John 16:32 “…You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.”
These are difficult days for many people. Many people feel like their lives have been turned up side down. Corporations and businesses are struggling, job markets have been decreasing. There are an increasing number of people that have lost their homes and livelihoods – more than we would have believed possible. If you are one of those people, how do you keep encouraged while working through difficult times? I can only tell you what I have done and what I do when discouragement is working to become a stronghold in my mind.
First, I examine my heart. Are my heart and my walk with the Lord in the place it should be? If it is, I can move forward. If it isn’t I need to what Mary did and sit at the feet of Jesus. He is Lord. He is Savior. And without Him I can do nothing. Prideful people never make it to this place. They try to move forward in their own strength. Just examine your walk with God and don’t lie to yourself. There is enough evidence to let you know which path you are on.
Secondly, I take the Apostle Paul’s counsel and be aware of the devil’s devices. Satan is the author of lies, attacks, discouragement and hopelessness. These things are not from the Lord. If these things are the place my mind seems to be trapped in, they’ve become a stronghold. We are to take hold of the negative thoughts, fears, and worries that create strongholds and cast them down. Imagine them as muddy pigs walking across your beautiful wood floor. Grab a broom and scream and chase them out in Jesus Name. 2 Cor. 10:3-5 reminds us, “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world (guns, swords, etc.) On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Thirdly, I read God’s word focusing on the multitude of promises that reveal God’s will for me to be a light and a blessing and to be blessed in all my ways. They become the meditation of my heart and proclamation of my mouth. I don’t mix thoughts and words of despair and God’s promises together like they were two ingredients that were to be mixed to create a cake. Oil and water don’t mix. God and the devil don’t mix. My heart, my mind, and my words belong to God. In God’s strength and in the name of Jesus, I take my authority over what I think and say.
Finally, I do exactly what I did last night and this morning. I park on the heart of Jesus’ encouragement. Before I read the Word, I ask God to speak hope, promise, and encouragement to my heart. And when He does I think it, say it, share it, and pray it.
Example: In John chapter 16, Jesus is getting down to the nitty gritty of teaching His disciples before He goes to die on the cross. He stopped teaching them in parables and talked straight to them. His disciples loved it. John 16:28-30 “Yes, I came from the Father into the world, and I will leave the world and return to the Father.” Then his disciples said, “At last you are speaking plainly and not in parables. Now we understand that you know everything and don’t need anyone to tell you anything. From this we believe that you came from God.”
Since they fully understood and fully believed, they felt they were in the best of places. Yet Jesus was warning them that their belief wouldn’t resolve every issue. The devil is evil and would come against Jesus and them. Even though they believed, their faith would be attacked through fear and they would scatter. Jesus continued to tell them, John 16:31-33 “You believe at last!” Jesus answered. “But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus was telling them the truth – that hard times do come and they are an assault on our faith working to discourage us out of our faith. He said, “you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone.” Jesus was telling them, though you say you believe in me, when it gets tough, you are going to abandon me.
In tough times do you abandon Jesus? In tough times, we often feel abandoned. But we can learn from Jesus. That is what I did and took to heart today. He revealed a profound revelation for us to take hold of and let encourage our heart. He said these simple but profound words. “Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me.” Why are they so profound? Because that is the truth that applied to them then and to us today. We are not alone, for our Heavenly Father is with us! This is why Jesus could go on to say, “In this world, you will have trouble. But, take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Jesus has defeated Satan. If everyone seems to have abandoned us, WE ARE NOT ALONE! Our Father is with us! Can those become your sincere words of faith and victory today and tomorrow? Can you believe them? Can you believe that God has thoughts of good and not evil toward you to give you and expected outcome? That is His will for us. Just that promise alone is enough to break the back of the lying devils trying to discourage you to day. You are not alone. Your Father is with you!
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2008 Tim Burt, All rights reserved