Long before my mother died, she and a neighbor friend compiled a book of God's promises taken from the Scriptures. Each made her own. My mother used that little book as a primer for her prayers. After she died, my brother and sister and I viewed that tender compilation as part of her legacy to us. The book swelled with handwritten promises from the Bible.
She must have written out hundreds of promises drawn directly from the Bible. Promise after promise after promise. My name was connected to some of them. "For Charles, I claim this promise," she wrote on one of the pages. For Orville and Luci she claimed scores of others and recorded them in her book.
My friend, go back to the Book. Search for the promises God offers you in His Word. I suggest you start with the Psalms. Look for the promises there. They are myriad. Become familiar with them. Live in them. Walk with them. In some special cases, memorize them. Let them be your guide and comfort. Like Paul, you'll be able to withstand the fiercest storms of criticism when you stand firmly on the promises of God.
I don't know where you are or what you face today. It's quite possible you're living under the pressure of negative criticism. I know that's true if you're in the ministry. Somebody may be determined to "prove" things about you that you know are absolutely false. My advice is to learn from Paul: remain calm. Rest your case with your Lord. Take your battles to Him in prayer. With a clear conscience and committed to the truth, lay your case out before Him. Start there. And the Judge of all truth will guide you to your next step. Don't quit. Don't stop. Don't tell yourself that you really are the kind of person others say you are. If what is being said against you is not true, don't believe it. Count on the Lord to give you the strength and courage to stand on the truth. His grace has brought you safe this far, and it will be His grace that leads you home.
Trust me on that; even better, trust Him.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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