Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Encouragement for Those Heavily Burdened

I just love Tuesdays because it's an opportunity to link up, once again, with Jami at Call Me Blessed for "We Encourage".  Except that as I was about to write, I really had nothing at all!  I looked over older posts and there just wasn't anything that jumped out at me that I hadn't already linked up with in previous weeks.  I don't know that I'd call it an outright prayer, but I just asked God for a word.  A short time later, I glanced up at my blog header.  Actually, it was just beneath the header.  I have a widget that posts a daily scripture passage.  It was verses 8 and 9 from the following passage:

1 Peter 5:6-9 (NLT)

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.
8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. 9 Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.

Interestingly, this is also a passage that we had as part of our weekly scriptures for our Sisterhood bible study last week.  So I thought, how could I use this scripture to encourage today.

When you read this passage, it sure sounds difficult, doesn't it?  Humble yourselves.  Watch out for the enemy. Tough stuff.  But look beyond that.  Friends, this scripture is a promise from God.  He is asking us to humble ourselves before Him.  To submit to Him.  Why?  Because He desires that we would follow Him because He loves us and cares for us.  He cares about us enough to ask us to give up all of our worries.  He is offering to take up the burdens for us.

The tough part comes in the middle.  He is warning us that the enemy {the devil} is out there - he is lurking around every corner just waiting for us to be vulnerable enough or to not be paying enough attention so that he might step in and derail us.  God's warning is for us to be cautious in all we do because the enemy is always close by.  But God makes us another promise - that we can stand firm and be strong against the enemy.  We can hang on to our faith when we hold tight to what we truly believe.  If we put God first in all we do, then there is no place for the enemy to enter and take hold.  To me, that is something worth fighting for.

God also gives us reassurance in this passage.  We are not alone.  No matter what our situation.  No matter what our concerns or worries.  No matter how difficult our own lives are.  No matter how impossible things seem,  No matter how high of a mountain stands before us.  We are not alone.  God tells us that our brothers and sisters in Christ throughout the world all go through suffering of their own.

Take heart.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by life, there is hope.  I know this to be true.  I've lived this.  I am often overwhelmed by life's situations.  But when I truly turned my concerns over to God, it was then that I was able to find some peace about things.  That doesn't mean that the problems will disappear.  But there is hope and a promise that God will ease our load for us.

That is encouraging.

linking up:

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