Daily Encouragement Net
The online Bible teaching ministry of Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.

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Thursday, December 31, 2020

Coast Guard lighthouse on Lake Superior (photo by Howard Blichfeldt)
Marquette Harbor Light
Coast Guard Lighthouse Station, Lake Superior - Marquette, Michigan
Photo by Howard Blichfeldt (used by permission)

"Holding Onto God's Unchanging Hand"

Message summary: 2020 was filled with many challenges for everyone. Uncertainties loom yet again as we face the new year of 2021, but one calming certainty overshadows the believer in the new year, that God is with us. Let us resolve that we will always hold onto God's unchanging hand!

ListenListen to this message on your audio player.

“He leadeth me beside still waters, He restoreth my soul” (Psalm 23:3). “For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you” (Isaiah 41:13). “For He Himself knew what He would do” (John 6:6). “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your love, O LORD, endures forever” (Psalm 138:8).

In his daily devotional book titled “From Day To Day”, Frank Gaebelein shares a perspective that has blessed us both through the years and is so pertinent to our own experience in walking with the Lord by faith. He comments on the third daily text, "For He Himself knew what He would do":

“When the Lord Jesus asked Philip how bread might be secured for the hungry crowd, it was important for Him to test the faith of Philip-important not for Himself but for Philip’s sake that he might have a lesson in the infinite resources of the Lord. “For He Himself knew what He would do.” This is always true of our Lord. There is comfort in the fact that He can never be taken by surprise. Though the circumstances of our lives sometimes seem plan-less, when they are in Christ’s control we may be sure that our Lord knows what He is doing. To really trust such a Master really means security from worry and concern. Christ indeed knows His business; ours is the responsibility of obeying His commands.”

As I seek to apply this verse to my life what a joy and comfort I experience knowing that the eternal Christ does not change. He knows exactly what He is doing, why He is doing it, how He will  bring it to pass, and how it will all come about. We become the wiser as we learn to trust His plan instead of our own. "We may make our plans, but God has the last word" is a Proverb that can instill peace in one’s heart when God seems rather silent about a matter (Proverbs 16:1). He perfects our plans or may choose to overrule them, even those with good intentions, for the greater good of our Christian walk as we submit our planning agenda to His management.

This is our final encouragement message for 2020. We can testify that God has led us and are assured that He will continue to lead us. The phrase “He leadeth me” is in the present tense so it is our present and ongoing declaration.

Brooksyne and I realize that the coming year will certainly bring challenges in various ways, as it always does. We find great assurance that indeed our Lord knows what He will do and we can steady ourselves by holding to God's unchanging hand as we build our hope on things eternal. We cling to this complimentary promise from the Psalms, “The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me” (Psalm 138:8). And that is true for each dear child of God, including you!

2020 was filled with many challenges for everyone. Uncertainties loom yet again as we face the new year of 2021, but one calming certainty overshadows the believer in the new year, that God is with us. Let us resolve that we will hold onto God's unchanging hand!

Time is filled with swift transition,
None on earth unmoved can stand
Build your hope on things eternal
And then hold, hold onto God's unchanging hand!

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying man Daily prayer: Father, we want to be Your faithful follower as You fulfill Your purpose in our lives. The Psalmist traced Your hand to the secret place where all Your ordained plans were written for his life before he drew his first breath. We too can trace Your hand in the origin of our birth right up to the present day in which we close out another year. We need not fear when we hold onto Your unchanging hand, for You will guide us through the disappointments, uncertainties, and puzzlements that will frequent our path, for You fully know what Your intentions are for our lives. We trust You for the days ahead and the new year that will unfold before us. We will not fear nor dread the future, since it is through eyes of faith that we see that victory is on the horizon! In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

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Special Year-end Financial Appeal

We want to thank all who have financially supported our ministry this past year (and some for many years!). We realize there are many fine ministries and causes requesting support at this time but if the Lord would lead you we surely need and appreciate the financial support from our readers and listeners. Like many ministries, we typically see a spike in giving at the end of the year for which we are most thankful.

Our ministry labor is comprised of approximately half our time to Daily Encouragement and the other half to our chaplaincy ministry to companies for which we receive compensation. Each of these ministries essentially is the same as a part-time job (20+ hours weekly) for each of us. Our goal for many years is that each would provide half of our ministry expenses and income.

If you would consider making a donation to our ministry see here for more information.

