5 Understandable Words for Today

"Be strong and take heart..." Psalm 31:24

Sometimes we need to hear these words. Sometimes we need someone to come along side of us, place loving arms over our shoulders, and whisper the words into our ears. Sometimes we need to tell our inner self to "man-up" or "woman-up" and recognize the reality of being grown up by facing our own discouragement and discovering once again the source of our inner motivation. Motivation can be a deceiving variable in one's life.

Motivation can be based on so many things: rewards, approval, awards, advancement, narcissistic satisfaction, avoidance of pain - physical or emotional, establishing personal goals, etc. For me, motivation is more of a spiritual exercise. I've never been one to put much credence in material things, which is why I guess I've never made a lot of money - though at times I've been greatly blessed, and at other times have experienced great need. Motivation is defined as the reason or reasons one has for acting in a particular way. Welllllll, yes, that can be true. However, motivation can also go much deeper to match the cadence of one's steps through life - a creed, if you will, reflecting one's world view.

Many years ago, while in my twenties, I embraced the following biblical passage as my life creed:

"I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be on my lips. My soul will make its boast in the Lord; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. O magnify the Lord with me and let us exalt His name together." Psalm 34:1-3 (adapted from the NKJV)

This creed has reminded me to:

  1. bless or acknowledge God's faithfulness in all circumstances; 
  2. make my boasting about heavenly things, not earthly ones;
  3. remember those with little means of support, education, or family connection;
  4. invite others of every nation to join me in exalting the name of Jesus.

Recently, though, I needed a kick in the pants... to be 'reset'... not just defragged. My needs required a complete shutdown and restart. Over the past few months, I have grieved the loss of dear ones who God saw fit to bring to heaven - without my agreement on the matter; struggled through decisions on financial matters; wrestled with personal health issues; and contested God's judgment on matters concerning my life. 2016 was a rough year. Psalm 31 seems to speak strongly to my heart in these days:

  • I needed a refuge. I wanted to hide away... just for a time.  (Ps. 31:1)
  • I needed to be rescued all over again. I asked God that He would protect me and never let me be put to shame.  (v.'s 1-2)
  • I was reminded of the honor given to each saint to carry the name above every name throughout the world, and I sought His direction for such a commission. (v.3)
  • I spent needed time in prayer seeking God's protection from the entrapments of this world, as I recommitted myself to Him. (v.'s 4-5)
  • I echoed the Psalmist's prayer in verses 9-13 so many times.
  • I reaffirmed my trust in Him to write the story of my life, stating my times were in His hands.  (v.'s 14-15)
  • I sought the Lord's face through time spent in His Word... that He would shine on me... not publicly, but privately - being the glory and the lifter of my head.  (v.'s 16-18; Ps. 3:3)
  • I reaffirmed God's goodness and my hope in His Way. (v.'s 19-20; Jer. 29:11)
  • I praised Him for showing me the wonders of His love!  (v.'s 21-22)
  • I discovered today's five simple words... pregnant with power for living... understandable words for my soul:

"Be strong and take heart..." Psalm 31:24

Today, be a superman or superwoman, knowing you can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you! (Philippians 4:13)

This year, be strong and take heart, knowing He cares for you.

Have a victorious 2017!