Tag Archives: Proverbs

Sleepless Nights Can Become Restful Ones

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Are You Afraid? Get Encouraged

A number of folks are finding their way through a fearful season right now, and the Bible offers encouragement for handling our fears. In this episode, we'll take a look at a Biblically suggested response to fear. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://getencouraged.blog/2021/01/14/are-you-afraid/ — 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 Afraid?
  2. 3 Keys to Remember Amid Suffering
  3. Personal Guidance
  4. Sleepless Nights Can Become Restful Ones
  5. 4 Reasons the Tomb is Empty

Sleepless nights; you’re lying there, tossing and turning. Your mind is focused on the problems of the day; they are certainly enough to keep you awake at night. From the financial struggles of a pandemic to the decision about a new job, it seems the world’s troubles are prowling outside your window just waiting for an opportune time to pounce. Fear and insecurity are the dominant feelings of the evening, but Solomon reminds us they need not be.

He writes in Proverbs 3:

“You can go to bed without fear;
    you will lie down and sleep soundly.
 You need not be afraid of sudden disaster
    or the destruction that comes upon the wicked,
 for the Lord is your security.
    He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.”

Our trust in the Lord can bring us security. It can bring confidence of knowing he has everything under control. Just look at how he’s handled problems in the past.

  • The people of Israel were caught between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army, so the Lord’s solution was to part the sea, giving the Israelites a dry way across.
  • When Israel was in the desert with no food or water, God solved the problem by dropping Manna from Heaven and providing water from a rock.
  • The Lord sent ravens to feed Elijah, Naaman to the muddy waters of a river, …

And a baby to a manger to solve the biggest problem mankind has ever experienced. Mankind separated from God because of sin was the problem, and God’s solution was his son, Jesus. The Bible says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.” The Lord has been a master at problem-solving.

Each problem has been met with confidence, security, and compassion. Each one solved in a way only God could. The same God who took care of these problems is watching over us. He is handling our troubles with as much attention and detail. From the smallest of troubles to the biggest of problems, God solves each one in a way only he can. We only need to trust him.

As the Psalmist says in Psalm 91:

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High
    will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord:
He alone is my refuge, my place of safety;
    he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap
    and protect you from deadly disease.
He will cover you with his feathers.
    He will shelter you with his wings.
    His faithful promises are your armor and protection.
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night,
    nor the arrow that flies in the day.
Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness,
    nor the disaster that strikes at midday.

The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me.
    I will protect those who trust in my name.
When they call on me, I will answer;
    I will be with them in trouble.
    I will rescue and honor them.
I will reward them with a long life
    and give them my salvation.”

Troubles and problems are almost a guarantee. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced these types of seasons in life. If we trust him, the Lord’s security is also a guarantee. He will put his master problem-solving skills to work, and those sleepless nights can become restful ones. Psalm 4:8 concludes, “In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe.”

Don’t Jump to Conclusions

There’s an old story, as recalled by Max Lucado, about an elderly man in a small village who owned a valuable horse. It was a white horse, and it was worth much money. Many people tried to buy the horse, but the gentleman was not interested in parting with the horse. To him, the white stud was a close friend.

One morning the horse was missing. The stable was empty. The man’s neighbors mocked the man saying he should have sold the horse before it was stolen. How could someone so poor expect to secure a horse of such value. The man responded, “We don’t know the horse was stolen. All we know is the horse is not in the stable. I’m leaving it at that.”

A few days went by and the horse returned home. He was followed by twelve wild mares. The neighborhood rejoiced, telling the man he was given a fortune. The mares could be trained and sold for a great profit, but the man said, “We don’t know for sure. All we know is there are twelve mares here.”

The man’s son tried training the horses, but one of them threw him off. He broke both of his legs. The neighbors gathered around to grieve. The elderly man had no one else to help him, and now his son’s legs were injured. He would surely be desperate. “We don’t know for sure,” came the man’s response. “All we know is my son’s legs are injured.”

