Daily Devotions

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Christ Prays for You​


READ THE SCRIPTURE: JOHN 17:9-19
Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.
John 17:11b RSV

This is the great prayer Jesus prayed before he went to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is leaving these disciples by means of the garden, the betrayal, the judgment seat of Pilate, and the cross, and to them it appeared that he was abandoning them. They felt frightened, helpless, alone, and unable to understand what was taking place. They could not see that our Lord was merely introducing a higher and a better relationship to them.

Do we not feel this way? God leads us to a place of change and we are frightened by it. We wonder if we are not losing everything we held dear in the past. We scarcely realize that God is but leading us to a higher, a newer, and greater relationship. Like these disciples, we are frightened and fearful.

My concern is how to convey something of the gripping reality of these requests of Jesus, something of the intense practicality of what he is saying. I am so afraid that we will fail to realize that Jesus here is actually praying for us — for what he prays for his disciples he prays for us. Notice the plea that Jesus utters for his disciples. Holy Father, he says, Keep them, (John 17:11b RSV). Later he said, I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil one. (John 17:15a RSV). This is the theme of his prayer: That they might be protected and kept.

Why? There are so many things that I would pray for if I were in his place. They are the usual things we pray for one another. Why didn't Jesus pray, Use them, or strengthen them, or teach them, or guide them? This is what we would pray for each other. But when he comes to this place where he is leaving them and he wants to put into one brief phrase all that is his heart's urging and desire for them, he sums it up in those two little words: keep them.

All of this simply points to the fact, highlighted for us here in this prayer of Jesus, that relationship is the supreme thing. Whom we are with is far more important than what we do. Our Lord, aware of that, gathers all of these requests in these words, Keep them, Father, keep them. Whom you fellowship with determines what you are, so his prayer is that our relationship with the Father remain intact, for then all else he desires will come from that. So he prays, Keep them.

Lord, thank you that you prayed for me, and thank you that I can know that your prayer is being answered and that you will keep me to the very end.

Life Application​

At the center of life's unnerving, destabilizing circumstances is Jesus' prayer for us to be kept. Do we cling to the flotsam of our own devices, or are we learning to take refuge in the certainty of His purpose, and the supreme power of his prayer for us?

Daily Devotion © 2014, 2022 by Ray Stedman Ministries.
 

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Our Responsibility—God’s Responsibility


So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.
—MATTHEW 6:34



Every believer has the responsibility to live right—to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer. Motivated by the reverential fear of the Lord, we can learn to live carefully and begin to make a difference in the world we live in. You and I need to be careful about what we allow into our spirits and how we live our lives. Proverbs 4:23 says to guard our heart with all diligence because out of it flows the issues of life. I believe we should have a careful attitude about how we live—not a casual or a careless one. We need to be careful about what we watch, what we listen to, what we think about, and who our friends are.

I’m not saying we need to live according to the strict and demanding dictates of man. Some would say we must not wear makeup or that we must wear colorless clothing from our necks to our ankles. That is nothing more than legalistic bondage to a bunch of rules and regulations. I had a very legalistic relationship with God for years and was miserable, so the last thing I want to do is teach legalism. What I am saying is that we shouldn’t compromise. We should recognize our responsibility as Christians to live our lives in such a way that unbelievers will be attracted to God by our behavior.

James 4:17 says, “. . . any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.” In other words, if we are convicted that something is wrong, then we must not do it—even if we see a hundred other people doing it and getting by with it. They may seem to be getting by with it, but sooner or later, we will all reap what we sow.

We know that worry and anxiety are not characteristics of a godly Christian. Yet still, many Christians worry. You can choose to worry, or you can reject worry and choose to live with joy and peace. Most people don’t want to hear that message, and they seem to find an odd comfort in thinking that worrying is beyond their control. It is not. Worry is a sin against God.

As long as I’ve been in the church, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone make that statement. But it is sin. It is calling God a liar. It is saying that God is not sufficiently able to take care of you and provide for your needs.
Faith says, “God can do it.” Worry says, “God isn’t able to help me.”

When you worry, you not only call God a liar, but you have also allowed the devil to fill your mind with anxious thoughts. The more you focus on the problems, the larger they become. You start to fret and may even end up in despair.

Think of the words of the great apostle: “I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency]” (Philippians 4:13). Or think of the words from the psalmist: “Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass” (Psalm 37:5).

Jesus told His disciples not to be anxious and, as quoted above, not to worry about tomorrow. But He did more than teach those words; He lived them out: “And Jesus replied to him, Foxes have holes and the birds of the air have lodging places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head” (Matthew 8:20). That wasn’t a complaint but a simple fact of life. Jesus trusted His Father’s provision for Him even when He didn’t know where He would sleep or what He would eat.

Jesus taught that we are not to worry about anything in life. He wasn’t speaking about planning and thinking ahead. He was saying that some people never act because fear holds them back. They can always tell you ten things that can go wrong with every plan. Jesus wants us to live a stress-free life. If you are worrying about what might happen, you’re hindering God from working in your life.

I heard about a couple whose daughter was diagnosed with a serious illness that wasn’t covered by insurance. The parents were struggling to pay all the medical bills. Not knowing what else to do, they both went into their bedroom for a lengthy time of prayer. Afterward the husband said, “It was really quite simple. I am God’s servant. My responsibility is to serve my Master. His responsibility is to take care of me.”

The next day, the doctors told them that their daughter was eligible to be part of an experimental surgery and all expenses would be paid. The wife smiled and said, “God is responsible, isn’t He?” What a testimony to their faith and trust in God who remains faithful and responsible at all times and in all things. God is no respecter of persons. What He does for one, He will do for another (see Romans 2:11). I encourage you to stop worrying and start trusting in Him.


Prayer Starter:
Lord God, I know that worry is a sin against You. In the name of Jesus, help me overcome all anxieties and worry and enable me to trust You to provide for every need I have. Amen.

