Focus: Seeking Hope and Encouragement for This Day
2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 (NIV) 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.
Starting a new year can be pretty discouraging. If you are a person struggling for your sanity, trying to keep from hurting yourself, or battling temptation against substance abuse—it is one of the hardest times of the year to be an overcomer.
The fact you are reading this is a sign that you want help and are seeking support. The words to the scripture passage above are very powerful. Meditating on them can be like a transfusion.
First of all, verse 16 says that “God loved you”. It’s a reminder that God not only loves you now, but He has always loved you. That’s an important concept to stay focused on right now.
It says, “God loved us by His grace.” Maybe you know the definition of grace. Whether you do or you don’t, let me tell you how ‘grace’ is defined. It is considered ‘unmerited favor’. In other words, getting something we didn’t have coming—or deserve.
Now, you might automatically think, “Well, yeah, that’s why I’m in the shape I’m in—because somebody did something to me that I didn’t deserve. That may be the case, but the ‘something you didn’t deserve’ in this case is ‘the love of God’. None of us deserved to be forgiven—but, He loved us so much He did it anyway.
People aren’t perfect and will sometimes let you down. God will never let you down. A huge thing you need to concentrate on today, is not putting your hope in people and not expecting a person or people to be your source of hope and encouragement.
This verses give a message that is crystal clear. It is God alone who gives us hope, encouragement, and the strength we need to do everything we need to do.
God wants you to put your trust in Him alone. Can you do that? Can you see how much He loves you and wants you to succeed? Maybe you can’t, at this point. But, I would like to challenge you to ask Him to give you ‘Hope’ and ‘Encouragement’ to keep going. It is such a simple request for such a great God to fill.
There have been times in my life when I was feeling very desperate and I asked God to give me ‘hope and encouragement’. Within a short time, I felt the weight on my shoulders ‘lift’. If you will take a moment and actually ask God to give you ‘Hope and Encouragement’, I know He will.
Declaration: God is giving me hope, encouragement, and new strength.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee as of the date they were written and posted. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog. This material will be published as a book at the end of 2012, by the grace of God.
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