Only faith can free us from anxiety

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, May 20, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Jesus commands us not to worry.   But how can we avoid it? Only faith can free us from anxiety caused by greed and covetousness. It is good to work and plan responsibly; it is bad to dwell on all the ways our planning could go wrong. Worry is pointless because it can’t fill any of our needs; worry is foolish because the Creator of the universe loves us and knows what we need. He promises to meet all our real needs but not necessarily all our desires. (NLT)

Luke 12:22-34 – Then turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “So I tell you, don’t worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or clothes to wear. For life consists of far more than food and clothing. Look at the ravens. They don’t need to plant or harvest or put food in barns because God feeds them.   And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? Of course not! And if worry can’t do little things like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

“Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won’t he more surely care for you? You have so little faith! And don’t worry about food—what to eat and drink. Don’t worry whether God will provide it for you. These things dominate the thoughts of most people, but your Father already knows your needs. He will give you all you need from day to day if you make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

“Sell what you have and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no holes in them. Your treasure will be safe—no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be.”

Quoted verse: You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. – Isaiah 26:3 (NIV)

“Story” – Hassan A. Bello (Kaduna, Nigeria) titled his story “GOD WILL MAKE A WAY;” here is a portion of Hassan’s story:

“I am a banker and a pastor. Recently, I was faced with the possibility of dismissal from my job. My first reaction was fear and concern for my wife and our young son. . . . I tried to act as if all were well when I was at work, but I was deeply troubled by my situation.

“Before I went to sleep one night, I took my concerns to the Lord in prayer. When I woke up the following morning, a word from the Lord came to remind me of God’s ability to feed the birds of the air and to clothe the lilies of the fields so they never have to worry . . . This reminder of God’s blessings relieved the heaviness in my heart and reminded me of the possibilities and provisions of the Lord. This insight continues to sustain my belief that God will provide for my needs even if I lose my job.

“When we are faced with scary possibilities, it can be easy to worry and feel as if we are alone. During times of worry and uncertainty, we can cast our cares on God. The Lord opens pathways for us when we don’t see a way on our own.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – Each new day brings reassurance from God.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for making a way for us. Help us remember to trust you when we begin to worry or fear for our future. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE WHO HAS LOST A JOB

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Help us to show love to those for whom we may not feel love

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Sunday, May 19, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

By telling us not to retaliate, Jesus keeps us from taking the law into our own hands. By loving and praying for our enemies, we can overcome evil with good.

Jesus says we are to love our enemies. If you love your enemies and treat them well, you will truly show that Jesus is Lord of your life. This is possible only for those who give themselves fully to God, because only he can deliver people from natural selfishness. We must trust the Holy Spirit to help us show our love to those for whom we may not feel love. (NLT)

Matthew 5:43-48 – [Jesus said] “You have heard that the Law of Moses says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Quoted verse: Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” — Luke 23:24 (NIV)

“Story” – Eileen Thrift (Florida, USA) titled her story “LEARNING TO FORGIVE;” here is a portion of Eileen’s story:

“Many years ago . . . I witnessed a group of adults bullying my mother because she was of Japanese heritage. Even though I was too young to understand why this was happening, I was angry and felt hatred. I knew that if my dad had been home, instead of serving in the military overseas, these people would not have dared to do what they did. . . . It was difficult for me to understand why we, as a family, all had to suffer.

“It took some time for me to understand that as Christians, we are called to forgive those who hurt us or our loved ones. I think one of the hardest things God asks us to do is: ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,’ (Matt. 5:44) as Jesus did on the cross. Though I have never forgotten, I have forgiven those people for the evil they did. For me, it is like a painful wound that has healed, but the scar remains as a constant reminder of what happened. The words of Jesus and his example have taught me a great deal about forgiveness.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When I forgive, God heals me.

Prayer: Dear Father, thank you for forgiving our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Patient expectations that He will fulfill His promises

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Saturday, May 18, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Waiting on the Lord is the patient expectation that He will fulfill His promises in his Word and strengthen us to rise above life’s difficulties. It means to completely trust in God. (NLT)

Isaiah 40:27-31 – O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

Quoted verse: Those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength. – Isaiah 40:31 (NRSV)

“Story” – Ken Claar (Idaho, USA) titled his story “OUR PATIENT GOD;” here is a portion of Ken’s story:

“When I was about five years old I had a heart disease called endocarditis. In those days this disease was very serious, and my life was threatened for almost a year. My family members were not Christians; but because we lived in a small town, the Sunday school in the local church heard about me and sent a teacher and a small group of kids . . . to visit me.

