What do you rejoice in?

May 18, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
  though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
  though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
(Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NIV))

Think about that passage for a moment.

The society was an agricultural society. What this passage describes is the equivalent of someone saying today:

Though the car breaks down
and the refrigerator needs repaired,
though the lawnmower won’t run
and the bill collectors are calling,
though there are no jobs to be found
and the house is being foreclosed,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

No matter what the situation, we must rejoice in the Lord. No matter how desperate things may look, we must rejoice in the Lord. We are not the only people to have ever gone through trials and tribulations. We are, however, the ones who are facing them now.

Each generation goes through trials. We undergo tests of our faith. No matter what we may face, we can rest assured that the world cannot take our faith, unless we willingly give it up.

Faith is a choice. It is not something that we lose when things get bad. It is not something that we can set aside when things are going well. Faith should be an integral part of our daily lives. Faith is what sees us through the tough times. Faith is what we rejoice over during the good times. Faith is what we look back on and realize that it was faith that brought us through tough times.

Tough times fall on everyone. It is faith that makes the difference between despair and hope.

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

I am certain that things will get better. I am certain that God will see us through this time. I am certain that the fig tree will bud and that there will be grapes on the vines, and that the car will run and the jobs will return. I am certain that no matter to what extent that these things happen, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will strive to maintain my faith.

What do you rejoice in?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to listen to God?

May 15, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
      to know the word that sustains the weary.
   He wakens me morning by morning,
      wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
(Isaiah 50:4 (NIV))

What can sustain the weary?

Think about that question.

What makes you weary? Is it the world? Is it your job? Is it relationships that you wish were different? Is it the state of the world with all of the trials and tribulations that we must face? What sustains you in the midst of these trials and tribulations? What sustains you when you feel that you cannot go on?

Isaiah was given words to say to people who were weary. God gave him words of hope to speak to the people of Israel. Many of the prophesies regarding the coming of Jesus were spoken through Isaiah. What made Isaiah different from all of the people around him? Why was he able to hear God when the others did not? Perhaps we are given a clue as to Isaiah’s abilities in the remaining lines of the passage. God awoke Isaiah every morning and taught him. God spoke to Isaiah because Isaiah was willing to listen. What made Isaiah willing to listen?

What makes you willing to listen to someone? I believe that there are two primary reasons someone willingly listens to someone else. They love the person speaking, or they are interested in the topic. In Isaiah, I believe that we have found both. He loved the Lord and, because of this love, he also was very interested in what God had to say. He listened because he longed for God’s truth. This, alone, is enough to sustain the weary. Simply listening to God and taking his Word to heart is sufficient to sustain even the most weary of individuals.

Are you weary? Do you listen to God? Do you embrace every word that He has given us?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Have you found rest?

Are you willing to listen to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you ready and able to stand?

February 19, 2020

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
©

Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
(Ephesians 6:12-13 (NIV))

This is so hard to remember when we are faced with trials and tribulations from all sides. Sometimes it even feels that all that we do is thwarted by an unseen enemy who hates what we love.

Wait a minute!

That sounds just like Satan and he does hate what we love.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.
(Revelation 12:7-9 (NIV))

Because of his rebellion against God, he and his fallen angels have been cast out of heaven. They hate God and desire nothing more than to usurp God’s authority. That is what happened when Adam and Eve allowed Satan to become the prince of this world. Our ancestors legally gave the authority that God gave them to Satan. Satan and his followers work in the shadows to deceive and destroy all that is God’s creation and all who call upon the name of the Lord. Just like we cannot see God, we cannot see Satan, but we feel the effects of his wrath against those who love God.

There is constant warfare in the spiritual realm because of these events. What happens in the physical world is only a shadow of what happens in the spiritual realm.

We are at war!

Our enemy cannot be seen, but we can arm ourselves with God’s armor and we can overcome the enemy.

Are you prepared for the struggle? Are you focusing your battle tactics where they belong? Are you ready and able to stand?

Copyright 1998 – 2020 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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What can man do to me?

August 12, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

So we say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?”
(Hebrews 13:6 (NIV))

Do you share this attitude with the author of this passage?

With what is rapidly unfolding in this nation and in this world, we may be looking at some things where the Body of Christ must fervently believe this.

I know that no one can know the hour or the day, but there appears to be an urgency among those who earnestly seek to know God. Can you feel this urgency? Can you feel the need to call upon Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior?

My heart is heavy with the things that I see, yet, I know that my Savior will see me through the tribulations that will come. I see wars and rumors of wars. I see countries holding military exercises where they are stopping inches away from an actual war. I see threats being made. I see hatred. I see killing. I see things that are despicable to any person with any sense of morality.

