“Truly he is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
As David wrote this Psalm, He had experienced most everything that could have been thrown at him that the world could throw. He had been lied to and about, betrayed and even attacked.
Does this sound familiar to you? Have you ever felt like a target for the world’s arrows? We have all felt like this at one time or another. But the good news is….no matter how big the attack or how big the attackers, no matter how strong the storm, our God is bigger, greater, stronger and more powerful than anyone who would try to stand against one of His beloved children.
He is our sure foundation, our defense, our refuge to hide in. When we trust Him and His perfect care, the God who is great enough to raise Jesus fro the tomb and save us from our sins will not let us be “shaken or discouraged”.
“Because of your power, Lord, I trust you to take care of me, in Jesus’ Name I Pray.”
Isaiah 54:10 (KJV) ‘For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee”. God gives us this promise of unfailing love and peace in a world that is upside down and in turmoil. I’ve never seen so many afflicted by anxiety and depression. This world doesn’t offer security or hope. Our hope and peace comes from God. There are so many uncertainties and changes going on as the coming of the Lord draws closer. The only thing that remains constant and will never change is character of our loving Savior. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. No matter what is going on in your personal life, your mind or the world around you, your Heavenly Father gives you this promise that through storms of life His love remains for you, and that His peace will never leave you. He holds your world in the palm of His hands, and no matter what may come, His love is here to stay. That is a promise! As you reflect on this promise through the week, make it personal and know that His love and peace are for you and with you ALWAYS!!! “Lord, thank you for your unshakable love that is mine for the taking. Even though the world will fail me, your unfailing love will never waver. In your love, I am secure, in Jesus’ name!”
James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” God gives this promise….if we draw close to Him, He will come close to us. Did you ever feel far from God? I have. It is normal for Christians to go through times where they feel He is not as close as they would like for Him to be. He longs to be close to us, to have an intimate relationship with us. He promises us that if we draw close to Him, He will draw closer to us. If you are feeling that you want Him to be closer to you, then do what you can to draw closer to Him. Pursue Him, chase after Him. He wants to be in a relationship with YOU! Life can get so busy and troubles can weigh us down. If we are not careful, we put Jesus in the trunk of our car and only pull Him out when we need Him, as we would a spare tire. That is not a relationship. So, how can we draw closer to Him? Spend time alone with Him. Pour your love and worship on Him, then sit quiet and let Him talk to you. Acknowledge Him as you go through the day, even in your thoughts. Spend time reading His word. Get the word into your heart. Repent and cleanse yourself from anything that is not of God in your life. I like the way the Message version of this scripture say it: So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud NO to the Devil and watch him make himself scarce. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet. “Lord, I thank you for this promise of knowing that as I take one step toward you, you will take two steps toward me. I trust in your Word, you are faithful and your promises are true. Help me today as I begin to deepen our relationship. I want you more than life itself. I am not just seeking your hand, Lord, but I am seeking your face. I long to be close to you and to feel your love in my life in a greater way. I love you, Jesus, and I pray this in your name”.