To donate directly online click here. This will open to a page that designates the offering to: WEBER,STEPHEN CHAP, Specialized Chaplaincy Ministry ID: 700001-237376

Make A DonationPlease Note: We also provide this easy option due to the convenience, for international supporters, and for those who may not be concerned regarding receiving an official tax deductible receipt. Click here to send an offering using PayPal. This will open to a page that states "Brooksyne Weber"

Thank you,

Stephen & Brooksyne

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"Hold to God's Unchanging Hand"  Video  For a soulful rendering of "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" listen to this version by the Chicago Mass Choir. It will encourage you, refresh you, put a smile on your face and lift you up above life's troubles.

Time is filled with swift transition,
None on earth unmoved can stand
Build your hope on things eternal
And then hold, hold onto God's unchanging hand

Trust in Him, who will not leave you
Whatsoever the years may bring
When your earthly friends forsake you
Still more closely to Him cling

Everybody oughta hold (hold to his hand)
Hold onto God (God's unchanging hand)
Everybody outghta hold (hold to his hand)
Hold on to God (God's unchanging hand) His unchanging hand
Build your hope on things eternal
And just hold, hold onto God's unchanging hand

Listen, truth in Him
He won't leave you, no He won't
Whatsoever the years may bring
When your earthly friends
They will forsake you, yes they will,
Still more closely to Him…

“Every good gift…cometh down from the Father…with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (Jas. 1:17)

Jennie Wilson wrote this song which emphasizes the fact that there is no variableness with the God who lives in heaven. The text was written by Mary Jane (Jennie) Bain Wilson, who was born on a farm at Cleveland, IN, near South Whitley, on November 13, 1856. Her father died in her infancy. When she was about four years old, an attack of spinal trouble resulted in her being rendered an invalid, confined to a wheel-chair and bed. Not being able to attend school, she studied at home, read much, and received some musical instruction. A natural love for music and poetry early in life led her to verse writing.  In 1881, she was baptized by being carried on a chair into a beautiful, tree shaded stream, and, in her words, “it gave me much joy to thus confess my dear Savior.”

"Your Will Be Done" Video  CityAlight

"He Leadeth Me"  Video  Congregational singing!

"Yet Not I But Through Christ In Me"  Video   CityAlight

Howard BlichfeldtThe photo of the Marquette Harbor Light was taken by our friend Howard Blichfeldt.  He is a professional photographer with outstanding nature photos often highlighted with correlating Scripture passages. Here's a portion of his mission statement: "A greater reward comes from knowing that my experience and love of nature has drawn me closer to the God who created it. If through my artwork I can aid others in accomplishing the same, then in some small way, maybe I will have made a difference." His website. Here's some interesting information about the Marquette Harbor Light.

Paul and Sheila Heil of "The Gospel Greats" 7/3/16
We received a message yesterday from Sheila Heil that Paul, founder and host of the syndicated program Gospel Greats heard on local Christian stations for 40 years (and Sirius radio for several years, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, Dec. 27th. We sure enjoy listening to Gospel Greats on WDAC now for almost twenty years since we've lived here in Lancaster County. We are always refreshed and challenged as we listen to the many dedicated southern gospel groups and hear their personal stories; so many with godly parents who steered them in the right path, others overcoming and enduring major health matters or the loss of a loved one, each of them living out their lives seeking to honor God just like the rest of us in the family of God. This photo was taken about 5 years ago when the Heils visited the church we attended at the time.

In Paul's newsletter published Dec. 29th, 5 days after his fatal heart attack, he had prepared his message with the theme of heaven. He concluded it with these thoughts:

"No matter how many sermons we hear about this [John 3:16], no matter how many books we read about this, no matter how much we ponder these truths, I think we will not even begin to understand fully the magnitude of God's love for us -- until we see Him face to face. Until we experience that love in person. Until we can feel that love surging through and energizing our resurrected bodies. Until the "blinders" and sinful distractions of this world are gone forever. Until our faith becomes sight (2 Cor 5:7).

Aren't you glad He set aside the glories of heaven -- for you?

- Paul Heil

Paul no longer writes in future tense: "until we see Him face to face" since he now sees Him face to face. We rejoice in His glorious promotion and pray for Sheila and Paul's two sons who miss his presence here below.

Finally today:

Old Windmill Farm Collie puppy
This morning following a chaplaincy visit I stopped by the Old Windmill Farm. Five year old Sara Beth brought me a Collie puppy to hold. These puppies will hopefully soon find a home and we can attest that these puppies have lots of human contact practically from birth!

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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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