by Sandy Kirby Quandt
When we need to be strong in the Lord, sometime God shows up in the words of a friend. Have you noticed that?
Despite tangible proof I am doing what I believe God called me to do; write, I recently allowed one acquaintance’s negative comments make me doubt it.
While I processed the validity of what was said to me, I received the sweetest email from a friend assuring me God has indeed called me to write, so write I must. Her words were confirmation to keep on this long and winding path.
Have you ever heard discouraging words from someone, then God sends someone else alongside to speak life into you? To speak truth?
To encourage you to be strong in the Lord and never give up?
And on the flip side of this thought, when family and friends encounter discouragement, loss, pain, do we step up and offer them words of truth?
Do we encourage them to be strong in the Lord and never give up? Or do we remain silent, hoping they’ll recover on their own?
For our part, when we encounter discouragement, loss, pain, do we remain silent thinking we’ll be strong enough to get through on our own, or do we go to God first, and trusted friends next?
On a recent Sunday I wrote that when God called Joshua to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land after their forty years of desert wandering, God told Joshua to be very strong and courageous. God knew what lay ahead for Joshua. He knew how difficult conquering the land he had given his people would be.
Yet God wanted Joshua to know there was no need for him to fear. Jehovah-nissi, the LORD our banner, would be with Joshua in the future, just as surely as God had been with Joshua in the past.
Same holds true for you and me today.
Our El Shaddai, the All-Sufficient One, lacks nothing. There is nothing we need that can’t be found in him.
When life threatens to wear us down and undo us, we need to cry out to Jehovah-shammah, the LORD who is here with us, and when we do, we need not be surprised when God sends a friend alongside to encourage us to be strong and courageous, because Jehovah-sabaoth, the LORD of Angel Armies, fights our battles for us.
God knows what it costs us to follow his call. He knows we’ll face discouragement and struggles. God knows Satan will try everything he can to keep us from accomplishing what God wants us to accomplish. Whatever that looks like for each of us.
God tells us to be very strong and courageous, and wants us to tell others the same thing.
Is there someone in your life you need to speak a word of encouragement to? If so, what’s stopping you?
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But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. Hebrews 3:13 (NIV)
I wish you well.
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