Charles Stanley –God Is at Work in Our Trials

 

Psalm 138:7-8

David was a man who walked through trouble on a regular basis. His psalms express the struggles and disappointments he faced, yet in the end, he turned his focus back to God. The key to his victorious attitude was his strong conviction in the Lord’s character and faithfulness.

David was confident in God’s purpose. That’s why he could say, “The Lord will accomplish what concerns me” (Psalm 138:8). The only way we can walk through trouble and avoid defeat is by keeping our focus on the Lord and His purpose. He has promised to do a good work in our life, but sometimes He chooses to complete it in valleys of hardship.

David relied on the Lord’s power. When troubles arise, we too can trust God for deliverance, but it may not be by escape. At times He sustains us through the difficulty, walking with us every step of the way.

David believed the promises of God. In today’s two verses from Psalm 138, he repeatedly reminds himself what the Lord will do. We also need to have some specific promises from Scripture that will anchor us in times of trouble. The truths of the Bible are our most valuable possession when the storms of life assail us. Self-reliance or advice from others will never equal the help that God’s Word offers us.

The Lord knows what you need in times of trouble, and He assumes responsibility for accomplishing it. Your job is to believe that He will fulfill His purpose and keep every promise. The trial will last only as long as He sees fit. Until its conclusion, keep walking with your eyes on Him.

Bible in One Year: Matthew 13-15

 

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Our Daily Bread — A Warm Welcome for All

 

Read: Hebrews 13:1–3 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 28–29; Philippians 3

Let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:10

During a recent vacation, my wife and I visited a famous athletic complex. The gates were wide open, and it appeared that we were welcome to visit. We enjoyed touring the grounds and admiring the well-manicured sports fields. As we were about to leave, someone stopped us and coldly told us we were not supposed to be there. Suddenly, we were reminded that we were outsiders—and it felt uncomfortable.

On that vacation we also visited a church. Again, the doors were open, so we walked in. What a difference! Many people greeted us warmly and made us feel right at home. We walked out of that church service knowing we were welcomed and accepted.

Sadly, it isn’t uncommon for outsiders to receive the unspoken message “you’re not supposed to be here” when they visit a church. But Scripture calls us to be hospitable to all. Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, which surely means welcoming them into our lives and our churches (Matthew 22:39). In Hebrews, we’re reminded to “show hospitality to strangers” (13:2). Both Luke and Paul instruct us to show active love to people with social and physical needs (Luke 14:13–14; Romans 12:13). And among the body of believers, we have a special responsibility to show love (Galatians 6:10).

When we welcome all people openly and with Christlike love, we reflect our Savior’s love and compassion.

Lord, open our hearts to all people who enter our lives—showing them Christlike love and godly hospitality. Help us to make everyone we meet feel the warm welcome of Jesus’s love.

When we practice hospitality, we share God’s goodness.

By Dave Branon

INSIGHT

When Hebrews 13:1–3 encourages believers to treat others with love, it does so afterreminding believers of their rock-solid foundation for security. If there was ever anyone we might think would make us feel threatened or ashamed, it would be our infinitely holy and powerful God. But the good news is that because of Christ’s cleansing work, believers need not tremble in fear before God’s holiness (12:18–21). Instead, we can fearlessly celebrate a life of joyful awe and worship in His kingdom and in fellowship with His people (vv. 22–24, 28).

Knowing security in God’s love, knowing He will never abandon us (13:5–6), means we can stop relating to others in fear. Instead, we can love and care for fellow believers as our brothers and sisters in Christ (vv. 1, 3). And we can extend our arms to invite everyone we can into God’s family of grace (v. 2).

Monica Brands

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – A Wild Dream

 

Genesis 41:4, 7

Pharaoh had a really bad dream. He saw skinny, ugly cows gobble up fat, healthy cows. Shortly afterward, he had a second dream of seven heads of thin, sickly grain swallowing up seven healthy heads of grain. When he called Joseph to come tell him what the awful dreams meant, he probably did not expect what Joseph told him. Joseph said that there would be seven years with good harvests, but right after that there would be seven years of famine, hard times, and hungry people—unless they prepared. God was good to the Egyptian king and all the people who lived in his land when he gave them an opportunity to get ready for the hard times that were coming.

