Category Archives: Troubles

Overcoming Tragedy… (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 13])

What challenges have you had to face? What trials have you gone through? What troubles have come your way? What tragedies have you had to overcome?

We know that in this life we will have troubles, not may but will. Will you take heart and cling to Jesus who has overcome the world?

We all get to choose how we will respond to the trials of this file. Will you consider it pure joy and persevere so that in and through it all you will be complete and lacking nothing?

We need to take hold of God’s Word and God’s Promises when we go through tough times! We need to not be rules by fear as God tells us to fear not, just believe! (Mark 5:36, Luke 8:50) We need to not be ruled by worry since God tells us that worry changes nothing but prayer changes everything! (Philippians 4:6) We need to persevere and a choice of how we will live out life after the trial, life after the troubles, life after the tragedy in a way that will glorify God and show the world that our trust is built on Him! Today’s reading has the powerful conclusive statement

no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord .”

–from Isaiah 54:17 

So let’s jump into Isaiah 54 to get the back story on this powerful statement and truth…

The Eternal Covenant of Peace

“Sing, O barren one, who did not bear; break forth into singing and cry aloud, you who have not been in labor! For the children of the desolate one will be more than the children of her who is married,” says the Lord . “Enlarge the place of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes. For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your offspring will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities. “Fear not, for you will not be ashamed; be not confounded, for you will not be disgraced; for you will forget the shame of your youth, and the reproach of your widowhood you will remember no more. For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called. For the Lord has called you like a wife deserted and grieved in spirit, like a wife of youth when she is cast off, says your God. For a brief moment I deserted you, but with great compassion I will gather you. In overflowing anger for a moment I hid my face from you, but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord , your Redeemer. “This is like the days of Noah to me: as I swore that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, and will not rebuke you. For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord , who has compassion on you. “O afflicted one, storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in antimony, and lay your foundations with sapphires. I will make your pinnacles of agate, your gates of carbuncles, and all your wall of precious stones. All your children shall be taught by the Lord , and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established; you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; and from terror, for it shall not come near you. If anyone stirs up strife, it is not from me; whoever stirs up strife with you shall fall because of you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose. I have also created the ravager to destroy; no weapon that is fashioned against you shall succeed, and you shall refute every tongue that rises against you in judgment. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their vindication from me, declares the Lord .

–from Isaiah 54 

So will keep your hope and trust in God? Will you allow Jesus into Your heart and to help make you a new creation from the inside out? Will you stand on the rock of Jesus Christ? Will you put on the full armor of God as you walk out into the world today? Will you take hope in the truth that today’s verse is real? Will you take confidence in the truth that thanks to God we know that no matter what comes our way we can have hope and joy because no weapon formed against us shall prosper? Will you put your trust in God and lean not on your own understanding? Will you be an overcomer of tragedy?

Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the area of Acts of Mercy  brings us to the topic of Overcoming Tragedy (p. 962 – Isaiah 54).

Today’s devotional speaks to a time in 2015 on June 17th when a man walked into a church and killed 9 people during a prayer meeting. Among the dead was the senior pastor who was also a state senator. On June 21, just a few days later, the doors of the church were opened for Sunday services. The interim pastor when asked about why so quick to reopen the doors speaks to today’s reading from Isaiah 54:17 when he said “No weapon formed against us shall prosper.” We learn in today’s devotional that one of the survivors Felicia Sanders told the killer who was sentenced to the death penalty that she forgave him, while holding onto the bloody Bible she had from the night of the shooting.

Don’t give up! Don’t allow fear to paralyze you from accomplishing God’s call on your life!

Let’s take hold of the truth of God and continue to persevere! Let’s take hold of God’s command to love! Let’s take hold of God’s command to forgive! Let’s take hold of God’s Word to be ambassadors of peace! Let’s take hold of God’s Word and not walk in worry or fear! Let’s take heart knowing that Jesus has overcome the world! Let’s consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds! Let’s put on the full armor of God so that we can stand firm! Let’s receive gift of life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Have you accepted Jesus into your heart? Have you invited Him into your life? How will you choose to make a difference in the world today? God’s Word has and continues to have global impact. Let’s pray together as we conclude today…

Sample Sinners Prayer

Heavenly Father,
I thank You for this new day and for everything that will come out of it. My hope and trust are in You. I take the weight off of my feet and lean into You! I know Lord because of my trust in You that Your hope will fill me to overflow that true hope can be poured into the lives of the people You bring into my day. Help me Lord to shine for You. Help me Lord to love others as You love. Help me Lord to see people with Your eyes. Help me Lord to love people through Your ways. Let my life today bring You praise, honor, and glory in Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

In whom shall you trust? What will adversity do to or for you?

Will you look to greater nations to be your help or savior? Will you look to greater people to be your help or savior? Will you look to God to be your hope and your salvation?

