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

2 Corinthians 1:5 Suffering And Comfort

sunset on lake

For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:5

Suffering is a part of life on this earth. Everywhere a person looks, he will see suffering of some amount or more. Sometimes it is just a little bit of suffering, while other times it is extreme levels of suffering.

There are two types of suffering that people go through. One is suffering of sickness and general problems in life. These are because of the sin that is in this world. Sickness and problems came into this world when Adam and Eve first sinned and were cast out of the Garden of Eden.

The other type of suffering is found only in believers. This type of suffering is being persecuted for being a believer. Persecution can be very light, just words being said, all the way to being physically tortured or killed. In some areas of the world this is a common daily event for believers to suffer just as Jesus suffered.

However, unlike the world, believers also can receive comfort in their suffering. There will be times God will heal the person or solve the difficult situation. Other times God does not remove the suffering, but is brings about comfort in spite of all the suffering.

Believers have the hope and assurance that the suffering will come to an end some day. They can know that some day Jesus will return and all suffering will be removed. Having this type of hope brings comfort and peace to the heart and mind of a believer who is suffering.

This comfort is not only for the believer himself, but also to pass on to others. Comfort is to be shared with all who need comfort.

As you are going through a time of suffering and pain, focus your eyes and mind upon what Jesus has in store for you. Do not complain about or fear the suffering you may be going through. Think about the joy you will have when God brings you home or Jesus returns to bring you home. It will be an eternal joy, comfort and peace that none in this world can know now.

As God comforts you pass that comfort on to others around you. Share what God has given you and be His witness of His great love and power in your life. It will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that you will know God’s comfort in your life; that God will strengthen you in your suffering; that you will share God’s comfort with others; and that you will keep your eyes focused on Jesus. 

Romans 8:18 Greater Things To Come

Future Hope

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

In this life, there is a lot of suffering. It does not matter whether a person is a believer or not, there is suffering. Suffering comes in many different types of forms.

Individuals suffer from sickness, injury, weariness, confusion, being mislead, abuse, physical defects, loss, fear, depression, and much more. Along with directly suffering, many also suffer from seeing others going through suffering.

Suffering is a common place thing in this world. The majority of the world does not know how to deal with suffering. There are many people who turn to different types of drugs, whether legal or illegal. Others will turn to other people for help. Some will seek out death to end the suffering.

When a person is in the middle of suffering, there does not seem to be any hope or an end to it…unless there is something greater to look forward to in the end. There has to be something to hope in and believe in.

Believers are also subject to suffering. Jesus even said that there would be suffering to occur. Yet, as a believer, one has hope, a future to look forward to.

Paul said that with all the sufferings that they are going through as a believer, it does not compare to what is to come.

There is suffering in the life of a believer, because he lives in a fallen world. God also allows suffering to build a person up in Him. It causes a believer to focus on God and what He is doing. It causes  the believer to lean on God and His strength during the time of trouble.

The time of suffering that you may be going through is only temporary. God is working in your life to make you more like Jesus. There is coming a day when He will call you home and you will step into eternity shining bright for the rest of eternity.

While on this earth, you can shine the light and hope of Jesus to the rest of this world that there is a hope beyond the suffering. There is a purpose to go on living. There will be an end to all suffering at some point.

Do not be discouraged in your suffering, but focus on the greater things to come!

I pray today that you will know the hope you can have in Jesus; that you will know the future God has for you; that God’s presence will strengthen you in your suffering; and that you will lean on God during your suffering. 

Lamentations 3:22-23 New Compassions Daily

Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is  your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

As the Israelites were in captivity in Babylon, there was a lot of destruction and suffering. At the time, there did not seem to be a lot of hope. The end could not be seen and it appeared as though God had completely abandoned them for all eternity. Yet, Jeremiah notes that God’s love is so great that they would not be completely destroyed. Despite what was going on around them, he could see God’s compassion for them being renewed each day.

When people are going through hard times, they often feel as though they are completely alone and that God has abandoned them. It is common for a person to feel as though God is full of anger and hate, not wanting anything to do with him ever again.

These hard times can be something physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, or one of many other difficulties in life. The pain that one is feeling is real.

You may be going through a situation right now in your life, or you may have gone through one, or you will go through one some day. Jesus had said that you will have troubles in this world.

As you are going through a troubling time, keep in mind that God has promised you life and salvation through Jesus. There is a hope that one day Jesus will return and take you away from all the troubles of this world.

Another thing to remember is that no matter how difficult your situation is, it could be worse. The situation could be worse if you had no hope of salvation. If you do not believe in Jesus, then you can only look forward to an eternity of separation from God. As long as you are believing in Jesus and trusting in His work in your life, you have the hope of eternity in heaven.

As you get up each morning, realize God has spared your life on this earth for a purpose. He is showing you great love in keeping you going forward. Do not lose hope or give up. You may be hard-pressed, but you are not crushed or destroyed. Trust God through the tough times because He is faithful and will not abandon you.

I pray today that you will know God’s presence in your life; that you will know God’s faithfulness; that you will know God’s love and compassion; and that you will have hope in Jesus. 

Lamentations 1:14 A Heavy Weight

“My sins have been bound into a yoke; by his hands they were woven together. They have been hung on my neck, and the Lord has sapped my strength. He has given me into the hands of those I cannot withstand.” Lamentations 1:14

During the time of the Babylonian takeover of Jerusalem, the people were under much suffering. The Babylonians did not treat them well, though they did allow them to live. The city had been destroyed and the people were in great misery. As Jeremiah sees this, he is weeping, lamenting, because he feels the weight of all the sin that brought on this destruction.

Sin is something that looks and sounds like fun, but it carries a heavy weight to it. People often think that they can handle their own sin, especially those ‘little’ sins.

It is commonly thought that what does it matter if one tells a little lie? Or if one cheats his neighbor a little bit? Or if one just breaks a little rule once in a while? It really does not affect anyone is what most think. And besides, God will understand.

The truth is that any sin, big or small, has a weight that no one can really bear up under. That weight is the weight of death. It will take away all strength from a person, pulling their head down to the grave as though a millstone was hung on his neck. It is bound tight to the person’s neck as a yoke is placed on an animal, that only the master can remove.

Jeremiah had faithfully followed God, but was feeling the weight of the sins of the people. All those sins took a toll on his body and zapped all of his strength.

Even today, if you live in sin, it will take your strength away from you. You will be constantly looking over your back to see if you will be caught in that sin. Fear will keep you awake through the night because death will be knocking on your door. The weight will be more than you can handle.

The good news is that you do not have to bear that weight any more. You can hand it over to Jesus. Turn from the sin and He will get rid of it. He paid the price of death for your sin.

As you turn from your own sin, weep for the sins of others. Lead others to Jesus to get rid of that enormous weight.

I pray today that God will help you turn from all sin; that you will know the freedom Jesus can give you from your sin; and that you will tell others about Jesus.