Maranatha Devotionals

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Weariness comes when we take our eyes of our true mission in life – our true goal – and place them on the world’s circumstances. You have to admit this is true! Any time that I find that I just can’t go on one more minute, one more step, it is because I have looked at my life and I am dissatisfied.

Dissatisfaction is probably one of the primary reasons we get discouraged and weary. We think to ourselves, “What if…” and then off we go into the fields of dissatisfaction. This story really hit the nail on the head and I hope it is a blessing to you!

Great Story

Two men went fishing. One man was an experienced fisherman, the other wasn’t. Every time the experienced fisherman caught a big fish, he put it in his ice chest to keep it fresh. Whenever the inexperienced fisherman caught a big fish, he threw it back.

The experienced fisherman watched this go on all day and finally got tired of seeing this man waste good fish.

“Why do you keep throwing back all the big fish you catch?” he asked.

The inexperienced fisherman replied, “I only have a small frying pan.”

Sometimes, like that fisherman, we throw back the big plans, the big dreams, the big jobs and the big opportunities that God gives us. Our faith is too small. We laugh at that fisherman who didn’t figure out that all he needed was a bigger frying pan; yet how ready are we to increase the size of our faith?

Whether it’s a problem or a possibility, God will never give you anything bigger than you can handle. That means we can confidently walk into anything God brings our way.

You can do all things through Christ (Philippians 4:13). Nothing is too big for God.

Stop telling God you’ve got big problems. Tell your problems that you’ve got a big God!
~Author Unknown~

Training Our Thought Life

Train your thought life to meditate on God’s abilities, not yours! After all, He is the one that knows all things. He is the God of Glory, the Creator and Mighty King! Can He not take care of every detail in your life? Do you think He doesn’t know how weary you are? Look toward the mark and press forward, my friend! One day, you too will hear:

~Matthew 25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

© Kate Plourde 2009

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals

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~Psalm 16:8-9 I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. ( 8 ) Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. (9)

My Eyes

It has been my experience that weariness can be the result of what my eyes rest upon. As I was in Psalms this morning, I noticed that God was David’s priority (vs. 8 ). This verse says that he placed God always before him.

As well, David continued to say that God was at his right hand. The right hand was and is still considered the stronger hand for most people. As I see it, if I keep God in the proper position in my life, God will be on my strong side. God will keep me from falling.

Assurance
The end result of this assurance and security produces a glad heart within – my spirit is glad and I can rejoice because of this assurance and security. Therefore, my heart/my spirit is glad and I am able to physically rest. We all know how stress harms us physically. It affects our heart, our blood pressure, etc. However, if I keep God always before me – I have assurance and security – He is my strength – I keep that stress from affecting me physically.

The Cure
I found a cure in these two verses today – I must set my priorities! God must be first – God must be the center of my life – God must be my focus.

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals

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Great Story

One night at a small church in Atlanta, Georgia, a man shared how he had become a Christian while in Sydney, Australia.

“I was at the street corner in Kings Cross,” the man began, “when I felt a tug on my sleeve. Turning, I found myself face to face with a street bum. Before I could say anything, the man simply asked me, ‘Mister, if you were to die tonight, where would you spend eternity?'” “That question troubled me over the next three weeks,” the man continued. “I had to find an answer, and I ended up giving my life to Christ.”

The pastor of the Atlanta church was amazed that a man on a street corner could have such an impact. But imagine his amazement when, three years later, another man came to his church and gave an almost identical testimony. He, too, had been at Kings Cross in Sydney when a derelict had pulled on his sleeve and then asked him, “If you were to die tonight, where would you spend eternity?” This second man, also haunted by the street bum’s question, eventually sought and found an answer in Jesus.

Shortly after hearing the second testimony, the pastor of that small church in Atlanta had to be in Sydney for a missions conference. On one of his nights off, he went to Kings Cross to see if he could find the man who had been mentioned at his church by two different people. Pausing on a street corner to look for someone like the street bum he’d heard about, he felt a tug at his jacket. He turned, and before the poor old man could say anything, the pastor blurted out, “I know what you’re going to ask me! You’re going to ask me if I were to die tonight, where would I spend eternity?”

The man was stunned. “How did you know that?” he inquired. The pastor told him the whole story. When he finished, the man started to cry. “Mister,” he said, “10 years ago I gave my life to Jesus, and I wanted to do something for Him. But a man like me can’t do much of anything. So I decided I would just hang out on this corner and ask people that simple question. I’ve been doing that for years, mister, but tonight is the first time Ever that I knew it did anybody any good.”
God calls us not to be successful, but to be faithful in following where He leads. We need to obey God even when we can’t see whether it does any good or makes a difference in someone else’s life. I encourage you to stay faithful to the Lord even when things don’t make sense and be sensitive to that still small voice because that is the Lord leading you to where He wants you to be. (1 Kings 19:11-12)

~Author Unknown~

Don’t Quit

No matter what you are doing for the Lord, don’t quit! You may not see the results this side of Heaven, but one day you will!

© Kate Plourde 2009

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals

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Weariness can rear its ugly head in different forms. Sometimes we feel as though not a soul cares about what we are going through. At times, we feel as though we are totally alone, even though we have family and friends all around us!

Since the Holy Spirit resides within the born-again believer, then we are never alone!

Verses to Encourage

These verses totally blessed me! They are necter for the weary!

But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. ~Isaiah 43:1

And he said, My presence shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest. ~Exodus 33:14

He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. ~Psalm 112:7

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. ~Psalm 32:8

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. ~Matthew 11:28

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ~John 14:27

Wallowing in the Slough of Despond

Granted, you may not be feeling afraid. But weariness can bring about fear if you allow it to progress. When we wallow in the Slough of Despond, we allow ole slew foot an opportunity to discourage us further. Don’t let your thoughts wander where the devil would have you. Instead, encourage your spirit in the Word and know that God sees you, He knows your needs, He has called you by name and has pormised to guide you with His eye!

