Encouragement for Life

The REAL Truth About Work

work

Rumor has it that work is a consequence of the fall of man. If Adam and Eve had not eaten that apple, we wouldn’t have to work today. But in reality, work existed before the Fall. Long before that first bite of fruit, we witness God at work in the creation of the universe.

In Genesis 1:1, we meet God punching the time clock, so to speak, as a worker: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Finally, when the work was completed, on the seventh day God “rested from all His work which [He] had created and made” (Genesis 2:3).

Also after Adam and Eve were created, God told them to “be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth” (Genesis 1:28). That sounds like work to me!

My fellow working friend, it’s obvious God created us, both men and women, to be workers. He knows that our physical and mental makeup thrives on work and creativity.

In 15 Verses to Pray for Your Husband you’ll discover key Bible passages you can use as a springboard for lifting your husband up to God. Praying the Scriptures is especially powerful because you are actually praying what God desires for your spouse.

Wisdom for Your Food Encounters

food

I once read that the average person has at least 20 food encounters every day. How can we manage these encounters? First Corinthians 10:31 says, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” Imagine it! You can actually eat in a way that brings honor and glory to God! So give God glory and honor Him when you eat, by what you eat, and by how much you eat …

  • Refuse to be mastered by food or drink
  • Refuse to overeat
  • Eat with self-control
  • Consume just enough
  • Eat only what you need

As you make your way through your glorious new day, the day that the Lord has made and the day that He has given to you, pray. Use the content of Romans 12:1 as your personal heart cry to God:

Lord, today I present my body to you as a living sacrifice, as a spiritual service of my worship. May I live this day in a way that is acceptable to You. Lead me not into temptation. Amen.

Learn and study more of God’s wisdom in bestselling author and Bible teacher Elizabeth George’s newest book, Proverbs for a Woman’s Day. She takes you on a journey through Proverbs, which covers the matters closest to your heart, including how to…
~ trust in God when it’s hard
~ find fulfillment in your marriage
~ train and enjoy your children
~ and more!

What Happens When We Don’t Pray?

pray

Due to some wrong choices I’ve made, I can sure relate to Abraham when a famine occurred … and he chose to go to Egypt during the famine in search of food. It appears that Abraham reacted to his circumstances without praying for God’s guidance. He relied on himself rather than God, and he failed on these three counts:

  • Abraham feared for his life (Genesis 12:12). He thought he would starve to death. Fear is a good indicator that we have strayed away from God’s will. When we have fear, we are not trusting God.
  • Abraham lied about his wife. He asked Sarah to join with him in lying about their relationship and to say she was his sister (verse 13). Rationalizing our actions to justify doing something wrong is another sign that we are acting out of the will of God.
  • Abraham chose a coward’s approach. He opted not to defend Sarah when she was taken into Pharaoh’s palace (verse 15). Failure to stand up for what is right is yet another mark of erring behavior due to a failure to pray.

No issue or decision is too minor for prayer. Take nothing for granted when it comes to your concerns. What seemed like “no-brainer situations” to Abraham (for example, during a famine—go where the food is, right? … and when you’re about to die, lie, right?!) were his opportunities to trust God. The next time something seems so clear-cut that there is no need for prayer, think again. Then quickly get down on your knees and cry out to God.

Experience a deeper intimacy with God and give new life to your prayers as you find clear direction on how to pray God’s way in all of life’s hardships and blessings with Jim George’s newest book, Knowing God Through Prayer: Learning to Pray with The People of the Bible.

Releasing Your Worries

 

Worries

As one of God’s sheep, you have His promise to feed you! As creatures who need physical and spiri­tual food, you and I enjoy both from the hand of the Shep­herd. We can release our worries to Him, because He cares for us throughout life. God brings us to places of pasture through circumstances and events.

This kind of care is the role of a good shep­herd—and a role completely fulfilled for us by the Good Shepherd. And when there are no pastures, the shepherd him­self gathers the food needed for his flock by using his crook to pull down leaves and berries from the trees. Then he feeds his sheep directly and intimately right out of his own hand!

