Fear not, just believe! Call on God and He will answer! Allow Him to bring peace in the midst of the storms of life – whether He is calming your heart or calming the storm around you! Allow His light to shine in the darkness that through His light the darkness will flee! Resist the devil and he will flee! Allow the peace of God that goes beyond all understanding to guard your heart and guide your life!
Don’t give up! Don’t lose hope! No matter what happens, put your trust in God!
We know that in this world we will have troubles and we know that we can have hope because Jesus has overcome the world! We know that we can consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds because we know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance and that when perseverance has completed its work in us we can be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Will we face struggles? Yes! Inward struggles and outward struggles! The key through them all is that we have Jesus with us and our trust and faith in Him will and can get us through it all! Don’t try to do it alone! Don’t try to do it all in your own strength! Remember God isn’t out there somewhere, He is Emmanuel – God with us! So call on Him in your day of trouble and He will rescue you and you will give Him praise!
Is it easy? No. But in our weakness, God’s strength is revealed! On our own we might not be strong enough, but with God all things are possible! Walking out life with Jesus we have the benefit that in the midst of it all His peace that surpasses all understanding will get us through it all! Allow that peace to cover you! Allow that trust to encourage you! Allow His presence to comfort you! He didn’t send us the Holy Spirit for nothing, He did call him the comforter remember! Don’t worry for worry changes nothing! Instead, pray and bring your request before God!
Today’s message from the daily devotional closes with the following reminder:
‘Perfect peace’ (Isaiah 26:3) makes me think of a beautiful, calm summer’s day, sitting by a deserted lake with not a care in the world and no temptations, no problems and no difficulties to cope with. ‘Perfect peace’ in such circumstances would not be at all surprising or extraordinary. Yet as we read the Bible, it is clear that this promise of ‘perfect peace’ is not dependent on circumstances. God’s peace comes to you even in the dark places – in the midst of your most difficult struggles and challenges.
–from Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017
Peace in the Dark Places
Day 253: Bible In One Year 2017
- Temptation … Psalm 106:32-39
- Trials … 2 Corinthians 11:16-33
- Trust … Isaiah 24:1-26:21
Today’s reading from God’s Word:
Do you believe that when you ask you will get an answer? If not, why do you ask? If you do, what holds you back from asking? What is the barrier? Do you need to forgive someone? You need to believe that you will get an answer and not doubt or else you will be like waves in the sea being tossed around! Do you believe but aren’t sure? Ask God to help you with your unbelief!
Are you allowing fear to rob you? Are you allowing doubt to keep you from the promises? Are you allowing worry to cloud your thoughts? Let the peace of God that surpasses all understanding rule and guard your heart and His wisdom to guide your steps.
Will you make time for God today? Will you make time to be with Him? Will you allow the Holy Spirit to minister to you? Will you invite Him in?
Will you allow the Holy Spirit to minister and fill you up so that you are then able and ready to minister, that is to serve, the other people God has brought into your life? Will you allow God to work in and through your life so that you can pour into the lives of others?
It’s a choice like so many other things in this life and we need to choose whom shall we serve! We need to choose if we will welcome the Holy Spirit so that the joy of the Lord can be our strength today! This is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! So you are only going to get one today because tomorrow, today will become yesterday! What will you do with your today? Will you start it off with HAPPY? You know that today will always end with “day”, how you start it off is up to you!
- Ministry of ‘wind’ and ‘flames of fire’ … Psalm 104:1-18
- Ministry that gives life … 2 Corinthians 2:12-3:6
How can you bring life to others? In this passage, Paul describes himself as a minister of a ‘new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life’ (3:6).
Through you, people smell the sweet scent of Christ
‘Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance’ (2:14b, MSG). Paul describes his ministry as being like that of a ‘perpetual victory parade’ (v.14a, MSG). When a king or general had won a notable victory, the whole city would turn out to welcome them home. They would bring with them the prisoners they had taken. It might well be accompanied by the ‘sweet smell of incense’.
For some (the prisoners) it was ‘the smell of death’ (v.16a). For others (the victors) it was the ‘fragrance of life’ (v.16b). Similarly, ‘We give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognised by those on the way of salvation… But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse’ (vv.14–15, MSG).
