Encouragement 11-17-04


November 17, 2004
Encouragement for Today

Stuck on You
Luann Prater, Member of Proverbs 31 Speaker Team

Key verse:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23 (NIV)


The Greek word for 'hold' is katecho meaning 'to adhere to.'  The Greek word for 'faithful' is pistos meaning 'worthy of our trust.'

When my youngest daughter was about four years old, she made a life-changing discovery.  She was so anxious to go to school like the other kids, to go on field trips, have homework and bring home those special papers which ended up on the refrigerator that one day she could not stop talking about it.  I called her to the table and gave her construction paper, a glue stick and everything she needed to create a masterpiece.  I then reserved a special spot on the refrigerator just for her work.
She began frantically designing and I went back to my housework.  Soon I heard a noise that began as a whimper and steadily grew into a glass-shattering scream.  Dashing to the table, I discovered the source.  Her eyes were as wide as saucers.  She bellowed and shook her little hands around in the air for me to see.  Tiny baby fingers had merged into one solid blob.  Evidently, the glue stick was not performing to her satisfaction so she searched my drawer and found the Super Glue.  Now my baby girl, panic-stricken, had fingers that were securely stuck together. 

Some years later at a theme park, she reminded me of that life lesson.  As the ride whipped us around, she gripped my arm firmly and declared, "Just like Super Glue!"
Hope is sometimes an elusive thing.  The devil is always working to make our hope slippery and often we let it slip in and out of our lives.  Hope falters when our dreams are dashed, our wishes wane and our world seems to crumble.  Under our own power we are like the glue stick, nothing feels very secure.  We worry about it, stare at it, cry about it but can't seem to hold on to hope with any kind of staying power.

What is gripping you?  For me it was fear.  I was trapped by a seemingly insurmountable problem.  Like caught in quick-sand, I was slipping into the "hopeless" mindset.  The words ricocheted repeatedly, "There is no way out!  I can't fix this!"  Then I slipped onto the floor and into the posture God loves most, on bended knee.  I sobbed and began to melt.  It's as if the tears were burning away the hopelessness, the worry and the pride of thinking I could handle it all on my own. 
Jesus Christ made us a promise that he would never leave us or forsake us.  So why do we settle for flimsy substitutes?  We settle for things of this world like worldly love, harmful addictions and Satan's lies that can never satisfy.  He wants us to give up and believe there is no hope.  But we have been sealed with a promise!  Even when this world shakes us up, flips us around, makes our path slippery, Christ encourages us to "stick like Super Glue" to the only one who is "worthy of our trust." 

My prayer for today:

Father, thank you for filling me with hope. Help me never to settle for weak imitations, but always look to you for ultimate sticking power.

Application steps:

If something has gripped your hope, write it down.  With a red pen or marker swipe a big red line through it to symbolize the blood that sets us free from worry.  Drop to your knees and ask God to strike the fear that this situation holds over your life.  Then rejoice and thank him for being faithful.

Reflection points:

Does my hope sway with circumstances?

What occupies my mind?

Have I asked God to hold me at my weakest point?

Am I trying to solve problems in my own strength and power?

Power verses:

Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? Galatians 3:3 (NLT)

But you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don't drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News. Colossians 1:23 (NLT)

Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again. Revelation 3:3 (NLT)

Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 (NLT)

Additional resources:

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed by Lysa Terkeurst

Originally published Wednesday, 17 November 2004.