Lamentations 3:22-23 “It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” There’s something so special about mornings. The sun comes up and chases darkness away. The morning air is fresh and everything seems new as the world around us wakes up. It’s a new dawning and a new day! Just as a new day starts again, so do His mercies for you! This scripture is a promise and reminder to us. He gives us mercy for each day, and this mercy is refilled and refreshed each morning. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect, but to strive to be the best we can be by trying to be more like Him each day. We will fail and fall; we need His mercies in our lives! Regardless of how often you have to rely on God’s mercy, which is everyday for me, you can always come back for more. This is not a license to tempt God, live in sin, and then call on his mercy. If that is your mindset, the promise of this verse does not apply to you. If your heart and mind is made up to follow God and walk in obedience to him, but you find yourself falling short, this verse is for you. Remember…..His mercy is bigger than your failures! “Lord, I thank you for your steadfast love, for your mercy toward us that is renewed for us each morning, no matter the sins of yesterday. Thank you for choosing to love me more than I could ever love myself. I praise you for your goodness and faithfulness towards me. Even when I don’t deserve it, you continually show your kindness towards me. Thank you, God, that I can continue walking confidently in your love for me. I am free from the bondage and stain of sin! Thank you for your steadfast love that never ceases and for your mercies that never come to an end. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”
Luke 12:24 “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!” God promises to take care of His children and to provide all our needs What a wonderful promise to have in a world where there are so many uncertainties for the future. Where inflation and food shortages cause struggles, banks are failing and we fear we could find we have “too much month at the end of the money”. How precious is our God to give us this promise and comfort that He is our provider and will supply all our needs. A favorite childhood story my mother used to tell was at the time of her birth in 1934, just as the USA was just coming out of the Great Depression. Things were hard. At that time, when a woman birthed a baby, she stayed in bed for 10 days. At the time of my mama’s birth, there was no food in the house for her mother to eat and here she was with this newborn baby. She needed nourishment and protein. On the day of my mom’s birth, one of the older girls opened the back door to go outside. All of a sudden one of their chickens came running into the house. Naomi chased the chicken all through the house as it made its way into the room where my grandmother lay with her baby. My grandmother never allowed animals in the house, but told Naomi to just wait to see what was happening. The chickens had not been laying eggs for weeks, as the scratch necessary to help chickens lay eggs was gone. This chicken made its way down under the bed covers to grandma’s feet. It settled down, but then all of a sudden began scratching and clucking. Grandma told Naomi to get it out of the bed and house. As Naomi reached under the covers to get the chicken, she found something surprising! That chicken had laid one egg! Everyday for the full 10 days that my grandma laid in bed, this chicken would come in, lay one egg and go back outside. Every egg was fried up and served to grandma to give her nourishment and strength to care for that newborn baby. We have a God of more than enough and He will take care of His children! He owns all the resources and will use what He wants to. As we seek His face and kingdom above all else in our lives, we don’t need to worry about our personal needs. God pays great attention to every detail and need of your life, and as you place your trust in Him, He will always be faithful to provide those needs. As Luke 12:24 says, if God cares for a bird enough to provide its daily food, then how much more must He care for us? In God’s eyes, you are much more valuable than a bird! You are His precious son/daughter! “Lord, we thank you that no situation is too far out of your control to provide. For you are Jehovah-Jireh, the God who provides. We thank you that you own it all, and hold everything in your hands. We thank you that you know our needs before we even ask, before we even come to you. You’re aware of all that concerns us, and you have a plan. You hold the provision, you have the solution. You alone can move mountains to make a way for your children. Forgive us for doubting you, for worrying, and for trying so hard to work everything out on our own. Help us to trust you more. We choose to recognize and to believe that you are able to accomplish far more, to do far greater, than we even thought possible. We thank you in advance for your miracles, for paving out pathways, for your provision for those who love you. Thank you for the abundance of blessing and goodness you have already stored up. We trust you this day, and every day, and are so grateful for your power of provision that takes care of us. We love you Lord, we’re leaning on you, in Jesus’ mighty name!”