Will you turn back to God in obedience or walk in your own ways? Will you receive the instruction of God through His Word and align to it and obey it?

Are you wondering why since you walked out of under the protection of the Lord that things have gotten harder? Are you wondering why you have a feeling of having to try and get through it all alone?

Turn back to God! Invite Jesus into your heart! Walk with Him and stay close to Him! Stay under the covering of His blood! Live a life so that God will see you through the blood of Jesus! Live a life so that God when He looks at you He sees you through the prism of Jesus!

Will life be easy? In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. Will there be trials? Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

But if you don’t have Jesus you will be trying to make it thru life in your own power and your own strength. Don’t go it alone! You were never meant to go through life alone! God created you to be in an intimate relationship with Him! He made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way for you to be reconciled to Him and the gap to be bridged!

Today’s reading speaks to a time when Israel wasn’t walking in alignment with God. A time where they put their trust in Egypt instead of God. A time where they were being disobedient to God’s Word and were about to be punished as God’s hand of protection was being removed as they walked out from under the protection of God.

‘Zedekiah the son of Josiah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah, reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim. But neither he nor his servants nor the people of the land listened to the words of the Lord that he spoke through Jeremiah the prophet. King Zedekiah sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah, and Zephaniah the priest, the son of Maaseiah, to Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “Please pray for us to the Lord our God.” Now Jeremiah was still going in and out among the people, for he had not yet been put in prison. The army of Pharaoh had come out of Egypt. And when the Chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news about them, they withdrew from Jerusalem. Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet: “Thus says the Lord , God of Israel: Thus shall you say to the king of Judah who sent you to me to inquire of me, ‘Behold, Pharaoh’s army that came to help you is about to return to Egypt, to its own land. And the Chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city. They shall capture it and burn it with fire. Thus says the Lord , Do not deceive yourselves, saying, “The Chaldeans will surely go away from us,” for they will not go away. For even if you should defeat the whole army of Chaldeans who are fighting against you, and there remained of them only wounded men, every man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.'” Now when the Chaldean army had withdrawn from Jerusalem at the approach of Pharaoh’s army, Jeremiah set out from Jerusalem to go to the land of Benjamin to receive his portion there among the people. When he was at the Benjamin Gate, a sentry there named Irijah the son of Shelemiah, son of Hananiah, seized Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “You are deserting to the Chaldeans.” And Jeremiah said, “It is a lie; I am not deserting to the Chaldeans.” But Irijah would not listen to him, and seized Jeremiah and brought him to the officials. And the officials were enraged at Jeremiah, and they beat him and imprisoned him in the house of Jonathan the secretary, for it had been made a prison. When Jeremiah had come to the dungeon cells and remained there many days, King Zedekiah sent for him and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house and said, “Is there any word from the Lord ?” Jeremiah said, “There is.” Then he said, “You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon.” Jeremiah also said to King Zedekiah, “What wrong have I done to you or your servants or this people, that you have put me in prison? Where are your prophets who prophesied to you, saying, ‘The king of Babylon will not come against you and against this land’? Now hear, please, O my lord the king: let my humble plea come before you and do not send me back to the house of Jonathan the secretary, lest I die there.” So King Zedekiah gave orders, and they committed Jeremiah to the court of the guard. And a loaf of bread was given him daily from the bakers’ street, until all the bread of the city was gone. So Jeremiah remained in the court of the guard. ‘

— Jeremiah 37:1-21 

Do you want to know the truth? Can you handle the truth? Will you believe the truth? How will you respond to the truth?

Today’s devotional that comes from today’s reading speaks to the impact today’s reading has on history and philosophy through Jacob ben Hayyim and The Jewish Press.

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible speaks to “how the Bible has not only survived but thrived in the face of adversity.” Ever heard about times in history when people would burn Bibles and yet it survived? Ever found that the more persecution the more the Bible spread? Ever heard about the time when the Jews were being expelled from Spain? It had the impact of sending Jewish publishers to even more countries and the art of the printing press expanded and was a milestone year for Bible publishing. The joining forces off Daniel Bomberg (a Christian printer) and Felix of Prator (Jewish scholar and converted Christian) in 1517 produced a rabbinic Bible (Mikraot Gedolot) in Venice and Jacob ben Hayyim in 1525 produced a second version.

The Bible didn’t die when faced with adversity it expanded. The Bible didn’t disappear when faced with adversity, it multiplied. This rabbinic Bible was the primary text used in the writing of the Old Testament portion of the King James Bible back in 1611.

So how will you respond to adversity? Will you lean on God and allow Him to give you the strength to make it thru? Will you trust in God and allow Him to expand your territory? Will you believe in Him and watch Him multiply your benefits?

