of an outsider, find ways to reach out in love to the outsider. Take a look at what you are saying and doing around the outsider. Are your actions and words drawing them or pointing them to Jesus? Or are your actions and words pushing them away from Jesus?

Allow God to open your eyes to the many opportunities that come your way each day. Grab every opportunity you can to be His witness. Draw in as many outsiders into His kingdom as you can. That is the goal of Jesus.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that God will guide you in what to say and do around others; that you will show God’s love and mercy to all people; and that you will be filled with God’s wisdom. 

2 Corinthians 12:9 Weakness Can Be Good

 

Weak man

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

Paul had a weakness that tormented him. He had pleaded with God to remove that weakness, but God would not remove it. God stated that His power was made perfect through that weakness.

Weakness is something that is often looked down upon most people as something that is bad or a negative in a person’s life. A weakness is often see as a sign of failure or incompetence.

People are never chosen for being weak. They are overlooked and rejected because of some weakness in their life. That weakness can be a physical weakness or even a moral weakness, either way it is looked as not good and worthless.

It is also common for the individual to see his own personal weaknesses and try to hide them or cover them up. Most people do not want someone else to even know about their weaknesses, it looks bad. They fear rejection or ridicule because of the weakness.

For the believer, his view should be different. Although the weakness does not appear to help directly, it should drive the believer towards God, to lean upon God for strength in that area he is weak. God wants every believer to lean upon Him and not upon their own strength. He will provide the needed strength.

God also has enough grace to lift a person up where they are weak. He is not standing there ready to knock the person over the head and kick him out because of some weakness.

Unlike the world, God is not a God of just judgement, but one of love and mercy. He wants the believer to succeed and will do what it takes to make it happen.

You are no different from any other person. You will have weaknesses in your life, just like everyone else does. Do not fear those weaknesses or be ashamed of them. Take them before God and allow Him to pick you up and use you in spite of those weaknesses.

Trust God in the way He made you and in the way He is forming you. He has all the strength and grace that you need to overcome every weakness in His time.

I pray today that you will know the grace of God; that God will show you His strength and power; that you will rely upon God for His strength; and that God will use you to reach this world for Jesus.

John 18:36 No Physical Fight

doves.jpg

Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” John 18:36

Jesus had been arrested and was going through a trial. The leaders did not believe that He was who He said He was. They were asking Him if He was the king of the Jews. Jesus points out that His kingdom is not one of this earth, it was not a physical kingdom, but one from somewhere else.

There has been times that Christians have been known to be violent in standing up for Christ. During the middle centuries, the church went on crusades in order to kill of the believers of false religions. It was a physical effort to build God’s kingdom on this earth.

In more recent times, there have been some “Christians” who have been extremely violent against unbelievers. Some have been known for blowing up abortion centers in an attempt to stop the sin going on there. In the process people are killed and not given the chance to believe in Jesus and change.

Jesus did not use any physical violence in the process of building His kingdom. He never harmed any person, no matter how good or bad that person was. His method of building His kingdom was using love.

Love is something that is not of this world. This world is ruled by the devil, who does not believe in love other than the love of self. The world claims to show love, but it is selfishness and hate for others.

People will not be won over to Jesus, by striking them and cutting them down. They can only be won over by showing love, mercy, and grace. These are the very same things that Jesus showed you.

The kingdom of God is from heaven. It is filled with love, not violence. You do not need to use force to get people into His kingdom.

Jesus did not need physical protection, because He was in God’s hands. In the same way, you do not need physical protection. You are in God’s hands and are of a different world.

Since you are from a different world, the ways of doing things are different. Live the life of love, mercy and grace as you reach out to build God’s kingdom, not force.

I pray today that you will know God’s love for all people; that you will use God’s love to reach the lost; that you will not fight in the physical against this world; and that God will strengthen you to show His love to this world.