April 30, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Colossians 1:11-12, “May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.”
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could say about suffering? “I’m finished with it forever!” Unfortunately, we will never be free from suffering, for suffering is the price we all pay for living in a fallen world. The good news is that suffering teaches patience, which can only come from suffering for a while. For, after all, the word “patience” means “longsuffering.” When we experience suffering, we’re learning how to be patient with God and with others. Suffering teaches us to trust in God’s goodwill toward us. Patience and trust are not easy to learn. But the rewards are great here on this earth and in eternity.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, as much as I do not like to suffer, help me learn the lessons you desire to teach me through suffering. In Jesus’ name, I pray Amen.
Keeping the faith
April 29, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 1:16-18, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith.”
During this stressful time, it is relatively easy to change from a ‘glass half full’ to a ‘glass half empty’ way of thinking. Thank goodness faith is not dependent upon one’s personality, nor is it an independent choice. Faith is the gift of God that clings fast to Jesus. Faith says, with Jesus, anything is possible, even prolonged suffering and then at the right time, resurrection. In the meantime, by faith, we trust in his promises for today.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, we call out to you in faith. Help us in these difficult times, to not just survive, but to grow, in our faith so that your glory is seen by all we come into contact with during our time on this earth. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Calm in the storm
April 28, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on the story of Jesus calming the storm as it is written in Matthew 8:23-27, especially verse 26, “[Jesus] got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”
The disciples were scared. They thought they were going to die. Jesus was sleeping as if he did not have a care in the world much less cared about them. But he did. They had to live through the storm until they realized that Jesus was their only hope. When the time was right, he answered their prayer by calming the storm.
Surveying the daily ‘storm scene’ presented by COVID-19 unveils our weaknesses, exposes our doubts, and strips away our feelings of safety. In our personal storm of uncertainty, health concerns, or job insecurity, even as the waves of future fears sweep over us, Jesus calmly comes to us each day. His invitation to be together is personal and real. He is waiting for us to pray for his help. Listen for his calming voice.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, that you for your calming presence in my life. Help me in my fears to remember your power and glory so that I can withstand whatever storm in my life is troubling me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Are we there yet?
April 27, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Deuteronomy 31:8, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
It is clear from the Bible’s account of the people leaving Egypt that Moses was leading a rebellious people. They wanted to know how long the trip was going to take. They quickly started feeling a sense of frustration, worry, anxiety, and a desire to go back to what was familiar, even though their lives in Egypt were terrible. At least in Egypt, they knew what tomorrow would bring.
Time and again, God had to show them that he was their faithful guide, provider, and protector. They just needed to learn that. It is interesting to note that when Moses was handing the reins over to Joshua, who had witnessed himself God’s faithfulness, Moses implored him to remember that God was with him, so he didn’t need to be afraid or discouraged.
In our present circumstances, we might be feeling like the Israelites. We, like them, might be having a feeling a sense of frustration, worry, anxiety, and a desire to go back to what was familiar. As much as we would like to know the outcome during the pandemic has no fixed end date. We are in uncharted territory. Plans that once served us well don’t work where we are now, and when we come through this, life will look different. But there is one thing we should know; God is with us at every stage of our journey. And we will get there!
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator and sustainer of all things, seen, and unseen, thank you for your words of encouragement during this time. Help us to remember that you are our guide, provider, and protector, through these uncertain days and beyond. You will get us there! In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
April 26, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Most of our prayers are what I call, “give me” prayers. Those prayers are important for God in Psalm 50 tells us, “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver you.” They are essential, and God wants to hear them, but sometimes they become our focus in a way that keeps us from praying. “Thy will be done,” the petition we find in the Lord’s prayer.
It is important to pray as we are lifting our prayers to the Lord because God has promised to bring good out of your suffering. What good could God bring out of the uncertainty and anxiety caused by this virus? He could open our eyes to all the good that he can work through these present hardships and the suffering they may bring you because that is his specialty. Through the worst suffering possible—his Son’s suffering at the cross for your sins; he achieved your highest good—your eternal salvation. So, keep praying, “Your will be done,” with confidence that he will continue working good for you in these challenging times.
