Devotion of the Week | Pearls of Promise | Page 3

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.

 

 

Why Should We Finish Strong?

“Death comes quickly.” On Saturday, those were the chilling words of our pastor, Robert Morris, who shared the story of his brush with death about two months ago.

His message weighed on my mind the rest of the day, so in order to unload some of the heaviness, my husband and I decided to watch a light comedy movie that night.

The flick turned out to be anything but “light.” The elderly lead female in the movie set a poor example by smoking pot with a teenaged boy who was a neighborhood drug dealer, then she and three other “seasoned” friends murdered three men and mutilated their bodies. I didn’t find any of that funny.

Sadly, the star of this movie, who had a brilliant career, died before the movie was released. I thought, Death came quickly for her and this movie was her last offering.

The compilation of Pastor Robert’s words and this actress’ fate made me wonder, “If today was my last day on Earth, would I be ashamed or thankful for the day I lived?

The life I’ve lived?

What about you?

Would you be a role model or a model of what not to do?

Kind rather than abrasive?

Fearful or trusting?

Would your relationship with your heavenly Father be vibrant or would it be distant?

Would you even have any relationship with God?

2 Timothy 1:14 says to “Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.”

Because of our fallen state as humans, we cannot finish strong without the Holy Spirit doing the work within us.

When we accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, the third part of the Trinity came to dwell within us, so in 2 Timothy, the Apostle Paul is saying to guard this gift we were given the moment we prayed a prayer to receive Jesus. We should protect our salvation, and daily watch out for anything or anyone who wants to destroy our witness; to always be aware so that nothing takes us off course.

The enemy of our soul is not that creative. We can expect him to always goes after our achilles heel. He would like nothing better than to find the crack in our spiritual door so he can destroy our Christian platform. Then we go out with a whimper from the pit rather than a shout of praise from the rooftop.

Maybe you’ve been convicted like I was, or maybe these words are a bunch of nonsense to you. If it’s all gobbledygook, wouldn’t you like some clarity and hope? “Death comes quickly” but there is a way to have certainty that you will spend eternity in Heaven if death knocks on your door. Just take the time to pray this prayer today:

Father God, I’ve done a lot of things wrong, called sin, and know I’ve missed your perfect mark, but I believe your Son, Jesus, came to this Earth to close the gap between me and you, a Holy God. Jesus was crucified on a cross, died, and rose again from the dead to cover my sins with His blood. Today, I commit my life to you. Make a deposit in my heart, and teach me your ways. I want to finish strong. In Jesus Name I pray, AMEN.

What is Your Giant?

We face a lot of giants at times.

A giant problem in our family or work.

A giant task.

A giant decision.

And sometimes in the midst of these giants, there are additional circumstances that may make us want to play it safe or hide under the covers.

When David came up against his literal giant, a Philistine named Goliath, he received opposition from more than just the oversized warrior.

David’s oldest brother, Eliab, burned with anger toward his little brother. He thought David should be watching the sheep rather than hanging out in the thick of battle. He threw out an insult: “I know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is; you came down only to watch the battle” (1 Samuel 17:28).

King Saul didn’t think David was capable. He said, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from youth” (1 Samuel 17:33).

As the future King of Judah readied his sling shot, Goliath taunted his adversary, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” (1 Samuel 17:43).

Harsh words can dismantle us.

When other people don’t believe in our calling, it’s easy to settle back into the status quo.

When the task seems too large, we forget nothing is too big for God.

What is the giant you are facing right now?

Have you let other people’s opinions, disbelief, or the giant in front of you alter your direction?

David knew he was given a mission from God and it was bigger than Goliath, No roadblocks of negativity, his small stature, lack of ammo, or inexperience would prevent the shepherd boy from experiencing victory. His last words to Goliath and the Philistines were, “All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s and he will give all of you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:47).

Are you facing additional opposition as you face your giant?

Perhaps the LORD wants to see if you will trust what he has already told you, and desires for you to move forward on faith despite the odds against you. In the midst of the impossible is where God does His greatest work.

Blocked!

“Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family” (Proverbs 18:24). (The Message)

It was unseasonably hot here in South Texas but my husband and I braved the high nineties temperature to play a round of golf at our favorite course. An old church friend’s home is on the course, so every time I pass by the back of her house, I think of her. Over the past five years, we had drifted apart. We both changed churches so I didn’t see her anymore. However, I still miss her and had reached out to her recently on Facebook, but received no response.

So when I passed by her house, I was curious about how she was doing and tried to check out her Facebook page to see what she was up to. But she wasn’t there. Was she no longer on Facebook? I thought that was unlikely, so I came to the painful realization that not only had I been unfriended, but apparently, I’d been blocked, because I couldn’t find her at all when I searched.

Wasn’t this a friend who I’d had so much in common with? Didn’t I pray over her new house and celebrate many milestones with her? I texted a mutual friend and asked, “Is she still on Facebook?” She responded, “She unfriended me a long time ago.”

While I love Facebook because it allows me to keep up with so many people, this is the part about Facebook I don’t like. You often find out who your true friends are, and when “unfriended,” the rejection stings.

But what I’ve also determined is that the old saying, “Friends for a reason, friends for a season, friends for life” rings true. The Bible says it this way, “Friends come and friends go, but a true friend sticks by you like family” (Proverbs 18:24).

Unfortunately, I spent the rest of the round, less focused on golf and more focused on why this might have happened. Did I do something wrong? Was she offended by too many religious posts? Why wouldn’t she want to remain connected in this harmless way?

I determined that for whatever reason, God allowed this to happen, and she was a “friend for a season.”

Have you lost friends over the years? Trust God when he moves people in and out of your life. He knows who needs to come alongside you during this season. While friends may choose to disengage, our call as Christians is to still love them as Jesus loved, who said “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Despite the rejection, I still love this friend and harbor no ill will against her. If I ever run into her again, I will give her a warm hug.

We have to remember human love is imperfect. People will let us down. It is a fact of life. There is only one perfect friend and that is Jesus who says, “You are my friend if you do what I command” (John 15:14).

Today, tell your “friends for life” how thankful you are for them, and most importantly, thank Jesus for his friendship. He’s there with us through the good times and the bad, through thick and thin. He’s on call 24/7. Jesus loved us so much that he laid his life down for us, so that one day we will meet him face-to-face, and can tell him how grateful we are for his eternal love, in person.

 

 

1 2 3 4 5 98