Tag Archives: Encourage

The Next Adventure

Caution: Tears may fall as you read this, but they should give way to excitement.

An elderly man was in a hospital room and he was fading quickly. The nurses and doctors decided it was time to call the gentleman’s family, and they gathered around his bed. As he was lying there, holding his wife of 50 years hand, looking at his son and grandchildren, he whispered, “Don’t cry. I’ll see all of you again. This was not my permanent home; I’m only passing through.”

A moment later, the man looked up and said, “I can see the Lord’s face.” Peacefully, the man fell asleep and went to be with the Lord.

Death is a sad time for those of us left behind. The person for whom we love and care deeply has gone home to be with the Lord, so we have to say “see you later,” and live in their absence. But, for the Christian who passes away in death, a whole new adventure begins.

Heaven awaits. “For this is not our permanent home,” the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “we are looking forward to a world yet to come.” While we don’t fully know what Heaven will be like, the Bible does tell us it will be a glorious place. There will be no pain, sorrow, or difficulty. Today’s struggles will be gone. There will be no pandemics or tensions caused by skin color. There will be no hurt or heartache. Rather, Scripture says there will be peace. The lame will walk, the deaf will hear, the blind will see. Heaven will be glorious.

And, the adventure of experiencing Heaven will be ours. If you, or someone you love, is struggling today, remember, it is only temporary. Something much better is coming.

Failure is not the End

Failure comes and goes.

It has happened to us all. No one likes it, and it is not one of life’s enjoyable experiences. It hurts, it is painful, and it is a part of everyone’s life. It is failure.

One stumble does not break or define a person. Some of history’s most successful people have experienced the agony of failure.

  • Babe Ruth held the record for the most strike outs, and struck out multiple times in a World Series game. Yet, look at his overall record.
  • Robert Frost was rejected by a magazine stating there was no place for his poetry.
  • An English teacher wrote on Winston Churchill’s report card that he did not have much potential for success.
  • Oprah was fired from a Chicago TV station. She went on.
  • You and I can insert our failures here.

Max Lucado says, “Though you’ve failed, God does not. Face your failures with faith and God’s goodness.”

  • “The Lord directs the steps of the Godly. He delights in every detail of their lives. Though they stumble, they never fall for the Lord holds them by the hand,” remarks the Psalmist in 37:23-24.
  • Proverbs 24:16 says, “The Godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again. But one disaster is enough to overthrow the wicked.”

Failures will come, but the Lord will help us overcome those failures and move on with life. Remember amid failure, the Lord is with you.

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We Can Run

In a recent post, Today’s Encouragement reminds us Jesus has set us free from whatever is holding us down.

Rick writes, “so we can flee, leave the scene, get out of danger… because Jesus took the heat for us! Whatever threatens you and I, my friend, whether physically, emotionally, or spiritually, we are – already – freed from! Jesus has paid the price for our freedom! It is time for us to walk away, flee, run! from the scene. The SWAT team of our enemies, addictions, shame, depression, fear, and failure has arrested Jesus in our place… and we are Free to go!”

Check out the post here.

Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free,” so thank him for the freedom, accept the freedom, rest in the freedom, and praise God for the freedom you and I have in Christ. Jesus paid to give us an opportunity to be free.

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Rest in Him

Isaiah was looking ahead to a time of rest and peace for God’s people. In doing so, he says the Lord will provide strength and energy for his people.

Isaiah 40:29-31 says, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will sore high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

Isaiah reminds us those who trust the Lord will find new strength. They will find their strength in the Lord.

He exchanges our strength for his. The Lord helps us make it through our lives. The good and bad times. The Creator and Holder of the stars gives us strength.

“Look up into the heavens,” Isaiah 40:26 suggests. “Who created all the stars? He brings them out like an army: one after another, calling each by its name because of his great power and incomparable strength. Not a single one is missing.”

We draw our strength from the one who will never grow weary. Isaiah 40:28 reminds us the Lord is the Creator of the earth. He is everlasting.