Matthew 19:26 “But Jesus looked at them and said to them, With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” God gives us the promise that He can do ALL things….ALL things are possible with Him! There are many things in life that we consider impossible. It could be something as big as going to the moon or simply making it through another day. Each of us has a different perspective about what is and is not possible. It could be that we feel salvation for a loved one seems impossible….But I’m glad it’s not that way with God. What we view as impossible, God views as an opportunity. We tend to look at things from our perspective, and our view is limited by our experiences in life and limitations of our ability. God’s view has NO limits; He is God! I had a dear friend, Bessie. She passed away five years ago, in her late 80’s. She was not supposed to be born alive, but she was. She was born blind, God healed her. She learned to read as her boys made their way through school and she helped them with their homework. After her children were grown, and she was up in years, she was miraculously accepted into YWAM (Youth With A Mission) to go on mission trips. She traveled to Turkey, Syria, Pakistan, India, Africa and Vietnam in her later years. God used Bessie in great ways, ways she never dreamed were possible. He protected her when her life was in danger, sending angels to help her change hotels before the hotel she was registered at was bombed, and also when Saddam Hussein had her on his hit list. She was a true inspiration and had such a miraculous life….WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE! What is it in your life that you believe is impossible? Is it doing a ministry, making it through another day, a difficult circumstance, or a challenging career? Maybe it’s financial challenges, school challenges, or a situation at home that seems impossible to overcome. What may seem impossible to you is an opportunity for God to show you that He is indeed God and in control over all. Let Him show you what He can do! “Jesus, I so often limit myself to what is humanly possible. I sometimes forget that you are greater than any human limitation, more powerful than any force on this earth. For even the winds and waves obey your command. When I feel weak and limited, I will put my trust in you and remember that your power is limitless. When my problems feel impossible, I will hand them over to you, for whom all things are possible. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Isaiah 43:2 “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, Nor shall the flame scorch you.” We all know what it’s like to have those “suddenly” moments hit. The sun can be shining bright and everything is going well, and then suddenly your world is rocked with bad news or tragedy. This scripture has helped me in so many of those “suddenly moments”, where loved ones are gone, sickness comes, and tragedy of this life hits hard. What a sweet assurance our Heavenly Father gives us that He will be with us through all of our tragedies and heartaches. He is a faithful, loving God. Then, when you are going through one of those “suddenly moments” or where you feel lost and alone, think on this scripture: 2 Corinthians 1:4 “4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any [a]trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” So many live in poverty-stricken areas, who have lost their source of income, many are bound by adversity, addiction or mental illness, many suffering from loss, grief, and physical illness…all these people may feel alone and forgotten, and they are in need of our compassion and kindness. Allow God to use your heart and your hands to ease the suffering of others. “Loving Father, thank you for the promise that you are our refuge, our covering and protection. Please use my hands, feet and mouth to show loving-kindness toward others that are hurting and lost. I want to do Your will in caring for others just as You would. In Jesus’ name….Amen!”
God gives us the promise of RESURRECTION! 1 Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” I Corinthians 15:12-23 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. I Thessalonians 4:16-18 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words. After Jesus was executed, His followers were mourning and afraid. Would the authorities come for them next? Then two women brought an incredible tale—Jesus was alive! His grave was empty and the stone rolled away! Their lives, and indeed the entire world, had been turned upside down. The fact that Jesus died and was resurrected is our hope and joy because Christ’s resurrection guarantees our own! To rejoice in the hope of resurrection is an act of faith. From God’s perspective, it has already been accomplished. Christ is “the firstborn from among the dead” (Col. 1:18). There will be many to follow, including ourselves. As Christ was resurrected, so are we raised with Him. “Thank you, Father, for the resurrection and the new life you give us. Because Christ lives, we have assured faith, confident joy, and guaranteed hope. In Jesus’ name….Amen!”
We Lack Nothing! Psalm 34:10 “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.” The loss of a job can shake a family’s financial security. An illness can devastate family finances. Unexpected expenses can cause stress and worry. You may have learned these lessons from experience, or you may be experiencing one of them right now. How will you survive, how will you pay the bills and feed your family? Maybe you are wondering why God allowed this to happen. If you are, then turn to Him and ask. “what do you want me to learn from this?” God is always teaching His children to trust Him. So choose to believe that the Lord knows your needs. Turn to Him, spend time with Him, and seek His perfect will for your life. God will work all things for out for the best (And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28). Rest in His presence and choose, moment by moment, to trust Him. His word promises that you will lack nothing. “Lord, you bless my life with all I truly need. Thank you, and please help me to trust you more. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Psalm 125:1 “Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, Which cannot be moved, but abides forever.” Have you ever thought of yourself as a mountain? In this promise, God says that if we trust in Him we will be as a mountain and we cannot be moved! Verse 2 says, “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, So the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever”. Mountains are strong and majestic structures, they stand tall and endure all types of storms. They don’t bend, bow or crumble down. God created us to be strong and victorious. Cities that are surrounded by mountains have more protection from harsh storms. Mountains that would surround cities made it difficult for armies to invade and conquer. “As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people”! Forever!!! As children of God we have perfect protection all around us at all times. No evil can touch us physically, spiritually or emotionally. He created us to be strong and victorious, and He surrounds us always. “Dear Lord, thank you for your promise of protecting and keeping us so that we cannot be moved. Help me to be strong and victorious. I can endure all things, as long as I am in your care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Isaiah 58:11 “The Lord will guide you continually, And satisfy your soul in drought, And strengthen your bones; You shall be like a watered garden, And like a spring of water, whose waters do not fail.” What a wonderful promise…“The Lord will guide you continually”! With this promise we can be assured that His spirit will go before us, clearing the way, lighting the path and giving us the guidance we need. His presence surrounds us in all we do and all we may go through. And, God doesn’t stop at promising to guide us. He also promises to satisfy us when we thirst, and strengthen us. Even though there may be times of drought and difficult things we must go through, He will give us His living waters where we can flourish “like a watered garden” where His blessings always bloom! “Dear Lord, thank you for your promise of guiding me continually, satisfying my thirst when I am in desert places and strengthening me. Lead me in the way You wish me to go. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Mark 11:24 “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” WOW! “Believe that you have received it, and it will be yours”! If you are abiding in Christ and have faith, He will meet your every need! The key element is faith! You can’t ask God to answer a prayer and then have fear that it won’t happen. Billy Graham once said, “Fear can banish faith, but faith can banish fear”. He also said, “The key is to learn to trust God, no matter what our fears are. And….we can trust Him, because He loves us, and He is greater than anything we will ever face.” So true! Don’t lose your faith in times of adversity, and be careful not to lose heart to pray for your miracle. This will cause you to become weak and negative. Instead, stand on His many promises, pray and believe, and then declare with the words of your mouth what you expect to see happen. Have faith and trust your loving God to answer! “Dear Lord, thank you for your promise that if we pray believing we have received it, the miracle will be ours. Help me get rid of fear and unbelief. Help me to speak words of faith and declaration over the things and people I am believing you for! Thank you for your love and faithfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
II Corinthians 6:16-18 “…I will dwell in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they shall be My people…I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters.” Read again this beautiful promise of God: “I will dwell in them and walk among them.” We don’t need to worry about the presence of God. We can turn to Him at any time, as often as we need, for strength, wisdom, and reassurance. He will equip us to do what we could never do on our own. The loving care God demonstrates toward us is unending—and so should be our praises to Him. His promises are rich and numerous, and they are designed to lead us closer to Him. But those promises do not just fall into our laps. We have to claim them and their power by first choosing God as the Lord of our lives. Then He shall call us “My sons and daughters” and dwell with us always. "Dear Lord, just to think that you would call me Your own child is amazing to me. Thank you for a love so great and for being a wonderful Father to me! I invite you to dwell in me and walk with me always….In Jesus’ name, Amen."
God promised and still promises the gift of the Holy Ghost! Acts 2:38 “Then Peter said to them, repent, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call .” This scripture was from the first sermon of the early church. It was a prophecy fulfilled and a promise from God! As we acknowledge Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the outpouring of the Holy Ghost and the establishing of the Church almost 2,000 years ago. The celebration takes place on the 50th day after Easter each year. Prior to His ascension, Jesus commanded His disciples to return to Jerusalem to wait for “the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). Ten days later, on the Feast of Pentecost, as 120 of Jesus’ followers were praying in an Upper Room, it happened. The room was suddenly filled with the sound of a rushing mighty wind, cloven tongues like as of fire rested on each of them, and all were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (i.e., unknown languages) as the Spirit enabled them. The happenings in the Upper Room drew a curious crowd, who thought the disciples were drunk. But Peter declared, “For these are not drunk, as you suppose…But this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel” (Acts 2:15-16, NKJV). He then proceeded to preach the first sermon of the Church. His words were bold and powerful. Under heavy conviction, the crowd cried out, “Men and brethren what shall we do?” Peter responded: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (2:38-39). As a result, about 3,000 people accepted God’s mandate and were added to the Church that day. If you believe that Jesus is God manifest in flesh and have repented of your sins, you too can receive the glorious infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues (see also Acts 10:44-47; Acts 19:1-6). Millions have! “Dear Lord, thank you for the gift of the Holy Ghost, that is available to all that would receive it. Thank you for the gift of tongues and for the power of this gift. Help me to keep this gift of the Holy Ghost alive and working in my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen”