© Kate Plourde 2009

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals, Encouragement

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Do you find yourself feeling as though all the work you are doing for the Lord just does not seem appreciated – or even of benefit? You strive to help others but they just ignore your help. People take advantage of you and you feel used. You seem to have reached your limit and you are weary of well doing. You are not alone, dear Christian. We all reach that point at some time or another. It is important that you recognize the signs and nip them in the bud before the weariness overtakes you.

Noah Webster defines weary as:

WEARY, a.

1. Having the strength much exhausted by toil or violent exertion; tired; fatigued. [It should be observed however that this word expresses less than tired, particularly when applied to a beast; as a tired horse. It is followed by of, before the cause of fatigue; as, to be weary of marching; to be weary of reaping; to be weary of study.]

2. Having the patience exhausted, or the mind yielding to discouragement. He was weary of asking for redress.

3. Causing weariness; tiresome; as a weary way; a weary life.

If you were sick, you would take a day off from work and rest, wouldn’t you? Weariness can “snow ball” if it is not dealt with right away. It is at this time that we must break away from the hustle and bustle of this world and find a quiet place with the Lord. We need to refuel ourselves and get ourselves back on track.

Rewards

I don’t know about you, but I feel most rewarded when I know that God is using me. I may not see the fruit of my labor but the Holy Spirit lets me know through His Word or His still small voice that I am being used to help someone else.

~Psalm 61:2 From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Remedy

So what’s the remedy? Take a personal day off work and get away to a quiet place that you absolutely love. If you can’t afford an entire day, then purpose in your heart to get up early and take a few extra hours alone with God! Don’t just go into your study or bedroom. Get away from your familiar surroundings. A botanical gardens is always nice – or the woods – or a pond or lake where the ducks are swimming – or even at the top of a mountain where the vista takes your breath away! Take your Bible with you and have a “sit down” with God. It should be different from your usual prayer time and devotional time with Him. It should be special – just as special as the dates with your spouse!

Just as our cars need maintenance and fuel regularly, so do we! Daily Bible reading is good but this kind of “sit down” with the Lord is needful at times. It is especially needful if you are in full-time ministry and are on the go all the time. Those in full-time ministry are always so busy working for the Lord that everyone thinks they should always be on a “spiritual high” for their well doing. But that is not the case. Those are the people who get weary and must make time with their God and have a spiritual retreat regularly.

Retreats in the Word

Spiritual retreats seemed to be the center of David’s life, in my opinion. He knew where to get his encouragement, didn’t he? Psalms is filled with beautiful verses depicting David’s needs being met because he sought his God!

~Psalm 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and have respect unto thy ways.

David took the time to meditate in God’s Word. Sometimes an outside stimulous can enhance our meditation time. For me, it is a quiet place in the woods! I hear the crickets and birds – the sound of a babbling brook – the breeze blowing through the trees and hearing the leaves rustle. All these things draw me closer to my Creator!

My friend, you are not alone in your work for the Master! He will be coming soon and our work here will be finished. Don’t grow weary. Encourage your spirit in the Word and keep on keepin’ on!
© Kate Plourde 2009

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals

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It is vital for a Christian to protect his eyes or he will find himself growing weary in his walk. I’m not talking about protecting one’s eyes from things we should not be looking at (like unsightly billboards) but from looking at our life’s circumstances.

It is when we look at our own circumstances that we become dissatisfied and we then begin to covet. We become jealous of others who are not stricken with the illness that we have. We hear ourselves saying, “Others cannot know what I am going through because they do not have the problems that I have.” The moment we take our eyes off the Lord and place them on our problems, we will grow weary.

~1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Did you notice the reference to the “lust of the eyes”? You may wonder what this has to do with the topic of growing weary. When we begin to look at what we feel is wrong in our lives, it is very easy to become covetous. Ole slew foot will be sure to kick you when you’re down, my friend! He will make sure that the grass you are looking at on the other side of that fence will appear to be a whole lot greener than your own! You will become resentful of your lot in life and you will desire what others have. You may not covet their belongings, but you will resent your own life for not being like theirs – what appears to be care free.

Why do I have to be the one who is sick when Jean Jones seems to have everything in life?” This statement is a direct result of the lust of the eyes. This person would not notice that Jean seems to have everything in life if she had not looked at her own circumstances and compared them with Jean’s.


Changing Our View

It is critical that we change how we view our circumstances. God’s Word teaches us how to do this. Use your eyes to focus on someone else’s needs rather than your own. Allow God to let you be a blessing to someone else. God can see when a need must be met and if you allow Him, He will use you to meet a need. Have you heard the statement, “God wants you to be Jesus with skin on”? We have the Holy Spirit residing within us and His goal is to mold us into the image of Jesus Christ. Allow the Holy Spirit to use you – each time you do, you become more and more like Christ.  When we yield ourselves to the Spirit’s will, God is glorified.

God would be glorified if He healed you right now or took away whatever trial you are experiencing.  However, God may receive more glory by allowing you to go through the trial to help others.

So, where should you start? Look within your own church family. Look for those who are lonely or hurting. Often times they are the ones who are quiet and probably do not get the opportunity to fellowship with others very much. They are sadly left out for one reason or another.

~1 John 4:7-12, Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Our church has a membership directory and it is a good place to start. Take your church’s directory and write little facts you know beside each member. For example: Jane Smith has chemo from June through August; John Green is a recent widower and has no family living nearby; Mary is caring for her invalid mother; Susie’s husband is not saved and she does not get much Christian fellowship with other ladies, etc. If you personally do not know what the needs are, call your Pastor or the church secretary. They are usually the first to know when a need has arisen in the church.  You can also glean from the weekly prayer bulletin.

