What’s the Secret?

Veronica Burlock, Worship Pastor, Wheaton | February 1, 2024

For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction,
that through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May
the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such
harmony with one another in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you
may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:4-6

I must admit, I love reading the stories in the Old Testament way more than I love the New. I am always amazed at how I relate to those stories so well. 

I remember reading and really connecting with with Gideon’s story in Judges 6. God called him to do a big job, and before he said yes, he told God all the reasons why he wasn’t the right guy and how He may have been making a mistake in choosing him. He even suggested to God who he thought would be a better fit, his older brother. Although he moved forward with God’s plans, he asked God for confirmation, a sign using a fleece.  Gideon stayed encouraged by staying close to God. He went to God with all his questions and concerns, and God was with him every step of the way. 

What an encouragement that was to me, knowing that when God calls us to do something, he’s never asking us to do it alone. He will be with us every step of the way. 

The same goes for Joseph’s story. He has big dreams of ruling over Egypt and everyone thought he was crazy and conceited. Turns out, his dreams were given to him by God. But Joseph didn’t go from his parent’s home to the palace. His life was turned upside down. He found himself a slave, imprisoned, and forgotten—but not by God. God was with him every step of the way and continued using him while he was in the hardest season of his life. 

What can we say about these two stories? Both men stayed close to God. Whether they experienced the mountain top or the lonely valley—they stayed close to the Lord. 

What’s the secret to encouragement and endurance? God! Whether you’re on a mountain top or a valley low, find time to meet with God regularly in prayer and in the reading of his word. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Stay close to God, and he will fill you with hope.

Next Steps

Take some to evaluate your walk with God. Are there practices you could implement that might help you engage in an even closer relationship with Him? Consider daily journaling, Bible reading, or praying with a friend on a routine basis.