Our Divine Refuge

There are many rocky roads in this life; but as we traverse them, we can abide in the presence of our Almighty God (Psalm 91:1). Christ dwells within us by His Holy Spirit, who abides in our spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19). Realizing this prevents the negative aspects of our circumstances from adversely affecting our soul: our thoughts, emotions and attitude.

We live in victory, regardless of the situations in which we live or how negatively they are affecting our life. God uses them to develop His character in our soul, and we learn life lessons through persevering in the trials we experience. We also grow spiritually as we develop faith in God’s faithfulness (Romans 5:3-5).

Eventually, we enjoy God’s love in the midst of hateful people; His joy in depressing issues; His peace in our spirit when anxiety threatens to overwhelm our soul; and His patience, because our focus is on the eternal rather than the temporary issues of this earth (Galatians 5:22-23).

We walk cautiously and carefully, as we traverse the mine-field of life (Ephesians 5:15:20). We pour out our heart to God, trust in Him at all times as our mighty Rock, and find our hope in Him alone (Psalm 62:7-8). God’s Word provides us with a lamp to light our way (Psalm 119:105). God’s divine love and attributes fill our soul and spirit, and allow us to make the best of every situation.

We are in the world, but there is no need for us to be affected by this world. God is our refuge and strength, and He is always available to help us in all of our troubling times (Psalm 46:1). We no longer worry about the world around us, because God is the sanctuary in which we reside. He is our lifelong fortress from the world and its troubles.
Prayer:
Father God, change occurs in our spirit as a result of Your completed work of redemption. Then Your Spirit gradually influences our soul and behavior as You renew our mind through sanctification (Hebrews 10:10-14, 12:23; 1 John 3:9). You completely seal us in soul and spirit with Your Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13). Thank You for teaching us to be heavenly minded, rather than carnally minded (Colossians 3:2). We continually praise and glorify You throughout the day, as we serve You in the calling and vocation Your prepared for us before we were ever born (Psalm 31:4; Mark 13:30; Ephesians 2:10).

Thought for the Day:
As we abide in Christ, God works out all of the details of our life for our good. – Romans 8:28; John 15:3

Self-Confidence or God-Confidence

There is nothing on this earth that I want more than to be filled through all of my being with all of the fullness of God, and to have the richest measure of His presence until I completely overflow with God Himself (Ephesians 3:19). This starts at Salvation when we receive all of God’s fullness. He moves in by His Spirit with all of His glory and power.

I know that there is no way to contain more of God, because His fullness already abides in Believers; but I do want to experience a fuller awareness of His presence and leading. Too often, we are so full of our self, that we miss out on the fullness of God within us. The more we allow our flesh and self-confidence to dictate our life, the less we walk in the Spirit.

We need to surrender to God the self-assured part of our identity in order to trust Him. People with a high opinion of their assets have so much to overcome, but those who suffer with self-doubt and who lack self-esteem are closer to walking in the Spirit. The uncertain, timid person is already light years ahead of most people. Insecure people trust God more than those who are secure in their self.

What we need more than self-confidence in our human attributes is our confidence and identity in God. John advised us to decrease, so that Christ in us may increase (John 3:30). We gain our identity in who we are in Christ, not in who we are as a person. There is nothing, which God calls us to do, that we cannot accomplish, once we realize the extent of His power within us (Philippians 4:13).

If we list our human assets and talents, we discover the gifts God gave us. For instance, what are we good at? What positive character traits do we already have? These are the areas where God is already shining through us. We are His light in the world (Matthew 5:16). God lives in us, and we have all the power of the godhead working through us. Now, that fact will improve any self-image!

Prayer:
Father God, when we face challenges in life, which overwhelm our faith, we are tempted to roll up our sleeves and apply some human effort to the problem. We fail to realize our limited human resources. Remind us that the nation of Israel faced such an issue at the outskirts of Canaan, and felt like grasshoppers. They wandered in the wilderness, because they thought they had to rely on their human effort rather than on Yours. Give us the faith to follow the leading of Your Holy Spirit each moment of every day.

Thought for the Day:
When we gain our identity from Christ in us, rather than from our human capabilities or insufficiencies, we accomplish everything, which God calls us to do.

Lightening Our Load

There are times when circumstances overwhelm us. Our life is riddled with disease, broken relationships and material losses. Negative emotions fill the void left behind by these severe issues. They cause us to withdraw, to lose hope and to feel weary and uninspired. We cannot seem to lift our head up off the pillow.

There are thousands of people in your sphere of influence, who all feel the same way that you do. They are looking for someone like you who will understand the place that they are in and to reach out to them and pray for them. You can take tiny steps at first. Go to your small group and share your experience. You may find others there who can relate to your experiences.

As you feel better, you can learn a new hobby. You will meet new people in the classes you take, which are potential new friends. Some of them will encourage you, and you will encourage others. You can join the YMCA or a fitness club and lose weight. That will enhance your self-image and physical well-being. Volunteer at your church by serving in a ministry or helping in the office or the nursery.

Play a game on the computer to improve your mental concentration and to bring some joy into your life. Get interested in your neighbors and lighten their load in some way. Giving your time and attention to others will also ease your burden and give you less time for Satan to drench you with self-pity. Follow your passion and get involved, so you can put down your heavy burdened, and feel less lonely.

