DEVOTIONAL BY BILLY GRAHAM – HOPE FOR EACH DAY
Unload Your Distress
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1 PETER 5:7
I’ve been told that the French translation of this phrase, “Cast all your care upon Him” is “Unload your distresses upon God.” Have you ever seen a dump truck get rid of its load? The driver simply pushes a button or pulls on a lever and the heavy load is discharged at the prescribed spot. The truck would be of no use if it carried its burden forever.
We were never meant to be crushed under the weight of care. We can push the button of faith or pull the lever of trust, and our burden is discharged upon the shoulder of Him who said He would gladly bear it. Unload the anxieties of the present moment upon Him, for He cares for you. If He loved you enough to take away the burden of your sins, can’t you trust Him to take away every lesser burden as well?
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. – Hebrews 4:14
The Hebrew Christians were wavering in their faith, and thoughts of returning to their former ways of worship were both tempting and inviting. Along with that came the enticement to return to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices. There they could see the priest performing the ritual duties of the priesthood, which were the very tangible elements they missed in their new faith.
Those people were facing the same temptation we face each day, and that was to place their trust in what was visible rather than invisible. But faith is not a matter of seeing and then believing. It is a matter of trusting God, regardless of whether or not He shows us something.
The great men and women of the Bible trusted God not because He provided material evidence of His existence, though He did that on many occasions, but because He was faithful and true in His nature. A benefit of faith is watching God work in the circumstances of our lives to bring about the answers to our prayers. He is ever mindful of those who follow Him.
An even greater benefit of trusting God is developing an intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the foundation of our faith. He is our great High Priest, and because of His death at Calvary, there is no longer a need to travel anywhere other than to Him in prayer.
DEVOTIONAL FROM POSTCARDS FROM HEAVEN – CLAIRE CLONINGER
Leave Tomorrow In My Hands
There are two ways you can go about the business of our life. You can be stressed and anxious and crippled with worries. Or you can trust that I am in control, working in your circumstances, and you can be free!
Why is trust so difficult for you? Why do you worry about menus and calories and grams of fat? Why do you fret about styles and fashions and pulling together the right wardrobe? Life is so much more than food. Your body is so much more important than the clothes you put on it every morning.
Look up. See the birds? They have never made a grocery list or counted a calorie, and yet they are fed. Find a field filled with flowers. Spend an hour gazing at their beauty. Do you think they are worried about what’s in style this year or what goes with what? Now, if I take care of birds and flowers, can’t you believe that I will take care of you? It is the godless person who worries about these things. But you are my own child. Seek my kingdom, and I’ll provide for you. Leave tomorrow in my hands.
I love you. – God
Do Not Worry
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul;
2 in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one whose hope is in you
will ever be put to shame,
but they will be put to shame
who are treacherous without excuse.
4 Show me your ways, O Lord,
teach me your paths;
5 guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, O Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you are good, O Lord.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Dependent On God’s Presence
Those who wait on the Lord . . . shall walk and not faint —Isaiah 40:31
There is no thrill for us in walking, yet it is the test for all of our steady and enduring qualities. To “walk and not faint” is the highest stretch possible as a measure of strength. The word walk is used in the Bible to express the character of a person— “. . . John . . . looking at Jesus as He walked. . . said, ’Behold the Lamb of God!’ ” (John 1:35-36). There is nothing abstract or obscure in the Bible; everything is vivid and real. God does not say, “Be spiritual,” but He says, “Walk before Me. . .” (Genesis 17:1).
When we are in an unhealthy condition either physically or emotionally, we always look for thrills in life. In our physical life this leads to our efforts to counterfeit the work of the Holy Spirit; in our emotional life it leads to obsessions and to the destruction of our morality; and in our spiritual life, if we insist on pursuing only thrills, on mounting up “with wings like eagles” (Isaiah 40:31), it will result in the destruction of our spirituality.
Having the reality of God’s presence is not dependent on our being in a particular circumstance or place, but is only dependent on our determination to keep the Lord before us continually. Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence. The experience the psalmist speaks of— “We will not fear, even though . . .” (Psalm 46:2)— will be ours once we are grounded on the truth of the reality of God’s presence, not just a simple awareness of it, but an understanding of the reality of it. Then we will exclaim, “He has been here all the time!”
At critical moments in our lives it is necessary to ask God for guidance, but it should be unnecessary to be constantly saying, “Oh, Lord, direct me in this, and in that.” Of course He will, and in fact, He is doing it already! If our everyday decisions are not according to His will, He will press through them, bringing restraint to our spirit. Then we must be quiet and wait for the direction of His presence.