Encouraging Words For Today – How to be Joyful
We could all use some encouraging words for today on how to be joyful given the current climate we find ourselves in.
It sounds morbid, and death usually is, but I started tracking the deaths from COVID-19 beginning at 6 pm on March 31, 2020. As of today at 6 pm, April 2, 2020, the amount of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide according to the internet counting clock has risen 151,576. The worldwide deaths as of 6 pm on April 2, 2020, had increased by 9,831. In looking at the United States alone, the number of confirmed cases rose 52,156 in a few short days, and the number of deaths rose 1,927 in that same time frame. The numbers are both staggering and overwhelming.
When we look at all the changes that have occurred over the last two weeks, one can’t help but be rocked.
As I sat there in my chair last week, I asked the Lord, ‘What can I do? How can I help?’
- Be encouraging.
- Share encouraging words.
I started noticing several groups talk about Zoom meetings and how much they enjoyed them. Immediately, I felt like I was already behind. How did I miss this? Where had I been?
Then I thought back to what I felt the Lord had said to me – Be encouraging. Share encouraging words. Pray.
I decided to start a Zoom Bible study of my own.
Our topic? Be Joyful by Warren Wiersbe. The basis of the book is on the New Testament book, Philippians.
Let’s go be joyful I thought. Ok. How do we do that? How do we be joyful in such difficult times?
As we gathered together for the first time last night via Zoom, what the Lord had whispered to me was confirmed. Many women in the meeting needed encouragement.
They needed to hear encouraging words and be reminded as I was that God is still sitting on the throne no matter what the outcome.
We dove into our Bibles, specifically the book of Philippians, and we found a treasure trove of encouraging verses from a little book written by the Apostle Paul about joy.
I will share a summary of his life and see if you can find any reason why the guy would spend so much of his letter encouraging others to be joyful.
- worked very hard
- was jailed often
- beaten up several times
- flogged five times
- beaten by Roman rods three times
- shipwrecked three times
- pummeled with rocks
- immersed in the open sea for a night and day
- hard travel year in and year out
- crossed rivers
- fended off robbers
- struggled with friends and foes
- at risk in the city and country
- endangered in the desert and sea storm
- betrayed by those he trusted
- hard labor
- long sleepless nights
- missed many meals
- cold and naked at times
- suffered from a “thorn” in the flesh
- decapitated in AD67 by Nero
What was the secret to Paul’s joy?
His confidence in the sovereignty of God was the secret to his being able to be joyful. The other secret? His hope in God’s promise of heaven.
I would like to share some of the passages from Paul’s letter to the Philippians with you. And even if you have read them already, it won’t hurt to reread them and be reminded of what we can do during these very troubling times. We can take a few lessons from Paul’s life.
Paul’s encouraging words?
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” Philippians 1:27
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life – in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.” Philippians 2:14-16
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me –put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9
As we fight this virus and the numbers continue to rise, my hope is these verses are encouraging words you can hold onto. Let’s be joyful during these difficult days and months ahead by putting Paul’s words into action.
You are loved!