Peace In The Storm

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

Peace In Storm

He got into the boat with them; and the wind ceased, and they were very amazed among themselves, and marveled.Mark 6:51

When Jesus comes to us our trouble ceases. At His command the wildest storm instantly becomes calm. The trouble itself may not leave us but it is no longer troublesome when He is with us. The wind may not stop blowing and beat upon our lives but He makes peace within us. It is far better to have so much grace that our hearts can be calm and quiet in the fiercest storm, than to have the storm itself quieted while our hearts remain restless. Peace within is far better than calm without.

In a gallery in Italy there are two pictures side by side by different artists. One represents a sea tossed by storms. Dark clouds hang over it and the lightning-bolts pierce the sky. The angry waves roll in anger. In the turbulent water a dead human face is seen. The other represents a sea similarly storm tossed; but in the middle of the angry waters is a rock. In the rock a gap, or cleft with green plants and flowers and in the middle of these is a dove quietly sitting on her nest.

These two pictures tell the whole story of human life in this world. The first is the story of life without Christ, unblessed by His presence and peace. There is storm everywhere with no shelter. The other picture paints the peace which Christ gives. Life is just as stormy. The waves roll just as high but now there is peace. The rock represents Christ; it is in the cleft of the rock that the peace is found.  It is just like the old hymn states:

“Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in thee.”

It is in the redemption of Christ alone that we can have peace. If we take Christ into our boats on the stormy sea, we will ride on in safety through earth’s difficulties to heaven’s shore.

He Doesn’t Need A Cloud

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE
 
“Is anything too hard for the LORD? . . .”
(Genesis 18:14, NIV)
 
 
 
TODAY’S WORD from Joel and Victoria
 

One day, we were in the backyard on a beautiful, sunny day. We were just enjoying the blue sky when all of the sudden, out of nowhere, it began to rain even though there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was as blue as can be. The sun was out and very bright. But for about three minutes, there was this downpour. We thought, “Where in the world is this rain coming from?”

It was like God was saying, “I can make it rain whenever I want to. I can use a little cloud, a big cloud or no cloud. I’m God. I’m the All Powerful Creator of the universe. When I say rain, I don’t need a cloud. When I say healing, I don’t have to have medicine. When I say promotion, I don’t need your boss’s approval. When I say abundance, I don’t need a bank. I’m not limited by the natural. I’m a supernatural God.”

Whatever you are facing today, know that God has the answer no matter what things look like in the natural. Trust Him because He can make a way where there seems to be no way. He can make something out of nothing, and He doesn’t need a cloud to make it rain!

 
 
A PRAYER FOR TODAY
 
Father, I praise You today because You are worthy. I trust that You are working behind the scenes on my behalf. I believe that You can make a way out of no way, and I look for Your rain of blessing in every area of my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 
— Joel & Victoria Osteen

Struggle In Rowing


Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

Seeing them distressed in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them, about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea, and he would have passed by them. – Mark 6:48

 

Jesus always sees our struggle and pain in this world. We do not see Him, and sometimes we think He has forgotten us; but that is never true. He is never indifferent for a moment. On the heights of Sedan, while the battle was in progress, a group of men stood watching the struggling armies in the plain below. In this group was the American general Sheridan who watched the battle with the eye of a soldier. King William was also there, but his interest was different from Sheridan’s. His son was in the thick of the fight and he watched the battle with the eye of a father as well as of a king.

Christ looks down upon our struggles in this world. He sees us fighting and witnesses all of our battles and conflicts. He sees us in the waves and in the storm. Not only does He see us with the eye of the calm spectator but with the eye of love. This is a great thought if we can truly believe and understand it. It will give us courage in the hour of struggle, sorrow, or pain. Jesus knows when the battle is hard, when the night is dark, when the temptation is more than we can bear.