Everyone has a need in their lives, my friend. Everyone! Use your eyes to see what these needs are and then focus your efforts on meeting those needs using the talents God has given to you.


Use your talents

Every one of us has a talent given by God above.  You may not view your abilities as a talent given from God but they truly are.  As each part of our body is needed to make a fully-functional human body, so is each talent and ability given to make Christ’s fully-functional precious church! We can’t all be good cooks because we also need someone to work on the Pastor’s computer when it goes down.

Are you a good cook? Make some extra food at your next meal for someone who could use a “touch” from the Lord. Notice I said, “from the Lord”?  Your talents are to be used for the glory of God, not yours.  Be that “Jesus with skin on” and let the Lord meet their need through you.  When you are a humble and willing servant, you accomplish the Master’s tasks no matter if you receive a thank you or not.  Your joy will come from being willing to be used of God.

If you cannot deliver the meal yourself, ask someone else in your church if they would like to do so. Some people don’t like to cook but they don’t mind delivering a meal to someone in need. God will put the two of you together and you’ll make a good team.  Working together strives to make your church family a well rounded, fully-functional family.  Each one using his/her talent for the Lord!  Maybe someone else likes to make cards and has one that could be included with the meal.  As well, maybe someone else has a beautiful flower garden and would like to include a bouquet of flowers.  Do you see how God can be glorified through your abilities?  The meal deliverer can also keep an eye open for things that may need to be done in the dear Saint’s home.  For example, as she sits and chats for a bit, she can see if housework is needed.  When can let the church secretary know this and the house cleaning can be assigned to ladies who love to do this.  Or if a shutter is falling off a window, or any other fix-it project, etc.  She can call the Pastor and let him know so he can assign it to one of his men.

Maybe you are home bound yourself but want to help others? Pick up the phone and call someone in need of an encouraging word. You would be amazed how much of a blessing it is for a dear bed ridden Saint to receive a call just because someone cared about them! Even if it is just to say that the Lord had laid them on your heart and you wanted to say, “Hi.”

Do you like to write? Send a card or just a short note. I have found that God will usually cause someone’s name in my church directory to “pop out” at me. This person will come up to me later and tell me that my note was exactly what they needed that day.  Although I feel great that my card was appreciated, I feel wonderful that the Lord met the need of that dear Saint.

Can you spare a few hours to do someone’s grocery shopping who is home bound? Do you like to clean? How about offering to clean a new Momma’s house because her hands are full with a colicky baby. Do you love to play the piano? Go to a nursing home and play for the elderly. When my husband was in the hospital for his cancer surgery, a dear lady would go up and down the hallways playing her harp!  You could hear sound as she rounded the corner and the melodies of the harp calmed the heart!  Now here is a lady who was using her talent to be a blessing to those who are bed ridden.  Was she a Christian?  I don’t know.  But what a blessing she was to this lady as I sat there watching my beloved sleeping.  It was as if the Lord was reaching out to me and calming my weary spirit!

What do you do best? What gifts has God given to you? The possibilities are endless! Everyone has a talent that God has blessed them with. Use your talent for the glory of God!

results

When we are yielded to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, He is busy at work in the lives of others at the same time that He is directing us. He will use us to minister to those in need. So let’s be diligent. When we are serving God in this capacity, He will bless us and will help us not to grow weary in our Christian walk. It will amaze you how much your outlook on your own circumstances will change for the good even though your own trials have not improved!

I pray that today’s devotional has been a blessing to you.  I have often felt as though God couldn’t use me.  My abilities are writing and being an encourager – whether that is here on this blog or in a note card or phone call, I can use them.  This allows the God of Glory to reveal Himself to those in need!

Won’t you be yielded today?  It is wonderful to know that you are needed by God.  It is wonderful to know that despite your physical impairments, you can still be used to encourage the life of another!  My spiritual mother has fibromyalgia.  Despite the excruciating pain that she suffers 24/7, she ministers to the lost by sending out devotionals, tracts, Bibles, etc.  She ministers to the sick by sending care packages with music, literature, etc.  This is her ministry despite her circumstances.  She may not see reward this side of Heaven, but once she goes home to be with the Lord, she will meet all those Saints whose lives she has touched.

Let God use you, my friend.  Do not be weary in well doing!  Continue for the cause of Christ.  Look at what He suffered through yet He continued.  He knew what He would have to go through, yet He continued.  Press on for the glory of God!  God will combine your abilities with those in your church family and together He will use your talents for His ultimate glory!

© Kate Plourde 2009

The picture above was taken by Carol Meyers and used here with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Maranatha Devotionals

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For this devotional series “For the Weary,” I will be using pictures taken by Carol Meyers with her permission. She has traveled to some of the most beautiful places in the world and has captured so many pictures which depict peace and tranquility. Thank you, Carol, for allowing me this opportunity to use your work!

Finding Healing

~Malachi 4:2a But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings;

~Luke 9:11 And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing.

Finding healing … we all are in need of some kind of healing, aren’t we? Some of us have physical problems. Some have spiritual problems. Others have emotional problems. We live in an age where there is a doctor for every kind of problem known to man!

When it comes to the spiritual problems, however, Preachers are the ones we turn to. They find themselves counseling members for all sorts of spiritual problems. Healing cannot be found if the sick one does not apply the recommendation given to them. A doctor can prescribe a pill or recommend a surgery, but if the patient does not take the advice, he will not get better. It is the same with the spiritual help. The Pastor can recommend but he cannot force the Christian to read his Bible, etc.

perfect Healing

God is perfect, however, and promises healing to those who seek Him. God’s healing is not a “hope so” but a definite one! Does everyone who has physical problems get healed by God? No! Sometimes those with illness are more able to help others because they have the compassion to serve because of their illness. God does not promise to heal all physical problems, but he does promise to be there with you. He will also provide rest and healing to those who are spiritually sick and have become weary.

