Charles Stanley –Trials Are Worth It!

 

James 1:9-12

God’s Word says that trials are an opportunity to build endurance and grow in wisdom, so we should face them with joy (James 1:2-4). But are they worth it? Does it pay to go through all the pain, heartache, and struggle to let God do His work in your life?

The answer is yes, because when God is at work, His plan is to bless His children. The steps en route to that blessing can be burdensome, though, so it’s important to stay mindful that He has good purpose for your adversity. Seven truths will help you to rejoice, even in the midst of difficulties. Know that trials …

  • Are under God’s control; He limits their length and intensity.
  • Have a purpose and are not endured in vain.
  • Will result in good.
  • Can strengthen your faith and develop Christlikeness in you.
  • Are an opportunity to demonstrate perseverance under pressure.
  • Will encourage your dependence on God.
  • Aren’t for you to face alone; God will go with you the entire way. And through His grace and power, you will ultimately be victorious.

Remember that God is a caring heavenly Father. He loves us too much to give in to complaints when there is something awesome He wants to do in our life. And He hopes that when the difficulty has passed and we’re where He wants us to be, we will recognize the blessing and say, “Thank You, dear God, for not doing what I wanted You to do!”

Bible in One Year: Luke 17-19

 

http://www.intouch.org/

Our Daily Bread — Your Way, Not Mine

 

Read: Luke 22:39–46 | Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 15–17; 2 Timothy 2

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Kamil and Joelle were devastated when their eight-year-old daughter Rima was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. The disease led to meningitis and a stroke, and Rima lapsed into a coma. The hospital medical team counseled her parents to make arrangements for Rima’s funeral, giving her less than a one percent chance of survival.

Kamil and Joelle fasted and prayed for a miracle. “As we pray,” Kamil said, “we need to trust God no matter what. And pray like Jesus—not my way, Father, but Yours.” “But I want so much for God to heal her!” Joelle answered honestly. “Yes! And we should ask!” Kamil responded. “But it honors God when we give ourselves to Him even when it’s hard, because that’s what Jesus did.”

Before Jesus went to the cross, He prayed: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42). By praying “take this cup,” Jesus asked not to go to the cross; but He submitted to the Father out of love.

Surrendering our desires to God isn’t easy, and His wisdom can be difficult to understand in challenging moments. Kamil and Joelle’s prayers were answered in a remarkable way—Rima is a healthy fifteen year old today.

Jesus understands every struggle. Even when, for our sake, His request was not answered, He showed us how to trust our God in every need.

I want to be “all in” for You, Father. I trust in Your unfailing love and give myself to You as Your servant today.

God always deserves our commitment and praise.

By James Banks

INSIGHT

Today’s reading shows us the dramatic scene of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, facing the horrors of the cross. Not only was it one of the most painful and excruciating means of execution invented by the Romans, but for our Lord it would mean taking the sins of the world upon Himself. Just prior to His crucifixion, we witness the Son’s mysterious request of His Father. Christ asked if the cup of crucifixion could be taken from Him. Yet our Lord yielded His will to the Father knowing that it was His mission on Earth to redeem all who would believe in His sacrificial death. The lesson for us is significant. Even when we face terrible suffering, we know God can deliver us; however, we must also trust Him if He chooses not to. Only by holding our Father’s hand in the valley can we endure to see the light of the mountaintop ahead.

What troubling circumstance are you facing today, and how can you depend on God no matter what His will brings?

Dennis Fisher

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – God’s Friend

 

Genesis 18:22

Can you imagine what it would be like to be so close to God you were called “God’s friend”? That’s what Abraham was called. When God said to Abraham, “Take your family and leave the land of Ur,” Abraham gathered everybody up and started off to … well, he didn’t really know where. When he got to the land we now call Israel, he stopped and built an altar (which was often just a pile of rocks) to his Friend, God. God spoke to him and said, “I’m going to give you this land.” Then Abraham went on to other places and built more altars to his Friend.

Sometimes Abraham had a hard time trusting God, such as when God told him he’d become a dad at 100 years old. But Abraham’s faith grew until he trusted God completely. By the time God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son, Isaac—the one God had promised him for such a long time—Abraham did not doubt God. He prepared to sacrifice his only son. Of course, God was only testing Abraham. The angel of God stopped Abraham from hurting his son.

Abraham was God’s friend. Would you like to be God’s friend? Friends of God can do mighty things for him. Friends of God can pray for others and see their lives changed. Friends of God trust him completely. Are you a friend of God?

Dear Lord, I’d like to be your friend. I know I will never be perfect, but I’d like to know you a lot better and I want my faith to grow. Teach me how. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Peace of Mind

 

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:7

Adapted from the resource The Confident Woman Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Did you know that when you have lost your peace of mind you have the power to regain it? Anytime you find that you are worrying, fretful, or anxious about anything, release the problem to God through a simple, heartfelt prayer and purposely think about something in your life that is good!

Worrying is completely useless. It wears you out mentally, emotionally and physically, and it doesn’t make your problem any better at all.

Peace of mind is valuable, and it is quite impossible to enjoy life without it. Seek and pursue the peace that is yours through Jesus Christ. Don’t be deceived into believing that you can’t help what you think because you absolutely can.

You can change your mind about anything! Practice on—purpose thinking instead of being passive and merely waiting to see what thoughts fall into your mind.

I can share with you that I experience the same mental battles that many people do, and I have to practice having peace on purpose. You are a child of God, and His peace is in you. I recommend that you start recognizing the things that are stealing your peace and deal with them so they can no longer torment you.

Prayer Starter: : Father, I love You very much, and I want to enjoy peace of mind. I know that worry is useless, but I often do it, and I am sorry. Work with me and teach me how to trust You enough to enjoy Your peace at all times. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – More Than You Need

 

“God is able to make it up to you by giving you everything you need and more, so that there will not only be enough for your own needs, but plenty left over to give joyfully to others” (2 Corinthians 9:8).

One of the greatest discoveries that I have ever made in the Christian life is the law of sowing and reaping. Paul explains, beginning in his second letter to the Corinthians with the sixth verse of Chapter 9, “If you give little, you’ll get little. A farmer who plants just a few seeds will harvest only a small crop, but if he plants much, he will reap much. Everyone must make up his own mind as to how much he should give. Don’t force anyone to give more than he really wants to, for cheerful givers are the ones God prizes” (2 Corinthians 9:6,7).

I have several friends and colleagues who have joined with me in claiming this marvelous promise of God and in every case the blessings are abundant. People with modest incomes are able not only to give large sums of money, but also enjoy a life-style that one could hardly expect even from individuals whose salaries were much more than theirs. It is a “loaves and fishes” kind of demonstration of God’s faithfulness. You cannot outgive God. As someone put it, “I give to God by the spoonsful and He returns to me shovelsful.”

Most believers have never discovered the joy and excitement of Christian stewardship. Always remember that God’s graces are bestowed upon us, not that we may hoard them, but that we may pass them on to others.

The same principle of giving also applies to the giving of our time and our talent to the proclamation of the gospel. The more we give, the more we receive. Was God giving you an extra portion of love today, of joy, of patience, of encouragement, or peace? Pass it on. Has something happened to you? He may have given that extra supply for you to pass it on to others in need. By the same token, if your supply in any of these things is lacking, you need only ask. With your motivation of wanting to share with others, God will not delay in responding to your request.

Bible Reading:II Corinthians 9:6-11

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: In order to be a faithful steward of that which God has entrusted to me, I shall seek to share with others a generous portion of all that He gives to me, with special emphasis on the good news concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and the supernatural life which He gives.

 

http://www.cru.org