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of Mind Devotional
 

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Facing the Cost of Self-Discipline​



Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12)


As Christians, many of us have the idea that everything in our lives should be perfect simply because we are Christians.

But Jesus clearly warned us, "In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration!" (John 16:33 AMP). Jesus said we would have to deal with worldly troubles. These things are a part of life that we must all face when we lay down our selfish desires to follow Him.

The apostle Paul wrote, "But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it!"(1 Corinthians 9:27). Paul is speaking here about self-discipline.

Being self-disciplined means laying down our sinful desires and doing the right thing by God's grace, no matter what the cost. It's not always easy.

Dying to self will bring necessary suffering, but remember, even in the face of our suffering, there is hope, for Christ has overcome the world!

And like Paul said, we can "rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer."


Prayer Starter:
God, I decide in advance to please You, whether my flesh is willing or not. Even if I need to suffer to do Your will, I know that there is hope, for Your Spirit is in me, and You have overcome the world.

Promises for Your Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
 

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The Prayer for Unity​


READ THE SCRIPTURE: JOHN 17:20-26
I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
John 17:23
Note the strategy by which God intends to accomplish his objective of reaching the world: that they may be brought to complete unity. There are those who tell us that this prayer of Jesus concerning the church must now begin to be answered, that it is now time to answer this prayer after twenty-one centuries of it remaining unfulfilled, that we must now forget all the differences and distinctions that have separated us into various denominations and sectarian groups through the centuries and join in one great organization or union. But let us first raise the question, Is this prayer really unanswered today? Can it be possible for twenty-one centuries to roll by before God the Father begins to fulfill this last request of Jesus?

No, this prayer has been answered ever since the Day of Pentecost. This strategy is not of human making. This business of making all Christians one does not depend upon us, it depends upon the Spirit of God. Paul's great chapter on the Holy Spirit in First Corinthians clearly establishes the fact that in the Spirit's coming he accomplished what Jesus prayed for. This is the divine strategy by which the world may be led to believe in him. All Christians are one, not in union, but in unity. Union is an outward agreement, an alliance, formed by the submerging of differences for sake of merging. But this artificial union, this joining together in an organization, is this the answer to Jesus' prayer here? The test, of course, is, Does it accomplish what Jesus says will be accomplished when the church is one? Does it cause unbelievers to believe that Jesus is the authentic voice of God? There is little evidence that this is the case. My observation is that when churches or denominations join together (though there may be good in much of this), it creates a vast, monolithic power structure which causes men and women of the world to fear the church as a threat to their own power structures, as a rival force in world politics and world affairs.

Unity, as indicated here, is the sharing of a life. Look at Verse 23 again: I in them and you in me — so that they may be brought to complete unity. That is quite different, is it not? The divine strategy by which the Lord intends to bring the world to an awareness of Jesus Christ is to create in the midst of the world a family, a family life, a shared life, so that men and women all over the earth, becoming by new birth members of that life, enter into a family circle which is so unmistakable and so filled with joy and warmth that unbelievers observing it will envy it and, like homeless orphans with their noses pressed up against the window, will long to join the warmth and the fellowship of the family circle. The remarkable thing is that when the church is like this there is no more potent evangelistic thrust.

Father, you are the God of love. When I look at the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ I see that love poured out for me. Lord, this is the nature and character of the love that is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Spirit. Teach your people to love one another.

Life Application​

As members of God's own redeemed family, mutual partakers of his life and his love, does our family witness honor this distinctive heritage? Do they know we are Christ's ones by our united witness to His redeeming love and amazing grace?

Daily Devotion © 2014, 2022 by Ray Stedman Ministries.
 

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Right from the Heart​



Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?
—MATTHEW 6:31


“What are you going to do?” As a Christian leader, I’ve come to believe this is one of Satan’s favorite questions. I sometimes think he sends out special demons that have one specific task: to whisper this question in the ears of believers: “What are you going to do?” If you listen, the questions increase. The more they increase, the more negative and intense they become. Before long, you think of every possible obstacle on your path. You begin to feel as if nothing is right in your life.

That is the devil’s task. He and his helpers wage war on the battlefield of your mind. They want to engage you and other Christians in long, drawn-out, costly combat. The more questions and uncertainties they raise, the greater their chances for victory over your mind.

Jesus instructs us to “. . . stop being perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?” (v. 25).
The first thing you need to remind yourself of is that you are living in disobedience when you allow anxieties to fill your mind. Jesus says, “Don’t do that.”
Second, remind yourself that when you worry, you’re looking at the wrong things. In school, most of us were shown pictures that were optical illusions. If we looked at a picture one way, we saw a woman’s face. If we looked at it differently, we saw a rose.

Think of that as a mindset. If you focus on Jesus and His loving arms stretched out to you, you live in peace. You know He’s with you, and if He’s with you, He will also take care of you. If you focus on the other picture, you see only problems, defeats, and discouragement. It really does depend on where you concentrate your attention.

The enemy knows that if he can feed your mind often enough and long enough with the wrong things, he can make you think about and feel only the wrong things. For instance, instead of being thankful that the Lord has been with you through many dark and troublesome times, you can begin to ask, “How did I get here anyway? What am I doing in this fix? If God really loved me. . . .”

That’s not the end of it. Once the devil starts to win in the area of poisoning your mind, he moves on, and before long, you’re repeating Satan’s words—words that not only tear you down, but also hurt and tear down others. Then Satan has a double victory—he’s trapped you, and you’ve influenced others.

Jesus said to the people of His day, “You offspring of vipers! How can you speak good things when you are evil (wicked)? For out of the fullness (the overflow, the superabundance) of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man from his inner good treasure flings forth good things, and the evil man out of his inner evil storehouse flings forth evil things” (Matthew 12:34-35).

Those are strong, powerful words. They remind us that the devil starts with a whisper—just the smallest word of doubt in your ear. If you listen, his words get louder and you hear more things. Soon you unconsciously listen for his misdirection.

