Tag Archive | encouragement

Battle Weary Soldier

Soldier for ChristWhen I looked at this picture on the morning of August 12, 2014, my soul was stirred.

You see, I had just heard the news that Robin Williams had passed away. I do not know what went through Robin Williams’ mind when he chose to take his life on that day, but I vividly remember endless days when I felt lonely, isolated and full of despair. I had been betrayed in one of the worst ways an individual can be betrayed and at the end of it all I wanted to take my own life. Fortunately for me, thoughts of my daughter flooded my mind and that kept me from harming myself!

For a fleeting moment, I thought again about just taking the same shortcut and immediately spend the rest of my life in eternity with Jesus. But I could not do it.

Because of the battles I’ve been facing (along with several of my closest friends) I have wanted to throw in the towel more than once these past few months! Instead of wearing a clean white dress (as shown in this picture) and holding my battle sword, I feel as though my outer clothes should really depict what is going on in my life. The white dress should be pictured with blood stains and be frayed, ragged, tattered, dirty, and torn.

The truth is . . . I feel “Battle Weary”! The term battle weary is used to describe soldiers who have been on battle lines too long and are tired of being there; it is also used to describe someone who has been doing any difficult job for too long.

Life is more than difficult and trials last much longer than I would like. Right now, I feel beaten, torn down, dense, depressed and non caring. When I ask the “why” question in my prayers I get no answer. When I ask the “when” question in my prayers I get no answer. When I ask “what am I to do” in my prayers I get no answer. Why do I keep getting up day after day after day when God is silent? I guess it boils down to trust. I know God loves me. I know He cares for me. I know that He knows everything that is going on in my life. To be honest, somewhere deep down inside of me I have hope in my soul. I also sense a lighted candle that silently says “keep going”. “Maybe today will be the day for breakthrough”. “Maybe today will be the day for a miracle”. Just maybe. God’s timing is perfect. Although I can’t see it now, I know He’s working everything out in a way that will bless me beyond what I could ask Him or even imagine!

Yes, I am a soldier in the army of my God. The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commanding Officer. The Holy Scripture is my code of conduct. Faith, prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare. I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity and tested by fire.

I know my God is the author of unfailing love – steadfast love. The psalmist in the Bible says ““Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143:8).

If you, like me, are a soldier who is weary of the battle, I pray these verses uplift and encourage you as they have me:

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

FOR STRENGTH:

Psalms 18:31-36 For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—the God who equipped me with strength and made my way blameless. He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand supported me, and your gentleness made me great. You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

FOR TRUST:
Deuteronomy 31:8 “… It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Isaiah 41:10 “… fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalms 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Isaiah 43:1-2 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.

I’ll end with this quote by Charles Spurgeon:
“The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.”

I hope all of you will stay on the battle field with me and claim the promise I continue to stand on:
Psalm 27:13: I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

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Three Little Words

If someone mentioned the phrase “three little words” what would your mind conjure up? So many of the most significant messages that people deliver to one another often come in just three words. When spoken or conveyed, those statements have the power to forge new friendships, deepen old ones and restore relationships that have cooled. The following three word phrases can enrich every relationship every bit as much as the most obvious one.

I AM HERE. Being there for another person is the greatest gift we can give. When we are truly present for other people, important things happen to them and to us. We are renewed in love and friendship. We are restored emotionally and spiritually.

I MISS YOU. Perhaps more friendships could be salvaged and strengthened if people simply and sincerely said to each other, “I miss you.” This powerful affirmation tells others that they are wanted, needed, desired and loved.

I RESPECT YOU. Respect is another way of showing love. Respect conveys the feeling that another person is a true equal. It is a powerful way to affirm the importance of a relationship.

YOU ARE RIGHT. This phrase is highly effective in diffusing an argument and restoring frayed emotions and, of course, the flipside of “you are right” is the humility of admitting “I am wrong.”

PLEASE FORGIVE ME. Many broken relationships could be restored and healed if people would admit their mistakes and ask for forgiveness. All of us are vulnerable to faults and failures. A person should never be ashamed to own up that they have been in the wrong, which is saying in other words that they are wiser today than they were yesterday.

I THANK YOU. Gratitude is an exquisite form of courtesy. People who enjoy the companionship of good, close friends are those who don’t take daily courtesies for granted. They are quick to thank their friends for their many expressions of kindness. On the other hand, people whose circle of friends is constricted often do not have attitude.

COUNT ON ME. “A friend is one who walks in when others walk out.” Loyalty is an essential ingredient for true friendship; it is the emotional glue that bonds people. When troubles come, a good friend is there saying “you can count on me.”

LET ME HELP. The best of friends see a need and try to fill it. When they spot a hurt they do what they can to heal it. Without being asked they pitch in and help.

I UNDERSTAND YOU. People become closer and enjoy each other more if they feel that the other person accepts and understands them. Letting other people know in so many little ways that you understand them is one of the most powerful tools for strengthening a relationship.

GO FOR IT. Some of your friends may have dreams and plans that may seem beyond reach. Support them and rather than urging them to conform, encourage their uniqueness. Everyone has dreams that no one else has.

I LOVE YOU. Of course three little words that you were probably expecting to see first in this list have to be reserved for someone very special in our lives. So often God speaks to us in messages of three words and, even if our relationship with Him is not as close as it should be at times, we can still be reassured that no matter when we turn to him, he will always say to us:

I forgive you,
I love you.
You are mine,
Take my hand,
Go in peace.

This week use whatever three little words are required to restore and deepen relationships with the important people in your life.

Even when you have reached your lowest point, when days are dark, and when even so-called friends and loved ones have turned against you, know that there is always One true and sincere life companion you can count on – GOD. (From God’s message)

In the Darkest Night, in the Deepest Pain… REST IN GOD’S PRESENCE, RELY ON GOD’S POWER and BELIEVE GOD’S PROMISES.

Hebrews 13:5
“I will never leave you nor forsake you!”