Charles Stanley – Encouragement for Every Season


Psalm 139:1-12

One of the most distressing emotions is the bleak sense of isolation caused by a difficult situation or experience. This is especially true when a loved one has died or you find yourself in the middle of a severe trial that can’t be solved quickly. Though the planet keeps on spinning, your world seems to have stopped and you begin to wonder, “Lord, where are You?”

In Psalm 139, David reminds us that we do not journey through this life alone. Our loving heavenly Father is and has been with each believer every single day. He’s more than a traveling companion—He keeps His mighty hand on us and surrounds us with protective love (Psalm 139:5). Nothing comes our way without His knowledge. And He gives His children the grace not only to endure but also to grow more like Jesus through the experience.

God promises to be with you in all seasons of life, whether joyful or sorrowful (Heb. 13:5). No matter how dark, depressing, or hopeless the situation may seem, your faithful Father is with you because His love never fails (Rom. 8:31-39). Furthermore, He knows every facet of your situation and is working it out for both your good and His glory (Rom. 8:28). Besides having the power to meet any need, He also has surpassing comfort for every hurt (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Dark valleys may blind us at the moment, but to our Shepherd, the night is as bright as the day. We can trust Him to bring us out of the shadows and into His light. In the meantime, we must cling to the truth of His Word, which assures us of His lovingkindness and compassion.

Bible in One Year: 2 Kings 13-15

Our Daily Bread — What God Sees


Bible in a Year:2 Samuel 23–24; Luke 19:1–27

The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.

2 Chronicles 16:9

Today’s Scripture & Insight:2 Chronicles 16:7–9

Early in the morning, I quietly pad past a family-room window overlooking a wilderness area behind our house. Often, I notice a hawk or owl perched in a tree, keeping watch over the area. One morning I was surprised to find a bald eagle boldly balanced on a high branch, surveying the terrain as if the entire expanse belonged to him. Likely he was watching for “breakfast.” His all-inclusive gaze seemed regal.

In 2 Chronicles 16, Hanani the seer (God’s prophet) informed a king that his actions were under a royal gaze. He told Asa, king of Judah, “You relied on the king of Aram and not on the Lord your God” (v. 7). Then Hanani explained, “The eyes of the Lordrange throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (v. 9). Because of Asa’s misplaced dependence, he would always be at war.

Reading these words, we might get the false sense that God watches our every move so He can pounce on us like a bird of prey. But Hanani’s words focus on the positive. His point is that our God continually watches and waits for us to call on Him when we’re in need.

Like my backyard bald eagle, how might God’s eyes be roaming our world—even now—looking to find faithfulness in you and me? How might He provide the hope and help we need?

By Elisa Morgan

Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Road from Emmaus


On Holy Saturday, my colleague Jill Carattini tweeted poignantly and truly, “Friends, we have much to grieve in this world, much to lament, individually and collectively. Let’s not rush to Easter yet. Good Friday gives us permission to lament profoundly together.”

Easter Sunday has come and gone. But the day felt more like Good Friday. Somehow it feels like we need to extend our stay at Good Friday—stay a little longer, mourn a little more.

Not unlike the disciples themselves.

In Luke 24:13–49, the episode on the road to Emmaus is set, not in the dusking shadows of the crucifixion, but in the dawning light of the resurrection. But it is a poignant narrative set in the shadows cast under the light of Easter.

The two disciples on the road to Emmaus “stood still, looking sad” (v.17). Even though we live on the other side of Easter, there are those times when we feel as if there isn’t much of a point and purpose to life. These are those moments when life comes to a standstill, especially in times of deep sorrow. We feel like the last person in an evacuated world.

The disciples had expected Jesus to manifestly and unmistakably defeat their oppressors and fulfil their dreams: “We had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” (v.21). But the exact opposite appears to have happened. Not unlike the disciples, we also place our hopes on certain things and expect things to turn out in a certain way. But in life, things don’t always happen the way we want, hope, pray, or expect. The road to Emmaus is littered with shattered hopes and broken dreams.

Continue reading Ravi Zacharias Ministry – The Road from Emmaus

Joyce Meyer – One Good Choice After Another


Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. — Proverbs 4:25

Adapted from the resource Trusting God Day by Day Devotional – by Joyce Meyer

Are you enjoying the life and blessings of God in your everyday life? Or have you made a series of choices resulting in disappointment, pain, or feeling that everything you do requires great effort and produces little reward? Don’t spend your time and energy mourning all the bad decisions you have made; just start making good ones. There is hope for you!

The way to overcome the results of a series of bad choices is through a series of right choices. The only way to walk out of trouble is to do the opposite of whatever you did to get into trouble—one choice at a time.

Maybe the circumstances of your life right now are the direct result of a series of bad choices you have made. You may be in debt because you have made a lot of bad choices with money. You may be lonely because of a series of bad choices in relationships or in the way you treat people. You may be sick because of a series of unhealthy choices: eating junk food, not getting enough rest, or abusing your body through working too much and not having enough balance in your life.

