In Ecclesiastes chapter 1, we read about a disheartened Solomon bemoaning how meaningless his existence had become. What Solomon didn’t realize is that our focus determines our level of satisfaction. Those who stay young in spirit continually look for evidence of the Almighty – ways that He’s working, providing, loving, and guiding. Without this perspective, the pain and problems of life take center stage, which can then lead to discouragement and grumbling. These are burdens that believers are not meant to bear.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, April 7, 2022.
There are people who work hard in an attempt to earn the favor of employers, parents, friends, and even God. The truth, however, is that divine approval cannot be earned. There’s only one way to acquire it, which Hebrews 11:6 states clearly, “Without faith is it impossible to please God” (NIV). Like the saints commended in Hebrews 11:1-40 for their faith, Christians today don’t have to strive for God’s favor. That’s because in Christ, we have been lavished with divine grace (Ephesians 1:8). Yet we sometimes tend to overlook the most basic examples of the Lord’s kindness to us: He provides for our needs, puts limits on suffering, answers prayers, encourages us in our trials, and offers His strength in our weakness. In fact, every good thing that comes our way is from His hand (James 1:17).
God’s goodness is stored up for those who fear Him and take refuge in Him (Psalm 31:19). But even though His favor isn’t something that can be earned, we still have a responsibility to live in a manner He finds pleasing. As was true for the role models of faith in Hebrews 11, God’s grace should motivate us to be righteous and blameless in our walk with Him.
The In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 20, 2021.
Though it might not always feel like it, jobs are a blessing. Our work allows us to utilize God-given talents, provide for our families, and grow both personally and professionally. See 1 Corinthians 10:31. However, when we feel overlooked or sense that our contributions aren’t valued, emotions like anger or envy get in the way. What should be a source of delight and fulfillment becomes drudgery we avoid at all costs.
The trouble starts when we think of ourselves as individuals rather than as members of the community. We are here to serve and help one another, after all – not to be served (Matthew 20:20-28). That’s why God’s Word says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility consider one another as more important than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3). Putting ourselves last allows us to lay petty concerns down instead of becoming defensive. Then we can experience freedom in the truest sense of the word.
The In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 19, 2021.
When you look at your paycheck, do you think of it as your hard-earned money? It’s tempting to view money as a result of our own efforts, but this perspective encourages us to act as if all our resources belong to us instead of to God. The truth is that God is the one who enables you to profit from your labors.
Thinking we have control over our assets gives the illusion of safety, but our sense of security quickly evaporates with the loss of a job or a bout with serious illness. True security is found only in the Lord, who knows all things – not in our monetary stockpiles or marketable skills. Knowing that God is in charge of our resources, whether we have much or little, should give us peace of mind because He is our provider and protector.
Recognizing that the Lord is in control of our material wealth helps with two things: It frees us from the discontentment of greed and allows us to be generous, because we never have to fear that we won’t have enough. He promises to supply enough for our needs as well as enough to share with others (2 Corinthians 9:8-10).
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June 4, 2021.
All too often old emotions come back when circumstances are difficult. We walk around, weighed down with concerns even though Jesus says his yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). As anxious thoughts and hopelessness take over, we not only suffer personally but also cease to be a light in the world because Christ is no longer reflected in our life. On the surface, in fact, we appear just as pressured, stressed, and fearful as those without Christ. Instead of being filled with fear, anxiety, frustration, and stress, Jesus tells us in Romans 15:13 and in other verses how we can instead be characterized by hope, joy and peace, when we are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, January 26, 2021.
As a poor, childless, foreign widow with no earthly power, Ruth perhaps had reason to wish her situation were different. After all, the prominent or wealthy can use their position in life to glorify God. But Ruth’s story proves those things aren’t required. Where has God placed you? Are you reluctant to shine (Matthew 5:14)?
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, December 20, 2020.
When times are frightening and uncertain – whether personally, nationally, or globally – the place to find comfort and assurance is the Bible, especially the book of Psalms. Scripture helps us look at circumstances from God’s perspective. That reassures us of His love and care for us and lifts our eyes to a higher hope than anything this world can offer. We all want to find peace, and the first step is to cease striving (v. 10). Remember that the Lord is always with you, and know that His kingdom is coming.
Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, November 10, 2020.