Daily Devotional

 

January 21st – Mark 5:36

Mark 5:36

There’s no better barometer for the depth of our faith than when we’re in the middle of a crisis, or knee deep in fear. The synagogue official Jarius had just lost his daughter. And he came to Jesus in search of a miracle. But instead of comforting him Jesus told the man, “Just believe.” Christian theologian, John Walvoord once said, “Believing is accepting as a fact and making a commitment of your own future to the promises of God to save you; simply by believing in Christ.” When our hearts are broken, our fears overwhelming, and our spirits in turmoil, it is our belief in God and His promises that gets us through. For the “Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.” (Ps. 145:9) Those around Jarius told him to give up and move on. But because Jarius choose belief over fear Jesus gave Jarius that miracle. And when we too obey Jesus and “just believe”, He will work miracles for us as well!

January 20th – psalm 55:22

Psalm 55:22

Between the government, social media, and news outlets, fear is peddled as a hot commodity. No wonder in today’s climate people are afraid to even step out of their front door. But God, in His great love, reminds us that as His children we need not fear. For the Lord our God is with us. And with His mighty hand He will provide, sustain, and strengthen us. And never will He let us be shaken. But for that to happen we have to trust in Him and His promises. And let’s be honest. It’s easier to have fear than faith. To act on emotion instead of in standing in God’s truth. Billy Graham once said, “Fear can banish faith, but faith can banish fear. Faith isn’t pretending our problems don’t exist, nor is it simply blind optimism. Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ.” A great hope that allows us to cast all our cares upon Him, knowing we are wrapped in God’s love, goodness, and mercy.

January 19th – Psalm 5:11

Psalm 5:11

Have you ever been in an emergency situation and needed a place of refuge? I have. The year was 1995. My husband was 230 miles away being cared for by his parents as he recovered from a plane crash. I was in Pensacola, Fl working and caring for our 20 month old daughter. That morning I awoke to a strong hurricane which had suddenly turned in the night and was heading directly for our coastline. I picked up my mom, packed a few things, and headed to where my husband was.

Eight hours later we were only 40 miles north of Pensacola. Traffic accidents had bogged down all the major roadways. And the radio kept reporting it wasn’t safe to stay in your car. We were tired, hungry and it would be getting dark soon. We needed a rescuer and a place of refuge. I prayed for God’s intervention.

How relieved I was to see a police car on the side of the road. I stopped and asked for help. The officer gave me directions to a high school that had been turned into a shelter. I was beyond grateful, for never would I have found this place on my own. There we were able to get a warm meal, stretch our legs, contact my worried husband and watch coverage of the storm on TV. God watched over us that day and night, providing who and what we needed. And oh, how my heart rejoiced! 

A refuge is a place that provides shelter or protection, or something to which one has recourse in difficulty. The Scriptures tell us that God is our refuge place. But, we have to seek His refuge. We can’t stay exposed and vulnerable spiritually, trying to make it on our own.

To make God our refuge means we seek Him and have connection with Him, That way He can guide and provide spiritual resources for us.  The Lord delights in both helping us and our dependence upon Him. Are you depending on God to be your place of refuge? Are you staying connected to your spiritual lifeline? If not, make a point to intentionally seek Him in some way and make this a daily connection. It could be through prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Christians. 

Blessings, Becky

January 18th – Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28

In this fallen world disappointments and discouragements are an unfortunate part of life. After all, we are all sinners living among sinners. Therefore we’re bound to experience trouble. Which is why this verse is one we should not only memorize, but hold unto tightly. For in this verse there is hope. I truly believe if we will only rest in this massive promise, our lives will be more solid and stable. And when Satan sends those negative thoughts that try to bowl us over, we will be able to stand strong! How you ask?

When you are hurting find God’s purpose in your suffering by prayerfully asking yourself:

  • Could God be using this trial to increase my faith?
  • Could God be using this trial to build my character?
  • Could God be using this trial to prepare me to better serve Him and others in some way?

Answering these questions will help you discover God’s plan for your life. And I can honestly promise you, that when you see the “big picture” (the one with God in it and on it!), you not only will be able to stand, but find yourself happy, rejoicing, and giving thanks for it all!!

Blessings, Sue

 

January 17th – Zephaniah 3:17

Zephaniah 3:17

We all have fears. Some rational, others not. And all have felt the grip of panic that comes with anxiety. The one that feels like a storm raging inside. A violence which causes our thoughts to swirl madly, our hearts to beat wildly, and our chests to tighten beyond breathing. But as with any storm, there is an eye. That place of stillness. A calmness which always appears in the middle of even the strongest hurricane. God is that eye of the storm. A victorious Savior, He calms the seas and quiets our storms with His love.

When we’re filled with fear and anxiety, unable to shut off our thoughts, we crave God’s quietness. To be able to just let it all go and rest in His perfect peace. Peace stemmed from the deep, unconditional love He has for each of us, His precious children. His love for us is so great, our Father in heaven rejoices with great shouts of joy, and songs of everlasting devotion!

