May 20

Encouragement for Today

 

“I’m A Can Do Kid” – Part 2

Renee Swope, Director of Proverbs 31 Speaker Team, Speaker and Author

 

Key Verse:

 

Judges 6:14, "Go in the strength you have…Am I not sending you?" (NIV)

 

Devotion:

 

Yesterday I shared the amazing power a parent’s words can have on a child. Through the simple blessing of giving my son, Andrew, a new name I saw him transform from a defeated and discouraged little guy, to a confident and helpful “can do” kid!

 

I am not the only parent who has seen the powerful impact words of encouragement can have on a child. There are stories just like mine all throughout the Bible. One of my favorites is that of Gideon which is found in chapter six in the book of Judges.

 

Gideon’s family was going through a very difficult time. Their enemies, the Midianites, were stealing crops and destroying their land. Gideon had become fearful. His heart was overwhelmed by what seemed to be an impossible situation. As he focused on the strengths of the Midianites, his own weaknesses were magnified, leaving him with a sense of inadequacy.  

 

One day Gideon decided to take his sheaves of wheat into a winepress for threshing so no one could find him. While Gideon was there, an angel of God came to him and said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

 

Was Gideon acting like a mighty warrior? No. He was acting more like a mighty wimp! Yet God saw beyond who Gideon was that day and gave Him the name of who he could become, a mighty warrior.

 

"But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us?"

 

The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian's hand. Am I not sending you?"

 

"But Lord,” Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My family is the weakest and I am the smallest in my family." The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all your enemies together."

 

Gideon was filled with uncertainty, fear and unbelief. He questioned the promise of God’s presence. He doubted the strength of his personal abilities. And he denied the possibility of victory over his enemies.

 

This morning I woke up feeling like Gideon. Instead of hiding in a winepress, I wanted to hide under my pillow. I was absolutely overwhelmed by all that is on my ‘to do” list. My enemies confronted me threatening defeat. Deadlines I have to meet this week, things to do before I leave town, and hormones that are robbing me of much needed sleep all seemed insurmountable!

 

Fear of not being able to do it all leads me to doubt. Did I hear God wrong when I made these commitments? Does He not realize two sick kids, a sick husband and unexpected life events in the past two weeks have set me back and eaten up my time? If He is with me, why has God allowed my circumstances to be so difficult?

 

As I lay in bed avoiding my enemies, I remembered Andrew and Gideon. I thought about what had made a difference for both of them and decided to remind myself of truth that is mine as a child of God. I cheered myself out from beneath the blankets as I chanted out loud, "I'm a CAN DO KID! I'm a CAN DO KID! I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!"

I may not be able to do all that I want to do, when I want to do it, but I can do all that God is “sending me” to do today. I can choose to focus on the strength that I have - His strength. I can face my day with confident trust, because He promises to be with me. And with Him by my side, I can strike down the enemies of doubt and fear as I face obstacles and overcome challenges that are part of God’s plan for me today.

 

My Prayer for Today:

 

Lord, help me see myself and my life through your eyes. I often focus on my circumstances instead of focusing on You. When I look at what I can’t do and what I don’t have, I get discouraged and overwhelmed.  I want to run and hide. Please come to me like you came to Gideon, and set my eyes on Your plan and your provision for today. You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever!

 

Application Steps:

 

Stop right now and thank God for the promise of His presence. If/when you feel overwhelmed today, make a list of the strengths you do have. Thank God for the abilities and the weaknesses He has given you, remembering that His strength is perfected where you need Him most!

 

Reflection Points:

 

When life gets overwhelming, what is your first response?

 

Are you fearful? Doubtful? Anxious?

 

Do you ever want to hide?

 

If so, do you hide behind television, food, busyness, sleep?

 

Ask God to lead you to Scriptures that remind you of His provision, His presence and His promise to be your hiding place.  Write these promises on an index card and read them throughout the day.  Read Judges 6:1-16 and claim the truth that you are a “Can Do” kid in God’s eyes!

 

Power Verses:

 

Psalm 73:26, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (NIV)

 

Matthew 28:20b, “I'll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age." (The Message)

 

2 Thessalonians 2:16-17, “May our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father, who loved us and in his special favor gave us everlasting comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and give you strength in every good thing you do and say.” (NLT)

 

Additional Resources:

 

You are Special, by Max Lucado

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/resources/special.html

 

Message of the Month Club by Proverbs 31 Ministries

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/messageclub.html

 

A Woman’s Secret to a Balanced Life by Lysa TerKeurst and Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/secretbalanced.html

 

Becoming a Woman Who Listens to God by Sharon Jaynes

http://www.gospelcom.net/p31/resources/womanlistens.html