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Monday, March 8, 2021

Be encouraged

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Be encouraged

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. — Proverbs 18:10

 

We live in an increasingly disparaging and discouraging time. Tough times, tough situations and tough decisions can cause us to become discouraged. All of us have valley experiences: those times when life seems extremely difficult and the challenges we are facing seem insurmountable. This makes it important for us to always remember that the Lord is on our side, and we must be encouraged.

To be encouraged is to give support, hope or confidence. It is to cheer, embolden and fortify. To be encouraged is to believe in the power of God and yourself, and to believe that you are stronger than you appear to be. To be encouraged is to encourage others when you don’t feel encouraged yourself. Author William Defoore states: “Encouragement is free, and beyond measure in value.”

Proverbs 18:10 gives us several insights as to why we should be encouraged. First, “The name of the Lord is a strong tower.” Towers are built for observation. They provide a vital view of the landscape or battlefield, thus making it virtually impossible for enemies to execute surprise attacks. They allow us to see what is coming before it gets to us and give us time to prepare for any impending dangers. Being in the tower places us above ground and above the fray. Towers are also symbols of strength and defense.

The name of the Lord functions as a strong tower. The Lord can see what’s coming before it gets to us. Invoking the name of the Lord connects us to God’s clairvoyance and foresight. It places us at an advantage over our enemies. It also gives us power over any obstacles and circumstances we face.

Secondly, “the righteous run to it (the strong tower)” and not away from it. When trouble comes and unforeseen dangers arise, we should run to the strong tower, which is the name of the Lord. But who are the righteous? They are those who are striving daily to live according to God’s Word and the principles of the Christian faith, namely loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves. To be righteous doesn’t mean to be perfect. No one is perfect in the flesh. The blood of Jesus, shed for the remission of our sins on the Cross, makes us righteous. It is only because of the blood of Jesus that we can be considered righteous in the eyes of God.

There’s something else very important to note about the connection between the righteous and the strong tower. The righteous run to it, not from it. We have a tendency to run from the strong tower (God) and not to the strong tower when faced with trouble, hardships or tough decisions. But that’s the worst thing we can do. Don’t run from God, run to God. Run to the strong tower.

Finally, the strong tower provides safety. The Proverb writer notes “The righteous run to it and are safe.” In the strong tower there is security. No harm or danger can affect us, and there are no blind spots. We are secure and free from injury. The strong tower is our bulwark.

In closing, be encouraged. Don’t allow temporary setbacks or challenges to become permanent hardships. Call on the name of the Lord. The strong tower is for our protection. We can trust the strong tower. Be encouraged.

 

Dr. Preston T. Adams III is senior pastor at Amazing Grace Christian Church in Indianapolis. Contact Pastor Adams via email at seniorpastor@agccindy.org or via Twitter @DrPrestonTAdams. For more information, visit agccindy.org.

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