Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
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Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Kraybill Church Road sunset 3/24/20 (Click to enlarge)
A subdued sunset from our porch past night. Notice how green the fields are.

"Peace For Troubled Hearts"

Message summary: Today we encourage you to preach this bold statement of faith to your own heart by saying aloud, "I will not let my heart be troubled. I will trust in God". Speak it as often as your heart needs to hear it.

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me" (John 14:1)". "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" (John 16:33).

He lives to silence all my fears;
He lives to wipe away my tears;
He lives to calm my troubled heart;
He lives all blessings to impart.

Many people all around the world are deeply troubled at this time due to the coronavirus. For some it's dealing with the dreaded disease or even mourning the death of a loved one. For others it's the fear of contracting the invisible virus and still for others it's the worries about how long this will last and how our lives will be affected in the long-term. Everyone of us in one way or another has had our lives disrupted.

We share a lot with people who have troubles and of course this is the current topic. I suppose we are a listening ear and hopefully offer some comfort, perspective and sound advice as we point them to eternal truths. Apart from the current virus situation we all deal with a variety of troubles.

Job famously had a lot of troubles. His three friends came over to comfort him. Although their advice was faulty and certainly not the final word Eliphas offers a rather timeless observation, "Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward" (Job 5:7). What a pithy, timeless description of the inevitability of troubles! I've been burning scrap pieces of wood from our barn project and I can observe some 4000 years later that the sparks still fly upward and we still have troubles!

Our first text is a comforting word from Jesus,
"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me." That is a great verse to memorize and preach to oneself. Jesus taught about a rich man who preached a deceptive message to himself, "And I will say to my soul, "Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years to come; take your ease, eat, drink and be merry'". "But God said to him, 'You fool!'" (Luke 12:19,20). Today we encourage you to preach this bold statement of faith to your own heart by saying aloud, "I will not let my heart be troubled. I will trust in God". Speak it as often as your heart needs to hear it.

Just this morning we heard a timely message titled "Trusting God in Worrisome Times" by Lee Strobel on Focus on the Family and he describes worry as "spiritual amnesia". That's why we need to preach to ourselves!

Today’s second text is from John 16:33: "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." This is a verse we both learned as young Christians with the words set to music so it is permanently etched in our memory.

I am so thankful for the words of our Lord Jesus in this passage! "I have told you these things..." "These things" are included in His final teaching to the disciples prior to His death on the cross. He knows their future will include uncertainty and peril due to their decision to follow Him. But He shares with them the way to find peace in the midst of conflict, "so that in Me you may have peace".

Our Lord readily acknowledged and prepared His disciples for the reality of inevitable trouble (or "tribulation") in His matter of fact declaration, "In this world you will have trouble".

Have you considered that the presence of trouble in your life is evidence of Christ’s truthfulness and faithfulness? After all He did say, "In this world you will have trouble".

Have you ever met a believer going through a difficult trial who in faith joyfully declares to others, "God is keeping His promise" in regard to the trial in progress? I heard a brother give a testimony to the veracity of Scripture regarding this promise as he was going through a great trial. It stunned those of us who listened on as we witnessed his victorious testimony in the very midst of trouble.

Thankfully, the stirring promise includes an underlying peace, "so that in Me you may have peace". Christ’s desire is that His followers have this peace, surely meaning in this case the sense of emotional and spiritual rest and much needed assurance that can only come through a fervent, growing relationship with the Peacemaker Himself. The apostle Paul wrote, "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:7).

Hear the assuring message of our Lord and apply it to your heart today: "But take heart! I have overcome the world!"  I’ve added the exclamation point because I believe that’s the tone of how Christ spoke these consoling words.

He spoke these words with absolute confidence even before His agony in Gethsemane, His innocent suffering at the hands of guilty accusers, and His death on the cross at Calvary. He knew His Father had everything under control. And our Father still has everything under control. He always does! Let us experience His abiding peace today as we commit ourselves to His unfailing love and unfolding plan in the midst of the undesirables of our day.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, my salvation is once for all established in the heavens and serves as an anchor to provide unwavering hope even while the torrential waves of world tragedies, wars, fears, disease, strife, and personal difficulties attempt to shatter my peaceful state of mind. You have promised to keep me in perfect peace when my mind and heart are fixed upon You* rather than the besetting problems that confront me daily. Help me to wholeheartedly seek You and rely on Your Holy Word so that I will experience perfect peace. It is in this spiritual attitude that I fully trust You to work out the problems that greatly concern me and it will help me not to take matters into my own hands which only leads to more trouble. You have overcome the world and You will also help me overcome my fears and troubles. Amen.