As the son’s legs healed, the country went to war, and all the young men had to leave the village to serve in the army. That is, except the son. He remained home because of his injuries. Again, the neighborhood returned to the old man. This time angry because their sons had to go to war and his did not. “We will never see our sons again,” they lamented. “You don’t know that,” replied the elderly man, “all you know is your sons went to war.”

He continued, “It is impossible to have a conversation with you. You always draw conclusions.”

In chapter 12, Job rebukes his friends for drawing a conclusion about his situation. They believe they know exactly why Job is going through this time of suffering, and they speak their minds without truly knowing the plan God has. Job’s friends draw conclusions like the old man’s neighbors. When someone else is going through a hard time, we may not fully know why they are having this experience in their life. Friends should always ask for wisdom before drawing conclusions about someone’s circumstances.

Proverbs 25:8 advises, “Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be
    a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.”

When you or one of your friends is going through a rough time, consider asking the Lord for wisdom to approach the situation in the best way.

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ASK THESE 5 QUESTIONS BEFORE SPEAKING

In the Peanuts Thanksgiving show, Peppermint Patty calls Charlie Brown to let him know she is coming over for Thanksgiving. “My parents said I could come over for Thanksgiving, Chuck. I will be over, Chuck. Wear something nice, Chuck.” She invites a few other people until there is a whole group of visitors going to Charlie Brown’s home for Thanksgiving dinner, but there is a problem. Charlie Brown was going to go to his grandmother’s house for Thanksgiving.

“I’ve tried to tell Peppermint Patty I’m not going to be home,” Charlie Brown says at one point in the show, “but I can’t get a word in. She talks all the time.”

Our words are powerful, and they are like toothpaste. Squeeze too much toothpaste out of the tube. Putting it back is almost impossible, and it makes a big mess in the process. Our words are the same way. We can’t put words back in our mouth, and when too many come out, it can make a big mess. To avoid the mess, Scripture suggests we choose our words carefully.

  • “Understand this my dear brothers and sisters,” James 1:19 encourages, “you must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
  • According to Proverbs 15:1, “A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare.”

Our words carry with them the power to direct our lives. Our words build up or tear down relationships. Words can build someone’s confidence or cause great heartache and discouragement. Our words, whether out of our mouth or via our keyboard, have tremendous power, which is why it is essential we choose our words carefully. Here are 5 questions we should ask before speaking.

  1. Are these words kind?
  2. Are my words beneficial to the recipient? As Christians, we are to build one another up with our words.
  3. Are my words necessary?
  4. Would I be embarrassed if I was quoted?
  5. Would I want someone to say this to me?

The average person can speak 100 to 130 words per minute and type 60 to 65 words per minute. We can quickly get words out and be on to the next one, but the impact our words have can last for a long time. In some cases, their impact can be felt for a lifetime. Being entrusted with something this powerful requires careful use. You and I should be slow to speak; choosing our words carefully is one of the ways we are recognized as being with Jesus.

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5 Tips for Building a Firm Foundation

Firm foundations survive storms.

There seems to be no shortage of storms in the world right now. Glance at the headlines, and you will soon discover storms coming at us from all directions. COVID19, personal safety being at risk, and the like are causing storms. While it may be a particularly stormy time, storms are nothing new to life.

Proverbs suggests we build our lives on a firm foundation to survive these storms. Solomon writes in 10:25, “When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the Godly have a lasting foundation.”

How do we build this foundation?

  • Develop a relationship with the Lord by spending time in the Bible.
  • Seek wisdom through prayer.
  • Search the Scriptures for answers to life’s questions.
  • Always strive to do what is right.

Building on this foundation is not easy, but it is worth the effort involved. Jesus tells a parable of two builders. The first builder did not take the time to dig through the sand to place his home on a rock foundation, while the second builder dug through the sand to rest his home on a rock foundation. A storm came, and flood waters rose. The first house was swept away, but the second house stood, unmoved by the tumultuous waters.

As we are weathering a stormy time, how firm is your foundation? Do you need to allow the Lord to add stability?

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