“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD (Psalm 27:13,14).”
“B-e-a-g-e-l”. Charlie Brown spells the word he hopes will win him the Scripps National Spelling Bee in New York.
Up to that point, in the TV feature “A Boy Named Charlie Brown”, he has had to spell words like “imcompetent” and “unconfident”. Watching on television, Lucy remarks that Charlie Brown should definitely be familair with the word “unconfident” since it epitomizes him.
Sadly, Charlie Brown chokes on the term for his own dog Snoopy and rides the bus home in defeat with his friend Linus. When he gets home, no one is there to greet him.
The next day Linus comes to Charlie Brown’s house to invite him out to play. Charlie Brown is in his room, under the blankets, where he has been since they arrived from New York.
He tells Linus he is never coming back to school. He also says he will never play his beloved baseball again. Charlie Brown has obviously given up.
Linus heads out the door of Charlie Brown’s room. But before he leaves, he turns to Charlie Brown and tells him that he must feel pretty bad and felt like has has made a fool of himself.
Linus then adds:”But did you notice something, Charlie Brown? The world didn’t come to an end.”
These are the words Charlie Brown needs to get his courage back. He gets out of bed, gets dressed and leaves his house, ready to be with his friends again.
We all feel like Charlie Brown at times. Life clobbers us and we get discouraged, sometimes extremely so.
Once the apostle Paul was traveling with a group of men on a ship when they ran into a hurricane. After several days of not seeing the sun or the stars, the men gave up hope of being saved.
However, Paul looked to the Lord. He told Paul through an angel that he and the men with him would be saved.
Paul became the Linus of the crew. He encouraged the men, even though the ship was ready to break apart and they were driven across the Mediterranean for two weeks.
Paul told the men of his encounter with the angel. He told them to keep up their courage.
After two weeks of not eating because of the suspense, Paul directed the men to eat. This gave the men new courage.
Paul also was practical. He told the military commander that if people left the ship, none of them would be saved. They needed all hands on deck!
Eventually, through Paul’s encouragement, the party was saved. There ship was destroyed, but the people reached land in one piece (Acts 27:1-44).
As believers, we have a lot to be confident about. For one, we have been forgiven of our sins and have an Advocate in Jesus Christ.
Indeed, remaining in a state of discouragement is sin, acording to Paul. We know the truth about life (Hebrews 10:17-23).
Paul in his experience with his fellow shipmates knew, however, that we are tempted to unbelief when things are tough. That’s why he wrote that it is vital for us to encourage one another. Remaining under our blankets in our bedroom is a killer (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Thus, Paul tells us not to remain in a discouraged state. When we do so, we are throwing the work of Christ on the cross back in his face (Hebrews 10:26-31).
Paul is not saying that life isn’t rough. However, he IS saying that we belong to a select group of people who God has promised to save, and do so forever.
Therefore, Paul tells us to please the ONE who saved us by persevering, keeping our faith and not turning into a shrinking violet, huddled under our blankets.
Paul writes, “But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are save (Hebrews 10:39).”
Surely life is a bummer – a lot. When it is, we need a Linus to encourage us. We’ll probably find him (or the female version) in church.
We also need to heed the words of encouragement. We need to get out of bed, get dressed and take on life again. The world hasn’t come to an end -not yet.