Christ sent His disciples out to sea even though the winds were not favorable. We learn that even when we are doing the things God has called us to do we may encounter opposition and difficulty. We may even be pushed back and find the resistance too great for our strength. Many of the Lord’s disciples have to make their voyage over very stormy seas on their way to heaven. For some people duty is hard. A true, noble, positive, aggressive life will always be in the face of opposition and contrary winds. “The law of head-winds in life is doubtless in the secret love of God. When the voyage is over, perhaps we will get to see the charts, and know why it had to be that way.”

Never Forgotten

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

 praise-the-lord

Seeing them distressed in rowing, for the wind was contrary to them, about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea, and he would have passed by them.Mark 6:48

 

It was a long night for the storm-driven disciples; they were in great distress. But Jesus was only trying them. He saw their struggle and danger. He prayed for them. Then finally, He came to rescue them.

It is the same in every Christian’s life. Sometimes Christ seems to have abandoned His people. For a long while they are left to struggle alone and to be driven back by the wind. They call and get no answer. The night wears away and it is almost morning. Then finally He comes.

When people are in trouble of any kind they are like the disciples that night out in the middle of the sea. No human aid can reach them. Our friends eagerly want to help and offer sympathy and a friendly ear. Still in times like those the most helpful of us are like people standing on the shore of a dark and stormy sea while our friends are far out in the storm. We cannot go to help them. Our little boats cannot ride the tossing waves. All we can do is to stand on the shore and look with sympathy at the struggling people in the angry sea. That is the very best that the richest human love can do. A father stood on the shore with indescribable pain and saw the boat that bore his own son swept into the angry waves. He could do nothing.

Thus it is in all life’s deep needs. It is in such hours that we realize the blessedness of Christ’s power to help. He can go out on any wave, into the wildest sea, to reach those who are driven and tossed. He can carry help to all who are troubled. He can comfort in any sorrow and give victory in any conflict.

 

 

REJECTION

Pat:

Very encouraging!!

Originally posted on The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel:

This is for the many who have been rejected in their lives, whether personally or professionally. Rejection hurts. It causes wounds. It makes victims feel worthless and leads many to depression…

REJECTION…
of any kind.
Can negatively…
impact your mind.
When you’ve tried…
and given your best.
Then get rejected..
it’s like failing a test.
When you’ve loved…
and given your heart.
Then get rejected…
it’s like getting torn apart.

View original 136 more words

Waverers

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

When John’s messengers had departed, he began to tell the multitudes about John, “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind?Luke 7:24

 

The picture is of a man wavering and unstable, easily swayed and bent from uprightness. That is what a good many men are. A reed grows in soft mud by the water’s edge. Then it is so frail and delicate that every breeze bends it and shakes it. Jesus did not intimate that John was a man of that stamp, but meant just the reverse. John was not like a reed shaken with the wind. He was a man whom nothing could bend or sway. Rather than preach soft words to please Herod, and keep quiet about sins that the king was committing, John charged home the sins without quailing, losing his head at last as reward.

Yet there are some persons who are like reeds. Instead of being rooted in Christ, their roots go down into the soft mud of this world, and of course they are easily torn up. Then they have no fixed principles to hold them upright and make them true and strong; and they are bent by every wind, and moved and swayed by every influence of fear or favour. The boy that cannot say no when other boys tease him to smoke, or drink, or do a wrong or mean thing, is a reed shaken by the wind. The girl who is influenced by frivolities and worldly pleasure, and drawn away from Christ and from a beautiful life, is likewise a reed bent and swayed by the wind.

They are growing everywhere, these reeds, and the wind shakes them every time it blows. Who wants to be a reed? Who would not rather be like the oak, growing in soil as solid as a rock, which no storm bends or even causes to tremble?

There is one apparent advantage in being like a reed: one seems to escape persecution. John would hardly have met the fate he did meet if he had been easily shaken. People who are like reeds do not often lose their heads on the martyr’s block. But they are in danger of losing their souls; and that certainly is worse.

