Charles Stanley – Dealing With Disappointment

 

Habakkuk 3:17-19

After I preached a sermon on disappointment, several men and women approached me with the same reaction: “I desperately needed to hear those words.” Many people feel defeated and let down by their circumstances. But the way a person responds can make all the difference. Frustrations can be either an opportunity for spiritual growth or a destructive blow.

A right response to disappointment begins with resisting the natural tendency toward bitterness. If someone else was involved in the situation, don’t be quick to judge his or her conduct. We can’t fully understand what is going on in others’ lives or what motivates them to act as they do. Our second step should be to ask the Lord, “How am I to respond?” God can guide us to a wise and righteous reaction because He has all the facts.

Third, follow His directions, even if they aren’t what you want to do. Oftentimes the Lord’s way contradicts our own desires and the advice of friends. However, His plan is the one that will bring about growth and result in our greatest good.

And fourth, keep your focus on God and His higher purpose in your life. People are prone to dwell on their hurts and the harm that comes to them, which is what makes disappointment so destructive.

There are many methods for dealing with being let down, but pursuing the Lord’s will is the only one that satisfies. Though human plans can be derailed, nothing alters God’s purpose. No matter how deep your hurt goes, He will shepherd you through setbacks and sorrows while growing your faith.

Bible in One Year: Job 35-38

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — The Perfect Father

 

Read: Psalm 27 | Bible in a Year: 2 Chronicles 32–33; John 18:19–40

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. Psalm 27:10

Standing in the crowded store aisle, I struggled to find the perfect Father’s Day card. Although we had reconciled after years of a strained connection, I had never felt close to my dad.

The woman next to me groaned and shoved the card she’d been reading back into the display. “Why can’t they make cards for people who don’t have good relationships with their fathers, but are trying to do the right thing?”

She stormed off before I could respond, so I prayed for her. Thanking God for affirming only He could be a perfect Father, I asked Him to strengthen my relationship with my dad.

I long for deeper intimacy with my heavenly Father too. I want David’s confidence in God’s constant presence, power, and protection (Psalm 27:1–6).

When David cried out for help, he expected God’s answers (vv. 7–9). Though earthly parents could reject, abandon, or neglect their children, David declared God’s unconditional acceptance (v. 10). He lived with assurance in the Lord’s goodness (vv. 11–13). Like most of us, David sometimes struggled, but the Holy Spirit helped him persevere in trust and dependence on the Lord (v. 14).

We will encounter difficult relationships on this side of eternity. But even when people fall short, fail us, or hurt us, we’re still completely loved and protected by the only Perfect Father.

Lord, thank You for being a Father we can always count on.

God—the Perfect Father—will never let us down, leave us, or stop loving us.

By Xochitl Dixon

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Wisdom Hunters – Focus on Intimacy With God 

 

Love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life.  Deuteronomy 30:20

The Christian life is a matter of focus. Do I focus on my fears, my problems, and my needs, or do I focus on God? Do I love Him, listen to Him, trust Him, and allow Him to consume my life, or am I wrapped up in myself? These are two very different perspectives. One takes life; the other gives life. One saps energy; the other gives energy. So how can we listen to God, trust God, and make God our life? It starts with love.

When we love God, our affections are heavenward. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:1–2). Love means we want to be with Him, understand Him, and please Him. Loving God means our love for others or things pales in comparison to our love for Him.

Others may become jealous because of the time and attention you give God. It may be hard for them to understand, but in reality, if your love of God is pure, those closest to you will be better off. Because the Lord loves you and you love Him, you cannot help but love those around you. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers” (1 John 3:16).

Focus on God also means you listen to Him. Quietness and solitude become a part of who you are because God’s voice is clear and crisp during stillness and reflection. Other competing noises are snuffed out when you take time to listen. Listen to Him in soft, contemplative worship music, listen to Him through mediation on His Word, or listen to Him beside a bubbling brook under the canopy of His creation. His voice is constant and soothing; He is everywhere, searching to communicate with and comfort His children.

How well do you listen to the Lord? Does it take a posture of desperation? Do the ears of your soul perk up in the presence of your Holy Creator? How can we not listen to the One who holds the world in His hands and who loves us beyond comprehension? Indeed, listen to Him, and do quickly what He says. Obedience acts on what it hears by faith.

Trust is also a part of our focus on God. He can be trusted because He is trustworthy. Others will let us down, but not God. He is always there to comfort us in our affliction and to convict us in our sin. Trust His flawless character; out of this trust flows peace that this life does not offer. Trust most especially during uncertain times; He will work it out for His glory.

“The Lord’s unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him” (Psalm 32:10).

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow my heart of intimacy with You, I confess Christ is my life, in His name, amen.

Application: Is my faith focused on receiving the love of my heavenly Father?

Related Readings: Psalm 115:15; Isaiah 65:16; 1 Corinthians 4:12; Romans 12:14

Worship Resource: 4-minute music video- Lacey Strum: The Reason

Taken from Seeking Daily the Heart of God v.2

 

http://www.wisdomhunters.com/

Joyce Meyer – Blessed to Be a Blessing

 

Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. — Philippians 2:4

Adapted from the resource The Power of Being Thankful Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Everyone needs a blessing. We all need to be encouraged, edified, complimented, and appreciated. And you have the ability to bless others. Be thankful that God not only blesses you, but that He has made you a blessing. We all get weary at times and need other people to let us know that we are valuable and appreciated.

I believe God blesses us so we can be a blessing—not only in a few places but everywhere we go. Look for people who are needy and bless them. Share what you have with those who are less fortunate than you are. And remember, everyone needs a blessing—even the successful people who appear to have everything.

