Are you able to praise God through the tough times?

November 9, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.
(Psalms 42:11 (NIV))

I realize that it may seem like the whole world is out to get you at times, but there is one key thing that we need to remember as members of the Body of Christ.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
(John 16:33 (NIV))

With hope and assurance like this, how can we ever be downcast, even in the face of trouble? We need to remember Paul’s words. We need to do more than remember them. We need to make them our own. We need to fully embrace the very realistic truth that Paul shared in Romans.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
(Romans 8:31 (NIV))

God is so “for us” that He sent His only Son, Jesus, into this world as an atoning sacrifice so that we could be restored to a right relationship with God. For those who earnestly repent and call upon the name of Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, God is now on your side. Perhaps I should phrase that differently. For those who earnestly repent and call upon the name of Jesus, you have realized that you are a sinner in need of a Savior. You have turned from your way to following God’s way. When you chose to follow Jesus, you became a member of the Body of Christ. Your past sins are no longer held against you. If you have been able to be called out of the tough times when you were lost in sin, what makes you think that the Lord of all creation will not be with you and see you through the tough times that you face after you chose to follow Jesus?

If you look at life from this perspective, we have been called to be God’s chosen people.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9 (NIV))

If we are exactly as described, then why would God abandon us during the tough times. He will not leave us nor forsake us!

It is a matter of our attitude!

Are you able to praise God through the tough times?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Find refuge in the Lord!

August 6, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
Those who know your name will trust in you,
for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, enthroned in Zion;
proclaim among the nations what he has done.
(Psalms 9:9-11 (NIV))

God is a God of hope, not despair!

When we are faced with the troubles that the world brings upon us, look up. God gives us hope. Hope for tomorrow. Hope for justice. Hope for eternity. He is our refuge in times of trouble.

Yet, He is more than that. He is our rock, our foundation. Through Jesus Christ, He has given us hope of salvation for the world. He has given those who believe a knowledge of peace that those who don’t believe do not have. If this is not a place of refuge, then we have no place to truly take refuge. God knows what we need and what we seek. It is a place of safety and hope. That place is provided through Jesus Christ.

Sing praises to God and tell everyone you know what God has done for you. Let them know that what you have been given they can have.

Find refuge in the Lord!

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Have you embraced your new job description?

July 10, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9 (NIV))

If you have ever been employed, you have probably been given a job description. Have any of them ever sounded so full of promise and hope as the one that we have been given as a follower of Jesus? Even your dream job in this world falls drastically short of this new calling, this new job description, that we have been given.

Think about that for a moment. Let it sink in!

How would your resume be received if you put the words from this passage on it? Everyone wants to be part of an elite group. Even in a fallen world, being able to rightfully claim that you are a member of a chosen people should catch someone’s attention. What about being able to claim that you are part of royalty? What about convincing people that you are special and set apart as holy? I realize that this sounds like we, as the Body of Christ, are bragging, but we aren’t bragging about anything that we have done. Nothing of our own has been able to place us into this special job description. It was only because of the grace and mercy freely given to us at the cross that any of us can claim these traits. Sometimes I think that members of the Body of Christ fail to see ourselves the way that God sees us. We see ourselves as sinners, as filthy rags with no value. Because we know where we have been, we fail to embrace where we are called to be. We fail to embrace how God sees us and to where He is calling us.

Have you embraced your new job description?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Do you set yourself apart from the world?

September 26, 2016

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9 (NIV))

If you claim to be a part of the Body of Christ, you have been chosen. You have been set apart from the rest of the world to be different than the world. You have been set apart to be a witness to the world for the Gospel. You have been set apart to show the world how God intended for us to live.

Are you a witness to the world?

Do you reflect the life and light of Jesus in all that you do?

Sadly, too many people today have allowed the world to influence them in their lives. Instead of showing the world how we should live, we have a tendancy to reflect the world instead of reflecting the light of Jesus to the world.