In Ruins

Pat:

Awesome! Love It!!

Originally posted on Deb's Blog:

734px-The_Ruins_of_Holyrood_Chapel_(Louis_Daguerre),_1824_(Google_Art_Project)

“You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins,  while every one of you runs to his own house.”  Haggai 1:9

Sometimes it seems counter productive to run to God and spend my time with Him.

Thank You, Lord, for the beautiful way You are with us and work in our lives as we come to You and put You first.  And here’s a simple poem. . .

I can run to my own house
to my friends and family

build upon those relationships
and all I feel and see

nothing really wrong with that
but there will remain a drought in me

until I come to You and put You first
worshiping and glorifying Thee.

God bless you as you run to Him today!

View original

Heartache and Brokenness

Pat:

Wonderful encouragement! Abuse must stop so report it if you see it!!

Originally posted on The Abuse Expose' with Secret Angel:

Heartache and brokenness…
are what many have endured.
As they have been abused…
and deceptively lured.
For abusers hide their anger…
where only the victim knows.
And onlookers don’t realize…
for the abuse rarely shows.

View original 84 more words

Death Of John The Baptist

Here’s Today’s Devotional from The Vine…

…and he sent and beheaded John in the prison.Matthew 14:10

 

This seems a sad end for this glorious man’s life. After a few months of faithful preaching he was cast into a dungeon, where he lay for a year, and where he was beheaded as a common criminal. To us it is very mysterious. Why would God allow this to happen to someone so faithful? Jesus Himself said that no greater man ever lived than John. So why then was his life allowed to go out in such darkness?

We know, first, that it was no accident. There are no accidents in this world that God does not have control over. John would not have chosen such a life-plan for himself, so brief, with such a tragic ending. In fact, few of us choose the life we live in this world. There are no chances, no accidents. “Our ways are those of the Lord’s choosing – ways sadder, perhaps, but safer; rougher, perhaps, but surer; narrower, perhaps, but better than those of our own dreaming.”

John finished his work. If there had been anything further for him to do he would not have been left to die in shame, to gratify the revenge of a wicked woman. His work was done when Christ began to preach. When John died, it was for faithfulness to the truth.

It is not long the length of someone’s life that makes it complete. A life is complete, whether long or short, when it fulfills the purpose of its creation. And the longest life is incomplete and a failure if it does not do the work for which it was made. It is better to die in youth with a life untarnished than to live on to old age in sin and selfishness. It was a thousand times better every way to die as John died, than to live on as Herod and Herodias lived.

Is Preception Reality ?


TGIF Today God Is First

 By Os  Hillman

“The Israelites have rejected your covenant, broken down your altars, and put your prophets to death with the sword. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me too” (1 Kings 19:14).

The CEO walked into his manufacturing plant only to observe an employee standing by idly not working. Angrily, he walked over to him, peeled off a $100 bill and gave it to him: “Here, go spend your time elsewhere!” The man looked at the CEO somewhat puzzled, but left with the $100. “How long has that man worked for us?” said the CEO to the employee standing nearby. “Well sir, that man does not work for us; he is only the delivery man.”

Perception is not always reality. Elijah was in a crisis. Jezebel wanted to kill him. The nation was falling to Baal worship. From his vantage point – it was all over. He was the only prophet remaining in all the land who had not bent his knee to the idol of Baal. He wanted to die.

Then, the Lord sent His angel to correct Elijah’s perception: “Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel – all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18). There were seven thousand Elijah knew nothing about! Elijah’s perception was not reality.

Whenever things are going poorly, there is a temptation to believe God is not working in the situation. We may even believe our life is over. Everything from our vantage point is dark. We see no future. However, even in these times, God’s plan is being orchestrated behind the scenes. He is accomplishing His purposes. But we need a fresh perspective on our situation.

Do you need a reality check on your situation? Ask God to show you the truth. It may be very different than your perception.