Prayer:
Father God, help us to turn to You in our time of need. You provide these trials to draw us closer to You. Remind us that being busy is helpful, but spending time with You is even more appealing. We grow in our intimacy and love for You and we receive direction from Your Spirit. Remind us to allow You to use us to lighten the burden from someone else’s shoulders (Galatians 6:2).

Thought for the Day:
As we help others to deal with their issues, we will help our self at the same time.

God Never Fails

 

There are times in life when we feel devastated, overwhelmed and hopeless. We have no idea how to pay our bills, buy groceries or keep a roof over our head. If we keep our faith and hope in God, anything is possible (Mark 9:23). When trouble surrounds us and life is hard, we know that there is always a way out, because God loved us enough to lay down His life for us (2 Corinthians 4:8).

 

God has good plans for His righteous ones and there is always hope in our future (Jeremiah 29:11). We fear nothing, which life throws at us or people threaten us with. Full surrender to God’s will in every circumstance is the only way to stay sane. If we continue to strive for our own way, we will continue to feel frustrated and hopeless. Total surrender to God is the key to making sense of our circumstances.

 

If we call out to the Lord, and pray to Him for help, He never fails to hear us. Our cries always reach His ears (Psalm 18:8). Our Lord and Redeemer strengthens us and holds us up with His victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10, 13-14). Surrendering our present and future to God, walking away from our worries and leaving them in His hands is the only way to dwell in His rest (Hebrews 4:10).

 

We trust in God, not in our family or friends, job or bank account, talents or human reasoning, church or neighbors. We can put too much pressure on others when we expect them to support us more than they already are. They will feel undue stress and push back or ignore us. We have to get our eyes off our self and onto God. Then He will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

 

As long as we are still alive, we have hope (Ecclesiastes 9:4). The Lord saves the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He binds our wounds and carries our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4, Psalm 147:3). Our hope comes from God alone and He gives us rest for our soul (Psalm 43:5; 62:5). As we put our hope in Him, the Lord rescues us from our trials (Psalm 39:7; 2 Peter 2:9).

 

Prayer:

Father God, even when we take our focus off You in the midst of our tribulation, we know without a doubt that You are always there for us, loving us unconditionally and giving us the victory through Your death and resurrection. Nothing this world has to offer compares to the hope we have, which comes only from You (Psalm 62:5; Ecclesiastes 9:4). You are always on our side, ever loving us and drawing us closer to Your heart (John 6:44; Psalm 136:1).

 

Thought for the Day:

God gives us grace to live for today, but remember that tomorrow’s grace will not come until tomorrow.

 

Our Help in Trouble

There are times in life when we feel devastated, overwhelmed and hopeless. Total surrender to God is the key to making sense of our circumstances. Surrendering our family and future to God, walking away from our worries and leaving them in His hands is the only action that will keep us sane. God will give us grace for today, but tomorrow’s grace will not come until tomorrow.

 

As long as we are still alive, we have hope (Ecclesiastes 9:4). The Lord saves the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit (Psalm 34:18). He binds our wounds and carries our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4, Psalm 147:3). Our hope comes from God alone and He gives us rest for our soul (Psalm 43:5; 62:5). As we put our hope in Him, the Lord rescues us from our trials (Psalm 39:7; 2 Peter 2:9). If we keep our faith and hope in God, anything is possible (Mark 9:23).

 

When trouble surrounds us and life is hard, we know that there is always a way out, because God loved us enough to lay His life down for us (2 Corinthians 4:8). God has good plans for His righteous ones and there is always hope in our future (Jeremiah 29:11). There is no need to fear anything, which life throws at us or that people threaten us with. We relinquish them all to the Lord for Him to deal with.

 

If we call out to the Lord, and pray to Him for help, He never fails to hear us. Our cries always reach His ears (Psalm 18:8). Our Lord and Redeemer strengthens us and holds us up with His victorious right hand (Isaiah 41:10, 13-14). Full surrender to God’s will in every circumstance is the only way to stay sane. If we continue to strive in our own way, we will continue to feel frustrated and hopeless.

 

We trust in God, not in our family or friends, job or bank account, talents or human reasoning, church or neighbors. If we do, we put too much pressure on others when we expect them to support us more than they already are. They will feel undue stress and push back or ignore us. We have to get our eyes off our self and onto God. Then He will keep us in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:3).

 

Troubles are round us on every side, but we are not shut in; things are hard for us, but God shows us a way out of them (2 Corinthians 4:8). He leads us one step at a time (Matthew 6:31-34). Do not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:25-30). Face today braced by God’s Spirit and praising God for who He is. Follow the leading of God’s Spirit throughout each day, even if you do not want to obey. Then, God will pour showers of blessings on you all the days of your life.

 

Prayer:

Father God, even when we take our focus off You in the midst of our tribulation, we know without a doubt that You are always there for us, loving us unconditionally and giving us the victory through Your death and resurrection. Nothing this world has to offer compares to the hope we have, which comes only from You (Psalm 62:5; Ecclesiastes 9:4). You are always on our side, ever loving us and drawing us daily closer to Your heart (John 6:44; Psalm 136:1).

 

Thought for the Day:

God’s sheltering arms keep us from falling and He lifts us up when we are discouraged. – Psalm 145:14