That leads you to speak the words in your heart, whatever they are. Once you speak, you move into action. You not only spoil your own relationship with God, but you become instruments to churn up doubts and fears in others.

There is only one way for you to win: Refuse to listen to Satan. As soon as you hear such words, you need to say, “Satan, the Lord rebuke you. Stay out of my mind.”


Prayer Starter:
Lord Jesus, thank You for Your words that remind me of the importance of my thoughts and my words. Please, I ask in Your name, fill my heart with such an abundance of peace and joy that the enemy can never infiltrate my mind. May my words reflect Your presence in my life. Amen.

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of Mind Devotional

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False Evidence Appearing Real​



For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)


There is a debilitating fear that Satan tries to put on us every day. I call fear False Evidence Appearing Real.

It is intended to keep us from having the power, love and sound mind God wants us to have. Sometimes we think of fear as an emotion, but it is actually a spirit. In fact, fear is one of Satan's favorite tools, and he particularly loves to harass Christians with it.

But Jesus said, "All things can be (are possible) to him who believes!" (Mark 9:23 AMP). And an on-fire, Bible-believing Christian who is fearless is the enemy's worst fear! It has been said that fear is the opposite of faith, and that is true.

We can't live in faith and fear at the same time. Fear paralyzes us and keeps us from receiving God's promises. It keeps us from stepping out and obeying what God has called us to do. Fear must be confronted head-on with the power of faith.

We must proclaim the Word of God and command fear to leave. So the next time fear knocks on your door, send faith to answer!



Prayer Starter:
Lord, alert me when I'm confronted by False Evidence Appearing Real. I know that with Your help, I can respond with the power of faith and send fear running every time.


Promises for Your Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
 

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The Beginning of Prayer​


READ THE SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 3:8-13
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, Where are you?
Gen. 3:8-9
This is the beginning of prayer. It is suggested here that this was a habitual thing in the lives of Adam and Eve. It is rather remarkable, but the first prayer is recorded only after the fall. Yet the account suggests very plainly that prayer had been a continual delight and blessing to Adam and Eve, and was daily a part of their experience. This seems to be a habitual action on God's part. He comes into the garden in the cool of the day to converse with the two that had come from his creative hand, and together they talked in the garden.

The most remarkable thing about this incident is that the initiative for beginning this prayer comes from God. It is the Lord who comes into the garden. It is the Lord who calls out for man. Prayer, therefore, begins with God. In many ways, that is the greatest truth about prayer that we can learn from this incident, because all through the rest of Scripture that truth underlies every prayer that is ever uttered from here on. So we must always read the accounts of Scripture from that point of view.

A lot of false teaching has gone out that pictures prayer as something man does to God. In the messages I have heard on prayer, at times it seems that it is man who rescues God from his own proclivity to judge by praying at the right time. But people are never more compassionate than God. Compassion is born of God and only shows up in human beings when it is implanted by the Spirit of God.

You cannot feel compassion and mercy and pity without the moving of the Spirit of God. It is always a mistake to think that we are called on in the act of prayer to do something to God, or that we are being summoned to persevere in prayer to such a degree that we pray through and persuade a reluctant God to do or not to do something that he has set his heart upon. That is not prayer. Prayer, as in this first instance in the Garden of Eden, begins with God. It is God who calls. It is God who helps. That is why, when we feel a need or a desire to pray, or to set up a disciplined habit of prayer, it is God who has begun that. He has planted that desire in us and we are responding. We must remember that, because that is the first great truth about prayer in the Scripture.

Father, there are times when I hide myself, as Adam and Eve did. Thank you for the voice that refuses to let me go, but gently calls me out to deal with my infirmities and enables me to find the place of cleansing and forgiveness and restoration.

Life Application​

Does knowing that our desire and need to pray results from God's initiative generate confidence in his willing response to our prayers? Do we dishonor his loving initiative by presuming to manipulate his response? Are we learning transparency and trust in our communication with our Father?

Daily Devotion © 2014, 2022 by Ray Stedman Ministries.
 

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Seek God, Not Gifts​



In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night. And God said, Ask what I shall give you. . . . [Solomon said] So give Your servant an understanding mind and a hearing heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad.
—1 KINGS 3:5,9A


A friend confessed to me one day, “Instead of seeking God’s face, I’ve been guilty of seeking God’s gifts. Too many times I have been more excited about what He does for me than I’ve been about seeking His face and rejoicing in who He is.” She went on to say that she craved the blessings and wonderful things God did in her life. The Lord had used her in praying for the sick and had opened doors for her to minister to people.

We’ve all known ministers of the gospel who were truly blessed and used by God. We also know some of them who had great downfalls. What happened? I don’t know all the details, but I know enough about Satan’s tactics that I can explain the pattern.

God raises up servants—godly people who truly desire to serve Him and help others. They become successful, and perhaps that’s when Satan first attacks them. He reminds them of who they are and how greatly God has used them. (Satan sometimes tells the truth to lead to a lie.) He encourages them to become even more successful or famous—whatever their weaknesses, he plays on those.

If they don’t rebuke the evil voice, they soon push forward and seek greater spiritual gifts. They want to be the best-known healers in the world or the greatest evangelists. Too often, they don’t hear God’s quiet voice or sense His sadness as they push forward.

Before long, they want what God gives, but they don’t really want God. That’s one of Satan’s oldest tricks. He tried to accuse God of bribing His followers. In the first chapter of Job, God called Job blameless and upright, one who feared God and shunned evil (see Job 1:8b).

“Then Satan answered the Lord, Does Job [reverently] fear God for nothing? Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has, and he will curse You to Your face” (Job 1:9-11)

Of course, we know that Job didn’t give in to the devil. He had truly sought God and not His gifts. The book of Job tells of one hardship and trial after another, including the devil using his friends to plead with him to give up. Job never did quit because he sought God more than he sought His gifts.