~Matthew 11:28-30 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

You can tell when you have come across a Christian stricken with a chronic illness and who has drawn close to God. This person does not have his eyes on his own pain and suffering, but has placed them on the needs of others. You can also tell a Christian who has not been drawing close to God during his trial.

~Job 7:11 Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.

You have been around people like this, haven’t you? I have and it is not encouraging to say the least! The person who does not seek healing in God’s Word becomes so bitter that the only thing that comes out of their mouth is complaining.

The remedy

(1) Matthew 11:29 says to take Christ’s yoke upon us and learn of Him. If you picture a yoke in your mind’s eye, you will see it has two openings – for two oxen heads. Place yourself in one opening and look to the other – it is there that Christ has promised to be – right along side of you so that your burden, whatever that may be, is lighter. You are not carrying it alone in your spiritual battle! You are not alone in your physical battle! You are not alone in your emotional battle! My friend, the King of kings and Lord of lords is in the other opening of your yoke! Woah! That packs a whallop, doesn’t it? Half of our battle is realizing that we are not alone and that someone cares about us.

(2) Secondly, Christ says in verse 29 to learn of Him and you will find rest. Being in the Word of God will cleanse you and, thus, bring spiritual and emotional healing.

~Psa 119:9 BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

The chronically ill Christian can avoid bitterness by being in the Word. It is there he will learn what Christ would have him to learn. Jesus brings healing with each word. But you must read it to glean. It’s like the old saying, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.” The answers to your problems may not be the answers you were looking for but they will always be what the Lord says is best for your life. Furthermore, your problem may not go away but your attitude about it will have changed.

Jesus has the medicine for us for every area of our lives. He may not choose to heal your physical problems but He has exactly what you need, when you need it, for your spiritual life. Rather than wallow in self pity and be miserable and bitter, lean on Christ who is helping you to carry the weight of illness in your yoke. It is the physically sick Christian who needs to be careful so he does not get to the point of weariness. The sick Christian needs to be in his Bible more because he will find himself growing weary. He will find himself getting discouraged. Jesus said to learn of Him – He will teach you how to remove this burden and rest in His care.

Discipline yourself from dwelling on your illness. Instead, place your eyes on someone else. It is when we are busy helping others that we are able to keep our eyes off the pain in our bodies. When you take your eyes off others, you will soon find yourself hurting more and becoming bitter.

Learn from Christ and find rest!

© Kate Plourde 2009

Maranatha Devotionals

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A land which the LORD thy God careth for: the eyes of the LORD thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. (Deu 11:12)

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. (1 Pe 5:7)

I searched for the word “careth” in the King James Bible and found it is used six times. Only twice is it used in reference to God. In Deuteronomy, God tells Israel that He cares for their land and that His eyes are always upon it – every day throughout the year. The Word says in 1 Peter 5 that we are to cast all our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us!

The God of yesterday is the God of today and the God who holds tomorrow! What greater comfort can a believer have then to know that this same God who told Israel He had His eye on them 24/7 cares for our needs today? What greater comfort can a believer have than to know that this same God is aware of every detail of our future. His eyes are on us 24/7 and He never sleeps! In fact, while we sleep, He is taking care of us! I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. (Psa 4:8 )

What encouragement and comfort we are privileged to have when we are born-again children of the King! Worry should not even be in our vocabulary! Rejoice, oh Christian! Your Father never sleeps and is looking out for you, ready to guide you and protect you! Thank You Lord!

Come With Rejoicing
Fanny Crosby

Come with rejoicing, come with delight,
Nature in waking, glad and bright;
Hearts overflowing gather today,
Fill us with rapture, Lord we pray.

Refrain

Praise our Redeemer, tell of His love,
Praise our Redeemer, God above;
Tell of His mercy, boundless and free,
None can protect us, Lord, like Thee;
Tell of His mercy, boundless and free,
None can protect us, Lord, like Thee.

Guarded from danger, sheltered and blest,
Under His banner, calm, we rest,
Come we before Him, come with a song,
Tell how He leads us all day long.

Refrain

Oh! what a Savior, gracious to all,
Oh! how His blessings round us fall,
Gently to comfort, kindly to cheer,
Sleeping or waking, God is near.

Refrain

Still may His mercy tenderly flow,
Still may He guide us here below;
Then when our journey safely is past,
May we be gathered home at last.

Maranatha Devotionals

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Lamentations 3:19-23, “Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall. (19) My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me. (20) This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. (21) It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. (22) They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (23)”

Oh Christian, as we near the end of our 30-day series on discouragement and encouragement, I want to emphasize where our encouragement comes from – our Source is the one and only Word of God! Happiness is achieved from tangible things or circumstances in our lives. But true joy comes from the Lord Himself.

Meditate on the trials of your past as Jeremiah did. This weeping prophet said in verse 20 that these afflictions were still in his memory. He did not forget because in those memories, he had hope! He had hope that his God would not leave him alone through the trials. Jeremiah had hope because he knew that the Lord’s compassions did not fail (verse 22). He had hope because the Lord’s compassions were new to him every morning (verse 23). Jeremiah had hope because he praised the One who was faithful! He did not forget to praise and thank the One who showered him with mercy!

My friend, have you praised God today? Is thankfulness and gratitude at the bottom of your list in your prayer life? The Creator of heaven and earth and Redeemer of your soul deserves to hear from your lips how grateful you are. This same faithful God filled with compassion is there daily providing us with new mercies! Oh, thank You Lord!! My heart is overflowing with gratitude today! A heart filled with gratitude does not have room for discouragement!

Great Is Thy Faithfulness
Thomas O. Chisholm

Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not;
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.

Refrain

Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided;

Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.

Refrain

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth
Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!