“I don’t remember much about the visit, but I recall that they gave me a small shiny plaque with a picture of Jesus holding a lamb. It said that Jesus is the good shepherd. They wrote some kind messages on the back of it . . . Somehow, through all our family’s moves and the many moves my wife and I made during our marriage, I managed to keep that little plaque. . . .

“Later in my Christian life, the plaque became one of my prized possessions. It reminded me that God is faithful and patient with us, waiting and being available when we finally realize our need for him. As the verse above says, ‘They who wait for the Lord will renew their strength.’ I gained spiritual strength and physical healing, and I am still going strong at 85 years old. God is faithful and true, and the sooner we come to God, the longer we can honor God and walk with Jesus Christ.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I will follow as God leads me to help others start their journey to faith.

Prayer: Dear Lord, bless all who have been touched by your care, and bring them to a true faith in Jesus our savior. Amen.

Prayer Focus: CHILDREN WHO ARE CRITICALLY ILL

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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We are His children, we share in great treasures

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Friday, May 17, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

We are no longer like “cowering and fearful slaves”; instead, we are the Master’s children. What a privilege! Because we are His children, we share in great treasures as co-heirs. God has already given us his best gifts: his Son, forgiveness, and eternal life; and he encourages us to ask him for whatever we need. (NLT)

Romans 8:14-21 – For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.

So you should not be like cowering, fearful slaves. You should behave instead like God’s very own children, adopted into his family—calling him “Father, dear Father.” For his Holy Spirit speaks to us deep in our hearts and tells us that we are God’s children. And since we are his children, we will share his treasures—for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours, too. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.

Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will give us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, everything on earth was subjected to God’s curse. All creation anticipates the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.

Quoted verse: How beautiful your sandaled feet, O Prince’s daughter! – Song of Songs 7:1 (NIV)

“Story” – Jodie Dennis (Northamptonshire, United Kingdom) titled her story “GOD’S LOVE SONG;” here is a portion of Jodie’s story:

“When my husband and I were living in Nicaragua as missionaries, I struggled with the relentless heat.   . . . I suffered from migraines and frequently wondered what I was doing there. I wasn’t sure I would ever acclimate enough to be able to do anything useful.

“I wrote today’s quoted scripture in my journal after arriving in Nicaragua. It came to mind one morning as I sat looking at my feet. . . . Reading this verse, I was overwhelmed when I remembered that I am the daughter of the King; precious, loved, cherished, and honored. I know God’s delight in me and love for me. Whenever I doubted what I was doing in Nicaragua, I could look at my sandaled feet and remember who I am. It didn’t matter if I was able to accomplish great things while in Nicaragua; I was precious to God no matter what.

“We are beautiful, not because of what we do or achieve but because we belong to God. May this knowledge comfort and encourage us, reminding us of our purpose regardless of what we do or do not accomplish.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – I don’t have to earn God’s love.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to walk through today covered in the knowledge of your love for us. Help us to remember our purpose in you. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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If you go in your own strength, you are more likely to drown

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Thursday, May 16, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

Going through rivers of difficulty will either cause you to drown or force you to grow stronger. If you go in your own strength, you are more likely to drown. If you invite the Lord to go with you, He will protect you. (NLT)

Isaiah 43:1-7 – But now, O Israel, the Lord who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south.   I will bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. All who claim me as their God will come, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.”

Quoted verse: No testing has overtaken you that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength, but . . . will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (NRSV)

“Story” – Hope Harle-Mould (New York, USA) titled his story “A WAY THROUGH;” here is a portion of Hope’s story:

“Many people who are trying to comfort someone experiencing tragedy say, ‘God never gives us more than we can handle.’ But this can backfire, making the sufferer feel worse. . . .

“This modern saying is a paraphrase . . . but the full verse actually says something quite different and far deeper. The full verse points out that life – not God – sends adversity to us all. Our trials are a common experience, and knowing this is in itself reassuring. Empathy and shared struggles can work miracles. The text also points out that sometimes we are tested beyond our resources and strength. Sometimes we are overwhelmed by life’s trials, and sometimes it is more than we can handle.

