In the world in which we live, we can't help but be inundated with the news. And depending on what platforms we're following or listening to, the news can differ greatly. Over the past two years, our family has ramped up and filtered what has been allowed into our home. We're extremely selective on our social media, our podcasts and even the news programs we watch (if any) on the television.
Words can be full of life and blessing, or they can bring despair and hopelessness. They can lift up or tear down, bring encouragement or defeat. Words can correct with love or damage one's spirit.
Scripture even demonstrates the power contained in words. In the Genesis story, God said, "Let there be light" and there was light. In John, Jesus called out, "Lazarus, come forth." And just like that, Lazarus walked out of the grave. Esther's courage allowed her to declare, "If I perish, I perish," and the Jews were saved from annihilation. Mary's words, "Let it be to me according to your word," showing that the mother of Jesus willingly accepted the role that God chose for her. In each of these situations, words were spoken that breathed new life into desperate situations.
We can do the same.
Right now, the world seems so uncertain, and many are overwhelmed with anxiety and despair. People need to be encouraged and built up. This season provides us with a very special opportunity to speak truth and hope, and we shouldn't take that for granted. We must embrace this moment by speaking life-giving words to those around us.
My wife has intentionally placed scriptures in every room of our home. Some are framed and some are on simple notecards that can be found hanging on the refrigerator with magnets. Everywhere we look, we see them. These scriptures have become vital tools that have encouraged our family during this difficult season and helped counter the negativity that seems to surround us every single day.
Below are several of our favorites. I hope they'll bring as much encouragement to you as they have to us during these uncertain times:
- "Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand" (Isa. 41:10).
- "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go" (Josh. 1:9).
- "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:6-7).
- "The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety" (Ps. 18:2).
- And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise" (Phil. 4:8).
- "Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise" (Heb. 10:23).
- "For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs" (Zeph. 3:17).
Dr. Jason Robinson is an associate professor of education at Lee University in southeast Tennessee. Jason is a local, state and national award-winning educator who has a passion for teaching and equipping the next generation of leaders. He and his family reside in Cleveland, Tennessee.
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