DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Peace in the Storm
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace. – ROMANS 15:13
A wonderful old hymn says, “He gives us peace in the midst of a storm.”
In life we face all kinds of storms. We usually think of the personal “storms” that come our way—financial worries, problems in our marriage or family, illness, the betrayal of a friend, and so forth. But we face other kinds of storms that threaten to engulf us also: storms of materialism, storms of secularism, storms of moral degeneracy, storms of injustice, terrorism, and war.
Do you remember the violent storm that came upon Jesus and His disciples one night on the Sea of Galilee? His disciples grew panicky—but Jesus stayed fast asleep. He was at peace because He knew God was in control. He was at peace also because He was sovereign over the storm, and He knew it would vanish at His Word: “Peace, be still!” (Mark 4:39).
His Word still calms the turmoil in our lives. Is some storm making you fearful today? Stay close to Jesus, for His Word brings peace.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Encouragement for a Troubled Heart
Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. – Psalm 138:7
When Ruth Graham, wife of evangelist Billy Graham, was sent to a North Korean school as a young girl, she wrestled with loneliness and discouragement. Her missionary parents were hundreds of miles away—an especially frightening thought for an adolescent reared in a loving, Christian environment.
Alone and afraid, Ruth Graham learned a lesson that has befriended her for life: “In missionary school I learned to turn to the Bible for comfort and encouragement,” she reflected. “Through the years I have continued that practice, and it has brought me more encouragement than any other source.”
The words of Scripture are not only for instruction and correction but also for encouragement. If your heart is troubled, open your Bible. Read the God-breathed utterances given to uplift and sustain you.
Look at the lives of Old and New Testament characters, and trust in the unchanging God to work His wonder on your behalf. The Bible speaks peace. It is steeped in love. It is aglow with hope. Its words are living and vital, true bread and water for the weak and afflicted.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Do Not Give Up
Do not give up. Do not feel defeated or hopeless or down on yourself. It’s true that the awkward circumstances of what is happening look grim to you. It’s true that the outward circumstances of what is happening look grim to you. It’s true that the world feels dreary and dismal tonight, and you feel tired. But don’t dwell on the outward things, on your physical surroundings or the particulars of this situation. These outward things are actually in the process of deteriorating and passing away right before your eyes.
Your life on this planet only lasts a moment. But you yourself are eternal. You are forever because your real life is in me and I am in you. Your body may be aging, but your spirit is “youthening”! As you dwell in me, your spirit person is being vitalized and energized and given new vision.
All the piddling trivia you’re wrestling with is but a blink of my eye. All the difficulties and heartaches you’re struggling with are already in the process of being formed by my hand into a glory that is beyond your comprehension – a glory that is eternal. So don’t keep your eyes glued to the frustrations or the heartaches; lift your eyes to me. See me with your spirit and believe my voice within you now. I’m more real than anything your eyes can see. I am more powerful than anything your hands can touch. I am more lasting than anything your senses can perceive.
I am real life!
Jesus Calms the Storm
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart;
before the “gods” I will sing your praise.
2 I will bow down toward your holy temple
and will praise your name
for your love and your faithfulness,
for you have exalted above all things
your name and your word.
3 When I called, you answered me;
you made me bold and stouthearted.
4 May all the kings of the earth praise you, O LORD,
when they hear the words of your mouth.
5 May they sing of the ways of the LORD,
for the glory of the LORD is great.
6 Though the LORD is on high, he looks upon the lowly,
but the proud he knows from afar.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve my life;
you stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes,
with your right hand you save me.
8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love, O LORD, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Discipline of Spiritual Perseverance
Be still, and know that I am God . . . —Psalm 46:10
Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen. Perseverance means more than just hanging on, which may be only exposing our fear of letting go and falling. Perseverance is our supreme effort of refusing to believe that our hero is going to be conquered. Our greatest fear is not that we will be damned, but that somehow Jesus Christ will be defeated. Also, our fear is that the very things our Lord stood for— love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness among men— will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.
If our hopes seem to be experiencing disappointment right now, it simply means that they are being purified. Every hope or dream of the human mind will be fulfilled if it is noble and of God. But one of the greatest stresses in life is the stress of waiting for God. He brings fulfillment, “because you have kept My command to persevere . . .” (Revelation 3:10).
Continue to persevere spiritually.