Category Archives: Charles Stanley

March 19 Tragedy and Victorious Living

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:8–11

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 1:9

Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead.

Paul knew what real pain and devastation felt like. He called his burden “excessive, beyond his strength,” even causing him to despair of life (2 Corinthians 1:8). He knew what it felt like not to want to live anymore.

Maybe you’re going through a time right now when you feel so barraged by hardship that your life hardly seems worth its pain. Walking in victory seems like an illusion. While you endure suffering, looking to the Lord for comfort, remember one thing: God initiated a relationship with you. Therefore, He initiates His comfort for you too.

Paul understood this when he wrote, “We should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead” (2 Corinthians 1:9). The Lord understands our pain even before we cry out to Him. However, it’s at the point of us crying out to God that we understand what Paul understood: we cannot trust in ourselves for relief; we must trust in our sovereign God.

Admit to the Lord exactly how you feel. Ask Him to heal your hurting heart, restore your joy, and help you to walk in victory.

When I go through the deepest mire of life, Lord, help me to lift my eyes and see, not just the cross, but the risen Christ.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 82). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 19 Claiming Your New Position

Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:1–17

Key Verse: Colossians 3:3

You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Although financial poverty can occur through uncontrollable events, spiritual poverty is inexcusable for any born-again Christian.

Because we have been placed in Christ by God, we have constant, unlimited access to the Source of all spiritual blessings.

Why, then, do some walk well beneath the high calling of Scripture? Why do too many Christians suffer spiritual lack—living in perpetual defeat and disobedience?

The primary culprits that cause spiritual malnourishment are ignorance and unbelief. Our ignorance is of our resources in Christ. We fail to realize we are no longer habitual sinners, but justified saints.

But we must believe. Unbelief will always keep Christians mired in spiritual poverty. As long as you think of yourself in nonbiblical terms, suffering from self-condemnation and self-pity, you will not experience the joy, peace, and power that come from faith in Jesus Christ. You are a wealthy saint. God has a high calling for you.

By faith and a scriptural confession of what God’s Word says about you, claim your extravagant, new position in Christ.

Lord, on the basis of Your Word and by faith, I claim my new position in Christ. I am wealthy. You have a high and noble calling for me. I rejoice in my spiritual riches![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 82). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 19 The Value of Prayer

Scripture reading: Joshua 1:1–9

Key verse: Joshua 1:8

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

The value of spending time alone with God in prayer cannot be underestimated. It’s more than a spiritual exercise to be checked off as you move through your schedule for the day. It’s a vital part of your growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

You learn to develop a quiet spirit. When you stop the rush and bustle of the moment and sit before Him, the harried feelings begin to melt away. If you’ve done a good job of putting aside all possible distractions, you can focus on Him alone and feel His peace settle over you.

Your heart will be purified. Your motives will be sifted, clarifying your purpose and helping you view your life and circumstances from the perspective of God’s Word. He gives you this promise: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8).

You can confirm outside counsel. If something others are telling you doesn’t square with what God says in prayer and the Word, then you know to reject others’ advice. The Holy Spirit interprets Scripture to you as you read, reminding you of what you know and adding to your learning with further dimensions of truth.

Lord, as I wait before You in prayer today, speak to me through Your Word. Purify my heart, sift my motives, clarify my purpose, and help me view my circumstances from Your perspective.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 82). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 19 Nothing Is Too Difficult for God

scripture reading: Psalm 91
key verse: Psalm 91:2

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust.”

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” may be an inspiring motto on a gymnasium wall, but it is not applicable for the believer who encounters difficulty. God’s promises are your strength in your weakness. If you rely on your cleverness, your inventiveness, your moral fiber, your abilities, you will never discover the amazing power of God.

The strong despise the weak, but God’s strength is specifically designed for the feeble in spirit, the small in faith, the little in stamina. When you fall on His grace, exhausted and spent, you are revived. You are renewed. You ride on His wings and are borne up by His divine drafts.

God’s promises are your hope as you wait on Him. Waiting on God does not mean being idle. It is active, daily obedience in the things you know to do with supreme confidence in His perfect, sovereign answer.

