Morning Prayer 12 | Patience

After love, joy, and peace, Paul turns our attention to three inner-qualities: Patience, Kindness, and Goodness. Love, joy, and peace are fruit that comes to us from God through the Holy Spirit. With these next three qualities, we turn inward, all the while leaning on the Spirit to help us.

Patience demonstrates our capacity to accept and tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without becoming angry or upset. Anger and distress are emotions we express when things don’t go our way. It doesn’t matter if the root-cause is us or an outside force. None of us like it when things don’t go according to our plan. We prefer to live problem-free lives. We understand that suffering is part of life, but we don’t welcome it. Patience can be an elusive character trait to capture. Growing in patience can be a painful lesson if we rely on our own power. However, we don’t need to depend on ourselves. We have the Holy Spirit indwelling in us to lean on. When we are patient in times of difficulty we are expressing our confidence that the Lord is in control of the situation and He will work it out for our good.

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Faith is expressed by how we respond to the God work is doing in and around us. How we respond reveals what we truly believe about the Lord, about ourselves, and others.

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 (ESV)

The more our expression of faith resembles holiness, the sweeter our response is to the Lord who delights in us as we grow nearer to Him spiritually. Spiritual growth measures how much more like the Lord we become over time.

Prayer: Father God help me grow to be more like You in my daily life. May my response reflect my trust in You and honor You in every way, especially when things don’t go according to how I planned them or don’t happen as quickly as I would prefer. Let me be confident in You in difficult times as well as the during the good. Help me celebrate You in all that I say and do regardless of the circumstances or situation I face. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Evening Prayer 10 | Faith Tested

How do we respond to God in light of what He asks us to do? Do we go out in faith, not knowing where the road ahead will lead but trusting the Lord to get us there and keep us out of harm’s way along our journey?

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was to receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going. 9 By faith he went to live in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

Hebrews 11: 8-10 (ESV)

How do we respond to God in light of what He asks us to do? Do we go out in faith, not knowing where the road ahead will lead but trusting the Lord to get us there and keep us out of harm’s way along our journey?

Faith comes with questions. With faith, come trials. A wise man once observed that the greater the faith, the greater the trial. For faith to thrive, it must be tested. Abraham’s confidence and trust in the Lord caused him to obey, even when he didn’t know exactly where it was God was taking him. His obedience earned him the honor, “Abraham, my friend!”

Evening Prayer

To know God, we must believe God. We can confidently trust in the Lord and that He has our best interests in mind when He calls us to do something. We can just go do it.  That doesn’t mean the journey will be without trials. Certainly not! Just look at everything that Abraham went through in his walk with the Lord. But who among us does not desire to be known as a friend of God?

Heavenly Father, God Most High, help me remain steadfast in my faith so that how I live pleases You. Give me rest tonight Lord so that I can be prepared to face tomorrow with You by my side. Amen.

May the peace of God go with you.

The Devotional Guy™

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 63: God is Trustworthy

Hard to believe that it is Saturday again already. Has your week flown by like mine? The temperatures sure are creeping up here in Texas. I’m not sure we’re quite ready for triple-digit days here in the DFW metroplex, but ready or not, they have arrived. There’s something about sunny weather that makes me smile. I love the sunshine. My guess is most of you do too. But sometimes, even when the weather outside is beautiful and sunny, our circumstance or disposition inside is shrouded in darkness. Such was the case with David when he wrote the words to Psalm 63. He was in a world of hurt. He found himself in a dark, difficult place. David had gone into hiding in the wilderness of Judah, and far removed from the Ark and his regular place of formal worship. I’m sure that this made him feel disconnected from God and separted from worship. Have you ever been in a place like that during your faith journey? I have. And it’s no fun.

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David laments his situation in Psalm 63, pouring out his heart and soul, praying that the Lord would hear him. He hungered for God. His soul was thirsty for a word from the Lord. He felt spiritually dry and his body ached from weariness. But he refused to let his current plight prevent him from praising God. He rested in the faithfulness and steadfast love of the Lord. He knew that God had his back and that David’s enemies would not prevail against him, even though in that moment, thinks looked bleak. Read an meditate on the words of David’s lamenting psalm:

Psalm 63 (ESV)

A Psalm of David, when he was in the wilderness of Judah.

1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you. 4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.

5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips, 6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night; 7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy. 8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

9 But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the earth; 10 they shall be given over to the power of the sword; they shall be a portion for jackals. 11 But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the mouths of liars will be stopped.

Even though he was many miles away from the Ark and a long distance away from his regular house of worship, David trusted the Lord. Throughout his lifetime, he had found God to be trustworthy.

The other night, when we were with our group ministering down at Union Gospel Mission, I talked and prayed with a man who had been struggling to find God trustworthy. He wanted to trust in the Lord, but he remained unconvinced. I shared my experience with him. I have witnessed God at work. Like David, I have found the Lord to be trustworthy, far beyond any definition of trustworthiness I could ever fathom. Even when our days are difficult, God is good. He remains trustworthy. His faithfulness is steadfast and everlasting. The Lord will not drop you. He will not forget you. God cares for you. He loves you. He’s got you.

As Christians, we can take comfort that our prayers don’t go unheard. God listens to us. He delights in our prayers. The answer we get to prayer doesn’t always look the way we anticipated. There are times that we think we didn’t get an answer because we don’t see God’s response in a tangible way from our current position. Yet, later, as our perspective shifts, we discover God did answer. And yes, there are times when the answer is no. In all instances, we can trust God with our prayers.

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Meditating on the person and works of God refreshes our soul and invigorates our spirit. It is important for us to spend time focusing on God, reminding us of His goodness, His greatness, and His grace. Meditating on the Scripture, God’s revelation of Himself to us, helps us serve as a blessing to others, as well as feeding and nurturing ourselves. It’s what we call a “win-win.” Prayer helps us tap into all that God has to offer. Through prayerful meditation we can discern God’s will for us, as well as deepen our relationship with Him.

As believers, like David, we can rest in the assurance that the Lord is trustworthy. We can celebrate His faithfulness and shout in praise of His steadfast love for us. God is good all the time. All the time God is good.

Blessings.