Refrain

Maranatha Devotionals

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1 Thess. 4:13-18, “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (13) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (14) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. (15) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (16) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (17) Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (18 )
My heart needed encouragement this morning. Ever since the first day I was saved, over 26 years ago, not one day has gone by that I haven’t thought about the Rapture. This great and blessed hope that we born-again believers have was placed in the Word of God so that we could encourage ourselves and we could encourage one another! That is the purpose of my blog today.

We do not have any reason to be discouraged, my friends. A tragic event is about to take place upon this earth which will last not just for a day, or a week, but for seven long years. It’s been years since Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and they are still cleaning up. That “storm” lasted less than 24 hours! The events that will will take place during the Tribulation will make the Holocaust seem like child’s play.

Paul didn’t want us to be ignorant – God left us His Word so that we would not go uninformed. What a merciful and gracious Father we have! He knows we need to encourage ourselves.

Times have never been so “ready” for the tribulation. All we have to do is watch the news. My Google main page has the Earthquake Watch and already there have been 13 earthquakes around the world today – it’s only 9:40 a.m. Eastern time! (Matt. 24:7) Kingdom against kingdom is more prevalent today than when I was growing up. The news is filled with Muslim terrorists, Korea’s nuclear arms, etc. Pestilences are not just once in a while but many are of concern today – West Nile, mad cow, cancers of every kind, E. coli outbreaks, AIDS, deadly TB strain, bird flu, mumps are coming back, etc.

Yes, all these happened all through history. But those were the beginning of sorrows (Matt. 24:8 ). Ωδινων is the Greek word used here, referencing a woman in labor – birth pains. Anyone who has witnessed the birth of a child knows that labor starts easy – I actually thought if that is all it was, it would be a breeze! Yeh, RIGHT! But as the labor progressed, the pains became stronger and more frequent. Each stage of labor grew worse than the previous until the blessed event of birth occurred. U.S. history is a perfect example of these birth pains. The wars and internal uprisings have increased as our beautiful nation has turned away from God. Each year seems to be worse than the previous one. The Lord wants His children to be aware and alert.

The judgments from Revelation will have a cataclysmic effect on the people who are left here! No wonder Paul called the Rapture our blessed hope! What does the mid-trib or post-trib believer have? There isn’t a blessed hope in any of the judgments which will be let loose upon this world, my friend. Paul would not have used these terms. Rev. 3:10 says that we will be spared from the hour of temptation which will come upon all the earth. No event since the Great Flood of Noah’s days has ever affected the entire earth. Revelation is clear in its depiction that the Tribulation times will affect the entire earth and we, born-again Christians, will be spared from this! Praise His Holy Name! Thank You Lord Jesus for this great gift! Thank You for giving us a Blessed Hope to look forward to!

We believers don’t need to be afraid. We need to be busy doing the Lord’s work. Our time is short! The end is near and we must make use of what little time we have left for the Lord. Praise God that we won’t be here to witness the tragedies which will be let loose upon this earth! I am so thankful that we have been spared from this! Now THAT, my friend, is a blessed hope!

That Great Reunion Day!

Just thinking about that day to come
When we all will be set free
Makes me simply want to burst with joy
And get on bended knee

How thankful we should be for this
That Jesus had to die
So we could sing and praise His Name
On that blessed day in the sky

Yes, that day is foremost in our minds
We Christians, one and all
It’s our payment for our work for Him
No more will we ever fall

Thank you dear Father for this great gift
The price Christ had to pay
We all look forward to our meeting
On that Great Reunion Day!

Devotionals

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But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (Joh 14:26)

How wonderful to know that our Heavenly Father knew we would need Someone after Christ ascended into Heaven! Not only did our Father send the Holy Spirit to reside with us until we get to Heaven (Eph. 4:30), but He sent us Someone who would comfort us and teach us!

Noah Webster defines comforter as:

1. One who administers comfort or consolation; one who strengthens and supports the mind in distress or danger.

Don’t you just love that definition? Our Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gives us the Holy Spirit to console and comfort us when we need strengthening. This same Comforter supports our minds when we are in distres or in danger! No wonder God used the word Comforter to describe the Holy Spirit! This comforts my heart, doesn’t it comfort yours as well?

God also describes the Holy Spirit as our Teacher. John 14:26 says that He was sent by the Father in Jesus’ name and will teach us in all things. This is a wonderful depiction of the blessed Trinity. Our Teacher will reveal to us exactly what we need, when we need it. The Lord’s prayer encourages us to ask the Father for our “daily bread” but I do not believe it is for food for the body. Why? Because Matthew 6:31 states that we should not worry about what we are to eat because our Heavenly Father knows we have those needs… so why should Christ teach us to ask for our daily bread then? To me, this would be Scripture contradicting Scripture and we know that this cannot be so. I believe that the Lord’s prayer is teaching us to ask God for our spiritual bread – our daily spiritual nourishment – what HE wants us to learn that day in the Word.

I don’t know about you, but I am encouraged knowing that my Heavenly Father not only sent Christ to die for my sin and take my punishment, but He sent a Comforter and a Teacher to be with me, to comfort me and to teach me. What a compassionate God we serve! Thank You Lord!

Oh Father, You thought of everything
That this frail soul would surely need
As I walk on this pilgrim’s pathway
I will follow You as You lead!

Devotionals

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Psalm 100:1-5 [A Psalm of praise.] Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. (1) Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (2) Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. (3) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. (4) For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. (5)

Each moment that we dwell on our circumstances and trials, we lose focus of all the good that Lord has done for us. Like a muscle, we must exercise that part of us which God has provided to encourage ourselves. If the Lord commands us to encourage ourselves, which He does in Psalm 100, then not only is it do-able, but He provides us with the way to do it.

