Have Confidence in Your Faith In Challenging Times

Just as Eliphaz gave great advice to Job in his time of trouble, we too must look at our faith, and at our God when we face challenging times. Yes, our God took real good care of us when we were looking for a job, when our mother was sick, and when we were downhearted over life situations at church, but we must always be encouraged in knowing that our God is also big enough, and all powerful, to help us through Covid 19, or whatever else is challenging us today! Praise God, He never fails and He will be with us to the very end of time. Meditate with me as we look into this short Scripture!

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-04-24
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Job 4:2-7
TRANSLATION: The Message (MSG)

BIBLE TEXT: You yourself have done this plenty of times, spoken words
    that clarify, encouraged those who were about to quit.
Your words have put stumbling people on their feet,
    put fresh hope in people about to collapse.
But now you’re the one in trouble—you’re hurting!
    You’ve been hit hard and you’re reeling from the blow.
But shouldn’t your devout life give you confidence now?
    Shouldn’t your exemplary life give you hope?
“Think! Has a truly innocent person ever ended up on the scrap heap?
    Do genuinely upright people ever lose out in the end?

OBSERVATION: Just as Eliphaz gave great advice to Job in his time of trouble, we too must look at our faith, and at our God when we face challenging times. Yes, our God took real good care of us when we were looking for a job, when our mother was sick, and when we were downhearted over life situations at church, but we must always be encouraged in knowing that our God is also big enough, and all powerful, to help us through Covid 19, or whatever else is challenging us today! Praise God, He never fails and He will be with us to the very end of time. Meditate with me as we look into this short Scripture!

APPLICATION: Right at the very beginning of the book of Job, we could read about how special Job was in the eyes of our God. His friends also knew how special Job was, and they were well aware of the faith that he exhibited on various occasions leading up to this testing that he was experiencing. In the chapter we are looking at today, Job’s friend, Eliphaz reminded Job about his faith, about his God, about all that God had done in his life, and about the exemplary life that Job had lived as a result of the close relationship he had with God. Doesn’t Job sound like us when tough times come our way? Covid reared its ugly head and surely we felt sorry for all those affected by it, and especially those who lost loved ones. But then, we heard from our employer that he would have to lay us off until after this awful virus passes by us. However the bills kept coming, it became harder to find groceries, and the kids became restless at home after a while. We may have even begun to wonder if God had left the scene, so we could suffer a little while. Did God forget us? Why would He see us suffer? I’m sure there were multiple other questions that arose, but did you stay true to your private time with God? Remember, being a follower of Christ means that you are in a relationship with the ‘Great I Am’, and not just knowing a puppet whose string you could pull, as necessary. Being in a relationship means that you might talk to God about what is going on and about what is troubling you. As you reflect on your experience to date with God, you may gain confidence today in remembering that the awesome God who saw you through struggles earlier in your relationship with Him, is the same God that also made a way for the Israelites to cross the Jordan River, who gave sight to the blind and brought Lazarus back to life again. He’s still God and He’s still on the throne handling our situation today. Why not ease your stress by having a little talk with Jesus, tell Him all about your struggles and concerns and about how your life is impacted in this time of pandemic. I can confidently tell you dear friend, that He is still our miracle working God – One who is concerned about His children and all that they are encountering right now. I believe that He will stretch out His hands and gently reassure you that every little thing is going to be OK, because He’s got this. He promised us very early in His Word that He would not place more on us than we are able to handle. And I know that without our hand in His, there is nothing that we can’t walk through together. Be reassured of whose you are, my friend, and remind yourself of all that He is, so that you can be comforted in how you will make it through your struggles today, and tomorrow.

PRAYER: I love that old hymn ‘Blessed Assurance Jesus is Mine’, because it reminds me to whom I belong! Thank You Heavenly Father for watching over me in the good times, and yes, especially in the times that I feel are tough times. With the reminder, and assurance that heaven is my ultimate home, where I will rest eternally in the arms of Jesus, I gain the strength that I need to make it through times like we are facing currently, where there seems to be no cure for our diseases and therefore little hope of doctors saving loved ones. Lord, I pray that all those reading this devotional will be encouraged to know that nothing that we tend to worry about affects the Creator of this universe! God is still on the throne and one day He will return to take His children home to glory where we will be with You for eternity! Praise God for His wondrous love. Lord, please melt the hearts of those unable to call You ‘Father’, because they have never invited You to be their Lord and Savior. Oh that today may be the day of salvation for them, I pray in deepest sincerity and utmost urgency, from the bottom of my heart. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

You Are Still God!

This chapter of Nehemiah is one that is very timely for us during the time that we are currently dealing with. The Israelites were led into times of reflection about the awesome work of the all-powerful God. This was in light of the awful time they faced with the fallen walls around Jerusalem. We too are facing very challenging and unprecedented times. It’s discouraging and very depressing, and the news media seems to make sure of that! However, let Christians meditate on the goodness of our God. Let us reflect on all that He did for us and our ancestors, and let that reassure us that He can do it again!

