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A WORD OF HOPE AND ENCOURAGEMENT – 17 JUNE 2021

A WORD OF HOPE AND ENCOURAGEMENT – 17 JUNE 2021

I want to share something with you today that I hope will bless and encourage you. For the last month, this was my lifeline.

At the moment, we all or at least most of us, see and experience the hurt, pain and trauma people face daily. Some of us face it ourselves. It leaves us feeling overwhelmed and helpless. This is where I found myself at times.

About a month ago, during a workshop, the Lord asked me if I trust Him to be my Helper?

I did not realise how self-reliant I have become. Then, as we study the book of 2 Corinthians, it hit me. In chapter 1, we read about all the struggles Paul faced. But vers 8 – 9 become a moment of profound truth for me.

“We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.”

At that moment, I was confronted with my own self-reliance. “I can do this”, “I will figure something out”, “I’ve got it.” God did not leave me without hope as he confronted me with my own self-reliance. He gave me a promise to be my every present help in times of need.
“God is our refuge and strength [mighty and impenetrable], A very present and well-proved help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 AMP). Little did I know how much I would need His help in time to come.

A good habit I have is to pray with a friend every Monday morning. During our struggles, we remind each other to look to God and not to ourselves. Both of us have learned that we can’t do it without Him. Unless He gives us grace, I can’t even face my own challenges; how do I want to encourage and support others in their challenges?

On Sunday evening, the Lord gave me a scripture – Isaiah 41:10 (ESV).
“Fear not, for I am with you;
be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you,
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Do I still feel weak and overwhelmed? YES, I do! BUT God is there, and His promises are true.

As we talked, she shared the scripture God laid on her heart, “For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” I did not hear the scripture reference she shared, but something burned inside me because God gave me a similar promise.

It was not until we pulled our Bibles closer that we realised that God gave us the same promise, but it 2 different verses. The verse I received was 10, and the verse she received was 13. But there is something that happens between verse 10 and 13. We call it the messy middle. God did not promise that we will not face struggles, that we will not be challenged, and that we will have it easy. No, He promised to be there in it all.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. “See, all your angry enemies lie there, confused and humiliated. Anyone who opposes you will die and come to nothing. You will look in vain for those who tried to conquer you. Those who attack you will come to nothing. For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.” Isaiah 41:10-13 (NLT)

Sometimes, my soul feels weary; at times, I struggle; there are times where I face disappointments and times where my heart breaks in pieces as I cry with and for others.

In my own darkness, God gave me another promise,
“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” Romans 8:26 NLT

All I need to do is reach out and cry out to God during my pain, struggle, and helplessness. He has promised to be there, to be my help, my refuge, my strength. And even when I don’t know what to pray, He is still there. He is always there. I need to ask. The prayer can be as simple and powerful as found in so many places in scripture, ‘Lord, help me!’ ‘Lord, help us!’

He has promised, in Jeremiah 31:25 (AMP). “For I [fully] satisfy the weary soul, and I replenish every languishing and sorrowful person.”

My prayer is that God will satisfy your weary soul and comfort you. That you will cry out and reaching out to Him. I pray that He will strengthen and help you and that you will find refuge in Him and learn to depend on Him alone.

I continue to pray for you all.
Lots of love,
Pastor Carina

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