January 11, 2018
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5 (ESV)
New is what I needed.
A door opened in my work that, while wonderful and exciting, would be way over my head to accomplish. Without even a single prayer, I headed to my office to write an email simply saying, No.
Then I stopped.
What if this was God? Could it be? Would God ask me to do something that was beyond my normal strength?
Yes, that did sound like it could in fact be a plan He would create. He would plan to put me in a place beyond my ability.
Later that day, I opened my scheduled Bible passage for the day and read:
“May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5
I was stunned. I have read Romans many times, and I don’t believe I have ever seen God called the God of endurance and encouragement. God knew. He knew if I were going to say yes to this work assignment and have the courage to take it on, I’d have to know He is in fact the God of endurance.
To do this new work, I needed a new confidence only Christ could give me. This confidence would come as I learned to encourage myself with the God of encouragement’s Word.
Scripture shares the example of Deborah, a judge and prophetess tucked in the book of Judges, who understood that we must encourage ourselves. In Judges 5:12a she says to herself, “Awake, awake Deborah! Awake, awake, break out in a song!” (ESV)
There won’t always be friends and family surrounding us, telling us to keep going and rely on the God of endurance to get us through. Yet we can partner with the Holy Spirit residing in us and remind our hearts that God is with us, and He’s empowering us!
There are many days I have to whisper under my breath like Deborah, “Keep going, Lynn! Keep going!”
I’m guessing your heart needs that self-cheering too.
Later in the same chapter, Deborah finishes the song she was singing, revealing the source of her incredible strength: “So may all your enemies perish, LORD! But may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength” (Judges 5:31a, NIV)
Deborah got it. She understood that the strength and confidence she needed came from God and loving Him. Her love for Him empowered her to be like the sun as it comes up morning after morning, consistent and powerful. Likewise, our love for God empowers us to keep going, even when we feel unsure or unstable.
This is truth: The God of endurance and encouragement empowers us, yet we must speak His truth over our hearts. This gives us the foundation to build a confidence deeply rooted, that never slips or fades … a confidence that endures.
Lord, moving in a new direction, opposite my comfort, is hard. I need Your strength, Your wisdom, Your confidence. I believe You will empower me as I step out in faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 4:13, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 17:7, “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him.” (NIV)
Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, Lynn Cowell’s newest book, empowers women with a confidence that can withstand even shaky situations! Get your copy here.
Visit Lynn’s blog today, where she’s giving away a copy of her newest book for women, Make Your Move: Finding Unshakable Confidence Despite Your Fears and Failures, and the free download 5 New Moves for Your New Year.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
As you reflect on an area in your life where trouble is brewing, what step could you take, possibly a scary step, to help resolve it?
Ask the Lord to give you one small step to take right now that will take you closer to your problem’s solution