Waiting on God means you know that He is at work when all appears silent and frozen. In His time, in His way, He will meet your needs and bring honor to His name.

Admit your helplessness. In your weariness, cast your burdens on Him. Remember, nothing is too difficult for Him.

You are my strength, O Lord. When I am weak, You are strong. When I am exhausted, You revive and renew me. I cast my burdens on You, knowing nothing is too difficult for You![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 18 Meeting Your Needs

Scripture reading: Genesis 16

Key verses: Psalm 130:3–4

If You, Lord, should mark iniquities,

O Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with You,

That You may be feared.

Abram and Sarai thought they were doing a good thing. After all, God promised them a son to be the heir of the promise and God’s special covenant. He didn’t specify exactly how this birth would come about, they must have reasoned.

Maybe Sarai was impatient. Maybe she struggled with waiting for such a long time. She could have simply felt inadequate for the task. So she proposed to Abram that he try to have a child with her maidservant Hagar, and he readily agreed.

What was the result? Hagar bore a son named Ishmael, who grew up to be a rival of Abram’s covenant family through Isaac. There has been no end of trouble and fighting through the outworking of their sin in not trusting the Lord to fulfill His promise in His timing. God did bless them fully, but they always had the heartache and reminder of their attempt to go around God’s ways.

Have you ever tried to meet your needs outside God’s legitimate plan? You probably know the pain of that mistake, and you quickly learned why it is so important to trust the Lord fully. What is more important now is that you grasp His forgiveness through Christ. There is no such thing as a misstep so big you can never go back.

Don’t waste time living in guilt. Let God’s forgiveness free you to enjoy His good for you today.

Lord, I don’t want to waste time living in guilt. Forgive me so I can be free to enjoy the good things You have planned for me today.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 81). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 18 Walking in Victory

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 1:1–7

Key Verses: 2 Corinthians 1:3–4

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

When you are suffering—whether it be a personal tragedy or one of public magnitude—what do you do? Do you tell others about it? Do you hide it in hopes of denying it? Do you pray that the Lord removes it?

How we respond to tragedy provides us a unique opportunity for the type of spiritual growth that results in victorious Christian living. Once we trust Jesus Christ as our Savior, the rest of our days are devoted to growing. While we would often choose otherwise, the pain we suffer or tragedy we experience is useful.

Second Corinthians 1:4 tells us that we suffer so that God can comfort us. The first usefulness of hardship is for us to grow in our knowledge of God. We will soon know His comfort when we reach out in times of hurting. How could we know this aspect of our Father’s love if He didn’t allow our hearts to break?

The second point of practicality for our suffering is so that we can comfort others. Anyone who has ever experienced real heartache understands how unfulfilled it feels to be thrown shallow phrases in the midst of turmoil.

Yet how would we as humans be able to offer anything more than fluffy words to each other were it not for the deep, penetrating comfort we ourselves have received from the Lord? Know that your pain is real. It is important to the Lord. Your suffering, in fact, is precious to Him. By it, He reveals Himself to you and all those who come in contact with you.

Lord, I seek Your embrace in my pain. Help me not to seek comfort longer than I need but, rather, to share that comfort with others.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 81). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 18 Measuring Your Wealth

Scripture Reading: Romans 10:8–13

Key Verse: Romans 10:13

Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

If someone asked you if you are wealthy, you probably would respond negatively.

“I pay my bills and have a little left over. I do better than some, but I am certainly not wealthy.”

But did you know that in Christ Jesus you are immensely wealthy?

“I do not feel wealthy. From all indications, primarily my pocketbook, I definitely am not affluent.”

You are using the wrong standard. The things that man honors, God despises. By God’s measuring stick, you possess extraordinary riches. As a believer, you have the riches of God’s grace bestowed upon you through the gift of His Son, Christ Jesus.

There is no circumstance, no problem, no obstacle, that you face apart from the lavish grace of God. He gives wisdom, strength, guidance, patience, and love without limit. You are a wealthy saint because you have all the resources you need for life on earth, and in heaven, in the person of Jesus Christ.