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this new day and for all that will be in it. I thank You Lord that in my weakness Your strength is revealed! I thank You Lord that in my trials, I can lean on You and consider it pure joy when I face trials of many kinds because I know that the testing of my faith builds perseverance and that when it has completed its work I will be complete and lacking nothing! I thank You Lord that when troubles of the world come my way, I don’t need to worry or fear because Jesus has already overcome the world! Help me Lord to walk beside You all the days of my life! Help me Lord not to be drawn away or tricked by the lies of the devil but rather to live a life in the light so that You will be glorified. Help me Lord to accomplish the good works You have prepared in advance for me to accomplish so that people will see my good works and glorify You. I ask all this in Jesus’ name so that You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.

Things feeling like they are spinning out of control?

Being faced with challenges, struggles, issues, problems and wondering what is going on? No matter what they are don’t lose hope and don’t give up! Remember how much God loves you! Remember that He has a plan for you! So draw closer to Him and press in to what He has planned for you and His purpose for your life!

Remember when things seem like they are falling apart that they may just be aligning to fall into place! Then consider your part in going with it! What is required of you? What is it that God wants you to learn and grow in and through this time? How will you walk out stronger on the other side?

Let’s look beyond here and now! Let’s look up to eternity and how it will be! Let’s not lose hope when things get hard but rather let’s lean into God more and allow Him to work in and through us! Let’s lean in and be held by God! God know the beginning and the end! He is able to bring peace in the storm! He is able to calm our hearts within the storm! He is able to calm the storm! Either way don’t lose hope but trust in Him and lean in to Him and be held!

Jesus told us it wouldn’t be easy when we are living on this earth but He also encouraged us!

I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

John 16:33 NLT

God’s Word tells us to consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because there is a plan and there is a purpose and it is for our good…

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

James 1:2-4 NLT

Today’s devotional closes with a quote from A. W. Tozer which I am going to include here too…

‘God is love and God is sovereign. His love disposes Him to desire our everlasting welfare, and His sovereignty enables Him to secure it.’

–from Day 341: Bible In One Year 2018

Is God Really in Control?

Day 341: Bible In One Year 2018

  1. The Lord reigns from conception to deathPsalms 139:11-16
  2. The Lord reigns over every area of your life3 John 1
  3. The Lord reigns over events and historyZechariah 1, Zechariah 2, Zechariah 3, Zechariah 4

Today’s reading from God’s Word…

What’s on your mind? What’s taking up space in that brain of yours? What’s in the center or your focus?

Are they good thoughts? Are they bad thoughts? Are they positive thoughts? Are they negative thoughts? Are they building? Are they tearing down? Are they anxious? Are they exciting? Are they happy? Are they sad? Are they random? Are they focused? Are they helpful? Are they damaging? Where is your mind spending it’s time and energy?

Do you realize God’s plan? It’s that we don’t walk out life in fear but rather that we receive the power of the Holy Spirit so that we can walk out life with power, love, and a sound mind! He sent Jesus on purpose and with a purpose so that we could have life and life to the full! Don’t let the devil play mind games with you! The devil’s plan is to steal, kill, and destroy!

So we need to keep our mind focused on God! We need to fill it up with the Word of God daily! We need to meditate on it daily! We need to pray without ceasing! We need to remember and take hold of the fact that what consumes your mind controls your life! God is the answer! Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life! So we need to live out our lives connected and aligned with His plans and purposes for our lives!

Is your heart and mind along with the words you speak aligned with God’s will?

Have you committed your heart to God and invited Jesus into your heart so that you walk out your today with Him?

Do you seek God daily with all of your heart? Do you love God with all of your heart, all of your mind, all of your strength, and all of your soul?

Is your mind focused on God so that His peace that surpasses all understanding can guard your heart and mind?

Is your trust in God rather than anything in the world?

Are you holding onto the truth of God, leaving the past where it belongs behind you and pressing forward for the glory of God the Father in the name of Jesus the Son and our Lord and Savior?

Will you keep your focus on the prize of eternity with God? Will you finish strong? Will you get rid of the distractions in order to complete the work God has given you to do?

Who is the greatest of all times? In your country? In your nation? In your life?

So with the reality of living out our lives in this broken world, we need to keep our eyes on God, the author and perfecter of our faith! We need to have Jesus as the center piece like a cord of three strands that can’t easily be broken! This broken world can ensure that in this world we will have troubles! This broken world can ensure that we will have trials! This broken world can ensure that we will be faced with temptations! By keeping Jesus at the center, we are able to take hold of His truth and His promises:

33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

–from John 16:33 NLT

another translation puts it this way…

33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

–from John 16:33 NIV

We can also have a change of attitude when we face trials of many kinds when we keep Jesus in the center because we have a different perspective than the world…

2Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

–from James 1:2-4

We can keep our focus on Jesus when we are being tempted too because He will provide us a way out…

13No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

–from 1 Corinthians 10:13

So as we prepare for today, let’s make it a Happy Today and keep Jesus at the center of our mind and our lives so that in all things He will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory. Amen.

