Check Your Balances


We see it regularly, banks advertising all of the convenient ways to check your account balances.  Perhaps you need to take a moment today to check your balances in another sense.  There’s the private you and the public you, and one of the secrets to good mental health is keeping the two balanced.  Jesus ministered to the multitudes, and then He withdrew to the wilderness to be alone.  Few of us want to be monks or nuns who retreat to desolate cells to adopt vows of silence.  But if we’re always surrounded by noise and people, we’ll not have the necessary quiet to recharge our batteries and remain fresh and strong.

Our need for independence is balanced by our need for interaction, and our craving for solitude is matched by a need for society.

If you’re too much alone, do something about it today.  Volunteer.  Make a phone call.  Invite someone to tea.  Get out and go to church.  Knock down your neighbor’s door with a plate of cookies.  Just kidding 😉 !  Knock ON your neighbor’s door with a plate of cookies.

If you’re too rushed and busy, slow down a little.  Take time for Bible reading.  Take a little stroll through the park with your Bible in hand, and find a sunny bench to sit and read awhile.  Take heed to yourself-and check your balances.

Commentary from Dr. David Jeremiah, Pathways devotional, August 7.



The doctrine of providence teaches Christians that they are never in the grip of blind forces (fortune, chance, luck, fate); all that happens to them is divinely planned, and each event comes as a new summons to trust, obey, and rejoice, knowing that all is for one’s spiritual and eternal good (Romans 8:28).

Commentary from Concise Theology, p. 56, by J. I. Packer.  Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.  1993

Obstacles as Opportunities


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.