And because of His gift of the Holy Spirit, He now lives inside each of us forever. Never again do we have to face the storms of life alone, nor give in to fear and anxiety. For when we stand in the eye of the storm, there we will find the blue skies and sunshine of God’s perfect peace. All we have to do is be still, and focus on His quietness, promises and love.

The next time you find yourself struggling with your thoughts and spiraling out of control with fear, go to God in prayer immediately. Ask Him to calm your spirit and fill your heart with His peace. Receive His gladness. Let His quietness push away the storm clouds of anxiety. And let God’s love shine upon you like the rays of the summer sun appearing after the rain.

January 16th – Psalm 112:7

Psalm 112:7

One of the most dreaded phrases to hear is, “I have good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?” When someone says that to us our first reaction is to panic. Because even though there is good, the bad is what we focus on. However for Christians, no matter what we hear, we needn’t be fearful. And instead of being reactive, we can be proactive. How? By trusting in the Lord. Because those whose hearts remain fixed on the truth of God can never be shaken. And no darkness of fear, dread, panic, or despair can extinguish the light of God’s promise. A promise to see us through any situation, good or bad. A promise that the great I Am is in control of all things. And He will never let us face anything alone. So no matter how bad the evil tidings, our heart can still rejoice. For our confidence is found in the Lord alone. And in the Good News He brings to all.

January 15th – 1 Peter 3:14

1 Peter 3:14

No one is immune to the feelings of fear and anxiety. Not even the apostle Peter. Throughout the ministry of Christ, Peter was by His side helping, learning, and personally seeing the miracles our Lord performed. Even so, when confronted by an angry crowd after the arrest of Jesus, Peter denied knowing his Savior. And not once, but three times. Why? Because fear, even for a disciple, isn’t easy to overcome. Not easy, but not impossible when we work in God’s power instead of our own. It is God’s power that allows us to live differently from the world. For when we sanctify Christ in our hearts, we need ‘t be troubled. For the Lord gives us a peace that nothing and no one can take away. And by keeping our focus on God we can, like Peter, walk safely on the most troubled waters hand in hand with the Lord.

 

January 14th – Isaiah 41:13

Isaiah 41:13

I can remember as a child times of being afraid and looking for a trusted hand to grasp for reassurance. And the moment I wrapped my tiny fingers around the strong, protective ones of my chosen person, my fears subsiding. Young or old, we all need that hand to hold. The one that tells us, “Everything will be alright. I’ve got you. And I won’t let you go.” We have that mighty hand in God. Our loving Father and Friend, He is always there, day and night saying to us, “Don’t be afraid. No matter matter what you face, you don’t have to face it alone.” God will never leave nor forsake us. Never will He let us face our struggles alone. Instead with every step we take, He is there. And not just walking beside us, but literally offering His loving hand of help.  A hand not just to calm our fears, but to pull us out of every fear, trial, and tribulation.

January 13th – Matthew 6:25

Matthew 6:25

For the past two hears, humanity has been involved in the turmoil of the pandemic. And the anxiety it’s caused has taken its toll in the lives of so many people! But we cannot let it oppress us nor enslave us! For there is a solution. And in God’s Word, Jesus taught His followers, who were also dealing with oppression, the steps to follow. Yes we should stop being worried, uneasy, and distracted. You might say it is easier said than done, but when you realize WHO you are putting your trust in, than you can freely rest on Him and put ALL your confidence in your Heavenly Father!

When we are worried and anxious about the material things of life we behave like pagans. Like idol worshippers, we set our trust on our own efforts and set out hearts on our needs. But our Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need, and in the exact time He will provide. But we need to trust Him enough to let go. What is distracting you from receiving the blessings of His Provision for each aspect of your life? Blessings, Mari

January 12th – Psalm 25:5

Psalm 25:5

For some, anxiety is brought on by worrying about the future or how future events will unfold. For Christians, we know that our eternal future is secured because Jesus settled that on the cross long ago. He is the God of our salvation. Each moment that passes between today and our last physical breath will be a journey that shapes our preparation for Heaven and our influence on this Earth.

No two lives will be the same and there are many obstacles and deceptions that the enemy will place in our path to make us falter, stumble and lose our way. The Psalmist knew that it was foolish to try and navigate life on his own. He knew that it was best to trust in the guidance of God. God wants us to be teachable in all of the moments and events that make up our lives. He wants to help us recognize truth and avoid deception. 

God also wants us to trust His timing. That can be hard for those of us who get anxious when things seem chaotic and we want to rush in to “fix” or handle a situation on our own. So many times I have been amazed to discover that when I place something in God’s hands and relinquish the details and outcomes to Him, He  gives me peace and He shows me His mighty hand at work. Sometimes He works to change the circumstances and sometimes He works within those circumstances to change me.  Either way, I am learning as the Psalmist that it’s always best to wait for the Lord….Becky