Through you, people read about Jesus
The only Bible some people will read is your life. Paul writes to the Corinthians, ‘Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it – not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiselled into stone, but carved into human lives – and we publish it’ (3:1b–3, MSG).
Not everyone can or will read books – but everyone you encounter can, and will, read your life.
Through you, people hear about a relationship with Jesus
You should never say, ‘I am useless’, ‘I can do nothing’. You are able, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to bring the good news of Jesus to others. This should give you great confidence – not self-confidence but God-confidence.
‘Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God’ (vv.4–5).
The Holy Spirit gives you not just a new start in life, but also a new life to start with. The old covenant was the one made by God through Moses, but it did not have the power to make the people everything that God longed for them to be.
Because the people could not keep the law that was written on tablets of stone, ultimately it brought death – ‘the letter kills’ (v.6). On the other hand, the ministry of the Holy Spirit –written in your heart – is a ministry that ‘gives life’ (v.6).
The Holy Spirit brings a change in human nature. Never say, ‘I can’t change’. With the Holy Spirit you can change.
It is the difference between a religion of rules and regulations (which ultimately none of us are able to keep) and a relationship with God through Jesus, which brings life, and life in all its fullness (John 10:10).
–from Day 241: Bible In One Year 2017
- Ministers of a new covenant … 2 Chronicles 33:21-35:19
Today’s Reading from God’s Word…
We know that in this world we will have troubles and that we can take heart for Jesus has overcome the world! If we are will and can trust God in and through them all, we can consider it pure joy when we face trials and troubles of many kinds for we know that the testing of our faith produces perseverance and that when perseverance completes its work in us that we will be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Have you captured or tracked the various trials or troubles you have faced? Have you captured or tracked how God has worked in and through them? God’s asked me and allowed me to use this blog to share most of mine. God’s used His Word to speak into my very situations without me realizing it at the time and then revealing in His perfect timing how He was working in and through the very situation. How because I trusted Him in it that He got me through it! How because I trusted Him timing while in it that He was able in His perfect timing to mature me and complete me through it! God’s ways are not our ways, His ways are higher, deeper, stronger, better and do a work in us that we may never have asked or expected but that produces a fruit in us that will last for the rest of our lives and can be used to speak life into the lives of the people God brings into our lives!
What are you facing today? Remember what He has gotten you through in the past! Remember how He never left you and never forgot you and never abandoned you! Remember how in His perfect way and in His perfect timing He got you through it! Trust Him and believe Him that He will do it again, no matter what it is this time!
Will you trust God? Will you trust His ways? Will you trust His will? Will you trust His timing? Will you ask Him to be Lord of all of your life? Will you ask Jesus to come into the deep areas of your life that keep you going back to the well so that you can stop and just allow Him to enter into your life and thirst no more? Will you allow Him to change you from the inside out? Why not ask Jesus in today and allow Him to begin the transformation of your life? Why not ask Jesus in today and allow your story to begin anew – allow the old the be gone and new to begin?
Last night was an incredible night where I got to hear from Chaplain Earl Smith and he preached about the lady who met Jesus at the well. He spoke to those deep things that keep us going back to the well, over and over and over and never stopping our thirst. He shared part of his story and how God intersected his life and called him to be the Chaplain at San Quentin and what it took. Jesus is the only way for us to stop thirsting! He shared the story of the woman at the well (John 4), he shared the story of His life transformation where he was on the edge of death at the hospital and was called to go and serve, and then he calls us to do some searching if there is something deep within ourselves.
Today he is also Chaplain for the San Francisco 49s and als the Golden State Warriors.
So today, don’t lose hope! Trust God’s will, way, and timing for they are perfect! He can’t get surprised because He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent! All things are possible for those who believe! So don’t lose hope! Believe!
