7 Days of Devotion and Teaching from the Word of God posted usually on Week-Ends
There is a time for everything,
a time to be born and a time to die,
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
Weeping uncontrollably, I barely heard the doctor give us the news my Dad was not going to live long. Lung cancer as a result of smoking since he was a teenager was about to claim his life at 57 years old.
Losing my Dad was one of the hardest experiences I have endured so far. He was my earthly hero and his love for me was strong and unconditional. Dad supported me, built me up with huge amounts of encouragement and was there for me when I experienced failures. He was also tough on me and tired to help me make wise decisions. Incredibly funny, he made all of my friends feel welcome at our home, throwing my various boyfriends into our swimming pool as a joke. When he died, my mourning was so real I could nearly taste it.
And now, 29 years later, I still miss his presence in my life, yet know he is dancing with joy in heaven. I feel robbed that I don’t have him in my life, but, I am not mad at God. However, there were times I was very mad at my Dad for making a choice that took him away. It was his choice to smoke, just as it is mine to not smoke and live a healthy life style.
However, over time, I came to understand that God has a time for each of us when our days are over and mine could be tomorrow, next year or 40 years from now. One day I could be dancing with my little Grandsons and the next, with Jesus, celebrating with family and friends in heaven. There are seasons in our lives that include deep loss and equally deep joy. It is simply part of the circle of life.
Thank God for the people you have lost who have impacted your life with encouragement, love and positive relationships. Their season on earth may be up but yours isn’t if you’re reading this blog.
Make your season of living count. Love the Lord with all of your heart; trust Him with your whole life. And ask yourself: have you been an encourager and left a positive print on people’s hearts? Do you need to make some changes?
Thank You, Father, for the people who have loved me and had my back over the years. I’m sad they are gone and I miss them but am thankful for the way You used each of them in my life; to make me stronger.
Trusting in Him,
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I entrust my life.
When we go to bed at night and talk to the Lord before falling asleep, we have praises and joys to thank God Him for. But, sometimes we climb into bed, dragging all kinds of accumulated negative junk from the day with us. It’s the kind of junk that can threaten to keep us from a peaceful sleep, giving us tired eyes and a grumpy attitude the next morning.
I’ve learned, over the years, that the last thing my eyes should see is God’s word. I don’t have a TV in my bedroom because it’s a time for me to read in bed and wind down from a hectic, full day. I read a lot of Christian fiction (Jerry Jenkins, Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury and more) but after my wind down time, I turn to a daily devotional called Bedtime Blessings (Chuck Swindoll) and read a super short paragraph. Chuck always includes scripture so I reflect on that and turn off the lights, ready for some prayer time.
As I pray, I give all the negative junk and issues to the Lord. Every detail that might keep me from sleeping well. I put my trust in Him and believe that the next day, morning will be there, refreshed and waiting for me to begin a new journey. And know He will show me the way to go.
When you see God’s word last in your day and speak to Him, giving Him our praises, joys, and needs, you will have a better night’s sleep. For some people, it is an instantaneous experience they embrace. For others, it takes some discipline to get in the sweet habit of spending the last minutes of their day with God.
Please consider trying this for one week. By trusting God with your life as you lay your head down on your pillow, believe that He will show you where to go. Mornings will bring you a sense of His love, knowing He is in charge, not you.
Thank You, Lord, for taking all of the junk that threatens to keep me tossing and turning through the night and giving me a sweet peaceful sleep. Show me through Your Holy Spirit how and where I should go the next morning.
Trusting in Him,
And we know that God causes all things to work together
for good to those who love God,
to those who are called according to His purpose.
It is a wonder that this verse is not displayed all over my home because it certainly is plastered on the walls of my heart. Every time a “lemon” type situation comes my way, I give it to God and He makes the most delightful lemonade out of it. Now I don’t always give it to Him immediately because sometimes I tend to spend some time fretting. However, as I have grown in my faith over the years, I know without a single doubt that He is going to work things out for my good. He has taught me well.
