Charles Stanley –God Is Good in Trials

 

Romans 5:1-5

If God is always good, why does He allow His people to experience pain? Although there will be a day when He makes all things right, for now we live in a fallen world filled with suffering. God hasn’t lost control, but if we don’t understand what He’s doing, we could become discouraged or angry when we face trials.

Our heavenly Father sovereignly uses every difficult and hurtful situation to bring about His purposes in our life. That’s why we are told to exult not only in the hope of the glory of God but in our tribulations as well.

Rejoicing in tribulations (not for them) is possible only if we know the glorious things God accomplishes through trials. The good He produces is progressive in nature, moving from one positive result to the next:

Perseverance. When our hope and trust are on the goodness, love, and power of God, we have all the resources we need to keep going instead of becoming disillusioned and abandoning our faith.

Proven character. God uses trials to purify us from sin and increasingly transform us into His image so that our character, conduct, and conversation reflect and honor Him.

Hope. Knowing the good purposes for which God allows pain and trouble in our life keeps us from descending into discouragement. Instead, we are confident of His love and place our hope in what He is accomplishing through His Spirit within us.

Trials in your life have the potential to develop good qualities within you. That’s why you can exult in the Lord, even in tribulation.

Bible in One Year: Philippians 1-4

 

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Our Daily Bread — Steadfast Love

 

Read: Psalm 136:1–9 | Bible in a Year: Daniel 11–12; Jude

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Psalm 136:1

“I love you!” my dad called out as I slammed the car door and headed into school. I was in sixth grade, and for months we had played out basically the same scenario every morning. We arrived at school, Dad said, “Have a great day! I love you!” and all I said was “Bye.” I wasn’t angry with him or ignoring him. I was simply so wrapped up in my own thoughts that I didn’t notice his words. Nevertheless, my dad’s love remained steadfast.

God’s love is like that—and more. It endures forever. The Hebrew word that expresses this steadfast kind of love is hesed. It’s used over and over again in the Old Testament, and twenty-six times in Psalm 136 alone! No modern word can fully capture the meaning; we translate it “kindness,” “loving-kindness,” “mercy,” or “loyalty.” Hesed is a love that is based on covenant commitment; love that is loyal and faithful. Even when God’s people sinned, He was faithful in loving them. Steadfast love is an integral part of the character of God (Exodus 34:6).

When I was a child, I sometimes took my dad’s love for granted. Sometimes now I do the same thing with my heavenly Father’s love. I forget to listen to God and respond. I forget to be grateful. Yet I know that God’s love for me remains steadfast—a reality that provides a sure foundation for all of my life.

God, we praise You for Your steadfast love to us! Even when we’re faithless, You’re faithful.

Take time to show the love of God to someone today.

By Amy Peterson

INSIGHT

Psalm 136 is known in Jewish tradition as the Great Hallel (from hallelujah; a psalm of praise). The writer of this psalm isn’t given, although some commentators suggest it was written by David. This joyful psalm was likely used as a responsive reading or song. The congregation would repeat (or sing) in unison the refrain “His love endures forever” after an individual or a choir of priests and Levites sang each opening sentence. It was likely sung during the dedication of Solomon’s temple (2 Chronicles 7:3, 6). Variations of the refrain are also found in 1 Chronicles 16:34 and 2 Chronicles 5:13; 20:21. This psalm not only served as a reminder to the Israelites but also reminds us today to praise God for His never-ending goodness and His wondrous deeds on our behalf.

Alyson Kieda

 

 

http://www.odb.org

Streams in the Desert for Kids – Full to the Top

 

Matthew 14:17-18

God is not stingy. When he gives, he gives a lot. Think about places where flowers cover a hillside. Are that many flowers really necessary? Think about water spilling over a waterfall. More water than we can use.

There’s a wonderful story of God’s abundant giving in the New Testament. It happened when Jesus was teaching many people out in the countryside away from any town. He and the people had been out there all day, and the people had grown hungry. The disciples wanted to send them away. But Jesus told the disciples to feed the crowd. They had no food to share except a little boy’s lunch of five loaves of bread and two fish. That was enough for God to work with. Jesus took the loaves and fish and broke them up in pieces. Soon they had enough food to feed 5,000 men along with women and children. And here’s God’s abundance part of the story: twelve baskets of leftovers fed the disciples and their families. God gives abundantly. So whatever you need from him, be sure that he will give it to you, sometimes beyond what you need.

Dear Lord, I know you have enough to meet my needs. I want to trust you to give me what I need and more. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – What Do You Think of Yourself?

 

Do two walk together except they make an appointment and have agreed? — Amos 3:3 (AMPC)

Adapted from the resource My Time with God Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Your self-image is like a photo you carry of yourself in your wallet. How you see yourself is a determining factor in what you accomplish in life, so it’s important to learn to see yourself as God sees you.

God created you, and you are special to Him. He has a good plan for your life, and He loves you unconditionally. You may only think of what you do wrong and what you think you are not, but God sees what you will be as you and He work together to bring good changes in you.

You may not be where you should be, but if you are a Christian, you are a new creature in Christ and you are in the process of changing daily. Rejoice in how far you have come instead of being sad about how far you have to go.

Have a daily appointment with God and come into agreement with Him to see yourself as He does, and it will put a smile on your face and His!

Prayer Starter: Father, help me see myself through Your eyes, as the new creature You have made me to be. Help me let go of the old things and take hold of Your new plan for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – Another Comforter

 

“If ye love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever” (John 14:15,16, KJV).

Some time ago, a young businessman came to see me. He was very eager to be a man of God. He wanted to know the fullness of the Holy Spirit in his life, but he said that every time he got on his knees to pray, all he could see was the merchandise he had stolen from his employer.

“God doesn’t hear my prayers,” he lamented. “I feel miserable and don’t know what to do.”

I suggested he confess his sin to his employer and make restitution.

“I don’t have the money to pay for the merchandise I have stolen,” he said. “What should I do? I’m afraid to tell my employer what I have done. I’m sure he will fire me, and he could send me to jail.”

“The Holy Spirit is convicting you,” I told him. “You can never experience the fullness of God’s Spirit and you’ll never be a man of God or have your prayers answered until you deal with this sin. You must trust the Lord to help you make restitution.”

So the next day he went to his employer, confessed he had stolen the merchandise and offered to make restitution. The employer received him warmly and understanding. He suggested that my friend pay a certain amount each month out of his salary until the debt was paid, which he was more than happy to do. He came immediately to tell me what had happened.

“Now God is hearing my prayers,” he said. “Now I know I am filled with the Holy Spirit. My heart is filled with joy and praise to God.”

Bible Reading:John 14:22-26

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will remain sensitive and alert for any unconfessed sin that might grieve or quench the indwelling Holy Spirit and hinder His working in and through me, robbing me of the supernatural life which God has commanded and enabled me to live, if only I will trust and obey Him.

 

http://www.cru.org