Charles Stanley – Wisdom in Times of Trouble

 

Psalm 25:4-15

When facing problems, we frequently try to figure out the solution ourselves. If we can patch it up, glue it down, or tape it together, we will attempt to do so. Other times, we may reach out to someone for advice even though we’re actually seeking sympathy and support to make ourselves feel better. What we really need to do in times of trouble is to call out to God for help.

But that wisdom is best cultivated during times of peace, before we find ourselves in a crisis. We should have a habit of seeking the Lord, spending time in His Word, and learning what He desires. When our hearts and minds are set on the Him, our devotion grows and our values begin to align with His. A person truly seeking God finds joy and satisfaction in His presence and talks to Him throughout the day. Prayer becomes a customary and natural response, no matter the circumstances.

Then whenever we face a problem, our first thought will be to turn to our heavenly Father. That instinct acknowledges our relationship with and dependence upon Him. It shows we believe the Lord is a loving Father who promises to provide, protect, guide, and love us.

What if you are presently in the midst of trouble but haven’t been seeking Him consistently? Start with confessing this to God. Recognize that problems are often the means He uses to draw us back to Him, but simply wanting relief from hardship shouldn’t be our motivation for loving Him. Thank God for getting your attention, ask for help seeking Him with all your heart, and entrust your troubling situation to the one true refuge.

Bible in One Year: Acts 1-2

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — Enduring Prayers

 

Bible in a Year:

May my prayer be set before you like incense; may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Psalm 141:2

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Revelation 8:1–5

“Prayers are deathless.” These are the attention-grabbing words of E. M. Bounds (1835–1913), whose classic writings on prayer have inspired people for generations. His comments about the power and enduring nature of our prayers continue with these words: “The lips that uttered them may be closed to death, the heart that felt them may have ceased to beat, but the prayers live before God, and God’s heart is set on them and prayers outlive the lives of those who uttered them; they outlive a generation, outlive an age, outlive a world.”

Have you ever wondered if your prayers—particularly those birthed out of difficulty, pain, and suffering—ever make it to God? The insightful words from Bounds remind us of the significance of our prayers and so does Revelation 8:1–5. The setting is heaven (v. 1), the throne room of God and the control center of the universe. Angelic attendants stand in God’s presence (v. 2) and one angel, like the priests of old, offers Him incense along with the prayers of “all God’s people” (v. 3). How eye-opening and encouraging to have this picture of the prayers offered on earth rising to God in heaven (v. 4). When we think that our prayers may have been lost in transit or forgotten, what we see here comforts us and compels us to persist in our praying, for our prayers are precious to God!

By: Arthur Jackson

Reflect & Pray

When have you questioned whether God really listens to Your prayers? How can passages like Revelation 8:1–5 breathe new life into them?

Father, I thank You that You care more than we sometimes know. Help me to rest in knowing Your eyes are upon the righteous and Your ears are open to our prayers.

 

 

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Streams in the Desert for Kids -Above the Clouds

 

Job 37:21

When you read a verse like the one above from Job, you may begin to wonder what was going on with Job and his friends to bring up such a conversation.

These guys said to Job, “Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised?… Can you join him in spreading out the skies, hard as a mirror of cast bronze?… Now no one can look at the sun, bright as it is in the skies after the wind has swept them clean.” In other words, “Job, you don’t know enough to understand God’s ways.”

Then God answered Job (chapters 38–41; read it sometime—it’s beautiful). God said that he is the one who has created everything the way it is. God sees the sun even when to us it is covered by clouds. Now Job knows he can hear from God. He can understand what God is doing in the world when he learns to consider that God’s perspective is so different from ours.

Do you want to hear from God and see his bigger perspective? You can if you will pray with all your heart and ask God to show you his plan and his way.

Dear Lord, I know you made everything, understand everything, yet you want to talk with me. You give me understanding. Amen.

Joyce Meyer – Blessed to Be a Blessing

 

Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to 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).

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 – Chosen to be Glorified

 

“And having chosen us, He called us to come to Him; and when we came, He declared us ‘not guilty,’ filled us with Christ’s goodness, gave us right standing with Himself, and promised us His glory” (Romans 8:30).

A famous Christian leader insisted to me that anyone could lose his salvation. I asked him if he felt that he would ever lose his. Quickly, he replied, “Absolutely not. I am sure I will not lose my salvation.”

Can we lose our salvation? Personally, I believe there is too much controversy over this issue. Some fear that the individual who has assurance of salvation and knows that he will spend eternity with God might have a tendency to compromise his conduct, which would result in disobedience to God and would be an insult to Christ and His church. Others think that the individual who does not live like a Christian – although he professes faith in Christ – has never experienced the new birth, does not have eternal life and will be forever separated from God.

It is quite likely that the person who insists on “doing his own thing” – going his own way while professing to be a Christian – is deceived and should be encouraged to look into the mirror of God’s Word. For if his salvation is real, the evidence should proclaim it.

The caterpillar which goes through a metamorphosis to become a butterfly, lives like a butterfly, not a caterpillar. In the same way, the man or woman who has experienced new life in Christ will witness to it in his life.

Our beginning Scripture deals with seven marvelous truths:

  1. He chose us.
  2. He called us.
  3. We came.
  4. He declared us not guilty.
  5. He filled us with Christ’s goodness.
  6. He gave us a right standing with Himself.
  7. He promised us His glory.

For centuries, man has been mystified by predestination and eternal security. One famous theologian put it this way: “How would it be a source of consolation to say…that whom God foreknew, He predestinated, and whom he predestinated, He called, and whom He called, He justified, and whom He justified might fall away and be lost forever?”

We should praise and worship God because of His promises to all who receive Him that He will never leave them nor forsake them (Hebrews 13:5).

Bible Reading: Ephesians 1:3-6

TODAY’S ACTION POINT: I will meditate upon the truths in this marvelous Word from God. And as an expression of my gratitude for the privilege of living a supernatural life, I will praise and thank God constantly for His goodness and will encourage other believers to do the same

 

 

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