God’s help is available whenever you need it. Eternal life is yours forever. His undeserved blessings overflow into your heart daily.

You are a wealthy saint. The treasures of a new life in Christ are completely yours.

Master, thank You for bestowing Your riches on me. Thank You for the treasures of my new life in Christ. Eternal life. Blessings of wisdom, strength, guidance, and patience. Love without limit.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 81). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 18 Praying for Others

Scripture reading: Colossians 1:9–14

Key verse: Colossians 1:9

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

Perhaps you are driving your car and a friend comes to mind. It may be someone you have not seen in years. Or you could be reading through your devotions and God places a burden on your heart to pray for a family member. His Spirit is calling out to you to be sensitive and pray for that person.

You don’t need to know what the other person is going through in order to pray for him. God will show you what is necessary. One of the greatest blessings comes when you recognize the moving of the Holy Spirit and follow Him in prayer.

Paul encouraged the Colossians by telling how he prayed for them. Imagine what it was like to have Paul pray for you!

Prayer is the greatest gift you can give another person. When you approach the throne of God on behalf of another, you are doing exactly what Jesus has done for you.

Paul prayed that these early believers would have “all wisdom and spiritual understanding, that you may walk worthy of the Lord” (Col. 1:9–10).

Prayer reveals new dimensions of God’s love. It keeps us from becoming self-focused. Instead we become others focused. God takes our prayers and uses them to unlock doors of blessing in the lives of others.

Father, use my prayers to unlock doors of blessing in the lives of others. Help me to be sensitive to the prompting of Your Spirit to pray for those in need.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 81). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 18 When the Going Gets Rough

scripture reading: Psalm 46:1–3
key verse: Psalm 54:7

He has delivered me out of all trouble;
And my eye has seen its desire upon my enemies.

You have a flight from Boston to Charlotte. Inclement weather, rain, and clouds shroud the flight path. Is the flight canceled? Rarely. Today’s aircraft are fully equipped to fly in harsh climatic conditions.

It is likewise important to realize that God has fitted you to navigate through turbulent times. Just as the pilot’s confidence is in the instruments, so must your reliance be on God, not yourself.

Your foremost guide in rough times is God’s Word. It is always a lamp unto your feet, especially when darkness is at its deepest.

If you are in tempestuous circumstances, read His Word voraciously, cling to specific promises tenaciously, and anticipate His gracious response.

You can also count on the unerring help of the Holy Spirit who lives in you. As the third person of the Trinity, He is unaffected by emotional, spiritual, financial, or psychological tumult.

He will stabilize you through His divine assistance, upright you when you fall, and constantly gird you through His unfailing strength and love.

God is the Sustainer of your soul. He will see you through when you cannot see at all.

Holy Spirit, You are unaffected by the emotional, spiritual, financial, or psychological tumult that I may face today. See me through when I cannot see at all.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 17 Keep Out of Satan’s Territory

Scripture reading: Luke 22:31–32

Key verse: Ephesians 6:12

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

She had spent a long, hard day at the office. After-hours work caused her to get caught in heavy traffic, the aftermath of an earlier accident. Plans for an early dinner date with her husband were running afoul. Through it all, she tried to remain at peace, knowing circumstances were beyond her control.

However, by the time she arrived home, her husband’s concern for her tardiness had turned to irritation. As the conversation degenerated, both took a defensive posture.

After tempers had cooled, they called to mind Ephesians 6:12. Satan took subtle advantage of the circumstances, turning concern and weariness into personal conflict.

When such conflicts arise between two people, it is hard to keep in mind that the devil is slyly working behind the scenes. We seek to solve problems in our own abilities, ignorant of the reality of the spiritual realm. When we begin to understand the spiritual forces that are at work, we can then be more tolerant and forgiving of others, thwarting Satan’s plan of strife.

Allow Christ to fight your battles in the heavenlies, keeping you out of Satan’s territory.

Lord, fight my battles in the heavenlies. Keep me out of Satan’s territory![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 80). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 17 Victory in a Pig Pen

Scripture Reading: Luke 6:1–20

Key Verse: Luke 15:18

I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.”

Imagine the prodigal son looking at the pigs he was feeding. As he dropped pods into their sty, his stomach growled, and he realized that the swine were eating better than he was. He was at such a low point that he was actually envying the hogs! The only alternative he could imagine was to return to his father in humility (Luke 15:18).

When the prodigal son considered his options, he chose the last place he had experienced grace. Even though he was determined to offer himself to his father as a hired hand, he must have known in his heart that his father’s arms would be open to him. No matter how far you are from God, His arms are open to you. God’s grace is always available to you to lift you from sin and defeat back to victorious living.

Catherine of Genoa writes, “I clearly recognize that all good is in God alone, and that in me, without Divine Grace, there is nothing but deficiency.… The one sole thing in myself in which I glory, is that I see in myself nothing in which I can glory.”

You have not slipped too far away from Him, because the only good in you was from Him in the first place. Do not envy the pigs, but run back to the Father. He desires to restore you by His grace and fill you with all of His goodness.

Lord, show me the areas where I have been prodigal and call me back to the safety of Your love.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 80). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 17 Your True Identity

Scripture Reading: Ephesians 4:17–24

Key Verse: Ephesians 4:24

You put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Determining identity is a lifelong struggle for many people.

Teenagers look to peers and parents trying to discover their unique identity. Possessions and status are the criteria for the majority of their conclusions.

Adults tend to define their identity by their vocation, financial bracket, or social strata. Determining our identity greatly affects our behavior. We act like who we think we are.

One of the greatest assets of the Christian is that his identity is rooted in the person of Jesus Christ. Because he is a child of God—an heir of God, a citizen of heaven as well as earth, a saint, and God’s workmanship—he can act accordingly.

Do you know who you are in Christ?

Your marriage, career, relationships, and ambitions all hinge upon your new relationship with God’s Son, Christ Jesus.

Your values, priorities, and perspectives are determined by this new relationship with Jesus. You are secure in Him. You are complete in Him. Your past, present, and future are bound up in the person of Jesus Christ.

Father, I am thankful that I am complete in Your Son, Jesus Christ. My past, present, and future are bound up in Him. Let my values, priorities, and perspectives always reflect this divine relationship.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 80). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 17 The Fabric of Your Life

Scripture reading: Psalm 119:69–76

Key verse: Hebrews 4:12

The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Amy Carmichael made a habit of collecting short prayers written throughout the Bible. When a need arose, she would pray God’s Word to Him. One of her favorites is found in Psalm 119:175: “Let my soul live, and it shall praise You; and let Your judgments help me.”

Two things immediately happen when you use God’s Word as a prayer source. First, you are strengthened within your soul. God’s Word is powerful (Heb. 4:12). It reveals the message of His heart written just for you. If you are weary from the battles of life, the Word of God is a minister of hope and truth. It is God breathed; therefore, it has the ability to refresh and renew the downtrodden.

Second, you experience intimate fellowship with the Lord by reading His Word. In picking it up, you are telling Him that you want to know more about Him, your life, and the situation at hand. He honors your devotion just as He honors the promises in His Word.

Too many people wait until desperation hits before they turn to God for guidance. But you don’t have to wait until the alarm sounds. God’s Word is a standard of truth. When you weave it into the fabric of your life through prayer, your trust level rises, and you can see clearly the hope that is given to you by a faithful, loving God.

Lord, help me weave the fabric of my life with prayer. Lift the level of my trust so I can see clearly the hope that You have given me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 80). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 17 Crisis or Opportunity?

scripture reading: Psalm 18:29–33
key verse: Habakkuk 3:19

The Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like deer’s feet,
And He will make me walk on my high hills.

The Chinese character for crisis and opportunity is identical. Literally translated, it reads, “Crisis is an opportunity riding the dangerous winds.”

When crises arise, and they do so quite frequently, they appear foreboding—a pink slip at work; a somber look on the face of your physician after seeing test results; an unexpected call with the sad news of a family death.

