Reach for His Hand
The LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you. – DEUTERONOMY 31:8
Once many years ago when I was going through a dark period I prayed and prayed, but the heavens seemed to be brass. I felt as though God had disappeared and that I was alone with my trial and burden. It was a dark night for my soul.
I wrote my mother about the experience and will never forget her reply: “Son, there are many times when God withdraws to test your faith. He wants you to trust Him in the darkness. Now, Son, reach up by faith in the fog and you will find that His hand will be there.” In tears I knelt by my bed and experienced an overwhelming sense of God’s presence.
Whether or not we feel God’s presence when our way seems dark, by faith we know He is there. You can stake your life on His promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Heb. 13:5).
DEVOTIONAL BY CHARLES STANLEY – ON HOLY GROUND
Your Source of Hope
As the deer pants for the water brooks, so pants my soul for You, O God. – Psalm 42:1
Hope brings an anticipation of blessing. We live in hope of our wedding day, the birth of a child or grandchild. We have hope over graduation from college or the day we can finally place a “Dr.” in front of our names. There are as many reasons to hope as there are people.
To know hope, you must endure times of hopelessness. Hope represents an end to desperate longing—a need that begs to be satisfied and in the end is fulfilled. When hope burns within your heart, it cries out to be heard.
The psalmist declared, “As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God… My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’”). What is your hope, your dream, the cry of your heart? Take a moment and go to Jesus with your deepest, most earnest plea. The psalmist cried out, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me?” Nothing is known about the man’s struggle other than that it was critical to him.
Realize that whatever is important to you is even more important to the Lord. Let Him be your Source of hope for the future.
DEVOTIONAL FROM JESUS CALLING – SARAH YOUNG
Always By Your Side
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” – ISAIAH 41 : 13
I am involved in each moment of your life. I have carefully mapped out every inch of your journey through this day, even though much of it may feel haphazard. Because the world is in a fallen condition, things always seem to be unraveling around the edges. Expect to find trouble in this day. At the same time, trust that My way is perfect, even in the midst of such messy imperfection.
Stay conscious of Me as you go through this day, remembering that I never leave your side. Let the Holy Spirit guide you step by step, protecting you from unnecessary trials and equipping you to get through whatever must be endured. As you trudge through the sludge of this fallen world, keep your mind in heavenly places with Me. Thus the Light of My Presence shines on you, giving you Peace and Joy that circumstances cannot touch.
The Great Commission
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God? 3 My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?” 4 These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One[d] with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.
5 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
6 My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar. 7 Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
8 By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me— a prayer to the God of my life.
9 I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?” 10 My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
DEVOTIONAL BY OSWALD CHAMBERS – MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST
Out of the Wreck I Rise
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? —Romans 8:35
God does not keep His child immune from trouble; He promises, “I will be with him in trouble . . .” (Psalm 91:15). It doesn’t matter how real or intense the adversities may be; nothing can ever separate him from his relationship to God. “In all these things we are more than conquerors . . .” (Romans 8:37). Paul was not referring here to imaginary things, but to things that are dangerously real. And he said we are “super-victors” in the midst of them, not because of our own ingenuity, nor because of our courage, but because none of them affects our essential relationship with God in Jesus Christ. I feel sorry for the Christian who doesn’t have something in the circumstances of his life that he wishes were not there.
“Shall tribulation . . . ?” Tribulation is never a grand, highly welcomed event; but whatever it may be— whether exhausting, irritating, or simply causing some weakness— it is not able to “separate us from the love of Christ.” Never allow tribulations or the “cares of this world” to separate you from remembering that God loves you (Matthew 13:22).
“Shall . . . distress . . . ?” Can God’s love continue to hold fast, even when everyone and everything around us seems to be saying that His love is a lie, and that there is no such thing as justice?
“Shall . . . famine . . . ?” Can we not only believe in the love of God but also be “more than conquerors,” even while we are being starved?
Either Jesus Christ is a deceiver, having deceived even Paul, or else some extraordinary thing happens to someone who holds on to the love of God when the odds are totally against him. Logic is silenced in the face of each of these things which come against him. Only one thing can account for it— the love of God in Christ Jesus. “Out of the wreck I rise” every time.