Peace and Strength In Times of Discouragement Part One

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you read the Bible story of Jesus asleep in a boat with His panicking disciples during a raging storm? He’s asleep in the back of a boat after an incredibly exhausting day. They are terrified they might drown because they are in a horrific storm. Though they know He is exhausted, they wake Him in desperation, expressing their fears. Jesus speaks to and calms the wind and waves. With awe and amazement, the disciples look at each other and say, “Who is this man that even the wind and waves obey him?” Mark 4:41 TLB

Jesus had told them who He was, yet it was like they had mental relapses over this truth. He was the Son of God, the author and finisher of our faith, and the only one capable of bringing us supernatural help, strength, and peace in times of trouble and hurt. The disciples seemed to have to learn this lesson over and over again. It seems that Christians today are the same way! This is why it’s so critical to know that Jesus, out of His love for mankind, was there taking our punishment upon Himself at the cross,  and continues to be here with us in the midst of our storms today! He’s here to offer you and me grace and supernatural help, strength of spirit, and the peace that passes human understanding. He knows that we need His supernatural comfort because we are all confronted too often with sudden problems, disappointments, and crisis events that come suddenly like a storm out of nowhere to rob our faith and peace, steal our hope, and drain our spirit of strength.

Most Christians really don’t know of God’s promise of strength and peace. It’s the reason so many people become overwhelmed with discouragementthe place the Bible sometimes calls the pit. Psalm 28:1 NIV speaks of David’s cry to God in one of these troublesome times. “To you I call, O Lord my Rock; do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.” Pit here does not mean hell. It refers to the emotionally low place of discouragement or depression.

God doesn’t want anyone to sink into this kind of place. If you knew the Lord, then you would also know that He desires to lift you up from this place. King David knew this, and that’s why, when David was feeling low, He came back to the Lord in prayer and worship again and again!  He proclaimed in Psalm 40:2 NLT, “He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.”

Jesus desires to deliver us from these kinds of troubles and feeling down and out! Renewed strength comes to those who place strong faith in the promises of His Word and boldly ask for His help in faith. Isaiah 40:29-31 (NLT) brings this truth home, saying, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” 

We arise in newfound strength when we can call upon Him confidently, knowing that God will take what the devil meant for evil and turn it for good. He will turn defeats into victories! First, He wants to help us get our feet on solid ground. But it all starts by having faith and drawing strength and peace from the richness and power of the promise of His Word, such as Philippians 4:7 NKJV. “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

King David understood this was God’s will, He trusted in God’s promises, and it is reflected in His prayers to the Lord. Psalm 86:1-7 & 11-13 NIV  “Hear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am devoted to you. You are my God; save your servant who trusts in you. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, O LORD; listen to my cry for mercy. In the day of my trouble, I will call to you, for you will answer me…Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may reverence your name. I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.”

Though things come against us in this world,  if we will position ourselves in His Word, worship, and prayer, God will speak to us, encourage us with His promises, strengthen our faith and heart, and answer our prayers of faith! His will is for you to experience His peace and strength that pushes out the discouragement and/or depression of ever-changing circumstances.   More on this subject next time… 

Psalm 86:13 NIV, “I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. For great is your love toward me; you have delivered me from the depths of the grave.”

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In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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