Tag Archives: perspective

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.

Finding True Peace

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Columnist Deborah Mathis has written about her observations during a particular trip through Union Station in Washington D.C. There was a great deal of movement and noise. Announcements blaring, security guards shouting directions, horns honking, people moving in all directions, and a traveler singing What a Friend We Have in Jesus.

“What a friend we have in Jesus,

All our sins and griefs to bear;

What a privilege to carry

Everything to God in prayer.”

Slowly a change came over the noisy crowd. The voice continued:

“O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry

Everything to God in prayer.”

As the traveler sang, the hubbub of the station was replaced with a calm peace. A man in front of Mathis commented that he was not a Christian, but the peace was nice. Amid current events and all the noise of the world around us, many people are searching for peace. There are a number of places and products promising peace, but it seems those spots only leave the searcher longing for more and wondering if there really is true peace.

The Bible teaches there is true peace, and it comes in trusting the Lord.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
  • We read in Philippians 4:6-7, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

When we trust the Lord, he brings us peace just like he did on a stormy, scary night for a few of his first followers. The night started with Jesus and his disciples beginning the journey across a lake. As they were crossing, a fierce storm came up. The boat was rocked as it began to fill with water. Mark’s Gospel says, “Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Silence! Be still!” Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.” 

The calmness was once again interrupted on the other side of the lake. Jesus and the disciples were met by a man possessed by a legion of demons. This man had not had peace for a long time, and his presence probably created a scary situation for the disciples. Jesus, though, had control of the situation. He ordered the demons out of the man and into a herd of pigs, which went dashing over a cliff into the lake. Calm and peace were once again restored.

No matter the source of the hubbub, Jesus is in control. The same Lord who calmed a storm and cast out demons can give us a perfect peace. Isaiah 26:3 promises, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!”

Hard But Worth It

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“Trust the Lord,” Scripture says.

It may be the hardest thing we do, but it can also be the most rewarding. It may be made even more difficult by our life experience. Our heartbreaks suffered by trusting other people may have taught us we shouldn’t trust anyone, yet the Bible helps us see we can trust the Lord.

Isaiah 26:4 says, “Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.”

Unlike others, the Lord is our eternal rock. He is unshakable, unmovable, and unchangeable. He will not lead us astray or walk out on us, so we can trust him and count on him to be there for us. We can trust him to be there, keeping his promises, and doing what he says he will do. “Trust in the Lord,” Scripture says, and…

  • You will have peace as the Lord can provided peace in Christ Jesus that goes beyond human understanding.
  • Your paths in life will be straight as the Lord guides your steps and directs your movements.
  • You will have a fullness of life that can only be found in Christ Jesus.
  • You will have an eternal place prepared by Jesus. He says, “I am going to prepare a place for you, and if I prepare a place for you, I will come back to take you with me so you also may be where I am.”

It may be hard, but it is certainly rewarding to trust in the Lord.

Have You Been Waiting?

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Have you been waiting? This can be one of the most difficult parts of life. We live in a super connected world, so if we have to wait longer than 10 seconds for anything, it is hard. Yet, our lives sometimes take us down paths that require us to wait.

We have to wait to see if we’re going to get our dream job. We have to wait to meet the person we desire to marry. We have to wait as we’re trying to have a family. We have to wait on our prayers to be answered.

The people of Israel also had to wait. They find themselves in a hard time. Their bondage has been harsh, and they have suffered immensely. They are needing and wanting the Lord to work, but they have to wait. As they wait, Isaiah brings encouragement, and it is still encouragement for us today.

Isaiah 64:4 says, “For since the world began, no ear has heard and no eye has seen a God like you, who works for those who wait for him!”

Hang in there if you’re waiting. Psalm 27:14 encourages, “Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” The Bible promises the Lord is working on your behalf.

Feeling Rejected? Here’s Help.

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“Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?”

These words of Psalm 77 are like those of a personal journal. The Psalmist’s ink quail puts to paper the truth of his thoughts. They may be private thoughts; embarrassment would come if anyone else knew how he felt. However, they are relatable thoughts. Many ask the same questions amid life’s troubles. In fact, you may have noticed the questions and wondered how I knew what you were thinking.

