When we look back at our past, the mistakes we’ve made, the loss, heartbreak, regrets, betrayals and disappointments we’ve had… its hard not to feel bitter about it. Yet God has a way of taking the bitter taste of your past and hurt and turning it into sweet waters. Look at Joseph, betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery. He was falsely excused, imprisoned and forgotten but God used it to position him for greatness. At the appointed time he was exalted to the right hand of the most powerful man in Egypt. Those same brothers who betrayed him, he was able to save. He became a great blessing to many including his own father.
It is recorded for our benefit so that we may be encouraged that God was with Joseph in the lowest points of his life. The Lord was with Joseph when he was sold into slavery and God prospered him. He was with Joseph when he was falsely accused and thrown into prison and God showed Him favor, kindness and granted him success. This is such a beautiful revelation from our Heavenly Father. You could be having the worst day of your life but unlike those lost in the world you have this Hope that your Father is with you. His favor, grace and success is abounding towards you. Jesus is working on your behalf. Even in your weakness, when all you see is lack, you are more than a conqueror and a success because of Him who is with you and for you.
God’s math is different from ours. God has a way of taking what the world has subtracted from you and multiplying it two to five-fold back to you. (See Exodus 22, Job and Joel 2:25-27) You are in a unique position child of God; you are in Christ. That’s why we count it all joy in times of trouble because we know that all things, not some things but ALL THINGS will work out for our good, its His promise to us. So hold on to this hope; the One who loves you with an unfailing love will make the bitter waters in your life sweet.
I was wrapping up my morning prayer when I said, “Father, keep me encouraged today.” I gasped as soon as the words left my mouth. I couldn’t believe I just said that. I’ve been saved for almost half my life; these words shouldn’t be coming out of my mouth. I felt ashamed. God has performed miracle upon miracle in my life. He’s made the impossible, possible so many times. My entire household is blessed beyond measure. I have more than enough to be encouraged about. If King David could encourage himself after losing his wives and kids and the family’s of his men to the enemy. Surely I can muster up enough encouragement for myself. Looking back at all the Lord had done for me only made me feel worse. Besides, things were good. There was no reason for me to make such a request. I felt so ungrateful and selfish.
That’s when I heard the Lord say, “If your child were to ask you for help and it was within your power to help them, would you ever deny them? I thought… No.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wouldn’t matter how many times I’ve helped my kids in the past. It wouldn’t matter how great or small the need was; if they need me, I’m there. I don’t keep a tally. I would never say, “Sorry kid you’ve hit your limit, or you’re an adult now, you’re on your own.” To be honest I take pleasure in helping them, even with the things I know they can do themselves. I love being there for them. I like to think that the love I have for my children is but a fraction of the Love God has for us. If it pleases me to encourage my children then I have to believe that it pleases God to keep me encouraged.
I was led to the book of Romans and with 7 words God replaced that shame that crept into my heart with love and a boldness that set me free. This is what I read: “…The God who gives endurance and encouragement…” Romans 15:15 NIV. I didn’t even finish the rest of the verse and I didn’t need to. All I needed was these few words, that He is the God who gives endurance and encouragement. Never again will I ever hesitate to ask my Heavenly Father to keep me encouraged. The greatest trick of the enemy is to keep us too ashamed to come to the Father with our needs. Hebrews 4:16 encourages us, “to approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “
I was feeling a bit burnt out that day. I needed a “pick me up”. I thought because of my “maturity in Christ” that I was beyond asking God for the little things. If God cares to count the hairs on our head surely He cares about the little things that goes on in our lives.
I want to plant this verse in you. “ 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) May this seed of truth take root in your heart today. 🙂
Be encouraged Child of God and don’t ever hesitate to cast your cares upon our Father who cares about you and loves you with an unfailing love.
“I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” (1Corinthian 3:6)
The other day I was thinking about the story of Johnny Appleseed, I’m sure most of you remember the story, how he planted apple seeds throughout the United States. I pictured in my mind how is orchard would like from Heaven’s view then I wondered what does my orchard look like? How many seeds have I planted for God? Is my orchard lush, green and full with rich, ripe fruit?
The word of God is a seed, (Luke 8: 11) and our job as Saints is to plant God’s word and allow our Heavenly Father to do the rest. You can plant a seed of love by telling someone that God loves you so much that He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins so that we may live (1John 4:9). You can plant a seed of faith by letting someone know that they can accomplish anything through Christ for it is He who gives them strength (Philippians 4:13). You can plant a seed of hope by telling someone that blessed is the person whose trust and hope is in the Lord (Jeremiah 17:7) The point I am trying to make is when we do leave this earth the orchard we leave behind should be full and lush and saints it only takes a minute to plant a seed, to plant God’s loving word.
The seed I want to plant today is a seed that I hope will lift every burden, erase all of your worry and set you on a path that will lead you to experiencing the fullness of God. The seed is this: Seek first the Kingdom of God and keep yourself in right standing and all of your needs and heart’s desires will be added to you. (Matthew 6:33) God Bless you Saints and Happy Planting!
Written by Afiya Duncanson