“Be Encouraged”

After having a week filled with “discouragement” last week, God has sought it fit to allow me to feel “encouraged” this week. He is truly an Awesome God!

Reflecting on the Psalms, which is a GREAT place to be, helps me to see all that David endured and how desperately he cried out to God in the midst of his despair, and how God heard his prayers! I love the Psalms and the words that David uses because I feel as though they are coming straight from my own heart.

When it comes to songwriting for me, songs and melodies tend to come out of my cries of desperation. Particularly on my album “I Cling to Jesus”. This entire album came out of prayers of distress where I found myself “clinging” to the Savior and praying for Him to hold fast to His promises. I’ve learned to place reminder scriptures around my house, to remind myself that God is working things out for my good and for His Glory in all circumstances. He has shown me time and time again how he can turn my sorrow into a song and this last week, He did it yet again.

On a Social Media site, I was getting chastised by someone, and felt very discouraged about why someone would choose to do this publically and what about my post even prompted this person to write they did. My post simply said “Jesus is the sweetest name I know.” So as I pondered over these words over and over and over again, God placed a melody in my heart and, as I so often do, I began to sing! And so I sang “Jesus is the sweetest name I know. The only name that satisfies my soul. The blind can see and lame can walk – and He’s the one that can make me whole. Jesus is the sweetest name I know!”

Out of this simple song God reminded me, it doesn’t matter what man will say. What matters is God and what He has done for me and the gifts He has given me to give Him Glory! He is the one who knows me and who satisfies me. He is my healer and only He can make me whole! He knows my heart for Him and for others and He is the one who brings me encouragement when others try to bring me down.

Jesus is the one who lifts me up and His name is truly the Sweetest name I know!

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“Discouragement”

I thought today it might be kind of silly to start off with the question “Do you ever feel discouraged?” when I think I probably already know the answer to that question. I’m sure everyone has felt discouraged at one time or another. I decided to look up the definition this week and found that it means – “The feeling of despair in the midst of obstacles.” So I looked at my life and saw, yes I am in the midst of obstacles, and yes I am feeling despair, therefore I guess I must in fact be discouraged. I just needed to confirm it by looking it up. Hahaha

So what gets us discouraged and what do we then do about it? I find that I allow what people say and how they treat me to bring discouragement. There is such power in words and I am often times amazed at what people have the courage to speak out loud. But what do I do in response is the real question. Why do we even have the feeling of discouragement in our hearts sometimes? I believe that God uses discouragement as a way for us to draw closer to Him. I found myself looking to scripture and asking what the Bible says about discouragement. I found SO many verses that really helped to lift my spirit- here are just a few:

2 CORINTHIANS 12:9 ESV
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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

JOHN 16:33 ESV
I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

ROMANS 8:26 ESV
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

JOSHUA 1:9 ESV
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

How amazing it is that the Bible gives so many words to help encourage us. God must know how many times people and this life would tear down and discourage us. I am so thankful for His words and what they do to restore my soul.

I pray often times that when people see my life they will be drawn to Christ, but even if that does not come to pass, I am thankful for the circumstances that come my way, because they always draw ME closer to Christ and ultimately, that is where I long to be.

My prayer today is that I am careful with my words and I pray that God helps me to encourage people and lift them up, and not to discourage and tear people down. Help me Lord, to be more like Christ.