When we sincerely search the sacred text, we can find myriads of reasons to hold to our Creator’s unchanging hand.
Everyone needs encouragement. In this wicked world finding the joy and happiness we all cherish is never easy. But the very God who made us has revealed in the Scriptures many reasons for Christians to find calm in the midst of stormy surroundings.
In Joshua 1:7, Jehovah promised to bless Joshua’s future days with boundless benefits if that valiant leader would constantly follow in the pathway of righteousness-” turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest” (KJV). Today, when servants of God devote themselves to holiness and never swerve from the highway of godliness, these same promises hold true.
No verse has more depth of encouragement than Deuteronomy 33:27:
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.
Under the everlasting arms of our Maker, we find solace and balm for troubled hearts.
What a wondrous haven of rest we have in the security God provides. Mankind is often inept in providing the real needs of his soul. In fact, we often are our own worst enemy in seeking the wrong things. Failing to meet the challenge of spiritual growth we often wallow in the mire of shallow endeavor that demands very little of us. But, those willing to walk near to the heart of God find strength, beauty and resolve to rise to heights of loyal service in the kingdom of the Lord.
God has promised to guide us in this life and afterward receive us unto glory (Psalm 73:24)! All this and heaven, too. A three-time winner is the faithful follower of the Savior. Such a one misses hell, goes to heaven and also lives the best possible way upon this earth. What comfort the Bible holds!
It truly warms our hearts as Christians to realize that wherever we take the message of salvation, the Lord will be with us: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” When we take the great commission seriously and launch out into world evangelism, we can expect the providence of God to open doors (1 Corinthians 16:9) that even adversaries cannot shut. When we work with the Savior (2 Corinthians 6:1), the demons in hell tremble.
Even “the sufferings of this present time” (Romans 8:18) cannot overwhelm us because “the Father is with us” John 16:32). We can have boldness in living for Jesus regardless of external circumstances. When God is for us and supplies our every need (Philippians 4:19), we lead buoyant lives upon the earth. This naturally produces peace beyond human comprehension and adds vibrant hues to the panorama of our existence. No one fully enjoys all the good things of this world but those in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
Children of God live in the vibrant hope of glory based upon the surety of heaven’s promise (Titus 1:2). We do not serve the Redeemer in vain. This hope serves as an anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6:19) that propels us to higher ground. Earthly aspirations by the ungodly may prove futile as John Vanbrugh wrote nearly three centuries ago: “The want of a thing is perplexing enough; the possession of it is intolerable.” But, hoping “to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:13) is joy unspeakable and full of glory. These are, indeed, words of encouragement!
Yes, we are told to cast all our anxieties upon our blessed Savior because He cares for us
(1 Peter 5:7). What-ever the burden, whenever the sorrow, wherever the obstacle, we have a Friend who will make the tribulation bear-able. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5-6) and to keep the door of heaven wide open (Revelation 4:1) to help us “in every time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).
How blessed, beyond description, are those who live and die in Jesus. To know that our heavenly Father knows and cares about our present sojourn and future destiny ought to be enough encouragement for anyone. Daniel’s words sum it up mightily: “God rules in the kingdom of men” (4:17).