Today started out fine with my morning coffee and computer time. However, when I opened my Trust in the Lord email, I discovered it had been blocked from sending replies or messages and I slightly panicked. But if His purpose for me is to share encouragement with believers around the world, I knew He certainly wasn’t going to allow a silly email problem stop that.
I spent the entire morning and afternoon setting up a Gmail account and searching for the best possible solution. I soon realized I would continue to have the problem with “mass” mailing no matter what server I used and I would need to pay to have the Daily T.A.P. sent out by companies that would take care of my emailing. Not wanting to spend a lot of money, I decided a blog would be better and it’s free. More people would be reached so more would be encouraged.
As I began setting up the new blog page, I realized I could link it to the Facebook Trust in the Lord and I laughed out loud. Literally! The enemy was trying very hard to stop me from sending out the Daily T.A.P. and also was hoping I would get so frustrated I would give up. I laughed in his face. My God has a purpose and He indeed caused all things to work together for my good because I love Him so much and it is His purpose to see people encouraged and refreshed. God took a lemon situation and made the new version of the Daily T.A.P. better than ever. Sweet lemonade!
Buy some fake lemons and set them in a bowl in your kitchen as a reminder of this beautiful promise! I did and they are a great opportunity to share this wonderful verse with your friends.
Also, make a lemon list and ask God to make lemonade out of the sticky situations you are traveling through. Sometimes His purpose isn’t revealed as quickly as mine was today. But I guarantee, if you love Him, He will cause things to work out for your good.
Lord, I love You so much that you do cause everything to work together for our good when we love You. Remind us before we panic. Before we start fretting. Your love is so real.
Trusting in the Lord, Becky
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
I really don’t like to give the enemy of God much devotional writing time. However, today I felt led to. Not even wanting to capitalize his name, I feel he is not worthy of distinction. He is not just evil but the worst kind of evil known to mankind. His greatest thrill (when it comes to believers) is to get our eyes off the Lord and onto ANYTHING else. Hating it when we pray, he will use all his tricks to keep prayer time from happening.
Fortunately, God has more power than our enemy and will battle for us when we come under attack. The closer you get to God, the more the attacks may seem to come. But don’t let that get you down: God will give you the strength you need and keep you lovingly protected.
Even when we lie on our beds with tears covering our pillows, God is there. No matter what the situation that has troubled our hearts; God is there and will not allow His enemy to win us over with doubt. Cry out to Him! Trust in Him; rely on the Lord of your life.
When the enemy will not leave me alone, I picture gnats. While I know nothing can happen to me that the Lord doesn't allow, those continuous attacks seem like an angry swarm of gnats sometimes. Bothersome. Distracting. Annoying. I get so tired of swatting at them. Then I picture, in my mind, a giant gnat-swatter held by the hand of the Lord. Victory!
Lord, You are so faithful and protective of me. Thank You for all You do in fighting Your enemy on my behalf. Thank you for giving me the strength to endure.
Trusting in Him,
I waited patiently for the LORD;
He turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
When I was a little girl, I saw a photo of quicksand in a school book, and to this day, it is the first thing I think of when I read verse two. Quicksand became a fear of mine when I was small . . . which is ironic since I live in the desert. But children don’t understand these things.
The way we get stuck in life happens to all of us over the course of our lifetime and it is, for believers, one of God’s great blessings to lift us out of the situation. And when He places us on firm ground, there is reason to celebrate and praise His name.
Psalm 40 is my favorite of all the Psalms because it speaks of my relationship with the Lord. I love this Psalm so much I have memorized parts of it to remind myself that no matter how stuck I get, God will be there to place my feet on the rock. He always does.
Even when the enemy of God wants you to believe that there is no way out of a situation, let me assure you there always is when you have the King of your heart on your side, just waiting for the perfect moment to lift you to a higher ground.
Have you ever felt like you were slipping and sinking like you were sloshing around in mud?
