Sometimes on Sunday mornings the people of LJCF bring additional encouragements for the fellowship to hear. Not only does God speak to us through the regular preacher, but also through the experiences other people in the congregation are having with him.
Listen to some insightful encouragements shared by Cortney Kluver and Nona Schaff.
Praise God before the Good
The King of the Cursed, a excerpt reading from a devotional study “King of the Cursed” by Jonathan Cahn
Preached by Evan Stewart and Cortney Kluver (00:37)
In uncertain times, do you sometimes feel like you’re on the fight? Fighting for your job, your family, your community, or country? It’s tiring, frustrating, and disheartening. You want to do something, but you don’t know what you can do to solve any of these problems. God says to praise Him to overcome fear and worry, but what good is it for anyone of us to hear that praise is the weapon of our fight?
King Jehoshaphat learned the purpose of praise when Jerusalem was surrounded by a vast army. Outnumbered, outflanked, and out of time, he turned to God and praised God before he took action. God told the army to get battle ready and head to the front line, but to wait and watch for Him to move first. They marched to the battle field, praising God as they went, and when they arrived the battle was already over and won. Through praise, the King and his people were reminded that God is on the throne and he is for them not against them.
Praise puts God back on the throne in our hearts and minds. The outcome of any problem may not be the one we envisioned, but through praise we set our minds back on the real prize; God. Through praise the peace of God fills us. Do you want peace in troubled times? Then turn up the praise.
Elijah, the mighty prophet of God, experienced a great triumph over the enemies of God. When word of the victory reached the evil queen Jezebel, she immediately threatened to kill Elijah. The surprise in the story is Elijah’s response. Instead of standing in confidence in the faith of God, the faithfulness God just displayed in a awe inspiring way, Elijah gives up and turns to fear. He fears the threats of the dangerous queen and runs away. Even when God appears to Elijah and promises faithful protection, Elijah determines to be depressed. It took some forty days and more miraculous manifestations of God before Elijah determined to be faithful.
Real stuff happens in our lives that encourage depression. There is a time to grieve and a time to mourn, but the way out is the time to rejoice. Feeling happy is not the cure to depression. Self will and determination is not the cure. As Elijah learned, depression is real, God cares for us and gives us patience during our depression, and the way out is trusting God’s faithfulness. Cry out to God in your pity and tell him how you feel and why you feel it, but listen to his “still small voice” and enter into his joy. Depression is big, but not bigger than Jesus. Depression is mighty, but not mightier than Jesus. Praise is the weapon of our battle. Praise God as the King to be praised.
We can all use a encouraging pick-me-up in the middle of the week. Have trials of the week brought your spirit down? Are you tired and need a pick me up? Have you had a great start of the week and things are going well? No matter your kind of week, the answer is always the same, “Lord I need you. Every hour I need you.”
Be encouraged with the song “Lord I Need You”, performed by Matt Maher.
Teach my song to rise to You
When temptation comes my way
And when I cannot stand I’ll fall on You
Jesus, You’re my hope and stay
Lord, I need You, oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need You