As I read Psalm 100, the Psalmist clearly outlines in progression what we are to do:

  1. Make a joyful noise (sing)
  2. Serve with gladness
  3. Sing some more
  4. Remember that God made us and we are His sheep – He knows us because He is our Creator and our Shepherd
  5. Be thankful
  6. Praise Him
  7. Be thankful some more
  8. Bless His Name – praise Him some more
  9. Acknowledge that God is Good, His mercy is forever and His truth endures – again, praise Him some more

I noticed that singing, being thankful and praising God are key as they are mentioned more than once in these five verses. Certain music puts us in a right heart and mind to focus in the right direction. A mind that is thankful and full of praise to the Father is not a mind that is focused on discouragement and circumstances. There have been times where singing a song has changed my whole spirit. The Lord gave us music to lift our spirits – especially the Psalms.

Is it any wonder that Fanny Crosby penned the words to Praise Him, Praise Him? Won’t you read these wonderful words with me today and exercise your heart and fill it with song, thankfulness and praise to your Heavenly Father Who provides for us everything we need?

Praise Him, Praise Him
Fanny Crosby

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer!
Sing, O Earth, His wonderful love proclaim!
Hail Him! hail Him! highest archangels in glory;
Strength and honor give to His holy Name!
Like a shepherd, Jesus will guard His children,
In His arms He carries them all day long:
Chorus:
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Tell of His excellent greatness.
Praise Him! Praise Him!
Ever in joyful song!

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer!
For our sins He suffered, and bled, and died.
He our Rock, our hope of eternal salvation,
Hail Him! hail Him! Jesus the Crucified.
Sound His praises! Jesus who bore our sorrows,
Love unbounded, wonderful, deep and strong.

Chorus

Praise Him! Praise Him! Jesus, our blessèd Redeemer!
Heav’nly portals loud with hosannas ring!
Jesus, Savior, reigneth forever and ever.
Crown Him! Crown Him! Prophet, and Priest, and King!
Christ is coming! over the world victorious,
Pow’r and glory unto the Lord belong.

Chorus

Devotionals

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Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work. (2Th 2:17)

What comfort we believers have in the knowledge of our place in the Body of Christ! We are eternally saved – nothing can separate us from the love of God. Rom. 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (38 ) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (39) Our hearts should be rejoicing and giving praise, honor and glory to the One who died for us so that we can say this with boldness and be comforted! Thank You, blessed Father in Heaven!

Paul tells the Thessalonians to “stablish themselves in every good word and work.” Everyone can say that they have set out on a mission to be a blessing to someone and, in turn, have ended up being blessed by that person instead. Every good word and work we do each day is fulfilling the will of God. The good word we have is sharing the Gospel – encouraging a saint when a heart is heavy – exhorting a spiritually weaker brother to righteousness. A good work for Christ comes forth when we purge ourselves of the wood and stubble found in our spiritual lives and striving toward being a vessel unto honour – fit for the Master’s use. There is nothing more rewarding in the Christian’s life than to know that the Father is working through us for someone else’s benefit!

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work. (2Ti 2:21)

Christian, encourage yourself today to be a vessel that God can use. You are a child of the King! Represent Him with a life that is yielding to His Spirit’s convictions. It may not be easy, but a yielded life is always God’s will.

Yielded to Your Spirit I wish to be
Ever growing in grace each day
Remove from me the fleshly desires
Which hinder me along the way

Devotionals

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Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. (Joh 16:32)These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (Joh 16:33)

Jesus, our Example, shows us that we are not alone. Just like He had the Father with Him, we do also. No matter how alone we feel in life’s trials, the Father is right there by our side. I remember when my children were little and they would get hurt. The first thing they did was to look around to find Mommy or Daddy and they would run to us for comfort. They did not look around for their sibling or a friend or other adult … they looked around for Mommy or Daddy. What a lovely picture of the Christian running to His Father when he is hurt and in need. Oh that we should be as little children and run to the Father’s side when we have needs instead of running to others.

Psalm 23 is such a great Psalm to read when one is in need of refreshing the soul and spirit! I went to visit my Shepherd there this morning in search of a spiritual refreshing. No one can provide this but Him in times like these. This Psalm is not just for funerals, my friend. It is a Psalm for the weary Christian on his journey.

Psa 23:1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. My Shepherd and Guide is my own personal Shepherd – He is MY Shepherd and He will see to it that I lack nothing.

Psa 23:2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. My Shepherd provides rest to my spirit and is always leading me to His Word where they are not turbulent and confusing but so still, I can see clearly. Turbulent waters are murky – but these waters are still and clear and I will find my answers there. The spiritual refreshment is not hidden or difficult to find. My Shepherd sees to it that I find exactly what I need for the moment.

Psa 23:3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. In times like these, our soul needs to be restored and encouraged. My Shepherd leads me to His Righteous Word for restoration. We all need refueling.

Psa 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. I think of discouragement as being the dying of one’s countenance or spirit. My Shepherd says that I do not need to fear anything because He is with me. His guidance brings comfort. He will guide me away from this shadow. Thank You Lord!

Psa 23:5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Ole slewfoot doesn’t stand a chance, although he will surely try to test my metal. Thank God for my Shepherd who is busy preparing a place for me in Heaven and will return to receive me unto Himself. I have a place secured for me in Heaven because of what my Shepherd did for me! Yes, my cup is overflowing, for sure. Meditating on that alone is enough to encourage my spirit.

Psa 23:6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever. My Shepherd’s goodness and mercy are always there during my pilgrimage on this earth. Not only do we benefit from His goodness and mercy, but we have the wonderful knowledge of knowing that we will be dwelling with Him for ever!

Thank You Lord, for encouraging my heart today! I stand amazed at how personal a God You are and a Father to me!

How comforting to know that You are there
In the midst of my trial You are found
Not sitting idly by as I struggle with life
But your goodness and mercy abound

Devotionals

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2 Cor. 1:3-4, “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; (3) Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (4)

Because of Jesus Christ, we believers have an incorruptible inheritance which places us in a position to be able to call God, our Father! The word incorruptible appears only four times in the Bible:

And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. (1Co 9:25)In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1Co 15:52)

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, (1Pe 1:4)

Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. (1Pe 1:23)

We see that our crown will be incorruptible, our raptured bodies will be incorruptible, our inheritance is incorruptible and our salvation is incorruptible! How encouraging is that?

