Sanctuary, Lord, I find, for my heart and for my mind. Thanks be to you, God, for my salvation. I rejoice, for when I was lost, you found me. Lasting peace, of inestimable value, I now possess. Light, you’ve made all my earthly burdens, that can’t measure with the treasure of you.
Though a heavy blanket of darkness threatens to overwhelm me I search through its suffocating fabric for a spot of light and tear it open.
Someone needs Jesus.
When I’m bound up in my troubles and can’t seem to get out of my own head, when my biggest issue is my list of issues, I set them aside.
Someone needs Jesus.
When any effort I make seems to be just a drop in the ocean of the world of troubles, I take up an oar anyway and row with the strength I do have.
Someone needs Jesus.
Walking down a crowded street people part around me like water swirling round a stone. How many are really drowning while pretending they can breathe? How many? God could use me to lift them out of the water and point the way home. Will I reach out? Lord, give me the courage to reach out.
Women who feel weak and used, men convinced they’re not enough, children forced to grow before they’re ready need real help and compassion fueled by Jesus. For those cast aside by those who should have cared, for the people even advertising ignores, let them know they are precious in the sight of Jesus.
Lord, please keep in the front of my mind names of those I know who don’t know you. Help me take down barriers while it is day and there is time.
God of wonders, author of the world, each soul is precious to you. Give me a heart with a burden to share and proclaim your good news. This is my prayer, Amen.
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Mark 15:33-34 NIV
Easter. We celebrate on this day the victory over darkness Jesus secured for us. This free gift of eternal life was dearly bought. Consider for a moment the darkest day you’ve ever experienced. The loneliest. Has there ever been a time when the entire weight of the world seemed pressed down upon you? Multiply that. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, lived life as a human, preached the kingdom of God, and performed many miracles, including raising the dead. This God/man was then unjustly convicted and sentenced to a brutal public execution. It began at about nine in the morning. At noon, as the Bible records, the land went dark for three hours. Think about how frightening this must have been for those who experience it! The longest solar eclipse is a matter of minutes. It must have seemed like the world was coming to an end. However, instead of a bitter end, Jesus’ death heralded a wonderful new beginning for all of mankind because Jesus rose from the dead, thereby defeating death forever. If we believe in Jesus and the sacrifice he made for us, if we then turn from our way and accept His. We can have the gift of eternal life He paid for with His blood. Jesus Christ experienced terrible darkness so we can live in eternal light.
When night fell in the middle of the day Jesus, you paid the price so I didn’t have to pay. You went to the dark for me.
On earth, in heaven, our king. There, between two thieves, you gave compassion while demanding none for yourself. You went to the dark for me.
To the dark for me, to the dark for me, through the scourge, the nails, the taunts and the mockery. To the dark for me, to the dark for me, though in agony, Jesus, you went to the dark for me.
Now I have dreams because you faced the nightmare, and there is nothing I can give you except surrender.
Sweet mystery, sweet mystery, that my pardon was purchased before I could search it, sweet mystery. The greatest story… I’ll tell your story, that you sacrificed your life for all mankind.
Though I do great deeds, I could never repay. Though thousands revere me and honor my name, I could never earn the gift you gave away… when you defeated the grave.
To the dark for me, you went to the dark for me, when Jesus, a curtain fell across the sun. Lamb of God, given and risen, glorious one. We’re freed from sin, so now and forever, your love has won… because you went to the dark for me, you went to the dark for me, He went to the dark… for you.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25ESV
What comes to mind when you hear the words “encourage” and “discourage?” Merriam-Webster says of encourage, 1 a : to inspire with courage, spirit, or hope : HEARTEN // she was encouraged to continue by her early success. Of discourage, 1 a : to deprive of courage or confidence DISHEARTEN // was discouraged by repeated failure
While for all practical purposes we can agree there are right times to encourage and discourage, I argue there is a real lack of encouragement in our world generally, sometimes even coming from the people who should be the most encouraging of all, followers of Jesus. After all, who has better cause to encourage? Among our promises from God are direction, help, and comfort in this world and salvation in the next. You won’t find an encouraging package like that anywhere else; it’s a Jesus Christ exclusive.
So what is that root word, courage? Using the dictionary again, we find it defined as : mental or moral strength to venture, persevere, and withstand danger, fear, or difficulty. Everyone needs courage of some kind. For one it could be the courage to rescue someone from a rooftop in a storm. For another it might be stepping into an elevator. For you it might be telling someone the source of your hope. There are all kinds of courage. The best source of Godly courage will always be Jesus.
It has always been a strategy of the enemy to convince us that as we are at this moment is not enough, that the situation we are in or task at hand is greater than us and the God who has prepared us to this point. But God has not given us a spirit of fear, and the next step he wants you to take has already been prepared beforehand. With God there are no surprises and there is never a lack of resource. So take courage! And by all means, give it too.
When desperate and faltering I found myself by what I considered my lack I searched the best source of courage to make sure my feet on the path
I found my guide and strength in Jesus who prepared the way before He became my light and compass so I needn’t fear anymore
Christ gave me courage to carry but it wasn’t just for me it was a lamp to show the way so more captives could be freed
Even the darkness is not dark to You.
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
“Not everything that is faced can be changed,
but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Sing to the Lord the new song He gave.
Sing to the Lord, and be amazed.
Oh ohh, never let go.
Sing to the Lord when the battle seems lost.
Sing to the Lord when the cost seems too high,
and you want to cut and run.
It’s easy to give up on supernatural.
It’s easy to abandon what isn’t naturally known,
even when the known is getting you nowhere.
We cling to familiar like a broken-down car,
sit in the seat though we can’t get far.
allowing our lives to be run by fear and regret.
Since you are with me wherever I go,
since you know my every thought,
I might as well get to know you.
I can’t run so fast as to get away.
I can’t stop the sunrise by holding down the curtain.
Of all these things I’m certain.
You formed me, designed me,
made me unique for a purpose.
When I was still an unformed substance,
you saw me, you knew me,
you knew where my piece fit in the puzzle.
Lord, help me find my way in the puzzle.
If you’re looking for a mission,
here’s a good direction to roam.
You can start by letting folks know
they are not alone.
You see lots of people are good at
looking like they’re alright,
when really they are lonely
and maybe scared inside.
You’d be surprised, but it takes so little
to make a difference in someone’s day,
and God can use that opening
to shine His Son that way.
Just remember if you show the light,
people will use it to see,
so make sure what you put out there