Please take a few minutes to read Psalm 40 and then re-read it, allowing it to sink in to your soul.
I printed it out, using Biblegateway, and have it in several special places to remind me of the Grace of God. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalms%2040&version=NIV
God, You are my help and my deliverer and I praise You for all You have done in my life to bring me closer to You. Thank You for lifting me out of the quicksand moments and placing me on firm ground.
Trusting the Lord,
He turned the desert into pools of water
and the parched ground into flowing springs.
I live in Arizona where cactus surrounds the city. While I love the stately saguaro that lifts its arms skyward as if praising the Lord, I am not a huge fan of much of the other desert life. There are hundreds of varieties of cacti and people love to transplant them in their landscaping. Not me! I love the lush green of other locations, where winding paths intertwine with trees, flowers and waterfalls. Truthfully, cactus reminds me of the desert experience that believers in the Lord travel through sometimes.
If you have never found yourself in a “desert experience”, let me warn you, it’s a rough and tough time. You feel far away from God, totally hopeless and your joy is limp. We know God didn’t move; we are the ones who took a few steps away from Him. We wonder why and can’t quite figure it out. We simply know we feel a distance from God. And desert experiences are felt by all Christians, including the spiritual giants. One of the “giants” is Chuck Swindoll. He is my spiritual hero and has spoken volumes into my heart with his honest approach to life. I first “met” him in 1982 and have been influenced by his love for the Lord and care for people’s growth as Christians ever since.
USUALLY the reason we feel distance is that the enemy of God, the enemy of our soul, has pulled us ever so lightly away: directing our eyes off of the Lord and onto life’s details. The enemy isn’t dramatic about it and it happens without you even knowing it has occurred until all at once, you feel stranded in an island of dry sand, parched for God’s love and His word.
Know this my friends: God will never leave you stranded in the dry desert. He doesn’t want us there anymore than we want to be there. He uses these times in our lives to build us up in our faith and helps us to find balance in our lives.
If you find yourself in a desert experience, find time for quiet time with the Lord. A weekend, a day, whatever is feasible. Turn off the noise makers in your home, sit quietly in a place that you are comfortable, and open your mouth for the Living Water. Tell God you need Him to refresh your heart and show you the way back from the desert. Spend time reading His word and listening for His whispers of love and encouragement.
Thank You Father, for giving us a way out of the desert and into the lushness of fellowship with You.
Trusting in the Lord,
Come to me,
all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest.
Wouldn’t it be nice to never grow weary? There are times that we find we cannot lift our feet another step, open our mouths to simply talk and find our eyelids growing heavier by the minute. Often, days that are very busy, where we had much to accomplish, have simply worn us out physically.
Other times weariness invades our souls from adding too much clutter that is not necessary. When weariness threatens to bring discouragement, it’s time to step back and ask if our schedules are keeping us from spending time with the Lord. Sometimes it’s time for a clean sweep, a time to de-clutter our lives, sort of a spring cleaning of the soul.
In this verse, Jesus is inviting us to come to Him, to be refreshed, to allow Him to carry our burdens. He invites us, ordinary you and me, to be in His amazing and loving presence! When I get weary, I long to sit at His feet and be refreshed, allowing Him to give me needed comfort and relief of my burdens. Sometimes it’s through prayer, other times through reading a Psalm or a devotional that brings my focus back to Him. Those days when He lifts my weariness are so appreciated and cherished.
When you feel burdened by weariness, take a minute to ask yourself what has caused it. And then run; don’t walk, to the Lord Jesus who has promised to give us rest. Ask Him to help you find time in your day to spend time with Him. A quiet time, prayer time, a praise time will refresh your soul and your weariness will be lifted. When we take our eyes of ourselves and place them on the Lord, perspectives change
When we add too much world to our lives, our weariness seems to grow out of control. Slow down. Get the rest from the ONE who loves You and has called you by name.
Only You, Lord, can truly give me the rest I need. Thank you for carrying my burdens and inviting me to be your child.
Trusting in Him,