5/16/06

Encouragement for Today

(Principle #1)

 

“Three Strands”    

Katherine R. Cottle, Graduate of She Speaks Conference

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/ss_intro_2006.htm

 

Key Verse:

Ecclesiastes 4:12, “…A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”  (NIV)

 

Devotion:

Hurricane season, especially after last year’s devastation, prompts most of us living along the coast to pay special attention to the weather channel.  Typically, I start to pray as soon as I see the big orange blob appear on the radar map – a sure sign that one of those large, dangerous storms is beginning to make its way toward the U.S.  I find great difficulty, however, remaining calm in the face of certain disaster.  It is hard not knowing what you may or may not find remaining after a hurricane comes ashore.  It is easy to feel overwhelmed, isolated and all alone.  I am so grateful when my husband just wraps his big, strong arms around me and assures me that no matter what we really are going to be OK.  I will hold onto him, he will hold onto me, and Jesus will hold us both. 

 

A few years ago, after hurricane Charlie blew by, among the debris I noticed two trees in my neighborhood tied together by a bright red, thick rope.   A beautiful dogwood tree had been anchored down during the storm by the force of the rope tied to a large, strong pine tree.  Realizing that it was the red rope that had held the two together, I thanked the Lord for the beautiful reminder that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken. We are told that we will have trials and tribulation in this world.  Storms of all kinds will come and go as we continue on our journey.  I have found comfort in the knowledge that we are to take heart because Jesus has overcome the world (John 16:33).

 

Are you facing a storm in your relationships today?  Are you struggling with your marriage? Do you have a challenging child?  Are you working with an impossible co-worker?  Have you had a conflict with your neighbor?  Are there any unresolved issues with a fellow brother or sister in Christ?

 

Then I have good news for you.  Jesus Christ is more than capable of holding our relationships together during the storms of life.  If we are tied to Him through a personal relationship, we are then also bound by His strength and love to our fellow believers.  You are not alone. As Christians we belong to the body of Christ; you have an instant family!  We were never created to be alone and because of Jesus and his sacrifice on the cross for us, we do not have to be.  Remember you are part of the church, the “strand of three.”

 

My Prayer for Today:

Thank You, Jesus, for providing Yourself and Your people to comfort me during the storms of life.  Thank You for holding onto me, help me to hold onto You.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps: 

Whatever your “storm” might be today, contact your home church and see if they have access to a support fellowship group.

 

Write Jesus’ words, “I will never leave you or forsake you” on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror as a reminder of God’s promise to you.

 

Reflection Points:         

How can you better hold on to Jesus when faced with the storms of this life?

 

Why is it so important to be in fellowship with other Christians?    

 

Do you have a Christian mentor whom you trust?  If not, why not?        

 

Power Verses: 

Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in the midst of them.” (KJV)

 

Hebrews 10:25, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another…” (NIV)

 

James 4:8, “Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (NIV)

 

Psalm 55:22, “Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain you: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” (KJV)

 

Additional Resources:

Radically Obedient, Radically Blessed, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_radicallyObedient.htm

 

Coming Out of the Dark, by Mary Southerland

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_outDark.htm

 

Show Me the Way (audio CD), by Gwen Smith

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_showmeway.htm