Encouragement for Today - Jan. 11, 2008
January 11, 2008
“’Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’”
Hebrews 13: 5b-6 (NIV)
Devotion: Do you ever feel lonely?
Recently, I was at an event full of people. Everyone else seemed gabby and like they were effortlessly making easy connections with others. I just felt out of sorts. Someone had said something to me earlier that day that hurt my feelings and knocked me off kilter. It was one of those I would really like to be at home alone, in a bubble bath, eating something chocolate kind of nights. But I had to go to this outing, so here I was - lonely.
I politely smiled my way through the evening and finally got to go home. As I crawled into bed that night, I asked Jesus, “Why am I letting some thoughtless comment someone made affect me like this?”
There was no deep explanation. There was no Bible verse that instantly popped into my head. There was no sudden rush of peace through my heart. There was only a very gentle reminder in the depths of my soul that Jesus loves me - insecurities and all.
Jesus loves me. It’s just a simple little song that I learned all those years ago. Very simple yet so powerfully profound, that one statement grounds me in the truth of who God says I am. Friends can’t make you feel accepted all the time. Accomplishments will never truly make you feel secure. Having lots of people around you does not mean you won’t ever feel lonely. And chocolate, while it is deliciously distracting, is just a little too temporary.
So, I turn to the One who is Everlasting, Prince of Peace, and Emmanuel - God with us. I draw close to Him so He can help me separate solid truth from shifting emotion. And I remember I’m never alone.
Dear Lord, “Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.” (Proverbs 61: 1-4) In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Who Holds the Key to Your Heart? (a book to find hope and healing) by Lysa TerKeurst
Thank-FULL, Fear-LESS message on CD by Lysa TerKeurst
Has someone hurt your feelings lately? Typically people respond to hurtful things that are said in one of three ways:
- Get angry with the person who hurt you. But this only hurts you more.
- Internalize it and let it affect your mood and attitude. This hurts innocent others around you.
- Or, take it to Jesus and ask Him if any part of this statement is true and ask him for help letting the rest go. Then, use this encounter to make you a better person instead of a bitter person. Now this is progress!
Reflections: How can you prepare your heart for the next time someone hurts your feelings?
I’ve had to challenge myself with this question, “Do my feelings get hurt too easily?” Sometimes I have to say that they do. So, I am working on being less sensitive to others and more sensitive to the truth of God. The more filled up with God I am, the less I look to others for approval. And isn’t the real root of others hurting our feelings really the lack of their approval?
Power Verses: Philippians 4: 4-6, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with Thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
Philippians 4:8, “Finally, my brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- If anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105