Are you impacting the world today? Today's Encouragement from getencouraged.blog

Today's encouragement comes from Acts 9. We all have difficult people in our lives, but the Lord can use us to make a difference through them. For more visit getencouraged.blog. — 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
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It seems we ask these questions in hard times, feeling the answer may be yes, but Scripture reminds us the Lord is always faithful, always keeping his promises. As Hebrews 4 says, the Lord will never leave us, and Isaiah 64 states the Lord works for those who wait for him. The Psalmist said he asked these questions, but found hope in remembering the Lord.

He says in verse 11, “But then I recall all you have done, O Lord.” As he remembered the Lord, the Psalmist hope was restored.

We too can find hope in remembering the Lord.

We can find hope in remembering his deeds.

In verses 11-12, the Psalmist says, “I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.”

Remember all the deeds of the Lord: how he brought the Israelites out of Egypt, how he helped Israel with the overwhelming task of conquering Canaan, and how he come walking out of the tomb. The Lord has always provided an answer to his people. Our hope can be restored by remembering his deeds.

We can find hope in remembering his character.

The Lord is holy. The Lord is merciful, gracious, loving, compassionate, faithful, and more! Remembering his character can bring us great hope.

We can find hope in remembering his power

The Psalmist proclaims in verse 14, “You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.”

God’s power has been on display throughout history. It was visible when he brought Israel out of Egypt, parted the Red Sea, toppled the walls of Jericho, and calmed the storm with a single word. The Lord’s power is awesome, and he works for those who wait for him. Remembering the Lord’s power restores our hope.

The Lord’s deeds, character, and power can provide us with much hope.  The next time you feel rejected, failed, or as if the Lord has turned his back on you, restore your hope by remembering his deeds, character, and power.

3 Keys to Remember Amid Suffering

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Perhaps it seems odd, but we share some thoughts with ancient Israel. The Israelites found themselves in captivity, and they were wondering if God had totally left them. Feelings of loneliness and thoughts of abandonment were prevalent. Where was God? Why was he not answering?

We may find ourselves asking these same questions as we look at our circumstances. The political landscape is stressful. There are marriages on the brink of disaster. Finances are operating paycheck to paycheck, trying to stretch every penny farther than it was designed to go. The pressures of life are heavy, and as we start to buckle under the weight, we relate to the Israelites. Where is God? Why is he not answering?

Thankfully, the Lord sent Isaiah to offer encouragement to Israel, and we too can find encouragement in his words. In Isaiah 40, the prophet offers 3 keys to remember amid hard times.

First, the Lord is all-powerful.

Isaiah asks in verse 28, “Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.”

It’s as if Isaiah is saying, “Don’t forget…”

“Don’t forget the Lord is everlasting.”

Psalm 90 proclaims, “Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world, from beginning to end, you are God.” There’s never been a time without the Lord, nor will there ever be a time without the Lord. Don’t forget the Lord is everlasting.

“Don’t forget the Lord is the creator.”

Genesis 1:1 reminds us God created the Heavens and the Earth. He was there before anything existed, and he is the one who spoke everything into existence. Remember, God is the creator.

“Don’t forget the Lord never loses strength.”

Jeremiah reminds us the Lord’s strength is always there. In chapter 32, he says, “O Sovereign Lord! You made the heavens and earth by your strong hand and powerful arm. Nothing is too hard for you!” Nothing is too hard for God. There are things that are too hard for us, but not for him; he carries the heaviest of loads with ease. The pressures of life which cause us to buckle, don’t even cause him to flinch. Jesus says what is impossible for man is possible for God; his word never fails. Keep in mind God does not lose his strength.

“Don’t forget his wisdom is immeasurable.”

“Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways,” states Romans 11. Don’t forget there is no end to the Lord’s wisdom.

Remember, God is all-powerful. It may seem are struggles hold all the power, but God holds more. Amid a difficult season, Isaiah reminds us of God’s power.

Second, the Lord desires to help us.

Isaiah says the Lord wants to help us. In verse 29, Isaiah exalts the Lord by saying he gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. The Lord is willing and able to help us.

Third, the Lord will get us through.

It is in our weakest moments it seems the Lord does his best work. He sure did for Israel. The Lord delivered the Israelites from captivity, and he rebuilt their nation. They were wondering where God was; why he wasn’t answering, but he pulled them through the hard time.

