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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

A Letter from God

My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.
Psalm 119: 28

I stepped into the elevator. There stood a postal worker loaded with packages. I commented that he looked busy, and he responded, “Not like I use to be. No one writes letters anymore.” He was then surprised to hear that earlier that morning I had actually mailed a letter to a friend. A handwritten letter can be a special way to encourage someone.

The Israelites were exiled in Babylon. God knew they needed encouragement, so He wrote them a letter through the prophet Jeremiah. The letter written to the Israelites is timeless. All people from all generations can learn from God’s words and gain encouragement.

Here is my paraphrase of a portion of God’s letter: I know where you are. I allowed you to go there. While you are in this difficulty, go on with life, making the most of where you are. Establish and increase relationships. Seek the peace and prosperity of those around you. Pray for those who are the source of your difficulty, knowing that their success can lead to your success. As you live among those who don’t follow Me, don’t listen to them. Focus on My promises, which will always be fulfilled. I have plans for you. My plans aren’t to harm you, but to prosper you and give you hope and a future. So call upon Me. Come near to Me. Talk to Me, and I will listen. Seek Me with all your heart, and you will find Me. And one day, at the time I know is best, you will be set free from this difficulty and restored. (Jeremiah 29:4-14)

How is this letter from God encouraging to you? Call upon God, come near to Him, and He will strengthen your faith. Let God’s light shine brightly through you. Allow God to use you right now to pray for and impact others around you. In your present difficulty, trust God’s plan to prosper you.

Lord, Your word is my greatest comfort, encouragement and strength!

Jan Burkhart

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