Dr. Dianne Coflin
Co-Pastor, River of Life Church
This word is so strong that God said we were to motivate people daily with it. That is the word “encourage”!! This powerful word means to inspire or persuade with courage, spirit, or hope. Why would God say that we were to encourage one another daily?
I believe the Lord knew the many opportunities we would have to be discouraged. This means to be deprived of courage so as to lose confidence and grow disheartened and weary. How many people do you know who are discouraged?
All of us face many varied and difficult challenges. The loss of loved ones, unemployment, financial struggles, poor health, and broken relationships are just a few. Not to mention the unending stories on the nightly news about devastations, hardships, and strife in our nation, and disasters around the world! The truth is we are not able to control circumstances that come into our lives, nor can we fix all the world’s problems, but we can adjust the way we see things with God’s help!
In the Book of Jeremiah (Jer. 17:5-8), God shows us two people with very different viewpoints. One person is in the midst of very contrary circumstances and is so overwhelmed that his heart and mind are filled with anxiety. In fact he is so overwhelmed that he is described as being lost in a parched desert, living in a rocky place in the wilderness. What a horrible place to be!
This individual became so filled with anxiety his heart turned away from the Lord because he was relying on his own strength to try to fix his problems. Did you know that worrying is a form of worship? It is giving worth to the problem instead of to the Lord. This individual needed great encouragement!
In contrast, the other individual was facing the same set of circumstances, with many opportunities to overcome. However, his heart was turned toward God, trusting him. He had the same opportunity to be filled full of fear and anxiety but instead chose to cast his care upon the Lord. In so doing he was described as being nourished and blessed, bearing good fruit in a hard season in life. In fact, the Bible described him as so filled with peace he didn’t even notice when the hard times were there. You see, his attitude had been so changed by allowing God’s presence to help him that his life became very blessed and secure.
Maybe you have been in this contrary place in life. Your thoughts are daily filled with fears, and in worrying you think you can control your life, only to find it’s further out of control. You see, an adversary exalts himself in your life by leading your thoughts in a way that is contrary to believing God cares and wants to intervene. So, what can you do? The Bible says to “Cast the whole of your care (all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all) upon Him, because He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”(1 Peter 5:7 AMP.)
If God tells us we can do something, then He will empower us to do so. Maybe you need to start with a list of all the things that are troubling you and write them down. Then humble yourself before the Lord in prayer, bring your list and one by one release those cares to Him. Then throw that list away. Can I tell you a humble and contrite heart before God will solicit His presence and release His power to help you in the midst of your circumstances? In a moment, God can change your outlook, adjust your attitude, lift you up, and bring you great encouragement!! Take that bold step towards Him, because He cares for you!!
Food for thought!! Dr. Dianne Coflin Co-Pastor River of Life Church, Lutz, Florida. Our services begin 10:30am on Sundays and 7:00pm on Wednesday, for our youth, men, and ladies meetings. We would love to have you come!!
Dr. Dianne Coflin
Co-Pastor of River of Life Church.
410 Chapman Rd. East, Lutz, FL 33549
(813) 949-9931 • www.roltampa.org