By contrast, think of King Saul—Israel’s first king. He was tall, handsome, and chosen by God. He could have been a great leader, but he allowed Satan to win the battle over his mind. Later, Saul was so possessed by evil spirits that he needed young David to play his lute to calm the troubled spirit. At the end of his life, Saul went to a witch for an answer because he knew God had departed from him. That’s a man who yielded to the devil. He sought gifts and power more than he sought God.

Our heavenly Father delights in giving His children good things—but only if you seek after Him first. In the verses above, when Solomon asked for wisdom, God not only gave him wisdom but he commended him for not asking for long life or riches. And because he didn’t ask for those things, God said, “I’m going to give them to you anyway.” That’s the generous way the Lord works. When you seek Him, He gives generously; when you seek only His gifts, you may receive those gifts, but you will also get an empty life. Or worse, you may allow Satan to advance.



Prayer Starter:
Great and all-wise God, forgive me for looking at the wrong things. Help me to seek You, to yearn only for You and how I may please You. I want You to use me to serve You, but most of all, I want to know that my life pleases You. I ask for Your help, in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of Mind Devotional
 

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Conviction Is Necessary​


Because the LORD disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son. (Hebrews 12:6)


I never want to be out of fellowship with the Lord. I must have Him to get through every single day of my life.

That's why I'm so grateful for the conviction of the Holy Spirit. He lets me know if I'm doing something that grieves God or interferes with our fellowship.

He convicts and convinces me of what is right. God loves us even more than we love our own children, and in His love, He disciplines us. He tells us again and again when we're on the wrong path.

He may tell us fifteen different ways, trying to get our attention. His message of convicting love is everywhere. He wants us to listen to Him because He loves us.

But if we persist in our ways, He'll withhold privileges and blessing from us because He wants us to grow up. Remember, if you yield to conviction, it will lift you up and out of sin and lead you back to the heart of God. Let conviction lift you to a new level in God.

Don't resist it; receive it!


Prayer Starter:
Lord, convict me of sin. I realize that conviction is a blessing and vitally necessary to walk with You properly. Get me where I need to be so that I can fellowship with You.


Promises for Your Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
 

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Helplessness in Prayer​


READ THE SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 32:9-32
So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak.
Gen. 32:24

This is one of those mysterious, intriguing incidents found very frequently in the Old Testament, where some element of mystery is introduced without much explanation. Everyone who reads this asks, Who is this masked man? Where did he come from? What is he doing? I am sure Jacob must have felt that way too. He thought he was all alone, having sent everyone and everything across the river, when suddenly out of the shadows steps a man, who to Jacob's amazement begins to wrestle with him.

As you read further, there is, no doubt as to who the man is. In fact, at the end of the story, Jacob names the place of this encounter, Peniel, which means, the face of God, because he said, I have met God face to face and still survived. Here is a man who, in some strange way, in one of those Old Testament theophanies, is God himself appearing in visible form, and he wrestles with Jacob.

What does all that mean? Taken in connection with the whole story there is no question that what we have here is God's attempt to improve Jacob's prayer life with a crash course on praying. God is attempting to break down Jacob's stubborn dependence upon himself. Jacob's problem was that he never really trusted God to do things. He always had that inward feeling that if he did not do it himself, God would probably not come through. Now God is dealing with him in a defining moment. Jacob has to face up to the fact that, though his prayers are eloquent,

beautifully phrased, and theologically accurate, they are useless because he does not believe that God is going to do anything. All his trust is in himself. I meet a lot of people like that. They pray and talk wonderful, theologically-correct language but do not really believe God is going to act. This is what Jacob is doing here. There is no expectation, but rather a stubborn refusal on Jacob's part to give up and expect God to handle the situation.

Do you recognize yourself here? I recognize myself frequently doing that. The account continues, Verse 25: When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. That came after hours of wrestling. Jacob has resisted, struggled, and fought back. He will not give in until, at last, the divine hand touches him on the thigh and puts the hip socket out of joint. That is the end of it; nobody can wrestle in that condition. All Jacob can do now is to cling in helpless dependence upon this strange wrestler. Knowing by now something of who this man is, he hangs on desperately.

Many messages on this account comment on the fact that Jacob was mighty in prayer because he wrestled with God all night long and prevailed. But it is not true that Jacob wrestled with God. It is God who wrestled with Jacob, trying to break down his stubborn self-reliance, his feeling that it all depends on him, that he has got to do it or else it is not going to get done, that God is really going to do nothing in the situation.
Furthermore, Jacob did not prevail over God by wrestling. The moment of prevailing comes when his hip is broken, when he is absolutely helpless and can do nothing but hang on. That is when he prevailed with God. That is what this account is teaching us. God responds to that sense of human helplessness.

Lord, perhaps by your grace you may lame me that I may have a constant reminder that you are the God who acts beyond anything I can do. When I ask you to act I should expect you to act, Lord, and not be like Jacob, working things out on my own.

Life Application​

Who among us does not at some time presume to control God? How does this compare with total trust in the integrity and power of God? Are we willing to pray with Jesus, '...nevertheless, not my will but Thine be done?'

Daily Devotion © 2014, 2022 by Ray Stedman Ministries
 

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D.V.​



Come now, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money. Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. . . . You ought instead to say, If the Lord is willing, we shall live and we shall do this or that [thing].
—JAMES 4:13-15



He told me that he and his wife were missionaries to Chad, Africa, and then he said, “We plan to return in January, D.V.”
I didn’t know what D.V. meant, but I didn’t say anything.

As he described his evangelism program for the interior of the country, he kept saying, “D.V.”
Finally, I asked, “What does D.V. mean?”

“It’s a Latin phrase I learned in school, and it means a great deal to me,” he said. “It stands for Deo volente, which means God willing.”
As we talked, I realized how seriously he meant D.V. He said he had great ideas about things he wanted to see happen in Chad, but more than that, he wanted to be sure his ideas were in line with God’s. “When I say, D.V., that’s a reminder to me—it’s my way of saying, ‘This is what I’d like. Is it okay with You, Lord?’”

