Nehemiah 4:14 NIV
Fight a gloomy outlook. Attitude is a little thing, but it makes a big difference. Depression, gloom, pessimism, despair, and discouragement stop more people than all the world’s combined illnesses. The truth is, enthusiasm will take you where talent alone can’t. Think about it: Every day talented people give in to discouragement and quit, while people with less talent and ability keep going and succeed. Winston Churchill once quipped, “I’m an optimist. It doesn’t seem too much use being anything else.” If you really, really, really believe that God is on your side, you’ll be optimistic even in the face of overwhelming obstacles and discouragement.
In the Old Testament, a group of former slaves rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem in just fifty-two days, and went on to prosper. How did they do it? Because their leader said, “Don’t surrender to discouragement. Don’t give it an inch. Fight every step of the way!” And that prescription still works today!
One of Satan’s favourite weapons is discouragement. He knows you can never be defeated unless you’re defeated in your thinking. But you have the power to overcome him. The Bible says, “Submit…to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7). When Satan brings discouragement to your door, what should you do? Don’t open the door! Don’t invite him in! Don’t accept the package! Don’t sign the receipt! Instead, submit to God – and resist him! From time to time we all experience fatigue, frustration, failure, and fear. But by standing on God’s promises and drawing on His strength, you can choose not to get discouraged. The choice is yours!
Soul food: 1 Chr 16-18; John 10:22-42; Ps 83:9-18; Prov 26:13-16
Habakkuk 2:3 NLT
Has God promised you something and humanly speaking you see no way it can come to pass? Are you having a hard time waiting? Read this Scripture: “If it seems slow…wait patiently, for it will surely take place.” God does things on schedule, and your appointment is still on His calendar. Be assured that nothing the Enemy does can preempt the plan of God for your life. When He gives you a promise, it’s like a seed. First it must fall into the fertile soil of faith and be given time to grow. Then it must be watered regularly through prayer and the Word of God. It won’t come to pass because you push and try to manipulate: “[It’s]…not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6). If God has promised you something, stand on His Word and remind yourself, “My life can’t end before this comes to pass.” The story of Joseph’s life could be summed up in this Scripture: “Until the time that his word came to pass, the word of the Lord tested him” (Psalm 105:19 NKJV). Why test something? To reveal its strength; to see if it holds up or falls apart under pressure. What has God promised you? Do you believe Him? How strong is your faith? If it’s weak, God will put you back into the school of faith so you can learn the lessons, pass the tests, and graduate. “Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is…a rewarder” (Hebrews 11:6 NKJV). The word for you today is: Keep believing God, and it will happen.
Soul food: Gen 47-49; John 19:25-42; Ps 150; Ecc 5:10-12
Jeremiah 31:16 NKJV
When we’re facing a tough situation, or a hard time in our lives that doesn’t seem to be ending, we can sometimes start to lose hope. We feel like things will always be this way and that there’s no possibility of anything changing. We may have been praying for years and not seen any change. It can be discouraging. When we lose our hope, we lose our ability to see beyond our circumstances. We can become consumed by fear, disappointment and resentment that our situation isn’t changing. But God says He ‘will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope’ (Hosea 2:15 NIV). Achor means trouble. So here God is saying that He’ll turn trouble into hope. And the Bible says that ‘those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint’ (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). When the Israelites were in exile, there must have been days when many of them doubted whether they would ever be allowed to return to the Promised Land. They may have even thought that God had abandoned and forgotten about them. But Jeremiah prophesied: ‘They shall come back from the land of the enemy.’ The word ‘shall’ is a definite; that was what was going to happen – and it did. And we can have that same expectancy. When God promises us something, He’ll always come through. He is faithful and always keeps His promises. He has the power to completely change our situations and turn our trouble into hope.
Num 22-24; Matt 12:38-50; Ps 108; Prov 3:31-32
Efesiërs 3:20 NLV
‘n Skrywer sê: ‘Ons bestuur tyd, mors tyd, spandeer tyd en spaar tyd. Ons wens die tyd wil kom, ons wens die tyd wil verbygaan, ons sien hoe die tyd vlieg, ons voel hoe tyd stilstaan. Ons hou horlosies dop en dra kalenders rond en tog beheer God tyd. Hy het tyd geskep en sy skeppings word in sy tyd gelei en deur sy liefdevolle hand gerig. Ons word deur onverwagte ontwikkelinge verras, maar God word nooit, selfs deur die mees rampspoedige gebeurtenisse, verras nie. Jou lewensuitkyk verander dramaties wanneer jy weet dat God op hierdie presiese oomblik binne in jou werk om sy doel vir jou uit te leef. Dink hoe jy sou gelewe het as jy verseker was dat God aan die einde van jou sperdatum vir jou wag. Dat selfs met sekondes oor, jy met sekerheid geglo het dat God in jou omstandighede aan die werk is. Die kern van geloof is om te glo dat God daar is en op die punt is om die noodsaaklike te voorsien. ‘Jesus Christus bly steeds dieselfde – gister, vandag en vir altyd!’ (Hebreërs 13:8 NLV). Tyd kan nie sy liefde of sy krag om in jou lewe te werk, verminder nie. Hy was in die verlede daar, Hy is hier in die hede en Hy sal in die toekoms daar wees. Vir Hom ‘…is ‘n duisend jaar soos gister, soos ‘n nagwaak wat gou verby is!’ (Psalm 90:4 NLV). Sy uiteindelike doel is om jou in die ewigheid in te bring, nie net om jou deur hierdie week te kry nie.’ Herinner jouself in elke situasie, dat ‘…Hy wat mag het om deur die krag wat in ons werk, oneindig meer te doen as wat ons vra of dink om te vra.’
John 11:25-26 NLT
We struggle with the idea of our own mortality. It’s said that Florence Nightingale feared death so much, after the Crimean War she went to bed and basically stayed there until she died in 1910. Chuck Swindoll says we skirt the subject by using: “(1) Humor. Making a joke of it keeps death at a safe distance so we never have to face reality. (2) Denial. King Louis XIV of France wouldn’t allow the word ‘death’ to be uttered in his presence. But on September 1, 1715, he discovered that death can’t be wished out of existence. People spend so much on anti-aging creams, Botox, and plastic surgery to avoid seeing evidence of death’s approach. (3) Romanticism. A man in Europe built a special room where he can live with his dead wife. His bed is next to her casket. He decorated the room with flowers and candles. He writes her poetry every day in a romantic attempt to avoid the pain of her passing. (4) Fear. Observe fellow passengers on an airplane when turbulence causes sudden drops and vibrations. Young and old alike scream and cry out.” The good news is you don’t have to fear death! The One who defeated it said, “Because I live, you also will live” (John 14:19 NIV 1984 Edition). When you repent and commit your life to Christ, you have His personal guarantee of eternal life. After Lazarus died, Jesus told his sister Martha: “I am the resurrection and the life… Everyone who…believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this?” If you do, you’ll live forever with Christ.