DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Rest for the Weary
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. – MATTHEW 11:28
Few people know how to rest these days. Even on vacation, many people rush to cram in as much as they can before returning to their jobs, where they spend twice as much energy catching up on the work and mail that has piled up in their absence. Many of us need vacations just to rest from our vacations! Perhaps we have been looking for rest in the wrong places.
Jesus said “Come to me … and I will give you rest.” Like peace, rest and contentment can be found only in one place, from one source, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus gives us the ultimate rest, the confidence we need, to escape the frustration and chaos of the world around us. Rest in Him and don’t worry about what lies ahead. Jesus Christ has already taken care of tomorrow.
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
God’s Message to You
I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11
God’s message to you is always consistent with His Word. Therefore, the apostle Paul instructed the churches to read and study God’s Word, knowing it would produce an abundance of righteousness: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16 NASB).
Early believers didn’t have the Scriptures as we know them. They had the Law of Moses and the words of the prophets. Letters (our books of the New Testament) from the apostles were circulated to the churches who taught the words and principles of Christ. Paul knew if the people studied them, they would be equipped to face all temptation and trouble.
Many times we face emergencies that leave us little time to go to the Scriptures and hunt for God’s answer. However, when we study God’s Word, we have the spiritual tools needed to face the conflict.
You may be facing a deep personal loss. God wants you to know He is a God of comfort (2 Cor. 1:3). He has a plan for your life that goes past the immediate hurt (Jer. 29:11). Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, because it will be rewarded (Heb. 10:35).
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Sometimes you feel that no one understands what you are going through. Even those closest to you don’t seem to comprehend or care. I want you to know today that you are not alone. For I have given you more than a savior, more than a distant and ethereal high priest who exists above all human experience. I have given you a friend who has walked through his human life before you.
How well he understands your breaking heart! How well he knows what it is to be beaten back by fatigue, plagued by enemies, misunderstood by friends. Whatever you are struggling with today, he has struggled with that same emotion or feeling. Whatever your temptation, he was tempted that way, too. Wherever your feet are on the journey, his footprints are in the road ahead of you.
Never again do I want you to say that no one understands. Jesus Christ understands, and because he sits at my right hand, day and night interceding for you, I am constantly being reminded of your plight. I encourage you, my child, to come into my presence with boldness and confidence. Tell me what’s going on. I have mercy for your sins and grace to uplift you when you are hurting.
You see, I understand, too. – God.
Rest for the Weary
25 At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
1 Keep me safe, O God,
for in you I take refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 As for the saints who are in the land,
they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight.[b]
4 The sorrows of those will increase
who run after other gods.
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand,
I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made[e] known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
The Teaching of Adversity
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world —John 16:33
The typical view of the Christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity. But it actually means being delivered in adversity, which is something very different. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. No evil shall befall you, nor shall any plague come near your dwelling . . .” (Psalm 91:1,10)— the place where you are at one with God.
If you are a child of God, you will certainly encounter adversities, but Jesus says you should not be surprised when they come. “In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” He is saying, “There is nothing for you to fear.” The same people who refused to talk about their adversities before they were saved often complain and worry after being born again because they have the wrong idea of what it means to live the life of a saint.
God does not give us overcoming life— He gives us life as we overcome. The strain of life is what builds our strength. If there is no strain, there will be no strength. Are you asking God to give you life, liberty, and joy? He cannot, unless you are willing to accept the strain. And once you face the strain, you will immediately get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the first step. Then God will give you nourishment— “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life . . .” (Revelation 2:7). If you completely give of yourself physically, you become exhausted. But when you give of yourself spiritually, you get more strength. God never gives us strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the moment. Our temptation is to face adversities from the standpoint of our own common sense. But a saint can “be of good cheer” even when seemingly defeated by adversities, because victory is absurdly impossible to everyone, except God.