Today's encouragement comes from Luke 22:43, where we read these words:
"Then an angel appeared to Him [Jesus] from heaven, strengthening Him."
All God's churchmen need strength. Even the very Captain of our souls, the Head of the church Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, did. A lot of times the children of God find themselves in trouble, or need. Naturally, we call out to God for deliverance and freedom (from what troubles us). But what often-times the Lord chooses to do, is *not* to immediately extricate us from our problem—but to use it as a great opportunity to make us stronger.
After all: this happened with our Savior Himself. He is in the Garden of Geth-semane, He is in agony and anguish; and His Father chooses to give Him strength to endure the looming cross, (rather than a way around it). He does the same with us, His beloved church.
[Puritan quote of the day: "The nature of God is lovely in Christ, and our na-ture in Christ is lovely to Him.” —Richard Sibbes, in "Glorious Freedom"]