Encouragement Newsletter

Welcome, Dear Encouragers!

This month I'm changing things a bit to provide a smorgasbord of tidbits to encourage you through the month of September. Inside this post, you'll find:

  • Encouragement To Go
  • What Does A "Heart Encouraged" Look Like?
  • Spiritual Warfare - Are You Ready?
  • Book Review - Wonderstruck
  • News and Notes

Encouragement To Go

As you move through the month of September, keep these verses handy to stay encouraged. Who knows, God might prompt you to share these with someone who needs a boost!

2_Chronicles_16.9_heartsencouraged.com
2_Chronicles_16.9_heartsencouraged.com

 

What Does A "Heart Encouraged" Look Like?

It’s a heart that:

  • grows a confident hope though evil persists in growing fear  (2 Samuel 22:17-19)
  • believes Jesus calls her his friend  (John 15:15)
  • trusts God is intently listening for her voice  (Psalm 91:15)
  • seeks Jesus for compassionate comfort in her brokenness  (1 Corinthians 1:1-5)
  • stands on the oath and promises of God  (Hebrews 6:17-19)
  • receives power to persevere, endure, and stand firm. (2 Thessalonians 1:11-12)

A heart encouraged is not a passive heart. It’s strong, confident, and steadfast. It brazenly leans into the power of life’s storm trusting the Spirit’s power is even stronger. It's a heart focused to perceive the Lord’s presence, anticipating God’s encouragement through the Spirit.

*All verses from New Living Translation

 

When Spiritual Attacks Strike, Be Ready!

The enemy is always on the prowl ready with a spiritual ambush. Knowing this, I still get caught off guard for one main reason: I’m not battle ready. To change this situation, I use mental imagery casting myself as a sheep, guarded by the Chief Shepherd. I assign Satan the role of the wolf, a predator seeking prey. These character assignments remind me I’m in a spiritual fight.

In the Book of John, Jesus describes himself as the good shepherd and we as the sheep, saying, “The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy…. The wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.” Satan means to steal and destroy our confidence, hope, trust, peace, rest, and love. Love for Jesus fuels Satan’s anger.

Spiritual attacks are meant to control and damage the believers’ heart. Though the relentless pursuit of the wolf quickly exhausts our resources, not so for the Lord. The Great Shepherd is our greatest source of support and encouragement. The best move sheep can take is to face the wolf, stand our ground, and call on Jesus. Confronting Satan with God’s powerful truths strengthens our position, while diminishing the enemy’s.

Though the attacks attempt to overwhelm us, we attack with God’s Word. Whenever temptations, shame, guilt, or lies of the enemy threaten me, I attack with God’s Word. The enemy cringes at the Word for it’s a sword meant to defeat.

We’re in a battle and we need to bring it to the enemy: our faith as a shield, God’s Word as our sword, and trust in our Strong Shepherd.

John 10:10-12; 1 Peter 5:4; NIV

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A Little More on Spiritual Warfare

My friend, Sarah Geringer, writes at Finding Peace in God’s Word has even more to say about spiritual warfare. Check out https://www.sarahgeringer.com/tactics-spiritual-battles/#more-8324

 

Book Review - WONDERSTRUCK: Awaken to the nearness of God by Margaret Feinberg

Powerful, personal stories re-ignite our curiosity and wonder for the Lord. WONDERSTRUCK directs the reader to experience God in new ways. The author creates fabulous imagery our minds and hearts can’t help to embrace. She reminds us intentional curiosity is a path awakening our soul to hear, see, and touch God at any moment.

 

NEWS and Notes

Here's what's going on at Hearts Encouraged! I'm in the process of creating weekly posts called "Heart Lifts" for a Hearts Encouraged Facebook Group I hope to start in January. The purpose of the group is to support one another with encouragement. Every day we're hit with negativity, disaster, and sadness. Whether we live it, or the media projects it into our lives, the constant flow erodes our hope and spiritual fervor. In Thessalonians, we are beckoned to encourage each other. Let's be encouragers and keep our cups full!

