Saturday, June 24, 2017
“Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, and crowns you with love and compassion….” (Psalm 103: 2-4 NIV).
Sometimes when you are in the midst of a trial it is easy to forget how the Lord helped you through other times of strife. The pain, illness, sorrow, grief, financial burdens etc. seem so overwhelming that it is easy to fall into despair. But, it is at these times of trials that your faith will be tested and remembering how the Lord helped you through other trials will help you get through any current issue that is looming before you.
The other day I reread one of my journals I had written since 2005. During the last 12 years I have had many bouts of fybromyalgia flares and other serious health issues. I was glad I wrote about them, because I also wrote how God helped me through the pain, provided a doctor who helped me tremendously, and just gave me peace when I called out for help. You see He never failed to give me strength to keep carrying on. There were many times I wondered if my pain would ever stop, but it did. If I was in agony I would cry out to God, and all of a sudden a peace would fill my soul that is just too hard to explain. It is there for you too, my friend. Just ask for it!
So you see now if I think a current problem is impossible, I remember how God helped me through all these other trials, and I know with His strength I can keep going. He has never failed me.
I hope this gives you some hope also. The Bible is filled with people who trusted God during very serious trials, and He was always full of compassion. Please keep pressing on, remembering that God will never fail to give you peace in the midst of your problems. My favorite verse is, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13 NIV). I can very honestly say I can. Remember God is only a prayer away.
I know that you have never failed to help me in past trials. Help me to keep trusting in you in whatever hardship I face in this life. Thank you for the peace that only you can give.
In Jesus’ name,
Monday, June 12, 2017
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3: 13-14 NIV).
Are you pressing on in your faith or are you stuck looking in the past and wishing you could have a “do over”? Have you ever watched someone running in a marathon? Did you notice that they are always looking forward to that next mile and finally the finish line? If they kept looking backwards they would most likely bump into someone else and fall down. Not to mention their speed would be compromised a lot. So you see in our lives we need to let go of our past and move ahead with our eyes set on Christ. Give Him all those hurts from your past and let Him carry them. He wants you to move on to be His witness to others so that they will be able to cross the final finish line of life with hope.
Our lives are not like writing on a computer, where we can delete the last sentence we did not like. What is done in our lives is done. If we have hurt someone, we need to say “I am sorry,” and move on. If we have been hurt by someone we need to forgive them or Jesus will not forgive us. “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-15 NIV).
The most important thing to remember is that Christ is with you and will help you to move on. Let it go. If you cannot fix it, then give it to God and trust Him. The most important thing you need to remember is that God loves you. He does not want you to wallow in self-pity, but He wants you to be filled with His peace.
If you are noticing that you sit around bemoaning your past, stop it. Pray that God will give you a new vision of what He wants you to be. Look around for opportunities to help others. Read the Bible and let God’s words wash over your soul. He wants you to keep moving forward with faith to His high calling. You have a purpose that nobody else has. It is time for you to let go and let God.
Help me to press on with faith knowing that you have forgiven me of all my past sins. I give you my past and surrender all of my hurts onto you. Now help me to run the race for you with your purpose set before me. Help me to keep my eyes on you and not on my past. Help me to keep my eyes on the ultimate goal; heaven.
In Jesus name,
Thursday, June 1, 2017
“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it” (Psalm 118:24 NIV)
Can you honestly say this every day? You do have a choice as soon as you wake up as to what attitude you will have for your day. You can rejoice that God has allowed you another day on this earth and be glad it it. You have control of your thoughts and you can determine whether your outlook will be one of gloominess or happiness.
I read a book called, The Life You Always Wanted by John Ortberg. I highly recommend this book. In it he described a lady who was bed ridden, blind, nearly deaf, and had lived in a convalescent home for 25 years. Plus, she had a huge cancerous sore that distorted her face. Now you would think this woman would have been very depressed, but she wasn’t. Mr. Ortberg gave her a flower and she asked if she could give it to someone else since she could not see it. She handed it to another person and said that it was from Jesus. He visited her for three years and read the Bible to her. Then he asked her what she thought about all the long hours laying in that bed or in a wheelchair. She said she thought about Jesus. He asked what she thought about Jesus. She said that she thought about how good he had been to her. She said that she was mostly satisfied. She said that people might think she was old-fashioned, but she did not care because she would rather have Jesus because He was all the world to her. Then she sang that old hymn, Jesus Is All The World To Me.
Now I ask you again, hopefully with a new perspective. Can you say every morning, “This is the day the Lord has made, let ‘me’ rejoice and be glad”. After reading this in the book, I was totally humbled by this sweet lady’s attitude about Jesus. You see the power of the Holy Spirit can transform you on the inside so that even when you are in the most dire need of strength to face your day, you will find the strength that only Jesus can give to carry on. Think of this lady, when you feel like you cannot keep going. She pulled strength from her faith in Christ to keep living and witnessing about His love. Surely you can face each day with a smile, knowing that you have the love of Christ permeating your very soul. May you always rejoice that you are alive to show His love to others.
Help me to use each day to bring your love to others. May I be like this lady and rejoice that I have this day to worship you and to witness to others. Help me to have a positive attitude so I can be a blessing to others.
In Jesus’ name,
Tuesday, May 23, 2017
Wait For The Lord: a devotion by Ann Elaine Broughton
“Wait for the Lord: be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14 NIV).
I believe all of us can agree that waiting is very difficult. Maybe as you are reading this you are waiting for something such as: a diagnosis, an answer to prayer, a job interview, a phone call about a house you put an offer on, or a loved one to accept Christ as their Savior. The list can go on and on and these are only a few things you can be waiting on. I want to give you hope that God does hear your prayers and will answer in His time. You must trust Him that His timing is best.
Let me give you a few examples from the Bible of people who had to wait and what the outcome was. First, Noah was told by God to build an ark to save animals and his family from a great flood. Noah was faithful and worked on the ark for 100 years before the flood came. Before that time rain had not even fallen on the earth. Because of Noah’s faithfulness mankind was preserved as well as all living creatures. (Gen. 6-8) Then there is Abraham who was promised a child by God in his old age. This child would be the start of a great nation. Abraham had to wait 25 years for this to happen. Then Isaac was born when Abraham was 100 years old. (Gen.15-21) Joseph was thrown in prison for something he did not do. While in prison God was with him and the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and was made responsible for all that was done there. The Lord gave Joseph success in whatever he did. He was in prison for two years before he was presented to the pharaoh to interpret a dream. This accurate interpretation enabled Joseph to be put in charge of all of Egypt to prepare for a famine. (Gen. 30-41) You see his time in prison helped him to rule a nation.
These are only a few example of how God uses time to teach us to trust Him.
If you are waiting for an answer for a healing please take heart by the example of Hezekiah. He became mortally ill, and Isaiah told him he would die. Hezekiah prayed to God and wept, telling God to remember how he had walked before God in truth, with his whole heart and had done what was good in God’s sight. God told Isaiah to tell Hezekiah that he had heard his prayer and would extend his life by 15 years. (2 Kings 20:1-6) You see do not give up hope on praying for healing. You must trust God with the outcome no matter what it is, and keep believing.
No matter what you are waiting for please know that God’s timing may not be yours. But you must keep being faithful and pray, believing that nothing is impossible with God. It may take years or days, but God does hear you and an answer will come. Trust Him to know what is best. “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord, I say, “You are my God”. My times are in Your hands” (Psalm 31:14-15 NIV).
Help me to trust you to know the right timing for an answer to prayer. I know you love me and will never leave me. As I wait, give me the peace that only you can give.
In Jesus’ name,
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