In the Time of Trouble
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you. Psalm 55
22 Years ago I came across this oft-quoted prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” This prayer expresses an important thought; one we should all pray—and live. Some things in life cannot be changed—and some can. Some things God has given to us as fixed realities that we must accept. And some things He would have us not accept, but (with His help) work to change. If we fail to do both of these—to accept some things and
work to change others—we will end up burdened with worry, undeserved guilt, and frustration. Someone once said, “Worry is the interest paid on trouble before it comes due.” Instead, God would have us learn to trust Him. “Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you.”
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
As the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:5
In only his second start since returning to the San Francisco Giants following cancer surgery on his left arm, Dave Dravecky crumpled to the mound in the early innings. The cancer-weakened bone in his arm had snapped. Further surgery was required, and baseball became his pastime. His faith in Christ sustained him through the countless trips for treatment and the uncertainty of his future and health. He autographed each baseball picture featuring his long stride and cocked arm with Paul’s statement of confidence to
the Corinthians. “My wife and I have committed these verses to memory,” he said. “We realize that our life on earth is temporary and our circumstances and afflictions, however severe, are still light and fleeting when viewed from the perspective of eternity.” You need not lose heart in your heartaches. God is working through your trials in a mysterious but productive manner. As you place your focus on His eternal presence, you will have sure and sturdy hope. Dave Dravecky has enduring hope. You, too, can be encouraged, knowing that God is in control of your life, both here and hereafter. His hand is loving, steady, and
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
I Will Heal Your Wounds
Dear child of mine,
Look back on the years of your growing up, and my eyes can see all the times and situations in which you were hurt, whether intentionally or unintentionally. I can hear the wounding words and see the harmful deeds, and I know the scars you carry in your personality because of them. Sometimes the very people you looked to for love and affection were the ones who wounded you the most. Sometimes they were members of your own family!
But hear me now, my child. Though they have wounded you, I will never wound you. Though they have let you down, I will never let you down. Though their wounds and
deeds have harmed you, I speak to you words of hope and healing. I reach out to you with justice and kindness and love. I am constantly thinking of you, my child. You are always with me. I cannot forget you for one moment. See, I have written your name on the palms of my hand. Come now and let me heal the wounds of your childhood.
Your loving Abba, God
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet
1 Jesus spoke to them again in parables, saying: 2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. 3 He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come.
4 “Then he sent some more servants and said, ‘Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet.’
5 “But they paid no attention and went off—one to his field, another to his business. 6 The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. 7 The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.
8 “Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. 9 So go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find.’ 10 So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, the bad as well as the good, and the wedding hall was filled with guests.
11 “But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not hearing wedding clothes. 12 He asked, ‘How did you get in here without wedding clothes, friend?’ The man was speechless.
13 “Then the king told the attendants, ‘Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside, into
the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ 14 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Theology of Resting in God
Why are you fearful, O you of little faith? —Matthew 8:26
When we are afraid, the least we can do is pray to God. But our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His name have an underlying confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable.
Yet our trust is only in God up to a certain point, then we turn back to the elementary panic-stricken prayers of those people who do not even know God. We come to our wits’ end, showing that we don’t have even the slightest amount of confidence in Him or in His sovereign control of the world. To us He seems to be asleep, and we can see nothing but giant, breaking waves on the sea ahead of us.
“. . . O you of little faith!” What a stinging pain must have shot through the disciples as they surely thought to themselves, “We missed the mark again!” And what a sharp pain will go through us when we suddenly realize that we could have produced complete and
utter joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, in spite of what we were facing.
There are times when there is no storm or crisis in our lives, and we do all that is humanly possible. But it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to place our trust in Him, the crisis will reveal that we can go to the point of breaking, yet without breaking our confidence in Him.
We have been talking quite a lot about sanctification, but what will be the result in our lives? It will be expressed in our lives as a peaceful resting in God, which means a total
oneness with Him. And this oneness will make us not only blameless in His sight, but also a profound joy to Him.