♕ Today's Promise: "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he:" Proverbs 23:7
Words of Encouragement
Last month I wrote to you about being set apart in your actions. This month, let's look at being set apart from the world in terms of our words and confessions because they are extremely important too as they portray our internal state, attitudes, and beliefs (Luke 6:45). Because we value Holy living, which is an important aspect of reflecting our Holy God to a world that doesn’t know Him, our words must be set apart. So what are you saying or confessing about your situation? What are you thinking? What treasures are in your heart? Do you have Holy attitudes displayed through thought and then word followed by deed. Are they thoughts and words on joy, peace, hope, dependence on God, sacrificial love, forgiveness and reconciliation, long-suffering, generosity, thankfulness, faithfulness, and all the other words that appear in the “put on” passages in Scripture?
Too often, we differ from the world in action, but we don’t differ from the world in our words and what we have in our heart. Our attitudes are fearful, we worry, we are proudly self-sufficient, we hold grudges, we don’t always keep our word and we complain out of ungratefulness. This is not being set apart. I often fail here and am weak in this area. Complaining to me can come easy sometimes. In my industry, customers are encouraged to complain as a way of giving feedback about services. Because I am already weak here and the complaining culture is reinforced at work, I fall into it and then have to come out of it. I stop myself when I start to complain.
I am writing this to encourage you to strive to be set apart in what you're confessing and in what you're thinking everyday. Are you thinking about how defeated you are? Do you have self pity? Confessing about how bad things are all the time? Can I encourage you to change that? This is because it is that which will bring you down. Look up to the Lord when you're feeling like this—know where your help is coming from, lift your attitude, get your hopes up, you are not beaten down because you are not alone or abandoned.
Consider Hannah (1 Samuel 1), she is in a society where being barren is frowned upon. She's one wife of her husband. Her rival wife makes fun of her and mocks her for having no children, but she does not let this drive her away from the Lord. This drives her to seek the Lord even more. The Lord answered her prayer. Does this situation seem familiar? Should we then not follow this example. That our confessions are not casting down our faith. Our confessions are hope filled because we know Him. So even when they make fun of you and make your restoration journey look ridiculous, look up because you know Him, do not let your confessions, your mind and your attitude run away with the world who does not know Him. Do not confess about how much you're beaten down. Confess that in all this you will see the hand of the Lord. Don't agree with the world that your situation is hopeless. There's help coming because this restoration situation is before the Lord. Jesus died for you and your wife to have hope.
1 Samuel 1:2 (NKJV)
And Hannah prayed and said:
“My heart rejoices in the Lord;
My horn is exalted in the Lord.
I smile at my enemies,
Because I rejoice in Your salvation.
“No one is holy like the Lord,
For there is none besides You,
Nor is there any rock like our God.
“Talk no more so very proudly;
Let no arrogance come from your mouth,
For the Lord is the God of knowledge;
And by Him actions are weighed.
“The bows of the mighty men are broken,
And those who stumbled are girded with strength.
Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread,
And the hungry have ceased to hunger.
Even the barren has borne seven,
And she who has many children has become feeble.
Another example is Job. His trial by Satan (Job 1&2) was designed to crush his faith. To make him curse the Lord who had blessed him. But he did not. He's alignment with the Lord was so deep that he would not let his confessions disrupt that. Both Hannah and Job’s situations are so bad, that they have nowhere to turn to but the Lord. Hannah has no IVF or fertility clinics to run to. Job has no specialist for his sickness, no way to seek justice for his childrens’ murders -all he has is the Lord. We are so fortunate to be living in modern conveniences, but don’t let more that comfort and modern necessities take away your desperate need for the Lord.
Job 2:7010 (NKJV)
So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head. And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
So right now, examine what's in your heart, if it worry anxiety stress, faithlessness- repent of it so that what you express and confess out of your mouth is showing reverence and faith for your Holy father and what He has done and what He shall do for you. Please do not let yourself be eaten alive by what your wife is doing or not doing so that your thoughts and words are constant confessions of fear, anger, gossip and bitterness. Get to know the Lord so that all things are working for your good. When the world around you is swallowed in slander, hopelessness, anxiety and dirty language, let your words be pure reflecting the God you are following. When I was going through my restoration journey I received a call one time from my wife, and as I've often said there was rarely any good news. As I hang up the phone having been told about how little I would get, how little access I would have to my children, I said to myself “even that works for my good (Romans 8:28)”. At that point, I was so prayed up that a phone call that was meant to be disruptive and crushing had the opposite effect.
Proverbs 23:7 KJV
As a man thinks in his heart, so is he; therefore, all of my thoughts are positive. I do not allow Satan to use my spirit as a garbage dump by meditating on negative things that he offers me.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Proverbs 21: 3
Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.
~ Patrick RESTORED in Australia
If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to read my testimony and then my wife's encouragement.
Also, here are the previous letters from prior months that I hope will inspire you in your Journey.