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Saturday, September 18, 2021

A word of encouragement

By Sami Fortin
PREVIEW Columnist

Do you feel like the world has gone mad? It’s not just America, but in all the earth. Romans 8:22 tells us that we know that the whole creation has been moaning together as in the pains of childbirth, until now. The enemy is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for anyone he can devour. If you’ve been looking at your situation or your circumstances, you’re bound to get caught up in the hopelessness of not knowing which way to turn.

I have good news: Jesus offers us a way to overcome the enemy’s tactics and it starts in your thoughts. When we’re thinking about our problem, we’re focusing on the wrong thing. God’s word says to keep your mind on Him for He will keep in perfect peace the one whose mind is steadfast (committed and focused) on Him, because he trusts and takes refuge in you with hope and confidence.

With our minds set on Him, we’ll start reflecting on His faithfulness. We can look back on the stories in history where he saw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego through the fiery furnace. They came out not even smelling like smoke, or think about Daniel in the lions’ den, he wouldn’t stop praying and when confronted with breaking a law, he was lowered into the lions’ den overnight. He came out alive the next morning.

You might consider David, who faced a giant; all he had were some stones, but he was also surrounded by God’s army. One more check and you’ll find Moses, a murderer and a stutterer. God used him and all his excuses to free his people from slavery and brought them into a land of plenty.

You might not see how this pertains to your trials, as you might have lost a job, a loved one or your health, you might live in a country with no privileges; whatever the case may be, we still have our God, who is on the throne.

He hasn’t forgotten you. He’s never left you alone, He’s still working in and through you for His good purposes. His plans for you are good, to give you a hope and a future. He never said it would be easy, but that He would be with you. “I’ll never leave you nor forsake you.”

In Isaiah 49, He tells us He has chosen us. In a favorable time I have answered you and in a day of salvation I have helped you and I will watch over you and give you for a covenant of the people to restore the land (from its present state of ruin) and to apportion and give as inheritances the deserted hereditary lands.

He tells you to shout for joy, O heavens, and rejoice, O earth, and break forth into singing, O mountains, for the Lord has comforted His people and will have compassion on His afflicted. We are to be counting our moments and our journeys as pure joy for we know that every trial (the testing of your faith) produces endurance, which leads to spiritual maturity and inner peace.

This is the way to beat the enemy and be victorious in every circumstance. Put on a praise song and sing a little louder. If you resist the enemy and draw close to the Lord He will draw close to you. He’s calling you by name. Get in a quiet place and call on Him; see if you don’t hear him give you an answer. Be patient, and wait on Him for he is not slow like some but waits for the perfect time. Keep trusting in Him; all is not lost. He is still for you, He is with you, He surrounds you, He is still working in this place. Cast all your cares on Him, for He cares for you.

Still feeling empty? He actually likes you this way; you’ll be sure to come back for more. His storehouses are full. He’ll never run out of what you need. In fact, He’s already gone ahead and prepared a way for you to be fully equipped for what you’re doing right now. John 16:33: “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have (perfect) peace. In the world you have tribulation and distress and suffering, but be courageous (be confident, be undaunted, be filled with joy); I have overcome the world. (My conquest is accomplished, My victory abiding.)”

For more ways to be encouraged, start looking up every verse you can find on joy, turn on some praise music and visit some like-minded people. I love you, but Jesus loves you more.

This column includes both fiction and nonfiction, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of The SUN. Submissions can be sent to editor@pagosasun.com.

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