God tells us that we will have hard times, but we can be prepared by staying close to God and his love. He will care for us in tough times.

Dear Lord, I know that tough times happen in everyone’s life. Help me to be ready by staying very close to you every day. Amen.

 

 

Joyce Meyer – Praying a “Right Now” Prayer

 

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. — 1 John 5:14

Adapted from the resource The Power of Being Thankful Devotional

We often hear about a prayer need or think about a situation and say to ourselves, I need to pray about that later when I pray.

That thought is a stall tactic of the enemy. Why not pray right that minute? Procrastination is one of the major things that Satan uses to keep us from ever doing the right thing. Never put off until later what you can do right now!

Prayer would be easy if we just followed our hearts, but Satan wants us to procrastinate because he is hoping that we will forget the matter entirely.

A grateful heart is already focused on the Lord and ready to pray at any moment. Praying as we sense the desire or need to pray is easy to do, and it is the way we can pray continually and stay connected to God in every situation throughout the day.

Prayer Starter: Father, I thank You for the power of prayer. When there is a prayer need that comes to my attention, I’m going to talk to You about it immediately. Thank You that You are always ready to hear my prayer. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Bread of Life

 

“Jesus replied, ‘I am the Bread of Life. No one coming to Me will ever be hungry again. Those believing in Me shall never thirst'” (John 6:35).

What would it be like never to be hungry – never to be thirsty?

Even in affluent America, you and I – and perhaps most people – have felt pangs of hunger and thirst, if only for a brief period. Jesus is telling us here that, spiritually speaking, we need never be hungry or thirsty again.

But how is that possible?

As the bread of life – the support of spiritual life – His doctrines give life and peace to the soul.

In Eastern countries, especially, there are vast deserts and often a great lack of water. By nature, the soul is like a traveler wandering through such a desert. Thirsting for happiness, seeking it everywhere and finding it not, he looks in all directions and tries all objects – in vain.

St. Augustine expressed this hunger for God in the following prayer, “Thou hast made us for Thyself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”

When we drink of the water that is Christ, we become satisfied – and need never thirst again. As we continue to grow in grace, which comes only by feasting on His Word, we find a never-ending pattern of satisfaction with Him and all that concerns Him.

The principle is clear: As you and I feed on the Word of God and its rich truths, we are satisfying a spiritual hunger and thirst that could never be satisfied otherwise. Hungering and thirsting after righteousness, on the other hand, is also a necessity if we are really to grow in grace. The truths are not contradictory, but are complementary.

Bible Reading:Matthew 5:1-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: My daily manna and drink shall come from the living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, and His holy inspired written word, the Bible, enabling me to live the supernatural life.

 

http://www.cru.org

Words of Hope – Daily Devotional – Where Were You?


Read: Job 38:1-7

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? (v. 4)

Recently, a local public school had an incident where one student bullied another. The school, wanting to avoid a controversy, appealed to a board policy that, they felt, justified their decision to ignore the incident in question. However, the person who had written the policy was the mother of the victim! She, rightfully, challenged the school on their interpretation of a policy that she herself had crafted.

The book of Job presents Job as a righteous man. However, a major theme of the book is that tragedy can befall the wicked and the righteous. In a series of unfortunate events, Job’s family, finances, and health are devastated. Job’s friends don’t help matters; they inundate Job with bad advice and worse theology. In chapter 38, however, God takes center stage and poses a series of questions to Job, challenging his capacity to evaluate God’s plan. If, God says, you were not here when I created the heavens and the earth, then surely you are not fit to question my ways.

God does not mind our honest attempts to understand his plans. He knows that, from a human vantage point, the long arc of history can appear baffling. Sometimes, it seems as if the enemies of God are winning, while faithful servants face one trial after the next. In these moments of despair, it would help us to remember, as Isaiah reminds us (Isa. 55:8-9), that God’s ways are not our ways. —Duane Loynes

Prayer: Our Creator, let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven

 

 

https://woh.org/