God promises strength and renewal for those who wait on Him! Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Have you ever felt as though you are in a holding pattern, or a waiting room of life, so to speak? You wait for God to move in your life, to give direction, or to see a prayer answered….and you are put on hold. It’s one of the hardest places to be. Why is it so hard? I think partly because we are so programmed to take matters into our own hands and try to work things out quickly. One of the important exhortations of the Bible is the call to “wait on the Lord.” Even though God promises special blessings for those who wait, waiting is one of the most difficult exhortations of scripture. Over and over again we are told in scripture to “wait on the Lord.” I remember hearing how eagles deal with storms. An eagle knows when a storm is approaching long before it breaks. The eagle will fly to a high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm; it simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm. Through this illustration, we can see how God strengthens us during times of waiting through trials. When the storms of life come, we can rise above them by setting our minds and our belief toward God. The storms do not have to overcome us; God will strengthen us during our time of waiting. His power will lift us up above the dark clouds so we can ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment into our lives. Sometimes it may feel as though God is asleep, or not hearing you, but I assure He is not asleep or ignoring you, or just standing on the sidelines observing. He is in the fight right there with you, lifting you up so you can soar above your storm. Remember, these burdens of life and being in the “waiting room” don’t have to weigh us down, it is how we handle them that is important. So wait on the Lord and be of good courage. Wait, I say, on the Lord! “Dear Lord, teach me how to wait patiently on you! I need your strength and receive this promise today! In Jesus’ name, Amen”
Jeremiah 30:17 “For I will restore health to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no one cares!” I am thankful for a God that promises to restore my health and heal my wounds. Each one of us has wounds that need healed. We’ve all suffered some type of injury, whether it be physically, spiritually, or mentally. We all have hurts, habits, and hang ups within our lives that need restoration and healing. Maybe you read the verse above and can relate to the feelings of being an outcast. Never quite fitting in, always feeling on the outside, wanting to belong. I want to encourage you today to grab ahold of God’s promises in verse 30:17 of Jeremiah. It’s written for you. Claim it over your life with great faith. Say it out loud and let its power wash over you. Also, we all have loved ones with sickness and wounds. This promise is for them also. Pray this verse over them, inserting their name as you pray. Claim it like you already have the victory, because God knows exactly what you and your loved ones need. His Word has the power to heal & restore. “Father, I thank you for this promise of healing and restoration, for myself and for others. I thank you that…. My health is restored. My wounds are healed. I am the daughter/son of the most high, the king of kings, the Lord of Lords. I belong. I am wanted. I am loved. I am healed, restored and delivered, in Jesus’ mighty name!”
James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” Pause for a moment and take inventory of your life. What do you have? People you love? Work you’re skilled at? Are you able to rise up in the morning? Do you have enough to share with others? Do you have something to smile about? These are all things given to you from God! Do you also have love, joy, peace and patience, strength and courage, mercy and grace? Do you have the Holy Ghost, salvation and the hope of a heavenly home? These are God’s greatest gifts. God graciously pours His goodness upon His children. His gifts are perfect. We should praise God, for every good and perfect gift comes from Him. We should also be thankful that God has no variableness; He never changes, but is always consistent and is always for our good. “Father, I thank you for the promise that you give good and perfect gifts to me. I thank you that you never change or waiver. You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank you for helping me to see these gifts you give me and to have a grateful heart toward you! In Jesus’ name!!!”
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Have you ever started a project, jumped in, all excited with good intentions, but when it becomes tiresome, messy or too difficult, you walk away from it? That is sometimes what people tend to do, but not God. He doesn’t quit or walk away. When we begin our relationship with, and accept Jesus as our personal savior and Lord, He begins a work in us, making us holy and molding us into who He created us to be. It’s a process that occurs every day of our lives. We will never stop learning about God and our walk with Him. Our thoughts and actions take on a greater purpose as we allow the Lord to guide all we say and do, as we allow ourselves to be used to draw others to Him. In this you can be fully confident: GOD WILL FINISH THIS WORK HE’S BEGUN IN YOU!!! “God forgive me for the times I am messy and tiresome and troublesome. I am so grateful you do not abandon Your work in Me. Continue to work in me and make me what You need me to be, in Jesus’ Name I Pray.”