Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Week Nineteen - Empty Promises

We all love to hear encouraging words. I've known days when a simple text or online message lifted my spirits and helped me carry on with my day. But just as Christine Hoover said, "No amount of human encouragement will ever meet the deepest need of the heart because it evaporates as soon as the moment passes."

What we really need is to hear encouragement from the ever-faithful, ever-true God. Only He can sustain us in the times of difficulty when human hearts fail, and words seem so empty.

The danger we face with the vast amount of social interaction before us is looking for our encouragement in cyberspace. What we read evaporates and disappears, yet we habitually return looking for new encouraging posts. A steady diet of these morsels will not suffice for a healthy and robust spiritual life.

It would be better to follow King David's example. When faced with the crisis at Ziklag, he didn't look for others to give him happy platitudes or empty promises. He "encouraged himself in the Lord." (1 Samuel 30:6)  He went to Scripture, singing and praying the Psalms and drawing encouragement through faith in God. David knew man's advice was fleeting and could change at any moment, so he placed himself before the Lord and drew strength that carried him through. We, too,  have access to that strength. 

Let me challenge you to not be satisfied with a Facebook post, but open God's word for yourself. Get before the Lord in prayer and let Him speak to your heart. If you don't know where to start, open the book of Psalms and read one Psalm each day. God's posts are eternal and speak directly to your soul.

Wisdom also teaches us to weigh the things we read, to check out the sources, and to try the spirits. Take the picture from this post, for example, "You can do it." This is humanistic thought. "You can do it" encourages you to rely on your own resources and creates unrealistic expectations. You may be able to do it for a while, but your strength will run out.  However, if you change that to "He can do it through you," the encouragement lasts much longer. Philippians 4:13 reads, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Be careful about the words of encouragement the world feeds you. Come back, as David did, to bowing your heart and mind before the Lord and let Him be the "lifter up of your head." (Psalm 3:3) 

So today, have you scoped Facebook looking for encouragement? You might find some. You might read some good stuff. But in a few moments, it will fade. You'll forget it. Better for you to look deeper into God's word and find healthy, eternal truths to feed your soul.


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