DAY 33: Be Encouraged!

Read: Acts 23:11-35

Think: Acts 23: 11 says, “That night the Lord appeared to Paul and said, ‘Be encouraged, Paul. Just as you have been a witness to me here in Jerusalem, you must preach the Good News in Rome as well.’” Other versions of this verse interchange the phrase, “Be encouraged” with “Take courage,” “Don’t lose your courage,” and “Be strong.” The most striking part of this passage to me is that the Lord came to Paul and spoke. The Lord knew the trouble that was ahead of Paul and therefore He Himself came to embolden and strengthen him. 

Act: I have not heard an audible voice of the Lord, but numerous times—in fact, more times than I can count—I have felt the Lord speak to me while I was reading my Bible. For example, on the day my father died, the daily Bible reading in Luke was the account of Jesus dying on the cross next to two men. The last words in the New Testament reading that day were, “And today, you will be with me in paradise.” On the day my father died, Jesus’ words gave me courage; they encouraged, comforted and strengthened me (and my entire family) through the planning my father’s funeral and “homecoming” service. I have never, ever forgotten how encouraged I felt when I read those words almost 15 years ago. I didn’t audibly hear God’s voice, but I knew He was speaking right into my heart! Let God encourage you daily as you read His Word. He will comfort and strengthen you in very specific ways. Highlight, underline and date the very verses in the Bible that “speak” to your situation each day.

Pray: Dear Lord, I open my heart and mind to hear Your voice Lord through my Bible reading. I will listen for Your words of encouragement today and everyday. I love You, Lord. Amen.

Be full of faith today!