November 30, 2014
READ: 2 Chronicles 32:2-22
There is a power far greater on our side! (v.7).
Ashley Munroe wrote the message “You’re beautiful” on nearly 2,000 notes and then placed one on each locker in her secondary school. Via surveillance cameras, school authorities saw Ashley distributing the notes. The principal assumed she was causing trouble and suspended her. Several hundred students, however, signed a petition to help Ashley avoid punishment. Perhaps her best reward was hearing from a girl who had planned to commit suicide that day but did not because of Ashley’s message.
Hezekiah used words to encourage the Israelites under his command as they faced an attack by the Assyrians. He began by saying, “Be strong and courageous! Don’t be afraid or discouraged” (2 Chronicles 32:7). Keep in mind that the Assyrian army, led by King Sennacherib, had pulverised their opponents in the past and expected to do so again (v.17).
The attackers may have had more experience, larger numbers and superior strength, but they did not have divine support. Hezekiah told the Israelites: “There is a power far greater on our side! . . . [the Assyrians] are merely men” (vv.7-8). In reality the battle was not between two physical armies, but between the flesh and blood of the Assyrians and the invisible influence of God Almighty.
King Hezekiah helped his people to see that they could meet the most vicious enemy with bravery because God was in their corner. The same is true for us as God’s people today. We may not struggle with ruthless warriors, but we may battle illness, discrimination or spiteful people. God is on our side, and He speaks straight to our hearts with messages of encouragement: I made you. I’ll carry your burden. I delight in you. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
365-day plan› Ephesians 2:1-22
Read Romans 15:4-5 to see two sources of encouragement for believers. Look up Deuteronomy 3:28 to see a situation where encouragement was especially important.
What words might you use to support someone who is overly critical of himself or herself? How has God encouraged you during a difficult time? Through people, His Word, His Holy Spirit?