Tag : encouragement

The Encourager by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

For those of you who have ever thought, There’s no way I could ever be as devout as the biblical Apostles, I am here to tell you that they weren’t much different from any of us.

They feared for their lives at sea, even with Jesus in the boat. How many times have we been afraid, even though Jesus is in our hearts?

Peter denied that he knew Jesus three times. When have we kept silent about our faith?

And Paul—well Paul got frustrated. I don’t even have to ask a question about frustration.

This week, I was reading in Acts 18 where Paul was trying to reach his Jewish brethren in Corinth with the Gospel message, a regular practice for him at ever city he visited. When the Jewish Corinthians “opposed and insulted” him, he stormed off in a huff, and said he would only preach to the Gentiles from then on.

At that point, Paul needed encouragement, just like we need a pick-me-up when we’re frustrated.

So perhaps with his head lowered in defeat, Paul traveled to the home of Titius Justus, a Gentile believer who happened to live next door to a synagogue. There is some detail left out of this passage, but my guess is that Crispus, the leader of the synagogue, and his family were hanging out at the Justus house. Maybe TItius invited them over to dinner so they could meet Paul. Who knows? But something  Paul said that night resonated with Crispus and his household. Acts 18:8 says Crispus, a Jew, and all his family became believers and were baptized.

When Paul was ready to cross synagogues off his list of evangelical stops, God gave him what he needed to keep trying—the salvation of a synagogue leader. That seemed to be enough to renew Paul’s spirit because at his next stop, Ephesus, Paul made a beeline for the synagogue where he once again shared about Jesus.

Do you need encouragement today? Just like He did with Paul, our heavenly Father knows when we have suffered defeat and need a victory. He is an encourager. Today one situation in my own life comes to mind. I am praying for encouragement as I head down the home stretch of this year of school. I know he will be faithful to provide exactly what is required.

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

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We invite you to join us for our next POP Chat on Wednesday, March 31st at 6:30 p.m. CST. This month, POP Talk Co-Host and Communications Coordinator, Rosemary Legrand, will be speaking about “Embracing the Love of God.” Our guest Worship Leader is Carole Brewer. Carole is also an Author and Podcast Host of “Bible Chicks.’ https://carolebrewer.com. Just click on the link to sign up:

https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Categories: Blog

You’re Not Forgotten by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Bam!

I was in the midst of my quiet time and I heard a loud thump like something hit the house. I yelled up to my husband working upstairs, “Did you hear that?” I did not find out what it was until later that morning when I saw a beautiful, yet lifeless Goldfinch on my back patio. That’s when I figured out what the loud noise was. This sweet bird had apparently flown at full speed into one of our windows and it was enough to do him in. It made me sad to see him lying there, but that’s when I felt like I heard the voice of the Holy Spirit say, I knew when he fell to the ground.

I thought of the verse in Matthew 10:29 that says every time a single sparrow falls to the ground our heavenly Father is aware. And that passage goes on to say, “And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows” (Matthew 10:30–31).

With all the isolation and fear still going on because of COVID, it’s easy to feel forgotten—like God doesn’t see us in the midst of this Pandemic, but that thought process is incorrect. He knows every intricate detail of our lives and when times get hard, it’s not because he’s abandoned us. He is with us and is still the provider of hope and encouragement.

This week I was reading in Acts 23. The Apostle Paul had gone to Jerusalem where he had been arrested, beaten and where many wanted him dead. Paul probably didn’t know for sure if he’d make it out of Jerusalem alive, but he never thought God was not with him. In fact, he received divine encouragement from the Lord who personally came to Paul and said, “Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so must you testify in Rome.” God spoke a word of hope into Paul just when he needed it, saying Jerusalem is not your final stop. Later, as a prisoner on a boat headed to Rome, God reminded Paul that he would appear before the Emperor. God knew that the boat they were on would shipwreck the very next day, so he breathed hope into Paul in advance so he could encourage others in the midst of fear.

And he can do that for us.

This Pandemic is now hovering very close to home. I personally know many people who have been stricken with COVID-19 and have been extremely sick. One friend almost died. My sister-in-law’s boyfriend in Florida has had an intense struggle with COVID and is still fighting to turn the corner. But my guess is that God found a way to encourage each of them while they fought off a wicked virus. He does it through the prayers of friends. My sister-in-law, in quarantine, told us their friends have been there for them, delivering food daily. It could also come in the form of an encouraging note or text from others. He can provide the pick-me-up himself through a Bible passage or by speaking to you directly, as he did Paul,

Many times, in the thick of this Pandemic stretch, I have asked for encouragement because I am an intercessor and have prayed intensely for many who are ill with the disease. At times the weight of those prayers can feel heavy. Our quality of life has been dramatically changed—we don’t go and do like we used to—and I find the masks suffocating. But the LORD always provides someone or something to build me back up.

Are you struggling to keep your head above water?

Please know you are not forgotten. Your Abba Daddy just wants you to tap Him on the shoulder and ask Him for encouragement.  He’s in the business of meeting needs and giving hope.


Categories: Blog

How to Overcome Downer Days by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

“Lisa’s had lots of experience.” Someone had just complimented my writing skills and another followed it up with a comment inferring I was old, negating the compliment. It’s been a stretch full of jabs like that, both external from other people and internal—punches I’ve thrown at myself.

Maybe you understand what it’s like when it seems like the positive reinforcement has retreated into a back closet.