The missionary was totally in line with the words from the book of James, and I loved his humble attitude. He didn’t worry about the future, but as he looked ahead, he said, “I like to remind myself that God is the One who decides.” He noted that far too many Christians plan their lives by what they want to do. It’s as if they say, “Okay, God, this is what I’m going to do. I hope You’re okay with that.”

James calls that boasting! “You boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong” (4:16).

God calls us to live—here and now—but to live one day at a time. There are a lot of boasting people out there—they decide what they want and expect everything to run smoothly. That can be a trick of Satan, as well. If he can get them to focus on tomorrow or next year, they don’t have to deal with the problems in their lives right now. They can live in a world of only good things that will take place in the future. Isn’t that like driving a car down the highway and ignoring what’s right in front of us because we’re focused on the traffic signal five blocks ahead? We’re setting ourselves up for a wreck.

None of us knows what’s ahead. We can think and plan, but it’s up to God to make those plans happen. Few people seem to know how to live each day to the fullest. That means to live in the now and to enjoy life as it is. If we look ahead, we do so and say, “God, show me Your will so that I don’t boast or race ahead of You.”

Jesus promised us a life of abundance (see John 10:10). But we can’t enter into that abundance if we’re not giving our lives fully to Him. Don’t spend today planning tomorrow and avoid the issues that confront you now. That is one of Satan’s oldest tricks—to plan for tomorrow and to ignore today.


Prayer Starter:
My heavenly Father, please help me live today. Whether I actually say the words D.V. or not, remind me that Your will is more important than anything in my life. Help me not to allow Satan to get me thinking so much about tomorrow that I fail to live today in a way that pleases You. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of Mind Devotional
 

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Receive Forgiveness, Not Condemnation​



If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.(1 John 1:9)


Every single day of our lives we need forgiveness.

The Holy Spirit sets off the alarm in our spirits to recognize sin, and He gives us the power of the blood of Jesus to continuously cleanse us from sin and keep us in right standing with Him.

But if we are overcome with condemnation, we can be certain it is not from God. He sent Jesus to die for us, to pay the price for our sins.

Jesus bore our sin and condemnation on the cross (Isaiah 53).

When God breaks the yoke of sin from us, He removes the guilt too. He is faithful and just to forgive all our sins and to continually cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

The devil knows that condemnation and shame keep us from approaching God in prayer so we can receive forgiveness and enjoy intimate fellowship with Him. Feeling bad about ourselves or believing that God is angry with us only separates us from His presence.

He will never leave you, so don't withdraw from Him because of condemnation. Receive His forgiveness and walk with Him.

Prayer Starter:
God, thank You for showing me that condemnation is not from You. Today, I receive Your forgiveness. You have cleansed me of sin so that I can live in right standing with You.


Promises for Your Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
 

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A Poor but Good Prayer​


READ THE SCRIPTURE: NUMBERS 11:4-34
He (Moses) asked the Lord, Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their ancestors? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, Give us meat to eat! I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me.
Num 11:11-14

It is obvious that this prayer is filled with a great deal of self-pity, reproach, and petulance. It is the expression of a man who feels he had been put upon. Moses comes very close to rebuking and upbraiding God for ever giving him the job of taking care of these ungrateful people. This is one of the poorest prayers in the Bible, but it is a prayer that is very like ours.

Moses had an extremely rich prayer life. His prayers are uttered with an artless eloquence which gathers up majestic thoughts about the greatness of God, which reflect man's faith and God's power to act, but this is surely not one of them. This is a very weak prayer, uttered at a time when Moses felt that he had been taken advantage of. He wanted to quit, so he lays it all before God, and says, Why ever did you give me a job like this? Where am I to get meat to give to all these people? Why should I bear them on my heart? I didn't bring them into being.

We do not get this picture of Moses very often. He was a towering figure in the Old Testament, a mighty prophet and leader of the people. He affected the laws of nations for thousands of years, therefore we tend to think of him as high above all of us in his relationship to God. We are familiar with the stories of Moses exercising the mighty power of God — stretching out his rod to roll back the waters of the Red Sea so that the people of Israel walked through on dry land, striking the rock so the waters flowed out in the midst of a howling desert to slake the thirst of the people. It is clear from many of these stories in the Bible that he was a mighty man of God.

But here in this prayer we get the other side of Moses. In this and other accounts like this we get glimpses now and then of Moses as he lived his daily life, and the amazing thing is that, when we get close to him, we see that he is a surprisingly unimpressive figure in himself. Here we see him angry and upset and feeling sorry for himself. There is nothing heroic about him at all. Moses is, by natural temperament, an irresolute, shrinking personality, distrustful of self, easily discouraged, ready to resign and even die when the pressure is heavy. This is the human instrument used so mightily by God.

The remarkable thing about this is that even this self-pitying reproachful request of Moses was answered. It is the poorest prayer he ever prayed, far from a model of prayer, but, whatever else it was, this prayer was an attempt to draw upon divine resources. It recognized Moses' own personal insufficiency, and it had an awareness of the incredible resources of God; therefore God honored it and answered it. That is what prayer is, a reliance on God, which brings forth great possibilities.

Lord, I confess I often feel like Moses. I feel like my problems are too big for me, my circumstances are too complex for me to work out, and I resent being asked to do so. Forgive me Lord. Teach me that you are a God of infinite resources, of incredible wisdom, of infinite patience, and that you work out these matters if I but trust.

Life Application​

Are we quick to blame God for life's problems, but slow to accept his ways and means to their solutions? Could this indicate misplaced confidence in ourselves, rather than confident expectation in God and his will?
Daily Devotion © 2014, 2022 by Ray Stedman Ministries.
 