When you live to meet needs and encourage those around you, you will find “joy unspeakable” in the process (see 1 Peter 1:8 KJV).

Prayer Starter: Father, I am so grateful for Your blessings in my life, and I am also grateful that You have enabled me to be a blessing. Help me reach out to others every day and focus on adding to their encouragement. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – You Cannot Outgive God

 

“For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give – large or small – will be used to measure what is given back to you” (Luke 6:38).

R.G. Le Tourneau was one of God’s great businessmen. He wrote a book, entitled God Runs My Business. Though he had little formal training, he became one of America’s leading industrialists, developing and securing patents for many major improvements in earth-moving equipment. He gave away millions of dollars, and he founded a wonderful Christian college which bears his name. I had known and admired him for many years, but one of my most memorable experiences with him was at his plant in Longview, Texas. As we chatted, I was captivated by this exuberant, joyful layman who was overflowing with the love of God, still creative in his later years, and always proclaiming the truth that you cannot outgive God – the more you give away the more you receive. He had discovered a law of the universe.

The giving of the tithe (ten percent of our increase) is an Old Testament principle. The New Testament principle of giving is expressed in this passage: “The more you give, the more you will receive.” I personally do not believe that that involves indiscriminate giving, but rather that we should prayerfully evaluate all the various opportunities that are available to further the cause of Christ and His kingdom.

New Testament concept makes clear that everything belongs to God. We are custodians, stewards, of that which is entrusted to us for only a brief moment of time. Three-score and ten years (or possibly a little more), and then all that we possess will pass on to another. We are not to hoard, nor are we to pass on large estates to our heirs. That which is entrusted to God’s children is given to them to be used while they are still alive. We are to care for our own, and make provision for their needs, but all that is entrusted to us beyond that amount should be spent while we are still alive, while we can guarantee proper stewardship.

Bible Reading:II Corinthians 8:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: Mindful of this spiritual principle, that everything belongs to God and He has entrusted me with the privilege and responsibility of being a good steward, I will seek every opportunity to invest all the time, talent and treasure available to me while I am still alive, for the enhancement of the kingdom of God.

 

 

http://www.cru.org

Moody Global Ministries – Today in the Word – DIVINE SILENCE? OUR FEELING OF DESPAIR

 

Psalm 28 DEVOTIONS

Rodrigues, a seventeenth-century missionary in Japan in the novel Silence by Shusaku Endo, wrestled with the silence of God. Where was God, he wondered, when His church was suffering? Where was He when powerful and godless authorities exploited the poor and insulted His name? Where was He when new converts and young believers were tortured and martyred for their faith?

For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit.

PSALM 28:1

Despair is a natural feeling in response to the silence of God. As in Psalm 35 yesterday, Psalm 28 cries out to God not to be silent (v. 1). If the Rock turns a deaf ear, David feels he might as well be “like those who go down to the pit” (which is death)—or as it has been translated elsewhere, “I might as well give up and die.”

God’s silence is an absence not only of words but also of actions. So David prayed that the Lord would show mercy and rescue him, as well as repay the hypocritical evildoers what they deserved (vv. 2–4). The main reason they have earned His punishment is their disregard for the Lord (v. 5).

The psalm then turns from despair to joy (vv. 6–9). This shift in David’s emotional journey is raw, heartfelt, anguished—and full of faith. The psalms are emotionally honest, but they never wallow in self-centeredness. Despite his feelings, David still knows God to be his strength, shield, and shepherd. Though He seems silent now, He is a God who hears, speaks, saves, and blesses, and He will be true to His character.

Anticipating this, the psalmist trusts and sings praises to God. In fact, he “leaps for joy” (v. 7)! His knowledge of God goes deeper than his present circumstances, and so the joy of faith overcomes the despair he feels from God’s momentary silence.

APPLY THE WORD

Like the psalmist, we can take our feelings—any feelings—to the Lord. He can handle them. But also like the psalmist, we should not wallow in self-centeredness or turn our emotions into an idol. We should express our feelings in faith. In the end, the arc of faith, however long it takes, leads to the joy of the Lord. He is our Rock!

PRAY WITH US

Please join us in prayer for our Communications faculty, asking the Father that everything our students learn from David Fetzer, Karyn Hecht, Kelli Worrall, and Matthew Moore carry the message of God’s goodness, love, and salvation—to change lives!

Brad Baurain

 

http://www.todayintheword.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Facts vs. Feelings

 

Hebrews 10:38

Suppose you were invited to stay in a palace for a week. You could take dips in the swimming pool, eat from a gigantic refrigerator, and sleep in king-sized featherbeds. You could do whatever you wanted in this palace, but for seven days you would be by yourself. “No problem,” you might say. “I’m tired of sharing a room anyway.” The first couple of days you might really enjoy the new place. But by day three or four, you might start to notice the silence. Without anyone to talk to or share with, the loneliness might become the only thing you could think about.

The facts of the situation didn’t change, did they? The palace was the same. The arrangement was the same. Only your feelings changed. The problem when we rely on our feelings about God is that some days we’ll feel secure in his presence and some days we’ll feel like he’s nowhere to be found. But has God changed? The Bible says no. Does God decide the days he’ll be with us and the days he won’t? The Bible says no.

In the face of problems and fears, if it seems like God isn’t there, acknowledge your feelings and then look up the facts. The facts—God’s Word—will bolster your faith and give you something solid to hang on to.

Dear Lord, Help me to walk by faith, not by feelings. Amen.