Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

The Word

How blessed the man you train, God, the woman you instruct in your Word, providing a circle of quiet within the clamor of evil, while a jail is being built for the wicked. God will never walk away from His people, never desert his precious people.  Rest assured that justice is on the way and every good heart put right.

Psalms 94:14-15

My son recently set both these signs beside our shed. When I first saw them, I took this picture. Throughout the week as I've passed by our window and noticed the two signs, I've been reminded of the many times God's Word has brought me JOY. It has provided joy through instuction, knowledge, hope, love, answers, peace, truth and so much more. His Word has led me through extremely difficult times; it's been my life manual, the map to get through the maze of questions that tangle me up. His Word has given me the ability to step forward when I would rather fall back in fear. 

What are you reading in His Word today and how do you feel that God is instructing you?  Do you feel the circle of quiet around you and the peace within? God has promised to never leave you, He is not going to walk away from you because you are so very precious to Him, do you understand this?

The JOY of the Lord is a way of living; it's a permament fixture within your heart. It's the way your heart beats, and the way your heart knows and hears. It's woven within you like a word.

Today, may you have the Word, live it, speak it, and experience JOY!

The Longevity of Influence

Jotham was twenty five years old when he became king, he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jerusha the daughter of Zadok. In God's eyes he lived a good life, following the path laid out by his father Uzziah......

2 Chronicles 27:1

Throughout the old testament I have been reading one story after another about good kings and evil kings. The longevity of their influence over Israel goes on and on for hundreds of years. As I have been reading of each kings choice to either serve God or turn against him and then learn of the ripple effect that his choices bring because of that and the powerful influence he has on all the people around him, I have to ask myself about my own influence in my circle of life. 

God has given me a kingdom to manage,  how am I influencing it now for good?  Or, am I making choices that will influence it for evil? Or, am I simply doing nothing of significant impact and my influence will not go on to future generations? 

What is the longevity of your influence? How are you impacting those around you for good? And, how will you make an impact, so your influence will be remembered for generations to come?

There were many kings remembered for their evil influence, and the devastation they put upon so many around them. But, the Kings that are remembered for good, are also honored, loved, admired, and still influencing others for good. 

God has used them for good for thousands of years! That's longevity.

From Mud to Mercy


So Naaman with his horses and chariots arrived in style and stopped at Elisha's door. Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: "Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. your skin will be healed and you'll be as good as new."

2 Kings 5: 9-10

Namaan was a general of the army under the King of Aram. He was held in great esteem because of the victory that was given to Aram by God through him. But, he had a skin diesease. The servant in his home was a young girl from Israel and she told Namaan's wife about Elisha, he in turn told the King, and the king sent him off to visit Elisha in hopes of a miraculous healing. When they arrived at Elisha's house, Elisha didn't even come out to greet them, he simply sent his servant out to tell Namaan to go wash in the Jordan river seven times. Namaan was not at all impressed, in fact he was mad. He stomped off, feeling indignant that the "holy man" did not come out of his house to greet him and heal him.  His companions, on the other hand, caught up with him, and gently persauded him to give the River Jordan a try. It can't hurt anything, right? Namaan didn't want to get dirty, he didn't see the point in washing in a river with all that mud when he could go to a clean river. He thought it was disgusting, but his companions convinced him to just give it a chance. So, Namaan went to the Jordan and walked in. With each dip, he got more and more mud, and still the skin diesease was there. I'm not sure what his thoughts were, but I'm imagining that at dip number four and five he was feeling discouraged, and dirty.  But, his companions cheered him on and stayed by his side the entire time. Then, the seventh time, he came up out of the water, wiped away the mud and, sure enough, his skin was clear. He was healed!

My life has been just like Namaan on many occasions, has yours? Do you have to walk through the muddy process before you see the mercy of God on your life? Do you have to step out in faith before you reap the fruit? Do you sometimes have to walk out by yourself, knowing your friends are cheering you on, but they can't do it for you? Do you want instant healing, but find out that God has a different plan?  There is healing in the mud, there is always God's mercy on the other side.  When I'm in the mud, I don't always see it, I don't always even believe it, but still that doesn't change the truth of God's mercy.

The Promise of Plenty



Elijah said to her, "Don't worry about a thing. Go ahead and do what you've said. But first make a small biscuit for me and bring it back here. Then go ahead and make a meal from what's left for you and your son.  This is the word of the God of Israel: 'The jar of flour will not run out and the bottle of oil will not become empty before God sends rain on the land and ends this drought.'" And she went off and did it, did just as Elijah asked.  And it turned out as he said--daily food for her and her family. The jar of meal didn't run out and the bottle of oil didn't become empty: God's promise fulfilled to the letter, exactly as Elijah had delivered it!

1Kings17: 13-17

I've been thinking about this story a lot this week. This woman had a lot of faith. She was on her last meal, and Elijah was asking her to give it to him instead of her child. Not only that, he told her not to worry about it! She gave her food to Elijah. I am not sure if she was worried or not, but she did have food, every single day. Her pots of oil and flour were never empty. God supplied for her plenty, because it was promised and because she stepped out in faith.  She did it without knowing what might happen. 

How are you stepping out in faith today for your children and your yourself?  How are you believing that God will provide for you, He will not let your containers be empty? He is your plenty. What is being asked of you that feels impossible, but could produce a  needed supply? And, what do you need  in your life right now?  Is it trust, courage, fatih, hope, love in a relationship? Is it strength, health, or support? 

If God can keep oil and flour in plentiul supply, then he can supply your needs as well. He could be waiting for you to take that step of faith.

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