Strong

Your strength


Staying focused on the Lord can be hard. The flesh prefers to seek security by thinking through all possible angles. Our tendency is to weigh what we think could happen against what “experts” say will happen, and then to evaluate possible ways of preventing our worst fears from coming true. Instead of becoming more confident, we begin to realize how powerless we are. Thankfully, we serve an almighty God who says, “Surely I will help you”. We can count on Him. By focusing on our circumstances, we’re actually choosing to feel anxiety and doubt. But these emotions don’t belong in a believer’s daily life. Instead, trust in the promises God has given us. He’s filled His Word with scriptural anchors to keep His children steady in the faith.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, May 29, 2019.

Resisting Compromise

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King Solomon’s life illustrated the peril of compromise (1 Kings 11:1-7).  Concession begins in a seemingly insignificant way.  For instance, someone might want you to make a financial decision that you know in your heart is unwise.  But you go along with the plan because you don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings.  You have compromised the message of the Holy Spirit, who warned you.

Small compromises lead to more serious ones.  With each successive concession, our conscience is weakened.  Ultimately, whenever we give way to evil – whether we let go of a doctrinal belief or simply listen to music that taints our thoughts – we always lose.

We compromise for a variety of reasons.  Many do so from fear of rejection or of being unappreciated.  Some choose this route to avoid conflict.  Still others may begin to doubt God’s trustworthiness or goodness; as a result, they give up on Him, compromising their basic beliefs and undermining their reason for assurance.

To be men and women who are strong enough to resist making concessions, we need to develop some essential armor.  First, we must have strong convictions about the Bible and depend on it as a guide for daily living.  Next, we need to have faith in God’s promise to supply all of our needs.  Finally, we must find the courage to trust in Him, even when we are misunderstood, persecuted, or falsely accused.  When we surrender our life to God, He replaces enslavement to compromise with security in Him.

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, January 29, 2018

Treasure

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The first battle between faith and reason took place in the Garden of Eden.  Spurred on by the serpent’s lies, Eve began to look at her situation from a purely logical perspective and decided that God was cheating her out of something good.  Her faith faltered as “reasonable” thoughts of self-interest filled her mind (Gen. 3:4-6).

I am not saying that the way of faith is never logical, but if we operate only on the basis of reason, a conflict with the Lord is inevitable.  That is because His instructions and actions don’t always appear reasonable from a human perspective.  Although Isaiah 55:8-9 describes God’s thoughts and ways as higher than man’s, some people believe they know better than He does.

Paul emphasizes this by pointing out that God’s choices can come across as illogical by the world’s standards-His message of salvation seems foolish, and His messengers appear weak and unimpressive (1 Corin. 1:20-21).  In an age that thrives on recognition, admiration, and importance, a person who believes the Bible is considered a weakling in need of a religious crutch to cope with life.  But God’s Word explains the paradox:  Recognizing their helplessness, believers lean on Christ so He can raise them to stand with Him in righteousness.

That day in Eden, sin and self-importance entered the human heart.  But all the worldly wisdom that fuels our pride is nullified by God.  He is looking not for great and impressive people but for weak, humble servants who can boast only in Christ.  The Savior alone is their strength and wisdom.

That is a believer’s great treasure.

 

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch Devotional, December 3, 2016.