In this midst of all this that I see, there is one that I long to see!

I long to see Jesus!

He is my helper. He is my redeemer. He is my salvation. Nothing that any man can do will take this from me. I just pray that I have the faith to realize this when I face the enemy. I pray that I keep site of the fact that the Lord is my helper.

What can man do to me?

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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We must call upon the name of the Lord at all times!

June 29, 2015

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

But I call to God,
and the LORD saves me.
(Psalms 55:16 (NIV))

We all face troubles. We all face hardships, trials and tribulations. How you handle these circumstances in your life tells a great deal about who you are.

Where do you turn when you face something so difficult that you cannot handle it on your own? What would you say defines these difficult times? At what point do things become difficult and at what point do things cease being difficult? How quickly can this line be crossed?

I realize that I am asking a lot of questions, but I want you to stop and reflect upon your answers to these questions. What is your “line of demarcation” that you have mentally set as the point where “when the going gets tough, the tough get going?”

Why do we handle difficulties differently than we handle things that go smoothly? Perhaps it is a matter of ego. When things go smoothly, we falsely take the credit for the events in our lives. When things go badly, we often blame others and then we turn and expect others to bail us out of our troubles. Most of the time, the one that we turn to is God.

Why do we only acknowledge God when things are not going as we want them to go? We have a tendency to look upon God as a big life guard who will come to our rescue when we get in over our heads. We only turn to Him we start to sink. Perhaps we should turn to God in the good time so that we can learn to “swim” in the bad.

God is more than willing to teach us how to live our lives according to His Will. It is His plan for our lives that will allow us to truly call upon His name in both good times and in times of trouble.

The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
(Psalms 9:9 (NIV))

We must call upon the name of the Lord at all times.

Copyright 1998 – 2015 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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I will place my trust in the Father and in His Son!

August 13, 2014

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
(Revelation 21:7 (NIV))

WIth what is going on in the world today, it is evident that faith is a source of many things. All religions have the need to be in their god’s will, yet, all too many of these faiths have a god that demands death for those who do not believe as they do.

God created a beautiful place when He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. The faiths that many other religions demand call for war which results in destruction and death. The God of the Bible, which is the only book to accurately predict events before they have happened, is a Creator and not a destroyer. The one problem that I have with other religions is that they believe in a god who would have them destroy everything.

Revelation speaks of many hardships and tribulations that are to come as a result of humanity’s sin. I can’t help but speculate that the one true God is using the sin of the world to bring about His WIll through Jesus Christ. Why would a god create something and then desire for it to be destroyed by his creation? That is a premise about many other faiths that I find hard to accept. God has created and has sent us a Savior in Jesus Christ. A Savior who tells us that their is a way to escape the death and destruction that sin has brought.

No one knows what the future holds, but I do know that I will place my faith in the God of Israel and in His Son, Jesus Christ.

Copyright 1998 – 2014 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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Are you willing to listen to God?

January 24, 2013

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

The Sovereign LORD has given me an instructed tongue,
to know the word that sustains the weary.
He wakens me morning by morning,
wakens my ear to listen like one being taught.
(Isaiah 50:4 (NIV))

What can sustain the weary?

Think about that question.

What makes you weary? Is it the world? Is it your job? Is it relationships that you wish were different? Is it the state of the world with all of the trials and tribulations that we must face? What sustains you in the midst of these trials and tribulations? What sustains you when you feel that you cannot go on?

Isaiah was given words to say to people who were weary. God gave him words of hope to speak to the people of Israel. Many of the prophesies regarding the coming of Jesus were spoken through Isaiah. What made Isaiah different from all of the people around him? Why was he able to hear God when the others did not? Perhaps we are given a clue as to Isaiah’s abilities in the remaining lines of the passage. God awoke Isaiah every morning and taught him. God spoke to Isaiah because Isaiah was willing to listen. What made Isaiah willing to listen?

What makes you willing to listen to someone? I believe that there are two primary reasons someone willingly listens to someone else. They love the person speaking, or they are interested in the topic. In Isaiah, I believe that we have found both. He loved the Lord and, because of this love, he also was very interested in what God had to say. He listened because he longed for God’s truth. This, alone, is enough to sustain the weary. Simply listening to God and taking his Word to heart is sufficient to sustain even the most weary of individuals.

Are you weary? Do you listen to God? Do you embrace every word that He has given us?

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 (NIV))

Have you found rest?

Are you willing to listen to God?

Copyright 1998 – 2013 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
Subscribe to daily email delivery


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