To further spread encouragement, I ask you pray for me as I embark on a journey to create a podcast for Hearts Encouraged. I work full-time as an oncology nurse with plenty of opportunity to encourage. But, more is needed. I believe God is calling me to podcasting and your prayers will mean much to keep me on track. Developing a podcast and working full-time will be challenging. Thank you for supporting me in prayer. I'll keep you informed as to the progress. 

Please share your encouragement needs with our community in the comments or on the Hearts Encouraged FB Page. You can also contact me by email at: heartsencouragedministry@gmail.com. 

God is for us, 

Terri

 


God's Power in You

Hello Encouragers! I’m so thankful you’re pausing to take sip of refreshing encouragement. Today, we’re exploring the concept of God’s working power. Let’s discover what it does in us.

God’s Power at Work

Demonstrative. Eruptive. Fierce. Unmatched. This is God’s power. The stroke of God’s hand creates, subdues, destroys, or resurrects. God’s power is always at work.

Followers of Jesus are promised His power is at work within us. Power capable of filling you with inner strength through His Spirit. Describing or defining this power doesn’t do it justice, but I perceive when it’s working in me. I sense it helping my stand against temptations. It beckons me to face another day I’d just as soon not. I can recognize its activation such as when wisdom and words fill my mind and exit my mouth to benefit another.

Then, I forget about it. Somehow, I break the connection thereby moving and living as if I’m powerless. Maybe it’s because I forget Who is empowering me. Who does that?

Me, but not Deborah. I love Deborah and I think you will, too.

Deborah’s story is found in Judges 4 and 5. Here’s an incredible woman, fiercely devoted to God, whose faith rivaled that of King David. A judge, prophet, wife, servant of Israel and more, Deborah possessed strength of character, humility, faith, and wisdom. So highly esteemed by the men and women of Israel, they willingly followed her into battle though a man was commissioned to lead.

How did she do it? How did this woman come to possess leadership, resilience, and the ability to balance multiple callings?

God.

How was she able to succeed in these roles?

God.

Where did her strength come from?

God.

He empowered her. God’s working power deposited in Deborah gave her everything she needed when it was needed.

You’ve got this power, too. If you claim Jesus as your Savior, the same Spirit in Deborah, Moses, Paul lives in you and me.

What might His power help you? Do you need to speak strength to your flesh, to your thoughts? Do you need to proclaim God is with you in it, whatever it is? Do you need to issue a battle cry of deliverance?

I do. I’m writing about His power because I’m done succumbing to a spirit of fear. Whether it’s a lack of control over my own thoughts or the enemy bringing all-out war against me, I’m done! What about you? Are you tired of battling something in your own strength?

Let’s speak to God’s working power within us so we can be who He created us to be. By speaking the Word of God, we release His working power into our lives. God's Word says:

Hebrews 4.12

James 5.16

Ephesians 6.10-12Let’s convert God’s Word into power statements so we can stand firm. Here’s my example.

The Verse:  So do not fear, for I am with you; I’ll strengthen you, help you. Isaiah 41:10.

My Power Statement:  With Your strength, I reject fear of what I can’t control.

It's your turn. Pick a verse. Make a Power Statement. Never forget we have a powerful God giving us power through the Spirit alive in us. Live steady, strong, and fierce! God’s strength powers your strength.

Giving God the glory, Terri

P.S. Check out the Hearts Encouraged Facebook Page to find more power statements! I’d love to read your power statements, too! Let’s encourage one another.

References:

Verses on God’s working power in us: Ephesians 1:17; 3:16, 20; Acts 1:8, Ephesians 6:10, and 2 Timothy 1:7.

https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/people-in-the-bible/deborah-in-the-bible/

https://www.amazon.com/Every-Woman-Bible-Everything/