DATE WRITTEN: Wednesday, 2020-03-08
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Nehemiah 9:32
TRANSLATION: The Voice (VOICE)

BIBLE TEXT: 32     Our True God—You who are great, majestic, and awesome,
    You who always keep Your covenant of loyal love—
        do not overlook the trouble we are facing here today.
    This trouble confronts us all:
        our kings and our princes,
        our priests and our prophets, our ancestors and all of Your people—
    From the time of the Assyrian kings until today.

OBSERVATION: This chapter of Nehemiah is one that is very timely for us during the time that we are currently dealing with. The Israelites were led into times of reflection about the awesome work of the all-powerful God. This was in light of the awful time they faced with the fallen walls around Jerusalem. We too are facing very challenging and unprecedented times. It’s discouraging and very depressing, and the news media seems to make sure of that! However, let Christians meditate on the goodness of our God. Let us reflect on all that He did for us and our ancestors, and let that reassure us that He can do it again!

APPLICATION: I love this chapter of Nehemiah! Up in verse 3 we read about how Nehemiah, Ezra and the Israelites went to the temple and for the first 3 hours of each day, they spent their time listening to the Word of God being read. After hearing from God, they spent the next 3 hours confessing their sin and worshiping the Almighty God. Friends, I don’t know about you, but I had to stop and talk with God about my complaining when our church services extend beyond their normal one hour. I had to ask Him why others and myself look for excuses not to attend certain services – especially prayer services. As the chapter progresses, we are enlightened on how Nehemiah and Ezra led the people to reflect on the awesome God they were in the presence of. All that He had done for their ancestors, and all the ways He had blessed them, in spite of their sin and evil minds. I was forced into seeking forgiveness for my complaining about the rough times we are going though worldwide, because I often fail to recognize the goodness of God in making sure that I have food on the table; grocery stores available to help me replenish my pantry; doctor’s offices available to take care of my medical needs; medical experts who are sacrificing every day to help attend to the serious needs presented by Covid 19; a comfortable bed to lie in and a place to call home. Thank You Jesus that You are still the same all-powerful God who has control of every fiber of our being. You have carefully watched over and protected us in every circumstance of life, and I have no reason to believe that You will turn away from us now. You were powerful enough to take our ancestors across a river that instantly became dry for their path; You restored sight to the blind; Healed the sick and even brought the dead back to life again. We also are Your children, and we are in dire need today. Oh that You may do it again – restore Your people to good health and our land back to a sense of normal activity. Please give us the faith we need daily to trust in You and expect the miracles that only You can perform. As told boldly in the focal verse today, please precious Lord, don’t overlook the trouble we are in today.

PRAYER: Dearest Lord Jesus, when all things around us are crashing in and life seems to be failing at every point, we know that there is One who is in total control. So we turn to you, like our ancestors did, and we ask that You please don’t overlook the trouble we are in today. Every time we listen to updates on the television we hear about how out of control our world is, and how medical experts don’t know where to turn for the needed help in the challenges of today. I know that You are still God, and I know that You are able to see us through. Please give us the confidence we need to look only to You for all of our needs, and to rest in peace knowing that You can still do all things. Oh that we may glorify You for all that You have done, all that You can do, and for all that You will do as we seek Your face. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

He’s Still God – Worship Him

Take time today to read the whole (short) chapter, Psalm 95. No, you will not find anything referenced about our current conditions, or about when things might get better. But what you will be reminded of, is that God almighty created us and everything around us. Yes, we came to this earth because of Him, and He wants us to return to Him when we leave this earth. As we meditate, let’s consider how we are doing with the time between these two events.

DATE WRITTEN: Friday, 2020-03-27
WRITTEN AT: Okeechobee, FL

BIBLE REFERENCE: Psalm 95:2-7
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)

BIBLE TEXT: Come before him with thankful hearts. Let us sing him psalms of praise. For the Lord is a great God, the great King of[a] all gods. He controls the formation of the depths of the earth and the mightiest mountains; all are his. He made the sea and formed the land; they too are his. Come, kneel before the Lord our Maker, for he is our God. We are his sheep, and he is our Shepherd. Oh, that you would hear him calling you today and come to him!

OBSERVATION: Take time today to read the whole (short) chapter, Psalm 95. No, you will not find anything referenced about our current conditions, or about when things might get better. But what you will be reminded of, is that God almighty created us and everything around us. Yes, we came to this earth because of Him, and He wants us to return to Him when we leave this earth. As we meditate, let’s consider how we are doing with the time between these two events.

