Heavenly Father, You are God and You are Lord of All. There is no one and there is nothing that compares to You for You alone are the Almighty Everlasting Father. Above You, there is no other. The new year, O Lord, is just around the corner. Help me to end this year strong and to remain steadfast in the new year 2019. Thank You for guiding me and leading me in Your way. Father, I ask You to continue to guide me in all my ways and to direct my steps as I put my trust in You and acknowledge You in all my ways. Apart from You, O Lord, I can do nothing. In You, I can do all things because You are the One who gives me strength. You are my Hope and You are my Refuge. I cling to You, O God, for You are my Deliverer and Your words sustain me. Father, I delight in You, and because I delight in You, I know You will grant me my heart’s desire. Father, draw close to me as I draw close to You. Help me to remember there is freedom in submitting to You and walking in obedience to Your will and to Your ways. Be the Light which illumines the path I am to walk. Show me the Ancient Path, the good way, that I may walk along the Ancient Path and find rest for my soul. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Our Lord is great. He is bigger than any problem or struggle you have. He is the One who catches you, not permitting those who belong to Him to slip and fall. This old hymn of the church says it all, “WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS.”
Remember the Lord hears you calling out to Him. He hears you when you cry out, and anyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
Written By Joseph M. Scriven In 1855
Copyright Status Is Public Domain
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.
Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.'” -Matthew 11:28-30NLT
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 4:6-7(NLT)
Peace with God is so important that the ceremonial law for peace offerings is detailed in Leviticus 3. The peace offering was an expression of gratitude, and it was a way for the people to maintain fellowship with God. Part of the offering could be eaten by the one who was presenting the offering because it was symbolic of peace with God.
Peace is a fruit produced in us through the work of the Holy Spirit. Peace with God comes by having faith in God and His promises. Peace with God is not cheap, but it comes through a sacrifice of praise and joying in the God of your salvation. Because of the peace of God, you are able to drink deeply from the well of salvation. Peace comes from knowing that your enemies cannot prevail against you and that God upholds you with His victorious right hand. Peace of God comes from waiting upon the Lord, fully trusting in Him. As you wait on Him, He will renew your strength, and you will mount up with wings like eagles. This is the kind of peace you can experience and should be experiencing as a child of God. Remember no matter what circumstances you find yourself in, no matter how many enemies you have surrounding you, you must know fully that God has established His relationship with you. Because God has fully established His relationship with you, you have peace with God.
PRAYER: Heavenly Father, You are the God of All Peace and You are the Peace That Surpasses All Understanding. Father, thank You for establishing my relationship with You. You are the Peace-Giver. Let me always remember to cast all my cares on You because You care for me, and help me to always remember You, O God, are my Protector. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You might be thinking, “Seriously, Linda? Times of desperation are the best? Are you crazy?” Probably, but I have had a lot of time to think about desperation since I have been through desperate situations myself as well as knowing some others who have found themselves in situations and circumstances beyond their control. I have thought a lot about people in the bible who have found themselves in the most dangerous or crazy situations. *Let’s face it. We’ve all had those moments where we have come face to face with trials and not knowing what to do in those situations… those situations that have had us laid out before the LORD, those situations that have had us completely at the end of ourselves, that have us carefully tuning in to hear GOD’s voice speak, paying more attention to what the Word of GOD has to say, and clinging to GOD more than we usually do.
“In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles.” -Psalm 34:6 (NLT)
Are these times pleasant when we are going through them? NO. However, those are the rawest of moments where GOD can work WITHOUT US trying to help HIM because there is nothing of self to get in the way because we have given up the situation to GOD, completely surrendering whatever it is to HIM. That’s where GOD wants us: FULLY SURRENDERED TO HIM, relying on HIM, not just in the bad times but in the good times as well… in the time of blessings and in the time of tribulations. *In the pages of Scriptures, we see Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah who all lived for GOD, served GOD, and did great things for GOD. However, they all went through trying times. Through it all, they clung to GOD with steadfast devotion and unwavering loyalty. Their success did not come by walking an easy road but by walking a narrow road paved with humility, suffering, persecution, and all while walking in obedience to GOD who upheld them no matter what the circumstances or situations they were in. GOD worked everything out for their good and for HIS purposes, and GOD can work things out for you just as HE did for them. Joseph, Daniel, and Nehemiah were blessed for enduring their times of trial, those desperate situations. Remember it was desperate times which took Joseph from the cistern to the palace (Genesis 37-41), Daniel from the Lion’s Den into prosperity (Daniel 6:28), and Nehemiah from cupbearer to heading up the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:1-9).
REFLECTION: “For he clung to the LORD; he did not depart from following Him, but kept His commandments, which the LORD had commanded Moses,” (2 Kings 18:6). You can be like Hezekiah who did not depart from following GOD but kept the commandments of GOD. Cling tightly to GOD at ALL times. Be faithful to the GOD who has been faithful to you and who has kept you. Be loyal to the GOD who has not let your enemies triumph over you. Walk with HIM and follow the LORD’s commandments, obeying Him with wholehearted devotion. Without GOD, you can do nothing. With GOD, you are an overcomer and made victorious. *PRAYER: Heavenly Father, Your power is made perfect in weakness. You are the Horn of My Salvation, and You are the Wellspring of Life. No matter what the circumstance, good or bad, I will put my hope and trust in You for with You all things are possible. Thank You for times of desperation because, in those moments, You teach me and show me more of Your goodness, Your faithfulness, and Your grace. Thank you for making my feet like a deer able to climb the mountain heights You have set me on, and when I come to You to have my strength renewed as I wait upon you, let me rise up with wings like an eagle. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Linda A. Knowles
“Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.” -Isaiah 50:10