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Holding on to Hope - Encouragement for Today - October 7, 2020

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Joni Eareckson TadaOctober 7, 2020

Holding on to Hope

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“So be strong and courageous, all you who put your hope in the LORD!” Psalm 31:24 (NLT) 

I once felt as though life wasn’t worth living. As a teenage quadriplegic, I looked down at my useless legs and limp hands and wanted to give up. Without thinking of their feelings, I begged my girlfriends to help me “do myself in.”

Thankfully, they stepped away from my suicidal demands, but they didn’t abandon their hopeless friend. Instead, they prayed for me. They chose to journey alongside and help pull me out of my deep depression. These Christian friends imparted hope through their up-close-and-personal care for me, and they kept me connected to reality — and to life.

I am forever grateful that the doctors who attended to me after my diving accident still held to the Hippocratic Oath of “do no harm.” Even though medically, they could not give me back the use of my hands or legs, my doctors did everything they could to preserve my life. They even heartily applauded my Christian friends when they saw the difference their love made in my life.

It’s a deep, personal interest of mine to hold fast to God’s sovereignty. Quadriplegia, two battles with cancer, and chronic pain have all forced me to bolster my confidence with the same assurance we give the people we serve through Joni and Friends: The world belongs to Almighty God. As Christians, our confidence rests in His plan and purposes.

This is why I draw courage from the story told in Judges 6. Gideon was in hiding, trying to protect himself from the dangers outside. The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” (Judges 6:12b, NLT). It’s no wonder Gideon was convinced God had the wrong person — he certainly didn’t feel brave. But the Lord said to Gideon: “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites …” (Judges 6:16, NLT).

Trusting that God is with you makes all the difference.

As 2 Timothy 1:7 puts it, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (NLT). When times are at their worst, Christ calls His followers to be at their best. He calls you to be a person of valor.

So, let God use you in your weakness, just like He did with Gideon. Let other people see that Christians are a people of hope — because God is with us!

Heavenly Father, thank You for life and hope and bravery. Thank You that even at my weakest, I can rely on You for strength. Remind me of the bravery You’ve called me to step into today, and help me to encourage others with the mighty hope of the Lord too. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” (NLT)

Judges 6:12, “The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, ‘Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!’” (NLT)

Psalm 27:14, “Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.” (NLT)

Spend a year in the Word and on your knees interceding for precious life issues from womb to tomb with The One Year Pray for Life Bible NLT.

Whether you are a caretaker or are dealing with a disability, disease, chronic illness or other form of personal suffering, you’ll find valuable information, meaningful encouragement and challenging applications as you encounter God’s Word with the Beyond Suffering Bible NLT.

Stay equipped, connected and encouraged by Joni and Friends on Facebook.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of The One Year Pray for Life Bible NLT. To celebrate this book, Joni Eareckson Tada’s publisher will give away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and then notify each one in the comments section by Monday, October 12, 2020.}

How can you roll up your sleeves and share Christ’s hope with those who need to be reminded that life is worth living? Let’s start by praying against horrifically “progressive” views on extending physician-assisted suicide to those who are despairing from depression or chronic disability!

What is one thing you can do today to demonstrate bravery?

© 2020 by Joni Eareckson Tada. All rights reserved.

Join Joni and her husband, Ken, as they read through The One Year Pray for Life Bible in 2021. The One Year Pray for Life Bible provides the structure to help you read God’s life-changing Word in the clear and easy-to-read New Living Translation in just 15 minutes a day while you pray for the urgent need to protect life. Allow God to change you and everyone impacted by ethical life choices as you spend a year in the Word and on your knees. 

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Tyndale House for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Proverbs 31 Ministries
P.O. Box 3189
Matthews, NC 28106

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