Charles Stanley – Sunday Reflection: Facing Challenges

 

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the Scripture referenced throughout.

A few thousand years ago, the young shepherd David stepped forward to fight Goliath. We often speak of this story as a reminder of the young man’s bravery, even when the odds were against him. But David’s bravery—and success—came from His deep faith in God. (See 1 Samuel 17). And this faith helped him go on to become a successful warrior and king.

The Lord gave David many responsibilities during his reign, and he endured numerous trials—some due to his own sin. Through it all, the king returned to God again and again in humble dependence and repeatedly proclaimed his trust in the Lord’s faithfulness.

God calls us to abide in this kind of relationship with Him. In seasons of trial or abundance—and we’ll likely experience both, even simultaneously—we can cling to Him and trust that He is the source of all courage, perseverance, and abiding joy.

THINK ABOUT IT
• What do you do when you’re facing a challenge? How does your relationship with God factor into the choices you make?

  • Does your faith in Christ help you to feel courageous when facing something new, challenging, uncomfortable, or intimidating? Why or why not?

Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 21-23

 

 

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Our Daily Bread — New Every Morning

 

Bible in a Year:

[God’s] compassions never fail. They are new every morning.

Lamentations 3:22–23

Today’s Scripture & Insight:Lamentations 3:19–26

My brother Paul grew up battling severe epilepsy, and when he entered his teenage years it became even worse. Nighttime was excruciating for him and my parents, as he’d experience continuous seizures for often more than six hours at a time. Doctors couldn’t find a treatment that would alleviate the symptoms while also keeping him conscious for at least part of the day. My parents cried out in prayer: “God, oh God, help us!”

Although their emotions were battered and their bodies exhausted, Paul and my parents received enough strength from God for each new day. In addition, my parents found comfort in the words of the Bible, including the book of Lamentations. Here Jeremiah voiced his grief over the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, remembering “the bitterness and the gall” (3:19). Yet Jeremiah didn’t lose hope. He called to mind the mercies of God, that His compassions “are new every morning” (v. 23). So too did my parents.

Whatever you’re facing, know that God is faithful every morning. He renews our strength day by day and gives us hope. And sometimes, as with my family, He brings relief. After several years, a new medication became available that stopped Paul’s continuous nighttime seizures, giving my family restorative sleep and hope for the future.

When our souls are downcast within us (v. 20), may we call to mind the promises of God that His mercies are new every morning.

By:  Amy Boucher Pye

Reflect & Pray

How has God sustained you through the trials you’ve faced? How could you support someone who’s enduring a challenging time?

God, Your love will never leave me. When I feel spent and without hope, remind me of Your mercies and compassion.

 

 

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Joyce Meyer – Bearing Good Fruit

 

When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.

— John 15:8 (AMPC)

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

Our lives are not given to us for us to waste them—God wants us to bear good fruit with our time on earth. Doing good, being creative, helping others, finishing goals, and other things like this give me an awesome feeling of accomplishment. On the other hand, when I waste a day doing nothing, feeling sorry for myself, being angry or lazy, that doesn’t feel good at all.

I’m not saying that we need to spend all of our time working, but we should be productive on a regular basis. Praying for others as we go about our day is productive. Being friendly and encouraging people is a simple way to bear good fruit. One day when I went to the hospital to visit my mother, a young woman was in her room administering a heart test. She had lovely skin and hair and a beautiful smile, and she was very kind. Instead of just thinking these things, I told her that she was really pretty. The look on her face let me know that she didn’t hear it nearly often enough, and that it made her feel really good about herself.

It’s easy to focus on people’s flaws and totally miss the good things about them, but we don’t have to be that way—we can decide to bear good fruit by making a big deal out of each good thing we notice about people. You and I have the power to make someone else’s day awesome by being God’s voice and letting them hear through us the good things He sees in them. Make today—and every day—a special day by bearing good fruit that honors God and shows His love to people.

Prayer Starter Father, please teach me how to bear good fruit today; show me opportunities to show Your love to people. Thank You for the gift of life, and for helping me seize every moment. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

 

http://www.joycemeyer.org

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg –Where Is Your Hope?

 

My hope is from him.

 Psalm 62:5

It is the believer’s privilege to use this language. If he is looking for anything from the world, it is a poor hope indeed. But if he looks to God for the supply of his needs, whether temporal or spiritual blessings, his hope will not be in vain. He may constantly draw from the bank of faith and get his need supplied out of the riches of God’s loving-kindness. I know this: I would rather have God for my banker than all the Rothschilds.

My Lord never fails to honor His promises; and when we bring them to His throne, He never sends them back unanswered. Therefore I will wait only at His door, for He always opens it with the hand of abundant grace. At this hour I will turn to Him afresh.

But we have “hope” beyond this life. We will die soon; and still our “hope is from him.” May we not expect that when we face illness He will send angels to carry us to His bosom? We believe that when the pulse is faint and the heart is weak, some angelic messenger shall stand and look with loving eyes upon us and whisper, “Come away!” As we approach the heavenly gate, we expect to hear the welcome invitation, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.”1 We are expecting harps of gold and crowns of glory; we are hoping soon to be among the company of shining ones before the throne; we are looking forward and longing for the time when we shall be like our glorious Lord—for “We shall see him as he is.”2

Then if these are your hopes, O my soul, live for God; live with the desire and resolve to glorify Him from whose grace in your election, redemption, and calling you safely ”hope” for the coming glory.

1) Matthew 25:34
2) 1 John 3:2

One-Year Bible Reading Plan

 

 

http://www.truthforlife.org

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Thinks About His Own

 

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee.” (Psalm 139:17-18)

When Heather was little, her family would go camping at the beach. They stayed in tents and cooked over an open fire. Every day, Heather and her twin brother Mitch would go swimming in the ocean! They had so much fun playing in the water, walking along the beach, and, of course, playing in the sand. Mitch and Heather built too many sand castles to count, and one time they even built a car made of sand! Sometimes, Heather wondered if it was possible to count all the grains of sand on that beach. She tried once to count just a bucket full of sand, but as you can imagine, she gave that up quickly! Why? Even in a single bucket, there was way too much sand to count!

The Bible says that God’s thoughts about His people are more in number than the sand. Imagine counting all the piles of sand on a beach. It would be hard to count all the piles of sand on just one single beach. Now imagine trying to count all the piles of sand on all the beaches of the world! Even more incredible is the thought of trying to count every single grain of sand in every pile of sand on every beach in the world! In our wildest imaginations, we could not pretend to understand a number that big!

Like Heather, we would probably give up counting before we got through just one small bucket of sand. The numbers are just too much. Those kinds of numbers are exactly how the Bible describes how many thoughts God has toward His people.

Not only are God’s thoughts toward His own countless, but they are also precious thoughts. That means He cherishes His people and that He plans only good things to do for them, and through them. Here on Earth, we may sometimes feel forgotten or left out, but we can always go back to God’s Word and remember that God is thinking precious thoughts about us!

Psalm 139 speaks of how closely God pays attention to those whom He created, and especially how He feels about people who trust Him and obey Him by His grace. There are many other Bible verses that describe how countless and wonderful God’s thoughts are toward His own. Psalm 40:5 says, “Many, O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.”

What a great and good God He is!

God’s thoughts toward His people are countless and precious.

My Response:
» Is it easy to imagine how many grains of sand there are on a beach?
» Is it easy for me to believe that God thinks about those who trust and obey Him?
» How should it help me to remember that God thinks so often and so favorably toward His own?

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