Devotion of the Week | Pearls of Promise

Who is Faithful?

The most famous landmark at Yellowstone National Park is Old Faithful. For the past 135 years, this geyser has erupted like clockwork every 90 minutes. It doesn’t get much more faithful than that.

If only everything and everyone in our lives were like Old Faithful.

But sometimes our expectations are not met, or we are disappointed by people. That’s when we need to turn to our faithful Father in Heaven. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “If we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”

Our family spent this week at Yellowstone National Park. As we admired some spectacular landscapes, it was humbling to realize that God made the beautiful scenery for our pleasure. He is a loving God, and when we put our trust in him, he takes the most horrific situations in our lives and works good out of them.

There’s no one more faithful.

Psalm 117 says we should give God a hand for his faithfulness, “Praise God, everybody! Applaud God, all people! His love has taken over our lives; God’s faithful ways are eternal. Hallelujah! (MSG)

Are you praising God when you emerge from a trial?

Today, reflect back on all the difficult situations you’ve endured. How did your loving Father bring you through them?

When I admire God’s spectacular creation and think about His presence in my own life, I am thankful, because He guides me through every scenario, both good and bad.

He is a faithful Father.

 

One Way to Know God is Real

Have you ever asked God to help you see him in every aspect of your day?

After my early morning quiet time, I often continue my day with a walk. I know there are other forms of exercise that would burn more calories, but I love walking and adore nature because it reminds me of our imaginative Creator.

As I turn the corner out of neighborhood, I generally say hello to this bunny. He’s getting used to me and does not run when I get near him anymore. We exchange our hellos then I move on. Did you know that the American Rabbit Breeders Association recognizes forty-eight different breeds of rabbits? Rabbits can run up to forty-five miles per hour and can literally see behind them. Their range of vision spans 360 degrees. Rabbits are one small piece of God’s complex, creative design.

Squirrels are everywhere. I like squirrels, but in our old house, a group of squirrels broke into our attic, had a squirrel party and destroyed part of our home insulation. I’ve forgiven them for that escapade. There are over 200 species of squirrels in the world. According to the National Wildlife Association, a squirrel’s front teeth never stop growing, they zig-zag to avoid predators, and squirrels may pretend to bury a nut to throw off potential thieves. No one said they were dumb!

I occasionally see a roadrunner, but I haven’t been able to take a photo of him yet. Too fast!

Then I also bask in the beauty of my favorite trees, Crepe Myrtles, lining our main neighborhood street, and blooming in living color. Our heavenly Father created fifty species of Crepe Myrtles and they carry symbolism. “Many world cultures assign meaning to the myrtle blossom to include beauty, love, paradise, and immortality. In biblical times, the myrtle blossom symbolized sweetness, justice, divine generosity, peace God’s promise and recovery. Zechariah’s vision of horsemen, angels and God among the myrtle trees reinforced God’s promise that the returned exiles would be prosperous” (Godasagardener.com). Did you know all that about a Crepe Myrtle?

So when I take my walk, I praise God for providing a beautiful landscape and an interesting creation for us to enjoy. I see His hand in the design of every creature, every tree and each beautiful flower. I am in awe most mornings.

That’s why it is difficult for me to understand atheism. How can anyone doubt that there is a designer behind our intricate surroundings? If animals could talk, the Bible says they’d confirm this truth.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you  or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (Job 12:7-10).

Nature is one way to know God is real, but let’s also ask Him to reveal Himself in the rest of our day: at the grocery store, in our meetings, and inside our homes. If we open our eyes to God’s presence throughout the day, then I believe we’ll be more joyful, have more strength when people fail us, and we’ll understand that our Creator is always close at hand. After all, you are his most treasured creation.

 

 

What God Gets Up Close and Personal

If we maintain a relationship with God through Jesus Christ, I believe He speaks to us in many ways, through an impression on our mind, through His Word, through repeat messages, or through circumstances. However, occasionally, I believe our Maker gets up close and personal with us so that we never doubt His calling on our lives.

He can do this through a powerful dream or vision or He can communicate with us in an audible voice, but are we ready for this kind of intimacy?

When I was sixteen, I had a vivid dream about Jesus’ return to this Earth. I heard the sound of the Shofar and woke up crying out to Jesus. This was a lot to absorb for a young adolescent. I happened to be reading in Revelation and was so frightened by the dream that I did not open up that book of the Bible for a long time. I was not ready for this kind of intimacy with God.

Years later, when I was more mature spiritually, I heard the audible voice of the Holy Spirit, saying “There’s still more to do.” Then the Holy Spirit gave me a year. Never before and never after have I heard an audible voice, but once was enough to keep me going in ministry and to know beyond faith that God exists. When my faith needs oxygen, I always go back to that moment when God whispered in my ear.

I wonder if that is what happened to Moses?

This week, I was reading in Hebrews 11 when I saw something I’d never seen before. It said, “By faith he (Moses) left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger; he persevered because he saw him who is invisible” (Hebrews 11:27).

At first glance, you’d think this was about the time God appeared to Moses in the burning bush, but this verse is planted right after the patriarch’s decision to identify with his people. He did that by killing an Egyptian for mistreating a fellow Israelite. The verse was also sandwiched in between Moses fleeing Egypt because of that murder, and the first Passover, which occurred when he returned to Egypt forty years later. Could it be that Moses had a close encounter with God before the burning bush? Could it be that this encounter with the invisible is what kept Moses close to God in his period of waiting before the great “I Am” came calling again in a ball of fire?

