Published September 4, 2012

Shelia Shares....
"An Encouraging Word"

We all need encouragement. Discouragement is a problem for everyone at some time in their life.

At the recent Blue Mountain Gospel Music Festival, Tim Lovelace spoke about encouragement. He suggested that people sincerely speak words of encouragement to those around them. Later that day, I was behind a table selling Gospel music items. A lady approached me and told me what a good job I was doing. I thanked her and then as she turned to leave, she added, "Tim Lovelace told us to encourage people today." I got a chuckle from the incident and thought that perhaps she had missed the "sincerely" part of the suggestion. (It was appreciated, nonetheless.)

I Kings 19 tells the story of Elijah. He had just experienced a great spiritual victory and the destruction of the prophets of Baal. Queen Jezebel was unhappy with him and threatened to take his life. Elijah was exhausted and became discouraged. He went off by himself and talked to the Lord, telling Him, "Take my life," and further continued with, "I alone am left; and they seek to take my life." God responds, "There are seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal." God reminds Elijah that he is not alone serving God. Finally, with needed rest and food, Elijah goes back to being a powerful prophet of God.

God didn't give up on Elijah and He won't give up on you. He will do what it takes to strengthen you, but in return, He will expect you to do what you are called to do for Him. You are not alone. It doesn't depend on you but on a faithful God. Ephesians 6:10 reads, "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might."

Keep looking up. Hang on. Know that your salvation comes from the Lord. Tell the devil to flee. Shout with the joy of the Lord. Remember, "the joy of the Lord is your strength" (Nehemiah 8:10) and God is with you.

- Shelia

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