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"I Know That My Redeemer Lives"  Video   Bob Bennett

"Peace Give I To Thee"  Video  Maranatha Singers!

"These Things I Have Spoken Unto You (John 16:33)" Video  Maranatha Singers This is the tune we learned as young Christians causing this verse to be permanently sealed in our memory. Not only ours, but Brooksyne taught many scriptures over the years to our congregations. Only three weeks ago while visiting New England a parishioner approached Brooksyne and quoted this very verse. She memorized it due to our singing it to music twenty some years ago and wanted her to know the blessing of singing Scriptures set to music.

"When I Am Afraid" Psalm 56:3&4"  Video  Steve Green  Another Psalm we have long memorized that will reinforce faith

"Way Maker" (with Lyrics)  Video  Leeland A song we've been singing at church that builds faith

"Trusting God in Worrisome Times" by Lee Strobel (audio) Offering tremendous hope in the face of our global pandemic, evangelist Lee Strobel describes how we can overcome fear by entrusting our lives to God and meditating on His faithfulness. Lee offers practical suggestions for alleviating our uncertainty, including praying, giving thanks, and turning anxiety-inducing "what if" questions into courses of action that are reassuring. (Part 1 of 2)
Original Air Date: March 25, 2020

7 ways to share Christ while practicing socially distancing (The Pocket Testament League)

Do you remember that old Sunday School song that says, "Hide it under a bushel? NO! I'm going to let it shine"? In years past, we sang that song with gusto and conviction. Will you be bold and let your light for Christ shine amid the dark times we're currently navigating?

Here are 7 ideas to inspire you to get started:

1. Be a good neighbor. Take a prayer walk around your neighborhood. Maintain a healthy distance from others, but encourage those you see along the way with a kind word, smile, let them know that you’ll be praying for them and that you’re there if they need anything.

2. Share the wealth. If you are stocked up with food and toilet paper, look for those in need. Put a flyer up near your community’s mailboxes or on neighborhood Facebook group and let people know that you have extras or are healthy enough to go on supply runs for those in need. When you share your supplies, share a pocket-sized Gospel, too.

3. FaceTime story time with Mini BFFs. If your friends have young ones stuck at home, FaceTime them and read them a story. Bonus points if it’s a Bible story. Teach them your old-school favorite Sunday school songs. Let them know that you and Jesus love them. Your friends will get a short break, you’ll get entertained, and the kids will have a break from boredom. 

4. Bless the delivery guys. If you are ordering delivery food or supplies, bless the delivery guys. Leave a basket of bottled drinks, snacks and pocket-sized Gospels by the door with a Thank You and Please Enjoy note.

5. Get Crafty! Many adults and kids love getting crafty! Get out the art supplies and make cards. If you have stamps and envelopes, mail them out and add a gospel too! Or hand-make cards and projects you can leave on the doorsteps of neighbors and friends.

6. Consider the lonely. Who do you know that’s elderly or single that may be feeling extra lonely these days? Call, text, FaceTime, drive by and wave from the car. A smile, silly song or conversation may be exactly what this person needs.

7. Leave a supply! At the grocery store, community entrance or outside your front door, leave a supply of Gospels with a note that says “Take one for free… it could save your life!”

Keep the faith. Keep reading and sharing God's Word! Be safe and follow the national guidelines for social distancing.

Finally today:

Donegal Creek sunset 3/24/20
As Stephen was at home snapping the sunset photos from the porch I was taking photos on my walk with the dogs on Donegal Springs trail. I thoroughly enjoy the ducks, geese, red winged black birds and other assorted creatures that meander in my view on any given day. Several adults and children were riding their bikes on this late sunny afternoon. What a peaceful place in our chaotic world!

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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 make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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