Do you praise God in the middle of your storms?

March 21, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

So my spirit grows faint within me; my heart within me is dismayed. I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.
(Psalms 143:4-6 (NIV))

Life can and will be pretty disheartening at times. We all face things in this life that are far from perfect. These are things that make us dismayed and heavy hearted. These things weigh heavily upon our spirits. Sometimes, they are so overwhelming that we simply want to curl up and remove ourselves from the weight of the world as it comes pressing in on us.

What do you do in times like this?

Some people will actually curl up. Some will try to escape by isolating themselves. Some will even go so far as to pack up and leave whatever is overwhelming them. Some will turn to family and friends for help, and others will turn to God.

I find it interesting that all those who turn to God actually gain strength and maturity from their situations. Everyone else turns inward and sees no hope while those who turn to God see things from His perspective. They look at all that He has done throughout all of creation and all of history and realize that He is more than sufficient to handle whatever they are going through.

They praise Him in the middle of their storms!

Do you praise God in the middle of your storms?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you follow the world’s plan or God’s plan?

April 20, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

This world calls for us to do things on our own. A song that was recorded approximately fifty years ago loudly proclaims the motto of the world – I did it my way! All too often those who do it their way, even though they experience some worldly success, eventually end up suffering greatly for the actions that they felt they had to do in order to do it their way. Those who chase after the world are constantly running away from the troubles that they find when running after their worldly goals.

Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
do not fret when men succeed in their ways,
when they carry out their wicked schemes.
(Psalm 37:7)

God’s plan is much different from the world’s plan. The world tells us to hurry and grab for all the gusto you can, while God’s way tells us to enjoy the world that He has created for us. Nothing in this world is permanent, so nothing that we seek in this world will have lasting value. But, if we wait upon God for His direction, then all things that we focus on will be of God and we will have God on our side and on His timeline.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
(2 Peter 3:8)

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Lord, lead me to the rock!

February 18, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
(Psalms 61:2 (NIV))

Lord, lead me to the rock!

The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge.
He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
(Psalms 18:2 (NIV))

In all that you say and in all that you do, are you calling out to God to lead you to Him?

We like to think that we are, yet, each of us have times when we are facing things where we feel that we have been abandoned. Stop to think about that for a moment. If we can claim that God is our rock, our fortress and our deliverer, do the definitions of these words have anything in them that portrays these as anything other than solid and faithful? We can rely on these types of places to be there to protect us, to hide us in the storms, and to give us strength when we have no strength on our own.

Think about what a rock, a fortress and a deliverer mean to you.

Why would anyone run from such a place? Why would anyone not seek shelter in these places? Why would someone not build their house, their life, upon such a place?

There is only one place where you can find such a rock, such a fortress and such a deliverer! Place you faith in Jesus and the salvation that is yours through His atoning blood.

Lord, lead me to the rock!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God still moves in people’s lives!

January 12, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

Have you ever had something happen that you can’t explain in any other way except that it had to be God’s hand doing it?

He still moves in people’s lives!

I was sitting in the congregation on Sunday when we were all challenged to pray for one word from God. We were then to pray for a scripture verse to explain that one word and how it will impact our individual lives. Out of nowhere the word “BIRD” came to mind, and of course my reaction was “What in the world . . . “

Before I could even finish that thought, Isaiah 40:31 came to mind. My reaction, of course, was to question how this came about. How did this word pop into my head and how did this passage become so front and center as a response to the word?

I was thinking that this was odd, and I was trying to trace through my thought process to see if there was something that I heard that triggered these two thoughts.

When I left to get in my car, you can probably guess what the first words were that I heard when I cranked the car and turned on the radio!

Isaiah 40:31

What are the odds?

How many of you have had an experience like this? How many of you have simply chalked it up to coincidence?

What is God doing to get your attention? Are you ignoring His efforts? Do you find little things that happen to be merely coincidence, or do you see God’s hand in them? We all need to open our hearts. We all need to open our minds, and we all need to open our souls to the concept that God is very real and that He is capable of reaching out to us when we don’t expect it.

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready to soar and not grow weary?

September 25, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
(Isaiah 40:31 (NIV))

Have you ever actually seen an eagle soar?

It is graceful and effortless in flight. It is beauty in motion. The eagle soars over all of the trouble below. It observes but does not involve itself in the mess that is below. It is master of its domain.

How can we, as believers, mount up with wings like eagles?

If we wait upon the Lord, we will seek after His heart. We will know His heart. We will be guided effortlessly through the ordeals of this life. We will soar through above the troubles.

Think about that. How we experience life is a matter of perspective. If we find ourselves living among those who do not follow God, we will have troubles. We may even find ourselves struggling to maintain our faith. If we keep our eyes on Jesus, we have the assurance that he will carry us through all tribulations and trials that this world sends our way. When we walk with Jesus, we walk above the trials and tribulations.

Take a look at Peter.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
(Matthew 14:25-31 (NIV))

When Peter waited on the Lord, he was able to do something amazing. When he started to look at what he was doing through his eyes, he started to fail.

Our assurance comes from Jesus!

Our effortless movements come from Jesus. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we begin to labor. It is when we take our eyes off of Jesus that we begin to grow weary. It is at that time that we faint.

Our actions are labored. God’s actions through us are effortless. We do not grow weary. Through God, we will mount up with wings like eagles. God will direct our efforts and He will keep us above the sins of the world.

Are you ready to soar and not grow weary?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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