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Casting Our Cares upon God​



Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
—1 PETER 5:6-7


It is important that we learn to humble ourselves and cast our care on the Lord. We shouldn’t struggle to believe that God wants us to lay all of our concerns at the foot of the cross, when He so clearly has told us in His Word to do exactly that.

The word casting refers to throwing, hurling, arising, sending, striking, thrusting, driving out, or expelling—all rather forceful terms. It seems to be difficult for some of us to believe that God considers worry or care a sin. So we may actually have to become spiritually violent about casting our care upon the Lord and abiding in the secret place of the Most High, under the shadow of the Almighty.

It literally took me years to be set totally free from the burden of guilt and condemnation. I knew mentally and spiritually that I had been made the righteousness of God in Christ because of what He had done for me on Calvary, but I still had a hard time accepting it and living in it emotionally. The devil kept attacking my feelings, making me feel guilty and condemned. I worried about my past—how could I ever overcome it? I fought against those thoughts for years until finally I got fed up. I told the devil, “No! I am not going to believe your lies! Jesus has made me the righteousness of God, and I have made up my mind that I am going to have what He died to give me!”

I knew from the Bible that I had been made right with God through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus Christ. I was doing my best to keep my mind set on all that Jesus had sacrificed for me. I confessed scriptures, but the enemy still attacked my mind and my feelings until there arose in me a holy anger that finally set me free.

I became angry enough to rise up against the principalities, powers, and wickedness in high places that tried to keep me from enjoying all the blessings God intended for me. Too often, we get mad at other people when our anger should be directed to the source of the problem—the devil and his demons.

Just as anger at Satan can be a form of righteous violence, so can casting our care on the Lord. We can resist Satan, worry and anxiety, and guilt and condemnation, until we get so fed up that we react with a holy anger. When he tries to force us to carry a burden of care, we can stop him in his tracks and say, “No! I will not carry that care. I am casting it upon the Lord!”

Every one of us has certain spiritual issues that must be settled once and for all. We need to cast on the Lord whatever issues we may have that hinder us from walking in the fullness of joy, peace, and rest the Lord intends for us.

Peter says to cast your cares on God. The Greek word translated care in 1 Peter 5:7 means “to draw in different directions; to distract.” Why does the devil give us care? His whole purpose is to distract us from our fellowship with God. When the enemy tries to lay problems on us, we have the privilege of taking those problems and casting them on God. If you throw them, God catches them and takes them away. God knows how to wipe away the cares that Satan lays on you.

God has provided two wonderful weapons you can use to overcome the devil’s plan. First, you humble yourself, turning yourself totally over to God. Then when the devil tries to burden you with worry or some other heavy load, you cast it on God—who is happy to take it away because He cares for you.

As I’ve thought about worry, I’ve also figured out that it’s an act of pride on our part. Those who worry still think they can solve their own problems. Isn’t that pride? Aren’t we saying, “I can work this out by myself”? Those who are proud or full of themselves still think they are strong and can defeat their problems themselves. The truly humble are those who know their weaknesses, but in their weaknesses, they know their strength is in Jesus Christ.

Paul understood that and wrote to the Corinthians: “But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

We fail God when we insist on shouldering our burdens instead of giving them to the Lord. Only God can deliver us, and He wants us to know that. In every situation, He wants us to first humble ourselves and then throw off the cares and worries the devil tries to lay on us. It is possible—in fact, it’s an order. I want to encourage you to place yourself totally into God’s hands and allow Him to be the Manager of your life.


Prayer Starter:
Dear Lord Jesus, I thank You. Even before the problems come, You have told me how to defeat the enemy of my mind. You have also given me Your own example of defeating him. In Your name, Lord Jesus, teach me to humble myself and to cast all my cares and concerns on You. Amen.

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of Mind Devotional

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You Have Potential​



“And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:27)


It's amazing how many gifted people there are who just sit on the sidelines of life and do nothing.

They never take a step forward to use the gifts God has given them because they don't believe they're gifted in the first place. Are you one of them?

The truth is, God has given each one of us gifts, talents and abilities. He has a great plan for you and has equipped you to do great things for His Kingdom. But until you see yourself the way He sees you and trust Him to enable you to use your gifts, you won't live up to your God-given potential.

If you're struggling with low self-esteem, a poor self-image and lacking confidence, I want you to know that God created you with amazing potential. And when you trust God and believe you can do whatever He says you can do, you will fulfill His destiny for your life.

Remember, "all things are possible with God." When you put your confidence in Him, you will be free to live up to your potential.

Prayer Starter:
God, help me to see myself through Your eyes, with the gifts and talents You've given me. I believe that You made me with great potential because You are a great God. Today, I put my confidence in You and believe that all things are possible with You!


Promises for Your Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
 

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Prayer's Practicality​


READ THE SCRIPTURE: 1 CHRONICLES 4:9-10
Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. And God granted his request.
1 Chronicles 4:10

At first glance that looks like a self-centered prayer. It sounds like the man who prayed, Bless me and my wife, my son John and his wife, us four and no more. But Jabez is really not being selfish. He is praying for something God wanted him to have. That is the difference between being personal and being selfish. Selfish prayers are prayers which ask God for something he does not want us to have, at least not then, demanding prayers that are interested only in our own immediate welfare, for our own satisfaction. But God promises great and mighty things to us personally that we may lay hold of, so to pray in this way is not selfish, but personal.

Look more closely at these four requests. First he asks, Oh, that you would bless me. What do you mean when you pray to be blessed? This is a request for an inner sense of relationship with God. Blessing is drawing near to God, finding him, knowing him personally. He is praying, Lord, first, above all else, let there be this consciousness that you are my God, that I belong to you and you belong to me.