Although you cannot diminish their gravity (the Bible never ignores or attempts to explain away pain), you can take realistic stock of your dilemma and then turn to the ultimate Realist, Jesus Christ.

The danger in facing life’s crises is withdrawing into the valley of despair or seeking to surmount it with feeble self–resolve. Both tactics will end in ruin.

The opportunity is to trust God to make your feet as “deer’s feet” so that through Him, you may see God at work in your problems. Faith in God and His care for you will stabilize your footing and give you a confident grip in His ability.

As God strengthens and equips you, you can ride on the divine winds of faith that help you seize the opportunity for faith in your crises and give you renewed hope in God’s active presence in your life.

Dear Lord, stabilize my spiritual footing. I do not want to withdraw to the valley of despair, and I cannot survive through self–resolve. Enable me to ride the divine winds of faith in the midst of my storms.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 16 The Tool of Discipline

Scripture reading: 2 Chronicles 7:12–14

Key verse: 1 Peter 5:6

Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.

When God sends His discipline, you can be assured that He has something wonderful in mind for your life. And while this may be hard to envision, especially when you are enduring the trial, it is true. God is on your side. He never works against you. Even in times of discipline, God is directing your life.

Discipline is the tool He uses to bring focus to your life when you have drifted from His chosen path or when you are refusing to follow His instruction in a particular situation. Through discipline, you learn how to live a godly life.

Peter admonished us to humble ourselves “under the mighty hand of God.” Why? So that once we have learned the lesson God wants us to learn, we will experience the overflow of His blessings throughout our lives.

This does not mean that the goal of discipline should be only to receive a blessing and nothing else. The greatest benefit of discipline is the potential for intimacy it brings between you and the Lord.

If you do what Peter advised by humbling yourself before the Lord, then you will experience a deeper level of fellowship with God. Your heart and mind will be opened, and you will hear His voice leading you.

Are you facing a difficult time? Greet your adversity with humility. Submit yourself to God, and He will exalt you at the proper time.

Dear Lord, I submit myself to You. Use the tool of discipline in my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 79). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 16 Overcoming Obstacles to Victory

Scripture Reading: Joshua 6:1–20

Key Verse: Joshua 6:5

It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.

It was huge, and it stood in their way. As Joshua looked at the fortifications of Jericho, he realized that taking the city was no small task, especially with the seemingly impenetrable wall that stood before him.

However, God promised Joshua that Israel would triumph, and Joshua believed Him. Joshua 6:5 records God’s command: “It shall come to pass, when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, that all the people shall shout with a great shout; then the wall of the city will fall down flat. And the people shall go up every man straight before him.”

For generations to come, the children of Israel would ask about the onslaught at Jericho, to which their parents would respond that it was by shouts and trumpet blasts that the walls were destroyed, because the power of God was with them. No battering ram technology, no modern warfare strategy was necessary—only obedience. The lesson for you remains that God has a way for you to overcome every obstacle by His power. It may not be what you expect, but it is exactly what is needed.

As Theodore Parker prayed, “Give me, Lord, eyes to behold the truth; a seeing sense that knows the eternal right; a heart with pity filled, and gentlest truth; a manly faith that makes all darkness light.”

Lord, You are the Creator, the innovator in the face of the impossible. I give You all my obstacles, for I know that You alone can overcome them.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 79). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 16 God’s Workmanship

Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:34–40

Key Verse: Matthew 22:40

On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.

Some evangelicals espouse the warped view that loving ourselves is selfish and wrong.

While Christians obviously are called to love God and others, loving ourselves in a biblical, nonnarcissistic fashion fosters a healthy spiritual balance. We love ourselves properly when we see ourselves as God sees us.

God declares His children to be His workmanship. He views us as men and women of inestimable worth—valuable enough to execute His own Son on our behalf.

Your clothes, home, car, work, and friends do not determine your worth. God does. He values you so much that He desires to spend eternity with you.

We also love ourselves rightly when we treat ourselves properly. As God’s masterpieces, we should take care of ourselves. Our bodies need balanced nutrition and exercise. Our personal grooming should be neat. We polish our furniture and wax our cars because they are objects of worth to us. Are we not worth more than they?