It’s not too late to turn back to God! He is like a father waiting and looking out the window for his son who went on his own way but is still waiting in hope that he will come back home. He is waiting and hoping you will come back home to Him!

Parable of the Lost Son

11To illustrate the point further, Jesus told them this story: “A man had two sons. 12The younger son told his father, ‘I want my share of your estate now before you die.’ So his father agreed to divide his wealth between his sons.
13“A few days later this younger son packed all his belongings and moved to a distant land, and there he wasted all his money in wild living. 14About the time his money ran out, a great famine swept over the land, and he began to starve. 15He persuaded a local farmer to hire him, and the man sent him into his fields to feed the pigs. 16The young man became so hungry that even the pods he was feeding the pigs looked good to him. But no one gave him anything.
17“When he finally came to his senses, he said to himself, ‘At home even the hired servants have food enough to spare, and here I am dying of hunger! 18I will go home to my father and say, “Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, 19and I am no longer worthy of being called your son. Please take me on as a hired servant.”’
20“So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long way off, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. 21His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.15:21 Some manuscripts add Please take me on as a hired servant.’
22“But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger and sandals for his feet. 23And kill the calf we have been fattening. We must celebrate with a feast, 24for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.’ So the party began.
25“Meanwhile, the older son was in the fields working. When he returned home, he heard music and dancing in the house, 26and he asked one of the servants what was going on. 27‘Your brother is back,’ he was told, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf. We are celebrating because of his safe return.’
28“The older brother was angry and wouldn’t go in. His father came out and begged him, 29but he replied, ‘All these years I’ve slaved for you and never once refused to do a single thing you told me to. And in all that time you never gave me even one young goat for a feast with my friends. 30Yet when this son of yours comes back after squandering your money on prostitutes, you celebrate by killing the fattened calf!’
31“His father said to him, ‘Look, dear son, you have always stayed by me, and everything I have is yours. 32We had to celebrate this happy day. For your brother was dead and has come back to life! He was lost, but now he is found!’”

–from Luke 15 NLT

It’s not too late – take hold of what is in Joel…

‘It’s not too late –

God’s personal message! –

“Come back to me and really mean it!

Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!”

Change your life, not just your clothes.

Come back to God, your God.

And here’s why: God is kind and merciful.

He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot,

This most patient god, extravagant in love’ (Joel 2:12–13, MSG).

Fix Your Thoughts

Day 305: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Trouble and distress … Psalm 119:137-144
  2. Times of testing … Hebrews 3:1-19
  3. When disaster strikes … Joel 1, 2

We don’t need to be perfect, we just need to have God!

me+God = more than enough! you+God = more than enough!

God isn’t asking us to be perfect, He is asking to have a relationship with us!

Jesus paid it all, not partial, ALL! He made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way!

Jesus came to open the way for us to be able to have a relationship with God and approach Him boldly with a humble heart.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life … He is the only way to the Father!

You want to know how much God loves you? While we were sinners, Jesus died for us!

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

–from John 3:16

If anyone thinks they are perfect, they will be humbled because other than Jesus there are no perfect human beings. Don’t allow pride to pump or puff you up so much that you will end up being taken down or humbled or tripped up or opposed!

So now that we know there aren’t any perfect people, we need to take hold of the fact that God is well aware of that and loves imperfect people! He is calling us into relationship with Him through Jesus Christ that we can be made clean through Jesus!

We need to take hold of the fact that God’s love is greater than our mistakes!

Unlike in the old testament where they had to keep sacrificing for the various mistakes, Jesus paid the price, once and for all, He doesn’t have to get back up on the cross, He paid it all, taking on all our mistakes and nailing them to the cross!

Turn to Jesus and invite Him into your heart today! Ask Him to forgive you and to come in and help you with the rest of your life! Yes, in this world we will have troubles and trials, but with Jesus all things are possible! We can take heart when we face troubles and we can consider it pure joy when we face trials!

So now that we know that nobody is perfect, let’s go out into the world and love people! Just as the bible teaches us, let’s love God and love people! God’s love is personal so let’s go beyond the surface when we are building relationships! God wants an intimate relationship with us! So we need to spend time with Him and invite Him into every situation! His love never fails! His love never gives up! His love never runs out on us!

God Loves Imperfect People

Day 259: Bible In One Year 2017

  1. Meditate on how great God’s love is for you … Psalm 107:33-43
  2. Understand how personal God’s love is for you … Galatians 2:11-3:9
  3. Know how lasting God’s love is for you .. Isaiah 38:1-40:31

Today’s Reading from God’s Word comes from…

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