We may never know the answer, but I’d like to believe the burning bush was Moses’ second supernatural meeting with the living God. I deduce that when the Lord called Moses back to Egypt, he was familiar with the Almighty, because he’d seen what was invisible before. Just like my dream about the rapture, Moses didn’t understand this supernatural experience had to do with a future call.

Have you ever had an up close and personal with God? Are you wondering what it meant? Are you waiting for more direction?  God doesn’t waste these intimate moments with us. Out of His great love, he wants us to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He exists, so that when he delivers an assignment to us, we will know he’s the Sender. Why? Because we’ve seen what was invisible before, and because of that, we won’t hesitate to move forward.

When and how has God made himself real to you? Is it part of a future call on your life? 

 

 

What Should We Do When Hope Seems Lost?

We are always shocked when successful public figures like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain take their own lives. We look at them and say, “They had it all. Money, notoriety, an exciting life. How could they be unhappy?”

But it’s a sober reminder that riches don’t satisfy, people will disappoint and our hope cannot be placed in material things.

Hebrews 6:19 says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm an secure.”

That hope is faith in Jesus Christ—no other.

We shouldn’t be surprised by occasional instability in our lives. Sometimes we cause it. Other times it is triggered by the environment around us. When we experience the ground shifting beneath our feet, we must cling to our immovable Savior who intercedes for us. It’s important to:

  • Step up our prayer time.
  • Lay all the problems at His feet.
  • Fast and humble ourselves before God, knowing that only he is capable of changing the hearts of men.

We may think we are in control, but we are not, and when we lose our grip on a situation and don’t know where to turn, that is when hopelessness potentially sets in. That’s why we need Jesus, the first place we should run to, not the last.

In the Bible, Jesus is not only described as an “anchor,” but he is also referred to as our “rock” and our “cornerstone.” He’s the foundation on which we should build our lives. He is strong when we feel weak. Psalm 28:7 says, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me.”

There was a time in my life when my public career in television as well as material things were my focus, but that career ended and the designer clothes and purses wore out. If my hope had remained in those temporal things, where would I be? I am thankful that when the bottom dropped out midway through my television career, it was the catalyst to rededicate my life to Christ and rebuild it on a more secure foundation. The next time my career let me down, I had peace because I was confident that God had a better plan—and He did.

When hope seems lost in the rocky waves below, seek the way, the truth and the life, Jesus. When people disappoint, ask Him to show you how He sees them. When a situation seems out of control, boldly plead for a solution. Ask God to provide calm in the midst of the turmoil.

When you think all hope is lost, do not despair because there is hope within reach.

Grab the Anchor.

 

One Cure for Anxiety

We had a storm the other day that wiped out our internet and it’s still not back. We’ve had to “hotspot” off our phones so we can work online and it’s also affected our ability to watch television, because it’s all connected. We thought there were others in our neighborhood who experienced this, but as it turned out, their service was restored and we were the only ones still disconnected.

It was okay for a couple of days but now on day five, it’s getting a little old. My husband’s favorite line is “How are you going to entertain me tonight?” Normally, I respond with the suggestion of a televised sporting event or a movie, but now I reply with: “How about reading a book?” or “We could go to sleep early.” I wonder if this is what it was like in the old days when there was no television or internet to entertain people. What did they do?

My guess is they told stories, or read the Bible or another book by candlelight. Maybe they knit a blanket or whittled a piece of wood by moonlight. All quiet activities. 

Because I can’t watch television, I’m now reading an apologetics book about Jesus, Man, Myth, Messiah: Answering History’s Greatest Question by Dr. Rice Broocks.

Before the invention of electricity, I wonder if people were more peaceful than we are as a society today because they didn’t have as much noise in their lives?

Research proves that too much loud noise can be hazardous to our health. In an article published by the National Library of Medicine, it was determined that “Strong noise annoyance was associated with a two-fold higher prevalence of depression and anxiety in the general population.”

I am prone to be anxious because it’s my natural tendency to spin a lot of plates at the same time. But sometimes it gets to be too much, and lately, I had been struggling with anxiety. I prayed that the Lord would help me overcome it because I know it is not of Him. I was even waking up feeling anxious. God’s ways are not our ways. He was creative, allowing our internet to crash, so I wouldn’t crash. For a stretch, he removed the noise from my life and today, I feel no anxiety whatsoever.

Psalm 23 says that God “leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.”

The Lord knew I needed to pull back from all the noise. After a busy day, it was important to be quiet and still, so the “peace that passes all understanding” could return.

Are you anxious? What noise do you need to take out of your life?

Do you fill your world with television, radio, people, movies, and group activities?

Do you ever intentionally create some “white space” to soothe your world and detox your life from all the noise?

If not, pray that God will show you how to pull back and be quiet before Him.

Dear Lord, I am sorry for always filling my life with noise so I cannot hear your soft, still voice. Historically, you have always taken your people to a quiet place when you need them to rest. I think of Moses, Elijah and Jesus, to name a few. Please show me where I need to remove the noise so that your peace prevails in my life. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN.

 

 

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