ODJ: encouraging words

November 21, 2014 

READ: Nahum 1:7-15 

Look! A messenger is coming over the mountains with good news! (v.15).

In the film Saving Mr. Banks, writer Pamela Lyndon (P. L.) Travers reluctantly agrees to allow Walt Disney to bring her beloved character Mary Poppins to the silver screen. Carrying deep emotional wounds, P. L. is controlling and cantankerous—causing the film adaptation of Mary Poppins to be a difficult proposition for all those involved in the production. Unlike her literary character who could magically take flight, Travers—trapped within a cloud of bitter thoughts and memories—almost prevents the film version of Mary Poppins from getting off the ground.

Nahum and the people of Judah struggled under a dark cloud—the deadly threat of the Assyrians (who had destroyed the Northern Kingdom of Israel). This led to desperate thoughts and a bitter existence. But Nahum received a word from God—an encouraging word. Good news was “coming over the mountains” to lift them up and out of their valley of despair (1:15). God promised to one day destroy the evil empire at their doorstep. But not only would He destroy the Assyrians, He would also preserve His people—making for peace and celebration (vv.12,15).

This good news surely must have lifted the peoples’ spirits and filled their hearts with hope. Nahum, inspired by God, declared, “The LORD is good, a strong refuge when trouble comes. He is close to those who trust in him” (v.7).

P. L. Travers, moved by some lyrics composed for the movie Mary Poppins, found relief from her dark thoughts as she sang “Let’s go fly a kite . . .” in a scene from Saving Mr. Banks. Are you feeling trapped beneath a dark cloud caused by bitter life circumstances? Allow God’s encouraging words to lift your heart today! —Tom Felten

365-day plan› Romans 8:1-18

Read Jeremiah’s words in Lamentations 3:19-26 and see how he found light and hope even in the midst of some dark days. 
What bitter memories and painful circumstances are darkening your world today? What will you do to bring those things to God and claim the encouraging truths found in His Word?