APPLICATION: If you stop and listen to a child, they will find every excuse why they are unwilling to obediently follow your commands at any given time. Unfortunately that follows us into adulthood and we continue to battle with obedience. Planet earth is going through some very rough times at this time, and it seems like Satan is winning, by feeding his world with nothing but bad news, impossibilities, deaths, losing battles of ill heath and the absence of cures to current dreaded diseases. Notice that our Scripture makes no reference to the diseases, the financial strain placed on families and businesses, and the finality of death that is hitting so many families. Did God mess up, or was He unawares of what might come, when He instructed David to write this Psalm? I would dare say that our God knew about the struggles of our ancestors, especially David, and in assembling a Book of Instruction for all times, He also knew what His children could expect for all time. However, the Psalmist shared with us what is important in the good times, like when the harvest is plentiful, and in the tough times, like when the hospitals are full to overrunning. My friends, let me reassure all of us today that our God never fails; He never stops loving us; He is still the One who created us and everything else around us; He still has a home prepared for us and waiting for us when we graduate from this old earth to a glorious place (heaven) around the feet of Jesus. So remind me again what on earth would distract us from praising our King of glory? Yes, we are human, and we tend to let things that affect other humans also affect us, but may I remind all God’s children, especially myself, that God has not lost control nor has He decided to revenge the world for its sin, yet. So let us therefore look to Him as our source of help, our primary encouragement and our hope for today and tomorrow. He owns it all, and He has allowed us to enjoy it all while here on earth. He may decide to call us home to glory at any moment because of a virus infection, or for any other reason He sees fit. Life is still all about Him, dear friend. Let us fix our eyes on Him. Let us worship the King of all kings, for He is Lord and worthy of our praise. Let’s not be distracted by all the commotion that surrounds us and confronts us every time we turn the television on. Let’s open the Word instead and be filled with Good News; encouraging Words, and be reminded of our God who loves us in spite of our everyday failures and weaknesses. Give God the glory my friend, and watch the stress meter become unnecessary! As the Psalmist so carefully encourages in this chapter today, let our hearts be filled with love and our lips with praise for the One who always was, always is and always will be – God!

PRAYER: Lord, we hear You calling – loud and clear. Please forgive us for being so caught up in the distractions of this world that we filter out the truth of Your Word that is always right on target, accurate, true and decisive. It provides direction for our path, and It guides us to green pastures, It restores our soul and helps us fear all evil. These are all totally opposite to what we allow into our minds every day from the news media and from friends who feel like everything is out of control. You are still the One that we need, because only You have the answers in the palm of Your hand. Please patiently guide us Lord to the path that we should always follow – the one that leads to the cross of Calvary where we might be reminded of true love, true power, true mercy, true grace and life eternal in the comfort of Your arms. Forgive us Lord for our weakness. We need You more today than yesterday, because You are the answer to all of life’s challenges and dilemmas. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

He’s Still God – On the Mountain Tops and in The Valleys!

The Bible – Good News Translation

Psalm 116:10-11

 10 I kept on believing, even when I said,

I am completely crushed,

11 even when I was afraid and said,

No one can be trusted.

My Thoughts:

Friends, I believe that we often mistakenly void many of our commitments because of unrelated causes. Let me offer one or two ideas to explain my point: (1) You may work out at a gym, and after a few months you may not have lost any weight, so you quit going to the gym. Truth is, the volume of food that you have been eating has increased, but definitely not decreased, so although you are spending more calories, you are still taking in more. Nothing to do with the gym! (2) You are having an argument with an employee at work, so you quit your job of 10 years that paid you handsomely and gave you health benefits. Now consider the biblical application. In our Christian life, we must be in a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, and therefore enjoy a daily walk and talk with Him. When this is in place, we mature in our relationship with Him and can easily handle a ‘no’ response to a prayer request that we may have asked of Him; or in another case, a friend relationship that went sour; or in another case, your faith may be restored in a friend that you thought you couldn’t trust. Throughout our relationships and worldly activities our faith in Jesus should stay intact, if we remain strong in our relationship with Him. Think about it, nothing has changed in what He did for us at Calvary, or in what He continues to do for you and I. So we should be able to rejoice like the Psalmist did! Even throughout our trials and temptations, our faith should remain strong, and if we ask Jesus to help us in all aspects of our life, we should respond to situations like He would. Are you struggling in your faith because of issues other than your walk with Jesus? Be comforted today in knowing that our God never changes and will always love His kids! He is our God when we are on the mountain top and also our Comforter and God when we feel like we are in the deepest valley of our life. He’s still God, friend! Trust Him!

My Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I pray that my readers and I might be reminded that: You are the One that we adore! You are the One that we raise our hands and our hearts in praise to when life is rocking along without any known challenges! And You are especially the One that we must look to at those times when we feel like we are ‘at the end of our rope’, or feeling like we are in a deep valley. I firmly believe that You are still God, regardless of the circumstances that may occur in our lives. Please give us strength and humility to depend on You during those times that we feel so low, so alone, so useless and so far away from You. In fact, it is those times in particular that we really need You by our side and Your outpouring of grace, mercy and loving-kindness. Even as a child of the King, as long as we are here on this earth, we will still be challenged with issues that we feel so incapable of handling. Praise God we know You, our King, and we can depend on You to help us through every circumstance in life! In the name of Your son, Jesus my Savior, I ask that You hear my prayer today and that Your continue to bless Your children who need You so desperately today and every day, AMEN!

**If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray.