Weekly Devotional 103023

Amid the Struggle

by Amy Ruiz

“Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” –1 Thessalonians 5:11

Today I bring you a different kind of devotional because I’m not in a place where I can share a lesson having just come out of a difficult situation. Instead, I write to you as someone in the midst of so many unknowns, that daily I am fighting to keep anxiety at bay and to keep trusting God in each moment. I know that God has brought my family and me through many trials in the past, and while it helps to look back and remember those times, sometimes amid the current crisis, it’s hard to stop and reflect. The mind whirls with “what ifs!”

So how can I/we keep the anxiety from overtaking our minds, hearts, and bodies during hard times? For one, I am finding that listening to praise music helps refocus my mind. Other times, I just need to share my heart with my husband or a close friend. But talking with God and hearing from Him through the Scriptures is the most helpful. And so I want to share with you some of the Scriptures that have been speaking to my heart:

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

“…God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’ So we say with confidence, ’The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?’” –Hebrews 13:5b-6

“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” –2 Timothy 1:7

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.” –Deuteronomy 31:6

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let not your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” –John 14:27

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” –Psalm 46:1-3

“Worship the Lord your God, and His blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.”
–Exodus 23:25-26

I encourage you to add to this list and seek encouragement from the Lord just as I will continue to do in these coming weeks. In addition, look for those around you who may be struggling and be an encouragement to one another. We never know who might need a caring word or act of kindness. As Scripture tells us, “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
–1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thank You, Lord, that You do not abandon us in our struggles but wrap us in Your love and encouragement always! Amen.

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