Second, Jabez prays, Enlarge my territory. This is a prayer for opportunity, for the restoration, in his case, of his lost inheritance, for a place to stand in the midst of the culture of his day in which he might gain some sense of status and respect. For us it means to find a way to break out of whatever may be limiting us, hemming us in and enslaving us. You may feel that you are in a situation in which you have no opportunity to grow, to advance, to be fulfilled and satisfied. If that is the case, this is the proper kind of prayer to pray, Lord, give me that opportunity.

Third, he asks, Let your hand be with me. This is a prayer that comes naturally to his lips as he thinks of the uncertainty of the future he faces. All of us feel this way at times. We do not know what sudden, unexpected changes may occur in our lives in the future. What we often want to ask for is a glimpse ahead. What we really need is not knowledge, but a guide. This is what Jabez is praying for: Lord, be with me. Go into the future with me. Guide me that I may know that each step of the way I can trust the fact that you are with me.

The last request was, Keep me from the harm so that I will be free from pain. Here is a deep awareness of a tainted heredity in this young man's life. He senses a weakness in himself within that frightens him. I see this in many people. It may be a tendency towards a hot temper, which destroys many opportunities that could be used for advantage. Maybe it is avarice, some desire for the acquisition of material gain so that you will be safe and secure, have abundance, and do what you want. Whatever it was, he knows that God is able to handle it.

I do not think he prayed this prayer just once. It is the kind of prayer that comes repeatedly to human lips if you really are concerned about where you are, and you recognize how impossible, how difficult the situation looks from the human standpoint. This is the time to lay hold of the formula which Jabez found and which God used to bring him out of his circumstances.

Thank you, Lord, for this look at this young man's life. I rejoice now in the promises that surround me, the love that upholds me, and the grace that leads me along.

Life Application​

What are the four aspects in Jabez' prayer we can wisely use as guidelines in our personal petitions? Do we ask with bold expectation for God to open and close doors, so that we may glorify him by fulfilling his purpose for our lives?
Daily Devotion © 2014, 2022 by Ray Stedman Ministries.
 

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Holy Fear​



Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all Judah. And Judah gathered together to ask help from the Lord; even out of all the cities of Judah they came to seek the Lord [yearning for Him with all their desire]. . . . Did not You, O our God, drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend? . . . O our God, will You not exercise judgment upon them? For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.
—2 CHRONICLES 20:3-4, 7, 12


By the time Jehoshaphat became the king, Judah was a small nation, and the surrounding nations could easily defeat them. We learn that the king brought in many reforms. The Bible records that and then says, “After this, the Moabites, the Ammonites, and with them the Meunites came against Jehoshaphat to battle” (2 CHRONICLES 20:1).

The most “sensible” thing would have been for the king to surrender and to forge some kind of treaty. There was no human way that such a small nation could defeat such large armies. In that context, we read that the king was afraid—and why wouldn’t he be? But he didn’t stop with fear.
I want to make this point clear. To feel fear isn’t sin or failure or disobedience. In fact, we do well to think of fear as a warning to us. It’s a shout of danger.

But then we must decide what to do with the fear. We can act; we can cringe; we can ignore it. King Jehoshaphat did the right thing: He “set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord” (v. 3). He didn’t have answers, and he certainly wasn’t stupid enough to think that his tiny army could defeat his enemies. And that’s an important lesson for us to learn in our battles against Satan. Our enemy is powerful, and if we think we can defeat him by ourselves, we’re foolish and badly mistaken.
The king not only prayed, but he also proclaimed a fast throughout the entire land. The Bible goes on to say that he stood in the midst of the people and prayed for deliverance: “For we have no might to stand against this great company that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (v. 12).

That is exactly the prayer God wanted to hear. The people admitted they didn’t know what to do, that they couldn’t win, and that their only hope was in God’s deliverance.

Just then, the Holy Spirit came upon a man named Jahaziel. “He said, hearken, all Judah, you inhabitants of Jerusalem, and you King Jehoshaphat. The Lord says this to you: Be not afraid or dismayed at this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s” (v. 15). He went on to say, “You shall not need to fight in this battle; take your positions, stand still, and see the deliverance of the Lord [Who is] with you. . . . Fear not nor be dismayed” (v. 17). The account goes on to say that the people began to sing praises to God. When they did that, God had warriors from Mount Seir sneak in and kill Judah’s enemies so that none escaped.

That’s the biggest secret of winning the battles against your enemy. You acknowledge your fear—you can even call it “holy fear” because it pushes you to seek God. If you’re not really afraid (or worried) and don’t see the problem as bigger than yourself, why would you call for God’s help? But when it becomes overwhelming, you realize that you need divine help. Isaiah says it this way: “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight [for He will come like a rushing stream which the breath of the Lord drives]” (Isaiah 59:19b).

When you cry out in holy fear, God hears and races to your rescue. That’s His promise, and He never breaks His promises to His own.



Prayer Starter:
God, I’ve known fear, and too often I’ve concentrated on the fear and forgotten that it’s an opportunity to call on You so I can see Your hand of deliverance in my life. Give me holy fear so that I’ll always call on You in my times of trouble. In the name of Jesus Christ, I ask this. Amen.

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of Mind Devotional
 

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Develop Your Potential and Do Something Now​



Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters (Colossians 3:23)


You may know that God's created you with great potential, but you can't stop there. You have to develop your potential. I believe that many people are unhappy because they aren't doing anything to develop their potential.

If you want to see your potential developed to its fullest, don't wait until everything is perfect. Do something now. Start laying your hand to whatever is in front of you. You must give your potential some form by doing something with it.

You will never find what you are capable of doing if you never try anything. Don't be so afraid of failing that you never take a chance. Don't stay in the safety zone. You may feel safe, but you will never succeed at developing your full potential or being fulfilled in what you are doing.

Step out into what you feel God is leading you to do, and you will soon discover what you can and cannot do. You are full of God-given potential, and He wants to do more through your life than you could ever imagine, but it requires your cooperation. Step out and serve Him wholeheartedly today.