- Trust God to answer prayer … Psalm 102:12-17
- Trust God to resurrect … 1 Corinthians 15:35-49
- Trust God to fight your battles … 2 Chronicles 18:28-21:3
Today’s Reading for Day 235: Bible In One Year 2017
Do you realize there are people around you today who don’t believe and are heading in the wrong direction? Do you realize there are people around you today who don’t believe and don’t realize the road they are on? Do you realize there are people around you today who are feeling bad and don’t know there is an answer and there is hope? Do you realize there are people around you who need to know they matter and are loved? Do you realize that there is a plan at work for you to make a difference in their lives? Do you realize that there is a plan at work for you to give them hope? Do you realize that there is a plan at work for you to pass God’s love onto them? Do you realize that you may be the only thing in their life at the moment pointing them to the love of Jesus? Do you realize you have been put in such a place at such a time for a greater purpose? Do you realize that you have been put there for such a day and such a time as this?
So what are you going to do with this responsibility? What will you do with this purpose? What will you do with this plan? Today is the day that the Lord has made, so let’s rejoice and be glad in it! Don’t stop believing! Take time to listen! Make a difference today! Be the difference today!
Have you had an encounter with Jesus? Do you realize He gave His life to the point of death on a cross for you? Do you realize that God loves you so much that He sent Jesus, His one and only Son so that whosoever believes in Him would not perish but would have everlasting life? Have you started a relationship with Jesus?
Do you feel the pain that everyone should get this encounter and experience and relationship with Jesus? Do you feel that loss for the lost?
Do you want your family and friends to get to experience this? Do you want them to be able to receive Jesus into their hearts? Do you realize you may not be able to convince them to go to church with you but that you may have to be the church to them? By the way you live in front of them! By the actions and responses you take! By the words you use and express!
How do you handle the pain or anguish for the loss? How do you handle the passion and the love? How do you balance them in your life and in your relationship with others!
Will you keep believing for them? Will you trust God’s sovereign plan for those you love? those God has brought into your life?
Today is the day! So what will you do with it? Don’t waste it! Keep believing! Make a difference!
What will they see when they see you? Will they see Jesus with skin on?
What About Those Who Do Not Believe
Devotional, Psalms 89:9-13, Romans 9:1-21, Hosea 11:12, Hosea 12, Hosea 13, Hosea 14
- Thank God for his rule and reign … Psalm 89:9-13
The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all. (v11)
- Trust in his mercy and compassion … Romans 9:1-21
- Turn from sin and return to God … Hosea 11:12-14:9
Grace is more than a prayer before meals but a state of mind! Grace is the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings. So with what has happened or what is about to happen today, can show you the grace of God to the world around you? Can you give it freely? Can you give it without needing someone to live up to some bar you created? Will you allow anger to block your ability to give grace? Will you forgive them and allow grace to flow through you? Forgiveness is less about them and more about you! Do you want to take poison and then expect the other person to get sick or die? Doesn’t work that way! Forgiveness is the key to true freedom! Do not allow bitterness or anger to keep you from what God has planned or in store for you, in you, and through you!
Short video sharing one of my stories…
So today, how can we live out the theme of justice and grace to the world around us? What will it take for us to give it all up to God and rather than worry or get anxious for something give it up to God through prayer so that we can walk out our days with that peace that goes beyond all understanding?
So as we look to jump into today’s devotional and reading, let’s take hold of this thought…
The themes of justice and grace flow through the Bible. We cannot fully understand grace without understanding justice. One definition of grace is ‘undeserved love’. There is a mnemonic used to explain grace: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. We see today how Jesus Christ makes just grace available for you and me. –from Day 200: Bible In One Year 2017
Devotional, Proverbs 17:15-24, Romans 5:12-21, Amos 8, Amos 9
- The vital importance of justice … Proverbs 17:15-24
- The abundant provision of grace … Romans 5:12-21
- The God of justice and grace … Amos 8:1-9:15
I thank You for this new day and for all that You will do in and through it. I praise You for who You are and for the incredible things You are able to do , more than I could ask or imagine, that’s right infinitely more! Lord, forgive me for worrying and becoming anxious even while praying and giving up the situation to You. I thank You Lord that despite me, You are still Lord and work all things for Your glory! You take what the enemy planned for evil and turn it around and use it for good! So today Lord help me to walk out my day in just grace so that in all things I do and all things I say, You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.