Psalms

God alone

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He alone is my rock and my salvation,

my stronghold; I will not be shaken.

My salvation and glory depend on God;

my strong rock, my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, you people;

pour out your hearts before Him.

God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:6-8

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Obstacles as Opportunities

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Learning to see obstacles as opportunities takes time. 

Recalling certain truths can help our perspective:

GOD IS AT WORK.  As barriers remain in place and our situation seems unchanged, God is orchestrating people and events to move His plan forward.  He works silently, invisibly, and effectively.

GOD PREPARES THE WAY.  He has already decided in His mind which hindrances to remove and which to leave unaltered.  For the obstacles that remain, the Lord will arrange a way around them or fit them into His plan.  What He has determined will be accomplished.

GOD REQUIRES OUR COOPERATION.  He wants us to be ready to face difficult situations.  Through His Word, He communicates what we need to know and also equips us (Hebrews 13:20-21).

GOD IS PERSONALLY INVOLVED.  He wants to develop in us a greater sensitivity to His presence.  Through Scripture, prayer, and other believers, we can receive the assurance that the Lord is near.

GOD GIVES CLEAR INSTRUCTION.  He does not bring confusion.  Whether we receive His direction in stages or all at once, He asks us to trust in Him rather than our own thinking (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Facing challenges involves courage, patience, and faith.  It takes courage to accept the presence of barriers, to move in step with God, and to do what He asks.  Patience is required as we wait for Him to equip us and reveal His plan.  Faith is necessary for us to trust God with the outcome and to focus on obeying Him.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, August 15, 2017.

Becoming Whole

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Romans 8:33-39

Modern society has many “solutions” for unhappiness.  For example, a lot of people turn to prestige, love, or various substances to counteract emotional emptiness, but the happiness these things offer soon drains out again.  Only God’s transforming power can change someone with a broken spirit into a content Christ follower who understands his or her value.

To find wholeness, a person must start by receiving Jesus Christ as Savior-the sin that stands between him and God has to be removed.  Then, with the Holy Spirit’s strength, he will be able to find the courage to confront past disappointments, hurts, and sins that may have contributed to his feeling unworthy of the Lord’s love.

Someone with a sense of wholeness feels satisfied with life.  He knows he is loved, which leads to a good self-image and the ability to love others.  Hardship is inevitable in this world, but it doesn’t devastate him or cause him to grumble or cast blame.  Why?  Because the born-again believer knows that God has promised to work everything out for his good (Romans 8:28).

In contrast, someone who feels fragmented or empty often has the opposite experience.  He may look okay on the outside while struggling within.  This can be the case with Christians who haven’t learned to experience God’s love.  In fact, I (Charles Stanley) was a pastor for several decades before I really felt the Father’s love for me; only then did I become truly complete.

The Lord will make His love known to believers who ask.  And through it comes the wholeness they have been seeking.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, March 26, 2017.

Lean on Me

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Many people think that when God comforts us, our hardships should go away.  But if that were always so, people would turn to God only to be relieved of pain and not out of love for Him.  We must understand that comfort can also mean receiving strength, encouragement, and hope to deal with hardships.  The more we suffer, the more comfort God gives us.  If you are feeling overwhelmed, allow God to comfort you.  Remember that every trial you endure will later become an opportunity to minister to other people suffering similar hardships.

If you have a need today, take it to your Father in heaven knowing that His grace is sufficient for you.  Trust Him for how that grace will be manifested.

Commentary from: The One Year NIV Devotional New Testament, April 16 (Tyndale House Publishers, 2003), and Turning Points Magazine and Devotional, by Dr. David Jeremiah, April 15/16.