Prayer Starter:
Lord, in everything I do, I want to serve You wholeheartedly. Thank You for encouraging me to step out and take action, developing the great potential You have given me.


Promises for Your Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
 

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Prayer and Peace​


READ THE SCRIPTURE: 1 SAMUEL 1:1-2:11
In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. And she made a vow, saying, Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant's misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.
1 Sam. 1:10-11

At first glance it would appear that this is a kind of bargaining prayer of Hannah's — that she is offering to give the boy back to the Lord only if the Lord will give him to her first so she can enjoy him. It is possible to read this account that way, but, if we look closely at it, we can see what is really happening here, for I am sure this is not the first time that Hannah has prayed at Shiloh for a son. All along she dreamed of having a son of her own, a little boy to love and cuddle, to teach him to walk, to read stories to, to watch him grow to manhood to become a strong, clean, fine young man, the pride of her life. She wanted him for herself, and she prayed often for that, but her prayer was not answered.

On this occasion, however, her prayer was different. Having worked through years of barrenness and having thought deeply about the problems, she realized for the first time something she had never known before. She realized that children are not just for parents — they are for the Lord. They are given to parents, loaned for a while, but the reason they are given is for the Lord to use. Certainly this account indicates that this little boy who was ultimately born (Samuel) was God's man to meet the need of a nation. Undoubtedly God had taught Hannah deeply through these hours of struggle over her barrenness, so in great distress and with intense earnestness she prays that God would have what he wanted, a man for his glory and his purposes, and that he would let her be the instrument of that blessing.

Immediately we read of a remarkable change in Hannah's heart, for the account says, Eli answered, Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him. She said, May your servant find favor in your eyes. Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. (1 Samuel 1:17-18)

Immediately, God's peace had begun to guard her heart and spirit. Now, the birth of the baby did not occur until months later, but when the baby was born she named him Samuel, which means, Asked of God. God had granted her request, but there was peace in Hannah's heart right from that very moment of her prayer. This is a beautiful commentary on that well known passage in Philippians 4 where Paul says, Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7). That is what Hannah experienced here. This is the mystery of prayer that is available to us to speak peace into our hearts when we are troubled by the circumstances of our lives.

Thank you, Father, for the peace that you can give me as I yield to you in prayer. Thank you that you know what I need and you know when I need it.

Life Application​

Our Father wisely denies petition motivated by self-interest. Rather than sulk, or blame God, shall we ask him to re-focus our hearts toward his will and glory? Have we been circumventing his peace by insisting he do it our way?
Daily Devotion © 2014, 2022 by Ray Stedman Ministries.
 

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Wasted Life​



[Jesus said]
Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled].
—JOHN 14:27

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you].
—JOHN 16:33


In my book Battlefield of the Mind, I admit: “I wasted many years of my life worrying about things I could do nothing about. I would like to have those years back and be able to approach them in a different way. However, once you have spent the time God has given you, it is impossible to get it back and do things another way.”

What I didn’t realize for so many years was that Jesus’ peace is always there, ready and waiting for us. His peace is spiritual, and His rest operates in the middle of trouble, noise, and confusion. Too often, we think we’d be just fine if there weren’t so many storms in life. But that’s absolutely not true. Real peace comes from going through the storms and winning the battles of life.

I attended the funeral of an elderly gentleman several years ago. Near the casket stood the eighty-four-year-old widow, who had just lost her husband in a fire that had totally destroyed their home. She barely came out alive herself. Just a week or so earlier, her son had died of cancer, and her daughter had been killed in a freakish car accident. She had lost all of her loved ones within a period of two weeks!
“How are you handling all of this?” I heard someone ask her. “How can one person endure so much?”

The woman’s eyes were moist as she replied, but her voice was firm. She said, “It wasn’t easy. I felt as if I were walking across a river that kept getting deeper, and I was sure I would drown. I kept crying out for God’s help. And do you know what? My feet touched the riverbed, and my head was still above the water. I had made it across. God was with me. His peace enabled me to keep going when I was sure I would drown.”
This is how God’s peace works. Jesus made it clear that we don’t have to worry, because He is with us. No matter how deep the water, He is always there.
I thought again of my years of worrying and living without God’s peace. I was a Christian, and I tried to follow God in every way I knew. However, money was a big problem in those days, and many times, I wondered if we would be able to pay all of our bills.

My husband, Dave, never seemed to worry about anything. I’d be ready to collapse under the stress of it all, and he’d be in the other room playing and wrestling with the children. One time I asked, in frustration, “Why don’t you help me figure this out instead of playing with the children?”

“What would you like me to do?” he asked.

I didn’t know what to say. There was nothing he could do, and I knew it, but it upset me that he could go on enjoying life as if we weren’t in a desperate financial situation. But that was also a great moment of awakening for me.
I had been at the kitchen table for at least an hour worrying, and fretting, and trying to figure out how to pay all our bills. No matter what I did, we simply didn’t have enough money that month. Dave understood the problem and didn’t like it any more than I did, but he didn’t fret. He knew there was nothing he could do to change the figures.

He didn’t say it, but I realized what he meant. “If we can’t change anything, why are you wasting your life trying to fix the things that can’t be fixed?”

As I look back, I’m ashamed of myself. I wasted so many hours of my early married life. Instead of enjoying my life, my children, and my husband, I wasted my energies on trying to fix things I couldn’t fix.
God met our financial needs—sometimes through amazing miracles—and all my worry was for nothing. I wasted a precious time in my life—part of the wonderful, abundant life Jesus offered to me. I have it now, and I’m grateful, but I could have had a more abundant life back then. It took me a while, but I have finally learned to enjoy the faithfulness of my heavenly Father.

Prayer Starter:
God of all peace, help me to recognize and enjoy Your presence in my life and to be thankful for all Your blessings. Don’t let me waste my life worrying about things that only You can control. In the name of Jesus, I ask You to free me from worry. Amen.

Joyce Meyer Battlefield of Mind Devotional
 
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