As we are wondering where God is; why he is not answering, we need to remember the encouragement of verses 30-31:

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 soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint.

Amid the hard times in life, we need to remember to trust in the Lord. He will pull us through. The stresses and pressures of life are no match for the Lord. His strength will get us through.

The next time you find yourself buckling under the pressure of a hard time, remember, Isaiah’s 3 keys:

  • The Lord is all-powerful, and can handle anything that may come.
  • The Lord desires to help.
  • The Lord will get you through the difficulty.

Are you impacting the world today? Today's Encouragement from getencouraged.blog

Today's encouragement comes from Acts 9. We all have difficult people in our lives, but the Lord can use us to make a difference through them. For more visit getencouraged.blog. — 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. Are you impacting the world today?
  2. Be Faithful in Prayer
  3. Patient
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  5. 4 Scriptures for the Thankful List

4 Reasons the Tomb is Empty

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All the Gospel writers tell us of a resurrection. They each approach it from a different angle, but come to the same climax:  the tomb is empty. Jesus coming out of the tomb and leaving it empty gives us much hope. Our hope rests on the foundation of Jesus being alive. So, how can, we be sure? How can we be sure the tomb is empty and our hope is resting in the right place?

Paul helps shed some light on these questions. In 1 Corinthians 15, as if he were presenting a case in court, Paul lays out 4 reasons our hope is on a firm foundation.

First, the Scriptures said Jesus would rise.

1 Corinthians 15 says Christ’s tomb was emptied just as the Scriptures declared. There are many Old Testament prophecies that point to Jesus coming out of the grave; Psalm 16 among them. Peter eloquently explains this fact. In Acts 2, he says:

“King David said this about him:

‘I see that the Lord is always with me.
    I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad,
    and my tongue shouts his praises!
    My body rests in hope.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead
    or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
You have shown me the way of life,
    and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.’

“Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn’t referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us. But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David’s own descendants would sit on his throne. David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah’s resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.”

The Scriptures pointed to Jesus vacating the tomb.

Second, Jesus made several appearances.

To continue his case, Paul brings eyewitness accounts into the courtroom. In 1 Corinthians 15, he says, “He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.  Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.  Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him.” 

Jesus not only appeared to individuals, he appeared to a large group. Over 500 people have the same account:  Jesus appeared to them. If this were false, a few individuals’ stories may align, but getting 500 people to tell the same story is virtually impossible. Playing the game Telephone illustrates how difficult it is to keep a story straight in a large group. Each time the story is passed from person to person in the circle, it changes a little. It’s often not even the same story when it makes it around the circle. Keeping stories straight is hard, unless they are true.

Are you impacting the world today? Today's Encouragement from getencouraged.blog

Today's encouragement comes from Acts 9. We all have difficult people in our lives, but the Lord can use us to make a difference through them. For more visit getencouraged.blog. — 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. Are you impacting the world today?
  2. Be Faithful in Prayer
  3. Patient
  4. Joyful
  5. 4 Scriptures for the Thankful List

500 eyewitnesses taking the stand to declare the same thing is undeniable. The risen Lord appeared to them.

Third, since Christ lives, we live.

Paul’s third point reminds us the way to life is Christ. It was Jesus’ work on the cross and death which paid the penalty for the world’s sins. His corpse was placed in the tomb after his death.

“But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So, you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life.” 

We can sum it up this way: Jesus started a long legacy of folks leaving the cemetery. If he lives, we too can live. Jesus declares in John 11:25, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.”

Fourth, death has been struck a death blow.

In his fourth point, Paul helps us understand when Jesus walked out of the grave, he destroyed death’s power. It was in this moment Jesus stripped death of its grip. The Psalmist writes, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall not be afraid,” because death does not have the power to hold onto us. Christ took it away.

1 Corinthians 15 proclaims:

“O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

These 4 points help us see the empty tomb is a solid foundation for our hope. It is because of an empty tomb we have hope, and our hope is more than wishful thinking. Our hope is the truth of knowing victory is ours in Christ. Our hope is knowing, though we may have troubles now, we will overcome them because of an empty tomb.