When a group of people are basically being bullies to someone, whether at work or at school, do you go along with them or do you set yourself apart? Do you intercede?

When a group of people that you know want to do something that you know you shouldn’t do, do you do it anyway, or do you set yourself apart?

When your friends deny Jesus and curse God, do you make up excuses for them and go along with what they do, or do you set yourself apart?

The Body of Christ is called to a higher standard. We are to be the light.

“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
(Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV))

We are called to be set apart!

Copyright 1998 – 2016 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Give thanks every minute of every day of your life!

November 24, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
(Psalms 100:1-5 (NIV))

If we can’t be thankful for the things that this passage tells us about, then what can we be thankful for?

Do you believe that God is good?

Give thanks!

Do you believe that God’s love endures forever?

Give thanks?

Do you believe that God is faithful?

Give thanks!

Do you believe that God sent His only begotten Son to this earth so that we could have redeeming grace?

Give thanks!

Have you accepted that redeeming grace as your own?

Give thanks!

I find only one thing that I believe that we, as the Body of Christ, can do. We are to give thanks! We are to give praise! We are to give God the glory for the great things that He has done. Don’t just give thanks on the one day a year that our country has set aside as Thanksgiving. Give thanks every minute of every day of your life!

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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The greatest event of all eternity

September 10, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:
“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”
(Revelation 7:9-10 (NIV))

I get chills every time I read this passage.

Close your eyes and let the Holy Spirit guide you. What do you see? Is it possible for human imagination to even come close to the majesty that this passage tries to describe?

Why would anyone deliberately do something to miss out on what will in all honesty be the biggest praise event of all time? All worldly, human efforts are nothing in comparison to what awaits those who are redeemed by the saving blood of Jesus.

Think about this for a moment.

What events do you like to take part in?

Sports? Music? Drama?

Now, I want you to remember the feelings that you had when everything went well. Did you feel elated and overjoyed? Did you feel so excited that you shouted praises? How long did that feeling last?

The ultimate elation and joy that we, as believers, can ever feel is in the presence of God. This is a God who loves us. This is a God who redeemed us. This is a God who claims us as His own. To put it in sports terms, each and every one of us are first round draft picks in the eyes of God. He offered us something that should cause us to be forever grateful and forever in praise of His name.

Think back to the most moving experience that you have ever had. As great as that experience was, just imagine how much greater it will be to be in the presence of God. When I close my eyes and try to envision this scene, I am filled with an overwhelming peace. I am filled with a reverence and an awe. Mostly, I am filled with a tremendous joy. Now I know why we cannot see God face to face in our earthly bodies. The joy would overwhelm us. The majesty would overwhelm us. God’s love would overwhelm us.

Perhaps that is why we need faith.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.
(Hebrews 11:1 (NIV))

If we saw it in our earthly state, we would not be able to handle it. Faith gives us the eyes to see what our imperfect bodies cannot handle. Faith allows us to see this glorious event from a fantastic perspective.

Are you ready for the greatest event of all eternity?

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

June 14, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
(Psalms 150:6 (NIV))

Do we truly understand the simple truth of these words?

All of creation praises God in all that it is, yet, our intellect often keeps us from doing what God designed us to do. We are to praise Him in all things.

What happens when we fail at this?

Jesus told us exactly what would happen.

“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
(Luke 19:40 (NIV))

What happens when a nation does not praise God?

Another nation or nations will be found that will shout out His praises!

This is exactly what happened when Israel rejected their Messiah when He first came. Because of this, we, the “stones” have been given the opportunity to praise Him.

Unfortunately, some of the “stones” are also keeping quiet. We must not let this happen. We must be ever thankful of the gift of grace and mercy that we have been given. We must shout it with every breath!

Sometimes actions speak louder than words. We can shout with our actions.

No matter how we choose to praise God, we must never lose sight of the truth that He deserves all glory, honor and praise.

How do you praise God?

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