September 26, 2008

Encouraging words in tough times

The economy is struggling greatly. Banks are failing. Loans are hard to obtain. Gas stations have no gas. Christians are attacking each other over their choice of presidential candidate.

The world is a scary place.

But this world is not my home. Here are some important verses to keep in mind during these troubled times:

We will not die apart from God’s gracious decree for his children.

  • James 4:14-15 – “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
  • Matthew 10:29-30 – “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
  • Deuteronomy 32:39 – “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.” (See Job 1:21;1 Samuel 2:6; 2 Kings 5:7)

Curses and divination do not hold sway against God’s people.

  • Numbers 23:23 – “There is no enchantment against Jacob, no divination against Israel.”

The plans of terrorists and hostile nations do not succeed apart from our gracious God.

  • Psalm 33:10 – “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples.”
  • Isaiah 8:9-10 – “Take counsel together [you peoples], but it will come to nothing; speak a word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.” (See 2 Samuel 7:14; Nehemiah 4:15)

Man cannot harm us beyond God’s gracious will for us.

  • Psalm 118:6 – “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”
  • Psalm 56:11 – “In God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can man do to me?”

God promises to protect his own from all that is not finally good for them.

  • Psalm 91:14 – “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.”

God promises to give us all we need to obey, enjoy, and honor him forever.

  • Matthew 6:31 – “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ . . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
  • Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

God is never taken off guard.

  • Psalm 121:4 – “Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”

God will be with us, help us, and uphold us in trouble.

  • Isaiah 41:10 – “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 41:13 – “For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, ‘Fear not, I am the one who helps you.’”

Terrors will come, some of us will die, but not a hair of our heads will perish.

  • Luke 21:10-11, 18 – “Then [Jesus] said to them, ‘. . . there will be terrors (!) and great signs from heaven.... and some of you they will put to death. . . . But not a hair of your head will perish.’”

Nothing befalls God’s own but in its appointed hour.

  • John 7:30 – “So they were seeking to arrest him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.” (See John 8:20; 10:18)

When God Almighty is your helper, none can harm you beyond what he decrees.

  • Hebrews 13:6 – “So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’”
  • Romans 8:31 – “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

God’s faithfulness is based on the firm value of his name, not the fickle measure of our obedience.

  • 1 Samuel 12:20-22 – “And Samuel said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; you have done all this evil. . . . For the Lord will not forsake his people, for his great name’s sake.’”

The Lord, our protector, is great and awesome.

  • Nehemiah 4:14 – “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome.”

HT: John Piper

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, thank you, Richard, for your words of encouragement. Blessings and a happy weekend to you, even amidst the turmoil. Peggy


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