Daily Encouragement Net Header
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Home   About Us  Archives   Free email subscription   ListenListen to these messages
 See here for more info.

<Previous Message                                                    Next Message>

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Old order Mennonite team horses
Old order Mennonite horses curious about the visitor who is taking their photo from a van.

ListenListen to us share this message on your audio player.

"I Shall Not Be Confounded"

"For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed" (Isaiah 50:7).

Yesterday we passed through an Old Order Mennonite and Amish region in Eastern Lancaster County. Although it was very cold and moisture filled the air the farmers were diligently working the fields; steel wheeled tractors for the Mennonites and mule teams for the Amish.

We considered this quiet rural farm life in contrast to the setting we were in last week as we drove and sat in hours of heavy traffic near Washington DC, just 100 miles to the south of us.  In the misty cold weather with warnings of a winter ice storm brewing in our county, these men were doing that which needed to be done. What a spiritual parallel this is to believers who are to be diligent in the work assignment that comes from our Father in heaven!  Jesus told His followers, "Night is coming when no one can work" (John 9:4).

What a statement of confident faith our daily verse expresses.  Contextually it is considered by commentators to be part of a Messianic prophecy concerning Christ, but I find an application as well in my own life.  I see four phrases each building on the preceding.
"For the Lord God will help me."  Have you accepted this truth in your life?  Are you living with the peace that such knowledge brings?  The underlying Hebrew word for "help" has a root meaning which is "to surround, i.e. protect or aid."  A foundational assurance we have as God's children is that of His constant help and care. I have so often quoted and been blessed by the New Testament promise, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you" (I Peter 5:7). We also referred to this verse in yesterday's message as it applied to our theme as well.

"Therefore shall I not be confounded."  "Confound" is not a very common word in our vocabulary today.  In fact when I hear it, for some reason I hear an aggravated hillbilly with a southern accent exclaiming, "Confound it!" It's actually an old word that means to become confused or perplexed.  The word has an underlying meaning of being wounded and other versions translate it as "insulted, disgraced, ashamed."
"Therefore have I set my face like a flint."  What a proclamation of determination based on the preceding two truths!  I want to do this today.  I encourage you to join me.  We've all seen enough weak-kneed, wavering, wimpy professing followers of Christ, and sadly in certain settings we might personally identify with them.  But the word "flint" conveys hardness.  Jesus demonstrated this when Luke recorded, "As the time approached for Him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem" (9:51).  Though the "people there did not welcome Him" and He had "no place to lay His head" He was resolute in doing the will of His Father.

"I know that I shall not be ashamed."  Now that's an unwavering faith statement.  Notice the confident assurance Isaiah expresses in the words, "I know."  He indicates that this attitude is not only for the present but for the future, whether circumstances are favorable or troubling.

Today, my friend, be steadfast in your faithfulness to our Lord Jesus Christ to the very end.  Make Isaiah's resolve your very own as you boldly proclaim, "I know that I shall not be ashamed."

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, I confess that Jesus is my Savior.  And because I do so, I am confident that Jesus will acknowledge me in heaven as Your child.  And as a child of God there are sacrifices You ask of me here on earth; most especially a surrendered will so that I follow You and obey You no matter the cost.  I can't do this in my own strength but You will help me.  Circumstances will test me yet I will not be confounded. I am resolute in remaining faithful so that my faith will grow and my Christian walk will be strengthened.  I will not be ashamed but rather glory in the cross of Christ.

Brooksyne's Note:  I read a story in "Christian Heroes" early this morning about Nikolai Khamara from the Soviet Union, an imprisoned thief who had committed many years of sin.  He converted to Christ in the prison cell in the 1970's and joined the underground church.  Then his faith and that of his pastors' was tested beyond anything we could imagine.  But Nikolai remained resolute in his faith to his very last breath on this side of heaven.  You can read this brief inspirational story here.

The Complete Book of Christian HeroesThe Complete Book of Christian Heroes
By Dave & Neta Jackson / Tyndale House
Are there any true heroes? Discover the remarkable stories of those who have suffered for the cause of Christ throughout the course of history. This book reveals what inspired the great heroes of faith and drove them to give their all. Featuring such gripping accounts of each hero's life, this book gives the historical and cultural information as well as quotations and Scripture passages that amplify what each hero stood for. You will learn about John Bunyan, Mary Dyer, Brother Andrew, Todd Beamer and over 200 more heroes of yesterday and today. This is an excellent resource for any home library. For more information or to order click here.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"My Help"
 Video  This song is by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.

"He Hideth My Soul"
Steve Webb has an excellent podcast with hymnstories.  Here's a story about Fanny Crosby and her song, "He Hideth My Soul" as well as Scott Wesley Brown singing the song.

"You Never Let Go"

Backyard in icy rain
Overnight and all through this morning we've had icy rain. It makes for a beautiful view out our bedroom window, particularly when you don't need to get out in it!

Send a message to Stephen & Brooksyne.

Sign up here for the free daily email encouragement.

Permissions: Please feel free to pass on, reproduce and distribute any material on Daily Encouragement Net, in part or in whole, in any format, provided that you do not alter the wording in any way or charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. It is our desire to spread this material, not protect or restrict it. I do request that you keep the contact, copyright and subscription information intact.

Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

Daily Encouragement Net is an affiliate of Christianbook.com 
© Copyright 2009 Stephen C. Weber - All Rights Reserved
Daily Encouragement Net - 495 Kraybill Church Road - Mount Joy, PA 17552  USA

Contact us

"Living securely today anchored in God's solid foundation"