Please pray with me the prayer for today. Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen, and unseen, help to remember in my time of prayer that your will, will be done. Help me to trust that promise, so that I will be comforted in times of trouble. I pray this in the name of my Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen. Lord, even as I ask you to protect my loved ones and me during this challenging time, I also pray that your will be done. Help me to trust that your will is
The name above all other names
April 25, 2020
Today’s devotion is based on Psalm 46:11. “I will be exalted among the nations.”
The LORD Almighty is with us. Nothing is too complicated for him. He will be exalted among the nations, even as he works through people who trust him. Now is a time to put into action what we have learned from God’s word. His Light shines through us. His love and compassion touch others through us. He asks us to trust him; he enables us to both choose and do in ways that honor Jesus and share God’s love and life with others.
Although we are physically separated, let us as the body of Christ join together in singing songs of praise as we worship him on YouTube, or however, your local congregation broadcasts their worship services.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for sending into our dark world the Light of Jesus. Help us to shine his Light through our words and deeds so that others will know of his presence joining us in exalting Jesus’ name. I pray this in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus. Amen.
April 24, 2020
For the past week, I have been basing the daily devotion on Psalm 46. In this Psalm, we see that God is our refuge, our strength, our comfort, an ever-present help in trouble. Today we read in verse 10,11: "Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth!"
It's so hard for us to 'be still.' We have activities and responsibilities involving family, work, volunteering in the community, and the like. That is needed. But the stillness spoken of in Psalm 46 is an inner attitude of reassurance and rest that entrusts our lives, situations, and loved ones to the Lord worked in us by the Spirit.
It is time to be still so that we can hear the voice of God in the Scriptures. We are told in God's Word, 'Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God,' and 'Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.' Now is the time to listen. Trust in the words of God.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Lord Jesus, thank you that you meet us where we are at in our lives. Help us, through your Word, to better understand that you are walking with us during this time. In your name, we pray. Amen.
April 23, 2020
Continuing with our devotions based on Psalm 46, today, we will look at verses 45 and 46. “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God … God is within her; she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day.”
There is a ‘bigger picture’ surrounding us that we are mostly unaware of because our lives are, as a result of our sinful nature, self-focused. We don’t tend to ask or think: ‘What is God working in and through the nations, and why might that be happening?’
The psalmist invites us to learn to see from the Lord’s perspective. He loves people, and longs for us to trust him; even when storms rage, he holds us, and all things, in his caring hands. That, my dear friends, is good news indeed.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, gracious God, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, help us through your words to recognize that you love us more than we can ever imagine. Help us to be more thankful for all the good that is going on amid these crises that affect our lives. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
April 22, 2020
Today’s devotion continues to focus on Psalm 46:2,3, where we read, “Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains are moved into the heart of the sea., though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”
By studying this short Psalm, we have come to realize why we need not fear in this time of upheaval. Through Jesus, day by day, the Holy Spirit gives us hope and a future that God has prepared, available to any who trust him. And this hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Therefore, no matter what is happening, he will provide us with the courage, strength, and whatever needed to continue walking forward into each new day. He goes before us, and he calls us to follow him.
That doesn’t mean we won’t feel scared. There will be challenges, probably different for each of us. But the Lord does not change. It’s his love that will drive out our fear. He promises never to leave nor forsake us, and that Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Therefore we should cast all our anxiety on him because he cares for us.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, thank you for loving us even when we are not very lovable. Thank you for your promise never to forsake us. Thank you for giving us the peace that passes all understanding as we live our lives in the turmoil of today. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
An ever present help
April 21, 2020
For the past couple of days, I have been basing the daily devotion on Psalm 46. In this Psalm, we see that God is our refuge and our strength. Today we see in verse one, “God is an ever-present help in trouble.”
Take a moment and think about those words. Let them sink in. Let them give you peace and comfort, for we are indeed living in a ‘time of trouble’ around the world. Times of trouble come to everyone, personally, but also corporately, like now. Read through the Psalms, and see the writers pour out fears, struggles, anguish before the LORD. Yet also take note of how the writers come back to remind themselves that God is still in control; everything is still in his hands, for he is our strength. Rest in that knowledge.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator and sustainer of all things, seen and unseen, we give you thanks and praise during these difficult times knowing that in you we have the strength to overcome life’s obstacles. Thank you for being our God, a God that we can trust. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.