When we are discouraged, we must remember that our trials are for a short time. 2 Cor. 1:3-4 show that our Heavenly Father will provide comfort during our tribulations so that we may in turn pass that comfort on to others going through trouble. I noticed this verse didn’t say to comfort those who are going through what you have experienced but that we are to comfort those who are going through any trouble. In other words, be there for those in need of comfort – period! Pass along to someone else the knowledge and assurance that the Father will comfort them in the same manner He comforted you.

We have encouraged ourselves and defeated ole slewfoot’s attempts to discourage us. We have assurance that our salvation and inheritance of Heaven is incorruptible. Now take those encouraging words to someone who needs to hear them and you will continue to keep yourself encouraged. Share the blessings the Father has given you with those in need of healing words.

They that fear thee will be glad when they see me; because I have hoped in thy word. (Psa 119:74)

Father, I thank You for Your grace
You have brought me through every trial
With mercy, peace and comfort sweet
You walked with me all the while

Devotionals

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But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. (Mat 14:27)

What a blessing this statement must have been for the apostles to hear from their Saviour! Here they are in a storm and see Jesus walking toward them. They thought they were seeing a ghost! I don’t know about you, but as I place myself in their situation, I would have been afraid also. There are times in our own lives where we don’t “see” the Lord working. Our problems become insurmountable and we focus on the circumstances before us instead of focusing our eyes on the Lord.

Deut. 6:6-8, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

Have you ever worn a sweat band? I am always aware of that sweat band being around my forehead. It gets damp, it gets itchy and although it provides a purpose, I am always aware of its presence upon my forehead. A frontlet is similar to one of these bands. Can you imagine if God’s Word was as this sweat band between our eyes – constantly making us aware that It is there? If our eyes are focused on the Word, how can they also be focused on the circumstances surrounding us?

Praise the Lord that we have the precious Word of God to read and memorize! We can encourage ourselves daily and be of good cheer when those days come and we don’t see the Lord clearly there beside us. The Word comforts us and assures us that He is there right within view and we should not be afraid. Granted, we may not recognize the Lord in our situation, so we need to really “look” for Him. We find Him in the Word, we find Him in the brethren who encourage us, we find Him in a kind note, we find Him in the beauty of creation surrounding us, etc. Need I say more?

The Word should be constantly upon our foreheads, reminding us of God’s promises and of His presence. We are to be comforted by this and allow it to cheer us up and encourage us. When we do so, it removes all fear of those trials and circumstances.

Be of good cheer, the Lord commands
I’m Your Guide as well as Friend
Do not let your heart be troubled
I’ll be near you til the end.

Devotionals

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I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. (Psa 69:30)

No wonder David was the apple of God’s eye! He knew how to love His God… He knew how to thank His God! David was able to recognize when he was discouraged or depressed. The world recognizes in their 12-step programs the need to admit one’s addiction. However, their 12-step programs are only temporary. I speak from experience – I witnessed my father remain sober for almost 30 years, but the feeling of being alone drove him to drink again. The 12-step program did not have a lasting effect on my father. But this is not so with born-again believers! Praise God that we have One whose help can be eternal, if we allow Him to work in our lives.

We, as believers, need to recognize our state of discouragement and depression and go to the Source of healing and encouragement. We have the precious Word of God, in our King James Bible, which contains all the solutions on overcoming discouragement. Let’s learn from David.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (Psa 42:11)

David knew that his discouraged soul would find health. But David had to take that first step – David had to hope in God and His solutions as well as praise God. What does a discouraged soul have to praise God about? Counting your blessings is a great place to start. Everyone has blessings in their lives – everyone! Are you a born-again child of the King? Have you been spared from an eternity of burning in hell? Do you have a roof over your head? Do you have food on your table (even if it is just peanut butter)? Do you have fairly good health where you can still get around? Do you have loved ones? Do you have a good church family? List these blessings on a post-it note and place it where you can see it several times a day. After reading these blessings over and over, you will be able to say with David that you can praise God.

Now that you are praising God, the next step is to magnify Him with thanksgiving. I love looking up words from King James’ era when our beloved King James Bible was translated. The words from that time period have so much more punch and meaning than if using modern-day English.

Noah Webster’s definition of magnify is:

2. To make great in representation; to extol; to exalt in description or praise. The embassador magnified the king and queen.
3. To extol; to exalt; to elevate; to raise in estimation. Thee that day Thy thunders
magnified. The Lord magnified Solomon exceedingly. 1 Chr 29.

So my brother and sister in Christ, extol and exalt the precious Name of Jesus to yourself and anyone who will listen! Share with others God’s blessings and compassion for you! Doing this is a sure-fire way of taking your eyes off your circumstances and discouragement and focusing on the “good” things that the Lord has blessed you with. Do you have the gift of writing? Let others know what God has done for you. Do you have the gift of speaking? Use your gift and magnify the Lord and His goodness toward you. Do you have a gift of ministering to others? Find yourself a dear Senior Saint and share God’s blessings with them. I dare say, these dear Saints are in desperate need of a kind and uplifting word. As you read the words to Mr. Oatman’s song, Count Your Blessings, you can surely appreciate the fact that he had been through a few bouts of discouragement. He learned from David what he had to do to be encouraged.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Refrain
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

~Johnson Oatman, Jr.

Devotionals

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…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.

(Heb 13:5)

What precious words these are to the Christian! Can one say for certain that their child will never leave them or forsake them? Can it be said of a dear friend? I’m sure we can all say that a friend has abandoned us at the worse time in our lives! But not so with the Lord.

