We’ve got your daily encouragement, written by Aaron Martell.

 

Bible Reading:

“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.”

Isaiah 41:10

 

Word:

I was given this passage a week prior before I wrote this devotion. Which doesn’t sound that odd. But in the last two days this passage has taken on a new meaning to me personally. One of my closest friends, of 20 years, has been fighting for his life in a local hospital for the past two weeks. The last two days, as things have been hard for him and his wife, his wife sends me updates with a passage at the bottom. This passage is what has been given to her, in the midst of her fear, her doubt, her loneliness, her weakness, her discouragement, and her pleas towards God to intervene in saving her husband’s life. 

This passage can be a nice bumper sticker passage until you are faced with the unthinkable. But even beyond the unthinkable, I think Isaiah shares these truths with us because there are things that will come against it, that will try to crack the foundation of our faith, the foundation of our gratitude.

For instance, when in life we do feel alone, God says, “I am with you.” A foundation of life that we don’t have to be alone in whatever that we go through. For that, I am thankful.

Or when in life we doubt or are dismayed by events, and we see our faith or God through the lens of our circumstances. God says, “Be assured, I’m YOUR God.” Or when we feel weak or discouraged or insecure, God says, “I will give you strength, I will help you. I will uphold you.” For that, I am thankful. 

How does he do this? At times through prayer, through scripture, but also through presence of others, prayers of others, words of others as encouragements from God. Being able to go back to the foundation of God’s presence, assurance, strength, help, and security allows us to recognize those areas in our life and be thankful for a God who loves and cares for us.

In closing, notice how the MSG states it, I took part of verse nine as well; “I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.
I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” I am thankful for a God who shows himself in those ways.

Prayer:

God, thank you for being close, even when I think you are far. Thank you for assuring me, even in simple things, when I may doubt you. Thank you for being strong when I am weak, thank you for helping me when I’m discouraged. Thank you for having a firm grip on me as the waves of life come crashing at me. In the Name of Jesus, Amen!

 

 

Skillwork:

Grab your journal and spend time going through this exercise:
  • Take some time and pick one of the foundations of gratitude. How do you see it or experience it? 
  • How can you encourage someone with one of the foundations of gratitude? 
  • How can you also be thankful even in the midst of pain or hardship, based upon one of these five areas?

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