Why should we ever worry about food and clothing? About finances and money? About security and the needs of life? We have the Lord as our caring shepherd. When fears regarding the cares of this world set in, remember God’s promise to care for you. And then do as David—a shepherd himself—did and declare, “Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You” (Psalm 56:3).

Find further encouragement in Loving God With All Your Mind by Elizabeth George. Drawing on biblical wisdom as well as personal experience, Elizabeth helps women handle their emotions and discover inner peace that comes from focusing on what is true. She shares six powerful Bible truths that will help readers draw closer to God and know His joy and love.

 

Staying Confident in God’s Plan

Confident

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord,
thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Where does life find you today? What difficult times are you enduring? What situation seems to be unbearable?

Encouragement is on the way … God’s powerful promise in Jeremiah 29:11 leaves no phase or issue of life uncovered! It assures us that God’s plans, for us and for His people, are for good, not evil. God is our security for any and every situation we will encounter in life. This includes birth, death, marriage, singleness, widowhood, poverty, and persecution. Also, suffering the unknown of a move or the permanence of being in an unpleasant place.

One morning a pastor’s wife called to tell me that her husband was resigning from his church. Margo reported, “Elizabeth, I’ve been reciting Jeremiah 29:11 all day long! God brought us here. He has taught us many lessons and used us in many ways. I also know God has a plan for us and that it’s good. He knows where we are going!”

In the midst of all that she was feeling due to her life being turned upside down, Margo remained confident in the truths of Scripture. Margo was dealing with fear and disappointment as she anticipated saying goodbye. She was struggling with worry and anger as she faced being uprooted from her home. My friend battled confusion and hurt about moving in an unknown direction to an unknown place.

The foundations of our daily lives may suddenly collapse, and the security of our income may slip away, but we can be confident in God, His goodness, and His promises. Therefore we can enjoy victory as we focus on His plans for us—plans of peace and not evil, to give us a future and a hope.

A woman‘s day is full of challenges and opportunities. Let the wisdom of God show you how to thrive through it all as you read Proverbs for a Woman’s Day–a brand new book by Elizabeth.

Keep the Slate Clear

Forgiveness

From Jim’s Heart

Have you ever noticed that, as a man, asking for or offering forgiveness is often very difficult? It’s almost as hard as asking for directions! Why is that?

Well, I can’t answer for you, but for me, pride is often the culprit, especially in my marriage. Here’s how it goes: I say or do something stupid to Elizabeth that’s—shall I say … a little gruff? Then, instead of immediately asking for forgiveness and being done with it, my pride says, “No, I was right about what I said,” or “Well, it wasn’t that bad!”

Regardless of my wife’s response, as long as I fail to label my deed as “sin” and ask her forgiveness, there is a cloud over our relationship—all because I wasn’t humble enough to admit I was wrong.

Let me encourage you to learn to quickly admit wrong and ask for forgiveness … no matter what. Keep the slate clear and the communication line open with your wife. Forgive each other, “just as God in Christ also has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).

In A Man After God’s Own Heart, you’ll discover God’s perfect design for how you can make a difference in all the key areas of your life:

  • Marriage–what it means to love, lead, and protect your wife
  • Children–the keys to training them up and shaping their hearts
  • Work–modeling integrity and diligence in the workplace

Marriage Is A Team Effort

Team

Marriage is a team effort, but sometimes a team fails to function as a unit. You can’t make your other team member—your husband—do anything. So do what you can to help and honor him. Whether it’s his refusal to take his health seriously or a misuse of time or money, or a hundred other things, do your part.

Stop worrying about your husband’s faults. Instead, start focusing on what’s right about him—and express it to him! Work at changing your perspective. Recall those things that first attracted you to your husband. Consciously notice what he does that’s right, that’s helpful, that’s commendable. And, of course, compliment him and share what you’ve noticed.