It’s safe to say we all go through low periods, and when we do, thoughts surface like I have no value. I am unattractive. I am not lovable. When these negative thoughts begin to take over our minds and the downward spirals commence, we need to ask some questions.

What is going on in my life?

Do I have an important “God appointment” on the horizon?

Have I gotten away from my daily spiritual medicine—Worship, the Word of God and Prayer?

In my case, when I go through these downer days, I generally have some important ministry dates on the calendar. The more speaking engagements, the greater the attack. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” The enemy of our souls wants to take us off our game so we are ineffective in our calling. His mission is to make us feel so bad about ourselves that we quit, and he’ll often use other people’s comments, or even silence, to bring us down.

We all have an Achilles heel—the place where we are most vulnerable—and he’s locked in on that target. Sometimes those making statements that needle us did not intend to do damage, but the enemy will twist what’s said and the derogatory whispers start: See, they think you’re worthless. You don’t belong. You are old. Why don’t you just hang it up?

When this happens to me, it may take a while, but I eventually realize that what is coming around the corner is going to be powerful. Otherwise, the devil wouldn’t be working so hard. I am going to be used to make a difference, and that when I am feeling weak, I must press into the strength that God provides.

Are you feeling a little south of center today? Then it’s time to get even lower, to your knees, and ask God to encourage you or to send one of His servants to provide a kind word. And while you’re down there, ask Him to help you to think rightly about yourself, and others. Today, I am humbly bowing along with you—seeking help from the One who loves us and provides for all our needs—Jesus. I am praying for both of us to feel an outpouring of His love, and to embrace the truth that we are beautiful daughters of God, as well as valuable to our heavenly Father.

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God

(Ephesians 3:17–19)

Categories: Blog

Refuse to Worry by Rosemary Legrand

Have you ever seen the picture of a cat looking in mirror and seeing a lion?

I used to be that cat but for a while, I did not see the lion. That’s because I suffered from depression.  No one chooses to be depressed. I did not want to be down in the dumps, but depression came so fast, I did not know what to do. Life can change in a minute. I thank God that I am totally healed.   .   

I am reminded of Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose.” And  2Corinthians 1:3-4: “Praise be to the God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receives for God.”

Those are encouraging words from God. We can believe that all things may not be for good but God has promised that it will work out for the good of those who love him. I trusted God’s word and looked to him for healing during my time of depression and guess what? He did heal me.

Today, God is using me as a trained speaker to encourage God’s children about his faithfulness, and to let them know that what he has done for me he can do the same  to all who put their hope and trust in Him.

Let me encourage you. I gave myself a gift that I want to share with you and that is “I Refuse to Worry.” This is my personal reminder that I will not walk that road of depression again.  Accept that gift from me—Refuse to Worry—and hold onto the word of God in Mathew 6:33-34: Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously and he will give you everything you need.  So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. And when worry starts to creep in, claim Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

May God richly bless you. 

Categories: Blog

God Loves to Rejoice Over His Children by Rosemary Legrand

The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” (Zephaniah 3:17).

WOW!!! God delights in you and me. He even sings over us. Isn’t that wonderful?   

I pray that you will journey with me to be encouraged to grow into who God says that we are. There are often times in life when we can become overwhelmed, discouraged, or may feel as though we are not good enough for the task at hand. When we have these thoughts, they can lead us down a road that is not God’s will for our life. However, I believe through elevating words and more importantly, the Word of God, we can all find encouragement in the midst of pain, fear, and sorrow. ​Let’s share these priceless moments with one another.

I am excited to journey with you! My heart is that you will be changed, that you will be encouraged wholeheartedly, and that your inner beauty will be unveiled entirely. I want you to believe your worth is far greater than rubies and that you will fall in love with God completely. I hope you will adore the woman who He’s called you to be and cherish others as you love yourself fully.

But God not only sings over us, he also speaks to us.

A few years ago, I was attending a week-long believers conference. Every night when I got home, I would watch Reflections on Daystar television with scriptures and beautiful sceneries before going to bed. One night, I arrived home refreshed, but tired, and was amazed when I turned on the television and all I saw was “Psalm 138:8” on the screen. I was too tired to pick up my Bible to look up that scripture. I waited, but nothing changed. I went to bed saying to myself, I will check this out in the morning. First thing in the morning I picked up my Bible to search for that reference and it read,  The Lord will perfect that which concerns You”… (Psalms 138:8). I was going through a crisis, and needed to hear those words, so I cried. God spoke to me and He can speak to you with words that can change your life, as he did me.

Jeremiah 1:5 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”  Your past does not dictate your future. Jesus died for your future. You may not know Him very well, child of God, but He knows everything about you. He is familiar with all your ways. He knew you even before you were conceived. He has instructed you in the way you should go and has guided you with His eye. Even though your afflictions and troubles have been many, He has never left you nor forsaken you. Your trials and troubles have been designed to draw you away from the world, and to lead you to a closer walk with Him. They have been designed to make you stronger, more stable, and to equip you to serve Him better.  

He wants you to have a strong faith which is tested and proven and brings glory to His name.

Even now He works all things according to His own will to ensure that all things work together for good to you. Philippians 4:13 says: “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” You can also claim, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Do not allow your past to dictate your future and trust that God has your future in His hands. He is ready to rejoice over you, His child, as you fulfill His calling on your life.

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Don’t miss our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Categories: Blog