Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "A Beautiful Life"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 34:4 – I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. (NIV)
We live in anxious times, and I suspect that many of us, including me, are just glad to get through each day. There's so much uncertainty in the world, and it's affecting each one of us. We don't know what lies ahead, and after three years of instability, we may wonder if things will ever change for the better. It's been a tough time to endure, and we're weary, even in the church.
When I came across today's verse in my daily readings, it reminded me to seek God in order to cope with my fears. Far too often, when I'm faced with difficulties, I offer up a rocket flare of a prayer, asking God to give strength to sustain me, as well as a timely solution to my problems. It's not an ideal way to build any solid relationship with God, for it causes me to treat Him as my personal spiritual paramedic and individual problem solver. In other words, I'm using God only for special emergencies.
Seeking God, on the other hand, takes time. It requires me to stop what I'm doing in order to have a deep conversation with God. I get so used to rushing my prayers that I forget Whom I'm actually addressing. However, when I intentionally set aside my busyness or anxiety, and patiently explain to God what I feel or fear, then I humbly listen for His counsel, wisdom, and teaching. Because I focus on God and not on me, my fears subside and my anxieties diminish.
I think that this is why Jesus invites all of us to come to Him when we're weary or burdened. It takes time, as well as personal intent, to respond to such an invitation. Christ means us to use it as a relationship builder with Him, and not as a problem solver for us. He wants us to seek Him, to be given His answer, and then to be delivered from all our fears.
Points to ponder: What is currently making me most anxious? Am I willing to seek the Lord and to take time to talk to Him about it?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us so well, and You are fully aware of what is presently troubling us. You're waiting for us to set aside time to let You know how we feel, so that You can embrace us in the midst of our fears, hearken to our issues, and offer Your counsel. Teach us to pray again and to trust You completely. Amen.
Forward this devotional Share this devotional on Facebook Like PresbyCan on Facebook
Thanks for the good word, John.
As usual Brother well said! Amen.
Thank you for the prayer you wrote.
Thank you for this beautiful message – comfort, hope every day, all day.
Thank you, John.
John, Once again God has used your devotional to chastise but also encourage us. Thanks for faithfully sharing God’s word with us today.
Nice to see you back on the Daily Devotional, John. I always seem to get an answer to my current problems and I thank God, through you, for this time of inspiration and reconciliation.
God bless you and your family as you continue in His work.’
Thank you, John. I’m in the hospital.
No pain, just great peace and JOY possible. I have enjoyed your devotions so very much and may you continue to bless many.
Thanks John for another of your very mindful devotionals. Yes, you are so right that we must take time to talk to our Lord and not just rush things through our mind. He certainly has answers to our fears and frustrations and when we take the time to read and absorb His word we can feel more settled and reassured. Blessings for these special writings you do.
Good morning, John,
Great Devotional and great reminder. My friend always asks me when I am stressing, did you offer your problem to God? If yes, why worry about it, unless you don’t believe he will help you solve it.
I love talking with my friend. She is a great reminder to me always, that God is always listening and he knows exactly the right thing to do!!
Have a Blessed Day!
Thanks, John. This sentence describes perfectly what we do: It’s not an ideal way to build any solid relationship with God, for it causes me to treat Him as my personal spiritual paramedic and individual problem solver.
And your solution is spot on: However, when I intentionally set aside my busyness or anxiety, and patiently explain to God what I feel or fear, then I humbly listen for His counsel, wisdom, and teaching.
I really appreciate when I see you have written a devotional! Today a phrase that jumped out at me was “I offer up a rocket flare of a prayer” and the result, as you mentioned:
“It’s not an ideal way to build any solid relationship with God, for it causes me to treat Him as my personal spiritual paramedic and individual problem solver. In other words, I’m using God only for special emergencies.”
Thanks for the reminder of needing to take real time with Him.
Peace and blessings to you,
I really appreciate when someone shares their honesty of how they are feeling at the moment. That takes courage and the desire to encourage others. I know that I have “used good for emergencies” at times.
Thank you for reminding us to take time to really seek that relationship with God. I need reminders along the way on many fronts of my faith like judgment is one I could be reminded of everyday.
I love the title because life is so much better if I focus on God or on trying to be kind to others or spreading the light of Jesus.
Blessings and may you continue to be inspired to share with others.
and pray when I have a problem expecting a solution to my dilemma. It gave me comfort that you as a minister (at least I think I remember that you are a minister) send up “rocket flares of prayers” too.
I am very grateful for my comfortable condition in life and try to be thankful often in prayer for the blessings that I have received. I have found it helpful to listen less often to the daily news since it seems to be full of horrors about which I can do very little. Instead I volunteer in my community doing simple tasks which do make life better for folks around me.
The most difficult part for me is being still and listening for God to speak to me. That takes real patience and I continue to work on that.
I’ve been reading Devotionals for many years and I always enjoy reading yours. You have much to offer. Thanks for your work.
I always know it’s you before I’ve read more than a sentence or two.
You are real, you are inspirational, and you bless many with your writing.
Your words always resonant with me.
I have struggled over the past couple of years with what to do about the sinfulness that is boiling over in our world and the governments that are jumping in whole heartedly to destroy as much good as they can. We know that we live in a fallen world and that God has a plan that will end this world at sometime unbeknown to us but we still have to live here until our days run out and he takes us home or he snatches us away with him.
The Bible says that we are to obey the government that was instituted by God. But God instituted governing authority to “defend the rights of the afflicted and needy” (Proverbs 31-9); “reprove the ruthless and defend the orphan” (Isaiah 1:17); do justice to the afflicted and destitute…and deliver them out of the hand of the wicked (Psalm 82:3-4); and consequently we are to have no other gods but the true and living God (Exodus 20:3). The initial structure of government, given to us by God; our current governing bodies. the consequences of our own sins of disobedience to our duties as Christians to live and act justly, with love, wisdom, honor and teach God’s wisdom in our communities and to help our brothers and sisters do the same. Whether we help feed the poor, comfort the grieving, teach a bible study, help someone in need or bring a hidden sinful agenda to light for the unsuspecting to see, we are obeying God by standing up for his children. We are to use what God has given us in everyway possible. So when we walk as Jesus walked in this world, we walk in the territory of Light; when we walk with the evil in this world, we walk in the territory of darkness. So pray, pray, pray for all to see the evil and come back to Jesus on their knees and pray.