You cannot make a series of bad choices that result in significant problems and then make one good choice and expect all the results of all those bad choices to go away. You did not get into deep trouble through one bad choice; you got into trouble through a series of bad choices. If you really want your life to change for the better, you will need to make one good choice after another, over a period of time, just as consistently as you made the negative choices that produced negative results.

No matter what kind of trouble or difficulty you got yourself into, you can still have a blessed life. You cannot do anything about what is behind you, but you can do a great deal about what lies ahead of you. God is a redeemer, and He will always give you another chance.

Trust in Him If you have a situation that is too big for you to solve, then you are material for a miracle. Invite God to get involved, trust in and follow His directions, make one good choice after another, and you will see amazing results.

Prayer Starter: Father, thank You for Your wisdom and guidance to make good choices for my life. Please help me to leave past disappointments behind and begin, one by one, to make decisions that will bring a harvest of good things into my life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Campus Crusade for Christ; Bill Bright – No Darkness in Him


“This is the message God has given us to pass on to you: That God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. So if we say we are His friends, but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying. But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship and joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from every sin” (1 John 1:5-7).

One of the first passages of Scripture that I memorized as a new Christian was the first chapter of 1 John. This passage has been a beacon to me through the years as a simple reminder that in God is light and the only reason that I do not live perpetually in that light is because at times I deliberately sin.

Steve had lost his joy and enthusiasm for Christ, and as a new Christian was perplexed. He could not understand what had happened to him. As we counseled together, it became apparent that he had allowed some of his old natural habit patterns to creep back into his life.

I suggested that he make a list of all the things that were wrong in his life and confess them to the Lord in accordance with 1 John 1:9. A few days later, with joyful enthusiasm he came to share with me how his heart had been kindled afresh with the love of God as he was now walking in the light as God is in the light, having wonderful fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

How does one walk in the light? Do not tolerate unconfessed sin. Meditate upon the Word of God. Spend time in prayer talking to God and letting Him talk to you. Share your faith in Christ with others. Obey the commandments of God.

Are you walking in the light as God is in the light? Are you experiencing the joy of the Lord? Are you constrained by the love of Christ to share Him with others?

Bible Reading: I John 1:6-10

TODAY’S ACTION POINT:  I shall always seek to walk in the light as God is in the light in order that I may experience wonderful fellowship with my Lord. When I find myself walking in darkness, I shall pause to confess my sins and by faith claim God’s forgiveness and cleansing so that I may be restored to once again walk in the light with God.

Max Lucado – God Loves to Surprise Us


Listen to Today’s Devotion

The last few days had brought nothing but tragedy.  Mary Magdalene was there to hold her arm around the shoulder of Mary the mother of Jesus. She was there to close his eyes.  And now she takes her spices to his grave.  As she rounds the final bend, she gasps.  The rock in front of the grave is pushed back.  Someone has taken his body!

Then a man in radiant white asks, “Why are your crying?” An uncommon question in a cemetery.  She answers and is asked again,“Why are you crying?”  Mary thinks the man is the gardener.  He isn’t.  He is her Savior.  He doesn’t leave her wondering long, just long enough to remind us that he loves to surprise us.  God is at his best when our lives are at there worst.

Read more Six Hours One Friday

For more inspirational messages please visit Max Lucado.


Denison Forum – Kyler Murray makes history: The importance of finishing well

The Arizona Cardinals made Kyler Murray the first pick in last night’s NFL draft. Murray is the first player to be selected in the first round by both the National Football League and Major League Baseball. (He was drafted ninth by the Oakland Athletics last June.)

Murray is obviously an amazing athlete, but the history of first picks in the NFL is not entirely encouraging.

The first player ever drafted in the NFL was Jay Berwanger in 1936. The team would not agree to his contract terms, so he never played a down in the league. Tom Cousineau was the first overall pick in 1979, but he chose to play in Canada instead and never played for the team that drafted him.

Steve Emtman was drafted first in 1992, but injuries cut short his career. Same for Ki-Jana Carter, drafted first in 1995, and for Courtney Brown, drafted first in 2000.

This trend shows that it’s not where you’re drafted but how long and well you play that counts. The same is true in life.

Shifting from “us” to “me”

I attended an event in Dallas yesterday morning featuring New York Times columnist and bestselling author David Brooks. I have admired Brooks’ work for years and consider him one of the most significant public intellectuals in America today.

Brooks spent much of his time discussing the shift in culture he has witnessed. In the 1950s, American life was communal. People lived in neighborhoods in which they did life together. Family, church, and collective rituals such as baptisms, weddings, and other life passages framed our experience.

In the 1960s, we shifted from “us” to “me.” Truth is what I say it is; morality is what works for me without harming you.

Continue reading Denison Forum – Kyler Murray makes history: The importance of finishing well