My friend, Christ promises to always stay with us and never forsake us. Noah Webster’s definition of the word forsake is as follows:

1. To quit or leave entirely; to desert; to abandon; to depart from. Friends and flatterers forsake us in adversity.

We can feel as though we have lost our way and that God would never forgive us, but the Word says otherwise. If I were to re-phrase Hebrews 13:5, I could say that the Lord will never leave us entirely – or the Lord will never abandon us – or the Lord will never depart from us. I don’t know about you, but this is eternal security in a nutshell!

There is nothing more encouraging to me when I am discouraged than to remember that the Lord is right there with me. My position in the family of God once I am born-again is sealed, according to Ephesians 4:30. And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.(Eph 4:30) Noah Webster says that the word sealed means:

Furnished with a seal; fastened with a seal; confirmed; closed.

My salvation is confirmed in Heaven and the matter is closed! Enough said! My Father in Heaven will never leave my side, His Son’s Spirit lives within me and will never leave me – no matter what state I am in.

…and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Mat 28:20)

Praise the Lord that I can encourage my heart by dwelling on the permanency of my salvation!

His work on the cross brought death to sin
So I can live righteously
The Shepherd and Bishop of my soul
Purchased me for eternity

Excerpt from A Vessel in the Potter’s Hand

Devotionals

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David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee. (1Sa 17:37)

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. (1Sa 17:45)

And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD’S, and he will give you into our hands. (1Sa 17:47)

As I lay in bed reading last night, this account of David and his battle with Goliath just jumped off the pages and encouraged my heart so much. We have all heard this account numerous times, some of you preachers have probably preached on it several times. But have we truly stopped to think about the little details the Lord has given us?

I once read that David was approximately 15 years old when he killed the 9-foot Goliath. Several things impressed me about this account.

  • He had already killed a lion and a bear
  • He recognized that God brought him through that and he was confident that God would bring him through the trial with Goliath
  • David was so confident that he confronted Goliath with the statement showing he was not afraid of Goliath’s sword because he had God on his side
  • David recognized that God’s solutions are not with the sword and that the battle was the Lord’s

David saw the trial ahead of him — a 9-foot soldier with the armor to match his size. How many 9-foot giants have we had in our own lives? Each trial seems to be greater than the last. We’re just now overcoming our battle with discouragement. I didn’t even get a feeling at all that David was discouraged over his upcoming battle with Goliath, did you? I only noticed confidence on David’s part in this account.

Will we look at our next trial in the same manner David did? David recognized Who helped him with the lion and the bear. So much so, he had confidence that this same God would help him with the next trial. Also, he didn’t keep that confidence hidden away in his heart. David had a testimony before the people. They were able to see where his confidence came from.

David announced for all to hear, including his nine-foot giant, that he had the Lord of Hosts on his side and that the battle was the Lord’s. Our bout with discouragement was quite a trial in itself. No, it isn’t fighting lions and bears or nine-foot giants, but the circumstances sure did feel like it, didn’t it? But God brought us out of this discouragement. Our hearts have been encouraged once again. We need to glean from this account and realize why God looked at David as the apple of His eye.

It is this same Lord who brought us through our discouargement. It is this same Lord who encouraged our hearts and helped our eyes to look up. The battles in our lives belong to the Lord, my friend. There is great comfort in that. Discouragement was our Goliath. But it is the same God of David who helped defeat our Goliath and gave us wonderful peace and joy once again.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
(Heb 13:8 )

My Shepherd cares for my every need
In my life and along life’s way

He gives me such peace with every trial
Reviving my weary heart each day
Excerpt from O Watcher of My Soul

Devotionals

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I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; (Psa 31:7)

It’s one thing to say that you will be glad and rejoice in the Lord, but quite another to have the drive and purpose to do so. As I strive to encourage myself in the Lord, I find that this effort is not only on-going but is progressive. Total encouragement does not happen over night. However, there are immediate results when we begin to exercise our encouragement muscle.

As I look at Psalm 31:7, I noticed that David was glad and rejoicing in the Lord’s mercy. I love looking up the definitions of words used in the King James Bible using Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Today’s definitions of these same words are so diluted. Noah’s definitions put Psalm 31:7 into a more meaningful light. Let me show you the difference:

The Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of the word mercy:

kindness and forgiveness shown towards someone whom you have authority over

Noah Webster’s definition of the word mercy:

1. That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves; the disposition that tempers justice, and induces an injured person to forgive trespasses and injuries, and to forbear punishment, or inflict less than law or justice will warrant. In this sense, there is perhaps no word in our language precisely synonymous with mercy. That which comes nearest to it is grace. It implies benevolence, tenderness, mildness, pity or compassion, and clemency, but exercised only towards offenders. Mercy is a distinguishing attribute of the Supreme Being.

The Cambridge Dictionary’s definition of the word considered:

an opinion or decision that someone has reached after a lot of thought

Noah Webster’s definition of the word considered:

Thought of with care; pondered; viewed attentively; deliberated on; examined.

I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities; (Psa 31:7)

After reading Noah Webster’s definitions for mercy and considered, it reveals a more compassionate Father and One who cares for us intimately. David knew that God not only viewed his troubles attentively but God also pondered over them and examined them. God knew all the “in’s and out’s” of David’s troubles. David did not have to worry about a thing because His Heavenly Father had everything under control.

Furthermore, the Father knew David’s soul in his troubles – again this shows us that God knew David intimately.

No wonder David was glad and rejoicing in His mercy! There is nothing more comforting than to be able to turn over our troubles and leave them in the Lord’s capable hands. The same God who helped David and knew him intimately, is able to do the same for us!

Let us rejoice and be glad in God’s mercy toward us!

Kate Plourde
August 24, 2006

Oh come join me all ye who love Him
Let our voices ne’er cease to sing
Cast thy burdens at Jesus’ Precious Feet
Shout Hosannah to our Heavenly King!

Excerpt from Jesus My Redeemer, My King