Sunday, December 21, 2008
Does God Really Want You To Be Encouraged?
If you don't have a copy of John Piper's Taste and See, you owe it to yourself to get a copy. The devotion on seizing the gift of hope is worth the price of the book alone.
I've been chewing on the text that it's based on today, Hebrews 6:17-18. I love what this verse states that God desires us to be encouraged, strongly encouraged! In fact it says that God desired to show more convincingly...as John Piper states so well concerning this text, " This text assumes that God had already said enough to give us encouragement. But God is not a God of minimums. His aim is not to speak as few encouraging words as possible. He speaks some words to give us hope. Then, being the effusive God He is, he says to Himself, "This is good. I like doing this. I think that I shall do this again." Piper goes on, "And so He speaks some more words of encouragement. But not just more. They are better."
What an amazing thing that God actually is desirous of encouraging us, it's what He really wants to do! God isn't being coerced into encouraging us, He actually desires to do so, the word that Hebrews 6:18 uses is "strong encouragement" it isn't just in a little dose or that God halfheartedly wants to encourage us, it is strong encouragement!
In this holiday season when so many of us struggle with the memories of people that have gone home to be with the Lord or of a time of darkness or depression, what an encouraging word that we have from our Father, that He wants us to be strongly encouraged. It may not happen in an instant, we have to preach to ourselves as John Piper and Jerry Bridges have both said. We need to dwell on the truths of God's word and believe what He is speaking to us.
This Christmas if you are feeling down take heart, your Father loves you with an everlasting love and He wants you to be encouraged!