Step up your prayers for your husband. It’s hard to criticize someone you are praying for. So pray like crazy! You can’t pray too much, but you can certainly pray too little. Embrace prayer for your husband as a lifelong commitment.

Talk to your husband. Instead of worrying about an area in your husband’s life, ask God to show you areas where you may be contributing to the problem. Check your actions. Check your timing. Check your words. Above all, check your heart. Then talk with your husband and ask him how you can help or how you can change.

Major on wisdom, not worrying. Wise decisions, wise actions, and wise words—all guided by God in answer to your prayers—are what will help you help your marriage.

In A Couple After God’s Own Heart, discover how you can enrich your marriage by looking at the lives of key couples in the Bible.

Deal With Today

 

Deal

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things.
Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
{Matthew 6:34}

With these words of commonsense wisdom, Jesus reduces our responsibilities to those of today … and today only. He forces our focus from the panorama view of the mountain range of all our tomorrows … to the single mountain of today. You see, today is all Christ asks us to cope with. And today is something Christ knows we—with His help—can indeed manage. His words give us hope, and they give us focus. Matthew 6:34 includes Christ’s formula for winning over worry. It consists of His …

CommandDo not worry about tomorrow,

InsightTomorrow will worry about its own things, and

Challenge for you todaySufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Dear friend, Jesus calls us away from worrying about tomorrow (a major contributor to stress) and to addressing the reality of today. His job assignment for you can be boiled down to three words: “Deal with today!”

One Minute with The Women of The Bible will help you learn how God has comforted, helped, and provided for the women in the Bible. You’ll grow more and more aware of His amazing love for you.

Looking Heavenward

Suffering

We are not promised or guaranteed a life free of suffering, pain, or illness. Jesus wanted His followers—-including you and me—to know this hard truth: “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33)—trouble, trials, suffering, and tears.

When my husband pastored and taught a senior citizens’ Sunday school class some years ago, he heard many of these dear people share one particular verse that comforted them after a spouse or relative or friend died. It was from a description of “the new heaven”:

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
{Revelation 21:4}

This scripture describes the reality and angst of suffering in life. But also the welcomed delights and promised well-being that await God’s people as they spend eternity in His presence. No matter what comes your way here on earth, no matter what pain or agony you face, set your worries aside and look heavenward! One day, the splendors of heaven will replace the sufferings of this life.

Prayers to Calm Your Heart is a beautifully designed gift book. It is part practical, part inspirational, and altogether essential to keep worry and runaway fear in check. It’s a welcome gift to give at any time on any occasion.

3 Steps for Trusting God in Hard Times

Trusting

Whenever tough times come our way, trusting God can be difficult. We can find ourselves falling into the trap of thinking that God made a mistake … that He wasn’t there when we needed Him. The Bible, however, describes a God who is perfect in His wisdom, His ways, and His timing. He is with us always. So what can you do to be more sensitive to God’s presence and trusting of Him during your tough times?

Step 1: List the negatives in your life. By negatives I mean the things you don’t like about yourself or your life situation. Your list may include your background, parents (or lack of them), siblings. Also, your appearance, abilities, personality, marital status, children (or lack of them), finances. Whatever challenges you may currently face.

Step 2: Acknowledge God in the “negatives.” God knew, God allowed, and God permitted. And, as Romans 8:28 states, God overrules and causes all things—including what you perceive to be “negatives”—to work together for your good.

Step 3: Thank God for each “negative.” And thank Him for His promise to work for your good and for your spiritual growth in everything in your life. Thank Him even in what you don’t like or don’t have. Remember that God has designed your life (Psalm 139:13-16). He has a plan for your life (2 Timothy 1:9). You can trust that He is actively working out His will through the people, events, and circumstances of your life—past, present, and future, positive and negative.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
{Romans 8:28}

Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials reminds you that God won’t give you trials without a way of escape. By turning to and trusting in Jesus, you will find hope, joy, and meaning in your journey, no matter how bumpy it seems.

© Copyright 2017
Elizabeth & Jim George


Made with ♥ by Guild & MCP