Life is tiring. The headlines we see and problems we encounter zap our strength, but they are no match for the Lord’s. We are promised the Lord will give us his strength. The Lord will renew our strength each day to take on that day’s challenges. His strength never runs out, so hopefully, we will always remember to draw upon it.

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An Unexpected Hero

Everyone has a list of heroes. We admire these men and women because of their achievements, nobility, or courage. We expect some people to be heroes, but occasionally, we find a hero in an unexpected place. This holds true with heroes of the faith as well.

Most of the time when we think of Bible heroes, we think of Moses or David. We may think of Jesus’ first disciples, the Apostle Paul, or anyone listed in Hebrews 11. They are certainly all heroes and worthy of our admiration, but I would like to bring to mind another hero. Though we do not know his name, we know enough about this gentleman to classify him a hero. His character and courage are impressive, and though he is only known as the man born blind, he leaves an iconic mark in history.

We are first introduced to this hero in John 9. “As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth” (John 9:1). Jesus’ disciples immediately judge the man. Either he or his parents had to be steeped in sin; otherwise, the man would have been born with his sight. How often this must have happened as the man begged to meet his daily needs. He received what he needed plus an abundance of judgement because of his vision loss. Passers-by would jump to conclusions about the man, his family, and his life. They automatically assumed things about the man based only on his eyesight. They did not take the time to find out more, or even get to know him. They knew he was a blind beggar, so everything else they thought had to be true.

Jesus, on the other hand, offers a different perspective, which truly shows the man’s heroism. Jesus uses the situation to magnify his glory. Notice how Jesus answers the disciples’ question in John 9:3. “It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,” Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.” Jesus says this man’s life and vision loss can bring glory to God.

This is the first reason the man is a hero. He allows the Lord to be glorified through his life. To spite the judgment and criticism the man encounters, his life is still able to glorify the Lord. Just like the man born blind, our lives have been put in a unique position by the Lord to glorify him. In those moments when we feel helpless, when we feel as if we cannot do anything for the Lord, this hero reminds us we still have an abundance of opportunity to glorify God.

Glorifying God is only one reason this man is a champion. As the timeline of John 9 continues, we see this man demonstrate heroic resolve, courage, and character. His healing grabbed the community’s attention and was widely discussed. There were those who were grateful because the man could see, but more so, there were those who were upset because Jesus made mud on the Sabbath. They were upset and began asking several questions, which is where we again see the man’s heroism.

Again, and again, we see the man being questioned about his healing, and each time, he takes a firm stand for Jesus.

  • When his neighbors ask how he was healed, “He told them, “The man they call Jesus made mud and spread it over my eyes and told me, ‘Go to the pool of Siloam and wash yourself.’ So, I went and washed, and now I can see!” (John 9:11).
  • “The Pharisees asked the man all about it. So, he told them, “He put the mud over my eyes, and when I washed it away, I could see!” (John 9:15).
  • “Then the Pharisees again questioned the man who had been blind and demanded, “What’s your opinion about this man who healed you?” The man replied, “I think he must be a prophet.” (John 9:17).

Each time the man is asked how he received his sight; he points to Jesus. He does not claim to fully understand, and he is undoubtedly aware of the divisiveness caused by crediting Jesus. But he knows the truth, and he is resolved to proclaim it. This is the mark of a true hero: someone who stands up for the truth in spite of the consequences. Taking such a firm stand for Jesus meant being kicked out of the synagogue. The man would no longer have access to the place he has been day after day for years; he would no longer be able to worship in these familiar surroundings. Our hero risked a lot by crediting Jesus for his healing, but he was determined to tell the truth. His resolve spurred on by his courage.

The final time the man is questioned, we see his courage fully displayed. “So, for the second time they called in the man who had been blind and told him, “God should get the glory for this, because we know this man Jesus is a sinner.”

“I don’t know whether he is a sinner,” the man replied. “But I know this: I was blind, and now I can see!”

“But what did he do?” they asked. “How did he heal you?”

“Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?” (John 9:24-27).

The man’s question is inspiring. It is as if he is saying, “Look at what Jesus has done for me! Don’t you also want to come follow him?” With much courage the man presents the Gospel. The testimony of his life is a true picture of the Lord’s grace, and he is not afraid to share it. We find in this man’s story an example of courageously sharing the Good News.

Our lives are testimonies of the Lord’s grace, so we should be ready to share it. The Lord may put us in some unique places with opportunities to share the Gospel just as he did our hero. A neighbor’s curious question could easily turn into an opportunity to share our hope in Jesus Christ. When it does, we have the man’s example to follow. We can look to this icon to see what it is like to speak the truth with much courage. Scripture implores, “if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it” (1 Peter 3:15), so be ready to imitate this champ’s response.

The man’s character is another reason he is a hero. After the man endured much criticism and had been expelled from the synagogue, John tells us Jesus came to the man. He could have used this opportunity to complain. He could issue a complaint for a number of reasons; blindness, judgment from others, and being excluded from religious services just to name a few, but he did not display a grumbling attitude. Rather, the man pronounced faith in Jesus and worshiped. He was grateful for what the Lord had done. Life may have not been perfect, but the man realized the Lord had shown goodness to him. He displays a character worthy of modeling.

Our lives may not be perfect, and we can easily come up with a list of complaints to present to the Lord. But the Lord’s goodness is also prevalent in our lives. A gracious and merciful God is walking with us through each day. He is guiding our steps and directing our path, so we should strive to imitate our hero’s character: displaying an attitude of gratefulness for what the Lord has done.

“Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done,” instructs David in 1 Chronicles 16:4. We are also encouraged in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Just as our champion did, we should concentrate on our blessings rather than our complaints.

He may not have a name and may only be in the Bible for one brief chapter, but the man born blind is truly a hero. As he responds to being healed, the man’s resolve, courage, and character are admirable. These qualities set him apart as a hero, and we should strive to model them in our own lives. This man may have come from an unexpected place, but he certainly left a heroic mark on history.

Please share this, and thank you to Light magazine for publishing a version of it.

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Why Fishermen? Hard work is a must Get Encouraged

7 of the first 12 disciples were fishermen, and it is no accident Jesus called these individuals. They possessed characteristics should have in his or her walk with the Lord. In this episode, we discuss how Christians should do everything wholeheartedly for the Lord. Visit getencouraged.blog for more. — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/chris-miller046/message
  1. Why Fishermen? Hard work is a must
  2. Why Fishermen? They are skillful
  3. Why Fishermen? Courage is a Must
  4. Why Fishermen? They're Team Players
  5. Why Fishermen? They Know How To Listen

He Had A Sign

We pulled into the Bob Evans parking lot, and our daughter noticed a gentleman standing between the parking lot and street. He was holding a sign at the intersection of two busy roads. She read the sign and asked if we could give him some money. His sign was requesting money for food.

How were we going to respond to his request?

We didn’t know the man or s of his situation, but we were faced with a choice. This is just one example of an everyday occurrence; each day we are given the choice of how to respond to various situations. Whether it is the guy in the parking lot with a sign or the lady in front of us in line, we have to choose how to interact. We have to decide how to respond to that driver who cut us off in traffic or that grouchy person who bumped into us on the bus. Each day brings a new set of opportunities needing our response, and Psalm 37 gives us a pattern to follow.

Verse 3 says, “Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.”

The Psalmist encourages us to use these opportunities to do good. As we trust in the Lord, we should allow our faith to drive us to doing what is right even if others are doing what is wrong. We should allow our faith to guide us to do what is good. We may not know every detail of each situation, but the Lord does. When these opportunities come, our response should always be to do good.

As for the guy in the Bob Evans parking lot, we didn’t know his situation. All we knew is he was holding a sign asking for help, so we gave him enough money for a meal. He said thank you, and we went on our way. We’ll probably never cross paths again, but I hope by our doing good, the man at least saw a glimpse of Christ’s grace.