Published by Barnabas International • PO Box 11211 • Rockford, IL 61126 • Volume VII • No. 10 • October 1993
LAREAU LINDQUIST, Founder
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24)
What a wonderful Word from the Lord. What an encouraging Word.
In recent months I have traveled in many countries of the world including Japan, Taiwan, Russia, the Ukraine, Bermuda, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Peru, Venezuela, and Papua New Guinea. I have met with many Christians serving God in a variety of settings. Many of them have shared the joy and hilarity of ministry highlights with me. They have also shared some of their more painful and hurtful experiences. I immediately think of some of their stories. Stories that include relational misunderstanding, discomfort with rebellious children, friction with co-workers. Others have been victimized by arson, thievery, and battery. One family shared the pain of murder in their family. And of course, the theme of discouragement seemed to weave its way through most stories.
Just days ago I read Psalm 31. David spoke of personal pain throughout the chapter using these terms: affliction, anguish, sorrow, grief, distress, groaning, weakness and terror. He even spoke of feeling like broken pottery. Yet he spoke of God being his Refuge and his Rock and his Fortress. He concluded the chapter with this great text again…Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Let's take a look at these words…carefully and slowly.
BE STRONG. That is a word for wounded people. It is word for people who feel weak, bedraggled, bruised, and broken. Frequently God says Be Strong to his children. He said it to Joshua…and to David…and He says it to all of us in Ephesians 6:10. Too often I say, "But Lord, I am weak. I am hurting. I don't have what it takes." And he agrees with me. Yet in my weakness, He invites me to become intimate with Him. And He strengthens me.
TAKE HEART. These are the same words that Jesus spoke to His followers when He told them to expect troubles in life (John 16:23). God's people (whether in Old Testament times, New Testament times, or now) are urged to Take Heart. That means to cheer up…to be encouraged…to be courageous. Again, all of this is to be rooted in our relationship with God. We Take Heart because we are not alone. We do not face life's perplexities alone. I can hear you saying, "But you don't know what I am going through. My heart is heavy. I am quickly losing heart." But God says to you, Take Heart.
But how do we do this? These words are only promised to individuals who focus their hope in the Lord. It is not a passive or a listless hope. Rather it is an active and a focused hope…in the Lord. I am interested how often these words appear in the Scriptures…trust in the Lord ,rejoice in the Lord…and here, hope in the Lord. Indeed, our entire life is wrapped up in our relationship with Him. In Him we live and move and have our being. It is easy to have a misplaced hope. Fix it upon HIM. He will never fail. He never has. He never will. In fact, He cannot fail. He is our "God of Hope."
Receive an email when a new letter is posted.