You are God’s good and lovely creation. The more you affirm God’s evaluation of yourself, the more you will adore Him and love others.

O God, You have declared me to be of inestimable worth. Help me view myself as You see me—valuable enough to execute Your own Son on my behalf.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 79). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 16 In the Presence of God

Scripture reading: Psalm 141:1–9

Key verse: James 1:5

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

Through prayer, you come in contact with the tremendous power of God. In prayer, you acknowledge your inability while professing your trust in Someone who will provide for your every need. If there is a need for wisdom, God’s Word tells you to ask (James 1:5). If there is a need for relief from stress, financial ruin, or some other trial, God is your answer and prayer is your connecting point.

Many Bible teachers have said that for a Christian, the distance between success and failure is the distance that it takes for him to drop to his knees in faith and prayer. We are not talking about naming and claiming something. We are talking about placing our trust and hope in God who commands us to seek His face. He may not always answer your prayers the way you want Him to, but He will answer them in love, according to His plan for your life.

Prayer allows you to step into the holy presence of God. It also gives you a spiritual opportunity to know and experience an intimate love that cannot be duplicated by the world. Make prayer a continuing goal in your life. The Lord hears you when you call to Him (Ps. 141). Also, study His Word for insight into the prayers of His saints. Many books have been written on prayer; however, the greatest manual on this subject remains God’s holy Word.

Father, thank You for the privilege of coming into Your presence. I am grateful for the opportunity to know and experience intimacy that cannot be duplicated by the world.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 79). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 16 Facing Winds of Adversity

scripture reading: Hebrews 13:5–9
key verse: Psalm 57:1

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.

When the winds of adversity whip up swirling whitecaps of stress, you can rely on several calming biblical truths to anchor your inner person.

First, recall God’s activity in the lives of His people (and yours) in the past: “Remember those who led you.… Imitate their faith” (Heb. 13:7 nasb). The lives of Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, Peter, and Paul are illustrations of God’s dealing with men. Examine His methods. Investigate their response.

Second, count on God’s fixed, unfluctuating character: “Jesus Christ is the same” (Heb. 13:8 nasb). God rewards your faith as He did Abraham’s, your obedience as He did Joshua’s, your commitment as He did Daniel’s, your repentance as He did David’s. You can depend on God to act consistently with the revelation of Himself through His Word.

Third, magnify the power of God’s grace: “It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace” (Heb. 13:9 nasb). Grace works every time. Grace is His supernatural provision for every need, every problem, every circumstance. Grace overwhelms every obstacle, overflows every failure, overcomes every dilemma.

Heavenly Father, give me the grace that overwhelms every obstacle, overflows every failure, and overcomes each dilemma. I rest in the assurance that Your grace works every time.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

March 15 God’s Discipline

Scripture reading: 2 Samuel 24

Key verse: Psalm 119:67

Before I was afflicted I went astray,

But now I keep Your word.

Each of us will face times of discipline. Usually we can trace the origin back to some area of sin. God had to discipline even His greatest servants. David was not an exception. When he decided to count his fighting men, God became angry. David’s faith was supposed to be in God’s ability and not in his own power or military strength.

As a result of David’s sin, the nation of Israel faced the disciplining hand of God. Pressure always builds within when we become involved in things that God has warned us to steer clear of. Many times you can avoid His discipline by asking Him to make you sensitive to the leading of His Spirit.

When discipline does come, realize that it is not His arbitrary punishment against you. God loves you and has a purpose in mind for any instruction He sends your way. He is your loving heavenly Father, who uses discipline only as a tool to bring you closer to Himself.

Your attitude toward His discipline is crucial to future spiritual growth. Take it seriously. Endure it until God releases you because it’s an expression of His perfect love toward you. Submit to it and accept it as something He will use greatly in your life.

Blessing is the reward that comes as a result of your obedience. God’s great and wondrous grace and forgiveness are yours today.

Father, I want to be blessed. Extend Your grace and forgiveness to me today.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 78). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.