The Life Raft

January 27, 2021
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "We Have An Anchor"1 (Lyrics)

When we were children, my brothers would at times try to build a floating raft, using spare boards and bits of rope. We watched many dramatic films of life and death experiences aboard life rafts, with sailors battling waves and storms and sharks in fear of their lives. We craved those exciting stories for our own raft. There was always the quest for adventure, for being rescued from being pulled under by the waves.

Jesus knew that while we are on earth, at times, we will doubt and be afraid. Phrases like "do not be afraid" or "fear not" appear 365 times in the Scriptures.

1 John 4:18a – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. (ESV)

The fear that we feel can be replaced with the love, strength of character, and clear thinking that His presence gives us. Willpower alone can't help us to defeat our fears, but His love can. His presence is the antidote to fear. Someone once said, Courage isn't the absence of fear; it's going ahead and doing it scared! When we make the choice to press on, even when everything seems unsteady, like we did on our homemade raft, remember His words, "Don't be afraid."

This is the best time to spend time reading God's Word, taking in how much He loves us and has great plans for our lives. When we believe in our hearts what He says, hanging onto His life raft, the truth that we have tucked away in our hearts and minds will come back to us when we encounter life's storms.

Sing with me:

    We have an anchor that keeps the soul
    Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
    Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
    Grounded firm and deep in the Saviour's love.
           – Priscilla Jane Owens, 1882

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for Your love and constant presence that will overcome any fear. May we look to You when life seems overwhelming and rest in Your love. Amen.

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About the author:

Shirley Moulton <>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    A good reminder, Shirley.

    Amen and God bless, Shirley!

    Thank you, Shirley. We need this right now.

    Encouraging devotion today. Thanks.

    Absolutely, Jesus is our raft to eternal life. Thanks for sharing. Blessings.

    I sing this a lot, Shirley. There are so many great, ‘rock’ hymns. Thanks for the reminder.

    Thank you, Shirley. How interesting that there is one “Fear Not” for each day of the year. Your devotional is so timely and ends with a beautiful prayer.

    Dear Shirley,
    Your writing is so relatable to my experience with kids, rafts, and yes, some fear. It’s by God’s grace we made it beyond 12. I think my understanding of “perfect love casts out fear” is still in process, but a stronger understanding is growing. Thank you for your writing.

    Good morning Shirley,
    Thank you for this very reassuring devotional. Yes, when we take time and delve into God’s word, fears diminish as we are assured of the depth of love and care the Lord showers on us. He is ever ready to be our “anchor” as His love is steadfast.
    Blessings for these special writings you submit.

    Thank you especially for today’s devotional. It encouraged me and brought back wonderful memories of the Boy’s Brigade which was very strong in Northern Ireland when I was a teenager. My husband was a sergeant in it and also played in their band. We have an anchor was their “theme song” as it were, and I sat and sang it this morning.
    God bless you as you reach out to us.
    Stay safe.

    How nostalgic is this, when I think of sons/grandsons astride a stray log, on the local beach, acting out adventures on the high seas!
    Jack Webster, a local DJ who was recognized for his deep Scottish voice and firm opinions, had his memorial service in the local Presbyterian church [in 2013], which was packed to overflowing with those wishing to pay their last respects to him.
    We learned that he had been a keen member of the Boys’ Brigade back in Glasgow, (where I am from too). This hymn was its “theme tune”, and it was sung lustily as part of the service that day. What a fitting close to life!
    Thanks for jogging this special memory with today’s Daily Devotional, with gratitude,

    Dear Shirley,
    I very much appreciate the story of the adventure that your brothers were seeking when they built the rafts. I grew up with 5 brothers near the Humber River and they would like to explore down there.
    Very interesting how many times they tell us in the Bible not to be afraid. It is something we need to relearn often to put our trust in the Lord. Someone told me that if I am afraid, I am not trusting in God. When I remember, I do pray for God’s help and I do feel calmer. I have been blessed with not having to endure huge fears like war and hunger, but little fears can be very powerful also and God has helped me many times.
    I started my day singing with you and joining in your prayer. Thank you for sharing once again and may you have a day of trusting in the Lord.

    Thank you.
    This is the message that I needed to hear today. May God bless you.

    My favourite solution is to sing the hymn, They who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up on wings like eagles they shall run and not be weary…etc.
    Works every time!
    Thanks for sharing.

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