Trust is hard. It’s easy to say there is trust but actually taking the step – making the leap into mid-air without a visible net is the most difficult thing man can do. But with the Spirit of God our leap lands us safe in His palm.
DEVOTION BY Sherry Sharp POSTED 6/19/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 34:4 NIV
I could keep going or turn around and go back the way I came, adding many more hours to my already long drive.
On my first car trip from Virginia to Delaware, I took the southern route through Virginia Beach before heading north up the eastern shore. What I did not take into account was that to get from one shore to the other, I had to cross the Chesapeake Bay which involved a twenty-three-mile bridge-tunnel combination. I had two choices.
More than the added time, I struggled with the idea of personal defeat should I choose the latter option. The fear of finding myself on a narrow bridge with multiple narrow tunnels surrounded by water is something I still find troubling. Conquering my fears is an ever-present battle. I prayed for God to help me overcome the enemy of fear. The short answer to the very long bridge is that God’s faithfulness took me across.
Since that day thirty-five years ago, I have made this trip many times. I would like to tell you I won the victory with my fight with fear, but that’s not exactly accurate. My victory against fear is rooted in the power of Jesus Christ, not my will to overcome. Like the psalmist, my willingness to trust in the Lord’s provision is the only thing that propels me forward when facing any fear.
You may not be afraid of bridges or high places like me. Maybe you fear sickness or another challenging human condition. We all have them. But Jesus is our Overcomer.
What holds you back when you want or need to move forward?
(Photo courtesy of pixabay.)
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DEVOTION BY Patricia Frost POSTED 6/12/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Ephesians 1:11 NIV
Driving through the rugged, green countryside, we followed a sign directing us to a restaurant high above the ruins of the ancient city of Pella.
I lived thirty minutes away, but three volunteer English teachers and I wanted to have a worship time at the ruins. The owner of the restaurant discouraged us from doing so because he wanted our business and because mid-day was hot there. It was also Ramadan, and restaurants were not open because Muslims were fasting. Because it was not the high tourist season, he suggested we use one of his empty tables to eat our picnic lunch, which we did.
When we finished our lunch, he asked us to give him the leftover food and a fee for using his table. After paying him, he told us how to get to the road leading to the ruins. We discovered the partially excavated Greco-Roman ruins were in the sun but surrounded by oak and juniper trees. We could have eaten our picnic lunch there and prayed.
Even though the experience was not as we had envisioned, it was important for us to meet and share Scripture with the enterprising restaurant owner.
In Luke 21, Jesus spoke of Jerusalem’s coming destruction. He warned believers to flee when they saw Jerusalem surrounded by armies. My research shows God revealed to the early church that they should go to Pella, a city in the Jordan Valley. Because the Jerusalem Christians obeyed the divine revelation, they did not die.
Scripture says God will accomplish His plan and His purpose. When we experience disappointment because events do not unfold as we have imagined, we can still trust God will work all things together for our good.
Tell God’s message to all whom you come in contact with, and leave the results to Him.
DEVOTION BY Jennifer Filka POSTED 6/5/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 125:2 NIV
The day got warmer, but in this Colorado town it was cool.
My husband and I were in the middle of a six-mile hike around the town of Ouray, Colorado. We saw beautiful sights: a huge waterfall, wild flowers, and a turkey. Ahead, we noticed a break in the trees. Our stomachs rumbled, and we decided this would be a perfect place to eat lunch. But the moment we stepped out of the trees, we stood in the middle of massive snow-capped mountains. In that split second, I felt God’s presence and realized how big He was.
Two months later, I read this verse from my Bible and immediately thought back to that Friday hike in Ouray. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people both now and forevermore. As the feeling of smallness came again, I understood in a new way this verse and what it felt like to be surrounded by something so beautiful and big—and to be overwhelmed by the size of God’s love and protection.
When you are faced with fear, doubt, loneliness, or anger, think about the size of your God. Remind yourself He can overwhelm you with His strength, might, grace, protection, and self-control.
DEVOTION BY Robert L. Segress POSTED 5/29/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Psalm 51:16-17 NASB
To forgive ourselves is harder than to accept God’s forgiveness—but that is not the whole story.
When I was a prison minister, a Russian man stood after accepting Jesus as his Savior, and, as tears streamed down his face, sobbed: “I can’t forget what I’ve done to so many people.” Pictures of terrible things he had violently done flooded his mind. Confessing his sins to Jesus opened a floodgate of pain and pictures of blood.
I helped him the best I could by urging him to put the pain and pictures in the hands of the Lord who died a terrible death on the cross for all of his sins. This calmed him a bit, and his sobbing lessened, but I could tell there was an ocean of pain straining to be set free.
I remembered something I learned during my career as a psychologist. Pain often must be released the same way we deal with an onion: by peeling layer by layer. Cutting abruptly through an onion often overcomes us by what is released.
I pray that the prisoner has learned not to bury those memories but to admit them and place them in the Lord’s loving and forgiving hands—while living a Psalm 51 life.
Without organic damage, we never forget anything, but living memories can turn into bad memories. Some experiences are so traumatizing that for the rest of our lives we have a broken heart every time we remember them. Only by God’s grace can we live with them.
A broken and contrite heart that has an honest and humble spirit brings pleasure to God and strength to a servant. This is part of walking in the Spirit and finding contentment.
Claim the answer for living with painful memories. Don’t bury them and allow them to continue living inside of you.
(Photo courtesy of morguefile.)
DEVOTION BY Sandy Quandt POSTED 5/22/2018 12:00:01 AM ON Galatians 5:22-23 CEV
The older I get, the less I sweat the small stuff.
I get less irritated by things that once annoyed me. I'm not saying small stuff doesn't still get to me, especially when I'm tired or fatigued, but it doesn't bother me as often—and not to the same degree.
I doubt anyone who knows my Kirby family would say we are a patient lot. Quite the contrary. Our "Irish temper" is one excuse given for our impatience. But that's just an excuse. The fact is, we have a bent toward impatience, Irish or not.
Here are some things I found associated with an Irish temper. After reading them, you might see some of these same traits in people who aren't necessarily "Irish."
As a follower of Christ, we should have a mind and temperament like Christ. Daily, we should strive to become more like our Savior. He is our role model. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, his Holy Spirit comes to live in us.
The Holy Spirit can help us control our Irish temper—or any other kind of temper, if we let Him. With the Spirit's help, we can forgive and let go of grudges. With His help, we can take our stubborn fighting spirit and turn it to love mercy, to seek justice, and to right wrongs. Our short fuse can become more patient.
Don’t use your “Irish Temper” as an excuse for bad behavior. Let the Holy Spirit control you and develop His fruit in you.