Today’s Thought and Text of Encouragement:
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.”
“At the heart of the cyclone tearing the sky,
And flinging the clouds and towers by,
Is a place of central calm.
So here is the roar of mortal things,
I have a place where my spirit sings.
In the hollow of God’s palm.”
“Thy peace can tread where there is no pathway.”
Mrs. Charles Cowman
Today’s Study Text:
“And the two of them stood by the Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up and struck the waters, and they divided this way and that, so that the two of them went over on dry ground.”
“Trusting God To The End”
“After all He’s done for me, I realize God deserves my trust even when I can’t figure out the, ‘How could You let this happen?’”
“Super Saint?” Teaching
What is there in my life right now I need to trust God to accomplish?
How was Elijah able to trust God to do what He had promised?
“There is only one way the puzzle of life will fit together, and that’s God’s way.”
“The reasonableness of trust depends on the trustworthiness of the person being trusted, and no more trustworthy person exists than the God who has revealed Himself in Christ.”
“The more we depend on God, the more dependable we find He is.”
Sir Cliff Richard
Their walk was nearing the end. Standing on the banks of the Jordan River, the Bible tells us that Elijah, without hesitation, removed the mantle from his body and struck the water. As he did so, a way parted and together, Elijah and Elisha, crossed to the other side of the river.
No reluctance. No pausing. No hemming and hawing about how they would get across the flowing river. Without faltering, Elijah knew God would make a way and He did. Elijah didn’t have a question in his mind “if” God could make it possible for him and Elisha to cross the Jordan. For at this time in his life, the record of God’s deliverance was so firmly etched in his mind no question existed as to God’s capabilities.
It is this profound fact that should be held up before your eyes and mine on a daily basis. If we keep foremost in front of us how trustworthy God had been in our past, just imagine how much confidence and faith we will have in our heavenly Guide’s ability to help us in the present and future. Especially when clouds of trouble loom before us.
Many years ago, I read a passage which I will paraphrase which noted that all too often we get nervous and frightened by the road ahead because we fail to remember how God has brought us through the challenges of the past.
I don’t know about you, but I believe this statement correctly describes my state-of-mind quite well. Trembling in my boots because of the rushing Jordan River that lies ahead, I completely overlook the fact that God has already carried me through an ocean of trouble. So I ask myself, “What is my problem? Why does an ominous challenge ahead make me upset to the point that I am frozen in my tracks?”
There is most likely a different reason why each one of us finds ourselves fearing the cloudy sky above. However, I’d like to offer this one thought which has repeatedly come back to me during times when my trust in God has wavered. And it is this: it is because I do not focus on the strength of the One I trust. I’d rather trust my own capabilities – which I might add, aren’t that great!
Tim Burns, who is author of the tremendous book, Forged In The Fire, makes this astute observation:
“God will often use the desert of quiet faithful service, or the prison of injustice, to permanently transform our self-confidence into Christ-confidence. It is only when control is out of our own hands and we are thrust blindly into God’s arms that He is free to teach us that He can be completely relied upon.”
I love the phrase “self-confidence into Christ-confidence” for if I had to identify the one problem which keeps me off-balance when trouble arises, it is the false sense of my own ability to handle all that life throws at me. And frankly, this behavior only leads to my own downfall.
There’s an old story told about a burning house where a young lad was being urged to jump from an upstairs window to safety below. The firemen could do nothing to get the boy to heed their calls for him to jump. As the flames came closer to the child, a rough looking man walked through the crowd. Raising his arms he shouted loudly and only once, “Jump!” And with this the boy leaped down into the arms of this apparent stranger. Stunned, one of the firemen asked the child, “Why did you jump to him?” Without hesitation the young boy said, “He’s my dad. I knew he would come. He works in the mine. I knew if he heard the sirens he’d be coming and he would catch me.”
One of my favorite quotes is by Frank Gavelein who wrote: “There is comfort in the fact that God can never be taken by surprise.” He knows there is a Jordan River ahead – that’s why He has prepared you with what you will need to get across on dry land, whether it’s a hairy mantle or a bridge you had never seen before.
Today, as I was working on the devotional, the DVD that was playing happens to end with one of my all-time favorite Christian songs, “Through It All” penned by the talented Andre Crouch. Whatever you are facing today, whether it is a river you need to cross; a new job you desperately need or a diagnosis that has you frightened about your future, I’d like to leave these words with you:
“I’ve had many tears and sorrows;
I’ve had questions for tomorrow;
There’ve been times I didn’t know
Right from wrong
But in every situation
God blessed consolation
That my trials come to only make me strong.
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to trust in Jesus;
I’ve learned to trust in God.
Through it all, through it all,
I’ve learned to depend upon His Word.”
Words and Music
“The only place we can safely put our confidence is in God.”
“In You, O Lord, do I put my trust and confidently take refuge; let me never be put to shame or confusion!”
Psalm 71: 1
“I am trusting Thee to guide me;
Thou alone shalt lead,
Every day and hour supplying
All my need.
I am trusting Thee, Lord Jesus;
Never let me fall,
I am trusting Thee forever,
And for all.”
Frances R. Havergal
Help us to trust You even when we are going through the most trying times of our lives;
to know that You are there with us and that Your faithfulness is just.” AMEN
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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