“But understanding this, God gives us something to enable us to endure. The apostle Paul assures us that when we are tested beyond our strength, God will provide a way through until, free on the other side, we can walk forward into the light of a new day.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When life is too hard, God will provide a way through.

Prayer: Dear God, give us eyes to see the way through that you offer us in times of adversity and the faith to trust your promise. Amen.

Prayer Focus: SOMEONE NEEDING COMFORT

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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We all want to live without fear

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Wednesday, May 15, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

We all want to live without fear, our heroes are fearless people who take on all dangers and overcome them. The psalmist teaches us that fear of God can lead to a fearless life. To fear God means to respect and revere him as the almighty Lord. When we trust God completely to take care of us, we will find that our other fears—even of death itself—will subside. (NLT)

Psalm 112:6-8 – Such people will not be overcome by evil circumstances. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly.

Quoted verse: [The righteous] will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord. – Psalm 112:7 (NIV)

“Story” – Ismelalem Woldegiorgis (British Columbia, Canada) titled her story “NOT AFRAID;” here is a portion of Ismelalem’s story:

“Recently, my doctor told me that I have a rare tumor called dermatofibrosarcoma. When I heard the news, two choices came to my mind: I can succumb to fear, or I can have faith it helped me not to panic or worry about the bad news I had heard from my doctor.

“The Lord assured me that I did not need to fear bad news. . . . I could stand steadfast and be encouraged, confidently relying on the Lord. Yes, the news is bad. My family depends on me to take care of their daily needs, and I do worry about them. But I trust in the Lord who promised to be a great help in times of trouble and always to be present with us. (See [* below] Ps. 46.)

“We all face difficulties, but trusting the Lord can relieve us of the weight of worry. It is easy to let fear control our minds when we hear bad news, but fear will not control us when we put our trust in the Lord.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – The Lord’s faithfulness is greater than my problems.

Prayer: Dear Lord, in times of trouble give us the courage to face each day knowing that you are greater than all our worry and fear. Amen.

Prayer Focus: THOSE WITH A RARE MEDICAL CONDITION

* Psalm 46:1-11 – God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God himself lives in that city; it cannot be destroyed. God will protect it at the break of day. The nations are in an uproar, and kingdoms crumble! God thunders, and the earth melts!

The Lord Almighty is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world and causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear in two; he burns the shields with fire.

“Be silent, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”

The Lord Almighty is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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Encouraging, strengthening their faith

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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, May 14, 2019

For more Helpful Inspirational Material:

May you find comfort, encouragement, guidance, hope, inspiration, love, and peace – https://helpfulinspirationalblog.wordpress.com/. May you also find answers to your question(s) through the Scriptures that address every situation you face, and help with your problems. Deb

Dear Lord, open our hearts and our minds to the power of Your Word, which as we read, we may know, understand, and obey Your Word for us today. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen. (Author unknown)

Today’s scripture reading:

[Encouraging, strengthening their faith.]

Acts 15:30-35 – The four messengers went at once to Antioch, where they called a general meeting of the Christians and delivered the letter. And there was great joy throughout the church that day as they read this encouraging message.

Then Judas and Silas, both being prophets, spoke extensively to the Christians, encouraging and strengthening their faith. They stayed for a while, and then Judas and Silas were sent back to Jerusalem, with the blessings of the Christians, to those who had sent them. Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch to assist many others who were teaching and preaching the word of the Lord there.

Quoted verse: Judas and Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage and strengthen the believers. – Acts 15:32 (NIV)

“Story” – Tom Kennedy (Texas, USA) titled his story “ENCOURAGEMENT;” here is a portion of Tom’s story:

“Life was difficult for Christians in the first century because the culture they lived in was not attuned to the ways of Christ. When people persecuted them for their beliefs, they became discouraged. Judas and Silas are two whom God sent to encourage other believers, to help their faith become stronger. . . . Throughout the centuries, receiving encouragement has been important to all Christians as they grow and mature in their faith.

“One morning as I was attending a conference and praying about something special I could do that day, God nudged me to focus on encouraging others. That day God sent several people my way who needed encouragement. As far as I could tell, I did not make a huge difference in anyone’s life.   It could be that someone’s life was changed and I didn’t know about it. But that day I did learn that people appreciate and are strengthened by words of encouragement. I also learned that each of us is encouraged as we encourage others.”

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God can use me to encourage others.

Prayer: Dear God, lead us to people who need encouragement, and give us the words to strengthen their faith. Amen.

To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/

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