Category Archives: Charles Stanley

June 12 Beyond Betrayal

Scripture reading: Psalm 86

Key verse: Psalm 86:2–4

Preserve my life, for I am holy;

You are my God;

Save Your servant who trusts in You!

Be merciful to me, O Lord,

For I cry to You all day long. Rejoice the soul of Your servant,

For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Most of us know what it feels like to watch someone we trust go down in defeat. Often, however, when this happens, we feel abandoned and a little taken advantage of.

It is critical to your spiritual health to stay focused on God, especially when you feel you have been betrayed by another. He knows that in our humanness we search for heroes. We like to put people up on pedestals that He never meant for them to stand upon. In doing so, we place expectations on them that they may be incapable of fulfilling.

The better way is to keep your eyes on Jesus. Make Him your only Hero. After all, He is the only One who is able to fulfill all the promises He has spoken.

It’s okay to enjoy the goals and ambitions of others. We can and should applaud their accomplishments and encourage them in all good works. Just be careful that God approves your motivation to cheer and encourage. The Lord does not want you attributing more to an individual than He deems necessary.

Only God can meet all your needs. Ask Him to teach you how to be balanced in your relationships and in your view of others. Remember, each of us is a life under construction. Keep this in mind when others disappoint you.

Lord, You are my only Hero. Help me keep my eyes on You. You are the only One who can fulfill the promises I have received.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 171). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 12 Rebuilding Your Faith

Scripture Reading: Matthew 17:15–21

Key Verse: Matthew 17:20

So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.”

When circumstances appear to take an unexpected turn, sometimes our faith can be rocked. We wonder how we will ever endure the tragedy or injustice unfolding before us. However, adversity should never be the end of our faith; it should be the beginning. No matter the adversity, a strong faith will enable us to endure life’s toughest hardships.

But what should we do when we discern that our circumstances are indeed rattling our faith? How do we regain our footing?

  • Make a decision to choose to believe that God is trustworthy and faithful. God always keeps His promises. He desires the best for our lives. At times, what we think is the best and what He knows is the best may be conflicting. However, God’s ways always produce the most spiritual fruit, the strongest character, and the unimaginable perfect result.
  • Refuse to doubt God. The enemy hopes to thwart us by infusing doubt into our minds that will lead us to question our faith. When we refuse to look at our circumstances through worldly eyes, God gives us a sense of peace and rest.
  • Read God’s Word and meditate on His promises. Searching the Bible for God’s promises is one way we can quiet the wavering of our faith, standing on all His promises with the deep assurance that God always keeps His Word.

To you, Lord, who created the universe and the mountains, the obstacles in my life are comparably the size of tiny stones. I trust You to help me step over these challenges.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 171). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 12 Confronting Conflicts

Scripture Reading: 2 Corinthians 4:7–18

Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 4:17

Our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.

Conflict affects people in different ways:

  • Some internalize their difficulties, which can lead to sustained anger and frustration.
  • Others fully vent their feelings and emotions, which may make them feel better momentarily but does not solve their problems.
  • Still others try to ignore their problems, hoping they will disappear as time passes.

In God’s plan, conflicts initiate the following scriptural scenario:

First, our conflicts should drive us to the Lord Jesus Christ. We look to God’s Word to guide our conduct; we seek His face to steady our course. We lean on His strength, depend on His wisdom, and take refuge in His arms.

Second, we entrust our problems to the Lord’s care. God is responsible for His children. Our conflicts concern Him, and He promises to sustain us if we cast our burdens on Him (1 Peter 5:6–7).

Third, we thank God for an outcome that glorifies Him. The Lord uses our conflicts to produce outstanding results that will benefit us on earth and in heaven.

By taking our problems to the Father, we have engaged our mighty God to work in our behalf. These problems can be solved as we allow Him to fight our battles for us (Ex. 14:14; Rev. 19:11).

O Lord, let every conflict drive me to You. Guide my conduct and steady my course. Use my problems to produce results that will benefit me on earth and in heaven. Thank You for an outcome that will glorify You.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 171). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 12 Accusations of the Enemy

Scripture reading: Ephesians 3:14–19

Key verse: Jeremiah 29:11

I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Satan has a long record when it comes to discouraging the saints of God. He enjoys telling us that we are weak and of little use to the kingdom of God. He whispers lying thoughts to our minds, trying to deceive us into believing that God cannot possibly love us because of past failures and sins. These accusations are completely false, and the enemy of our souls knows it.

God’s love for you is so great that He sent His only Son to earth to die for your sins (John 3:16). Through Jesus Christ, you now have the opportunity to live free from Satan’s shame and condemnation.

The love of God holds you safe and keeps you motivated in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Feelings of inferiority may tell you that you are worthless and there is no hope for your future. But God says the opposite: “I know the thoughts that I think toward you … thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29:11).

Neil Anderson writes: “You are not the helpless victim caught between two nearly equal but opposite heavenly super-powers. Satan is a deceiver. Only God is omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (always present), and omniscient (all-knowing) … A true knowledge of God and our identity in Christ are the greatest determinants of our mental health.”

In the name of Jesus, I rebuke the accusations of the enemy today. I am set free from Satan’s shame and condemnation.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 171). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 12 Volatile Emotions

scripture reading: Colossians 3:5–15
key verse: Colossians 3:8

Now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.

Some boundary markers on handling volatile emotions include the following:

Deal directly with the situation or responsible party who has irked you. Face conflict head–on. Refuse to spread your anger to other parties. Receive counsel only if you are unsure how to constructively deal with your anger.

Resolve your anger as quickly as possible under the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes you need a cool–down period before expressing your anger. But it is folly to let your anger brew over days, weeks, or months. That is the perfect breeding ground for bitterness and division.

Remember that the temperament and personality of other people can easily provoke you. If this is the catalyst that makes you angry, your best choice is to accept others as God accepts you—freely and unconditionally.

Make a daily choice to submit to the reign of the Holy Spirit in your emotional life. Put your focus on Christ and the peace He gives in all circumstances. The sweeter your fellowship with Jesus, the more like Him you will naturally become with the Spirit’s help.

That is the lifestyle God has called you to, and anger can be handled appropriately within that context.

Father, I want to live the lifestyle You have called me to. Help me resolve my anger quickly and accept others as You accept me. I submit to the reign of the Holy Spirit in my emotional life today.[1]

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

June 11 Try Him

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 1:3–7

Key verse: 1 Peter 5:9

Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

One of the ways Satan works to defeat you is through feelings of discouragement. He knows if he can cause you to doubt the goodness of God, there is a chance you will become fearful and give up. Often the Lord allows the enemy’s arrows to get through His protective cover so that your faith is tried and strengthened.

Frustrations, feelings of inferiority, external pressures, and any number of difficulties can be delivered from the enemy’s hand. What do you do when the going gets rough? Do you take your stand and resist the enemy the way Peter instructed us to do? Or do you become weak under the attack?

First of all, ask God to help you not to become discouraged in the midst of the battle. All of God’s greatest saints had to learn how to handle heartaches and disappointments along with all kinds of evil. Reading about their victories and defeats will bring insight and hope to your life.

You will find that when you are at your weakest point, God is your greatest Source of help. Prayer is your most efficient tool for spiritual victory. Remember, it must be fueled by faith. You can trust God on all battle fronts because He is faithful. Whatever concerns you concerns Him. Trust Him. Try Him, and witness His power at work in your life.

I trust You, Lord. You are my greatest Source of help. Thank You for the privilege of prayer, which brings spiritual victory![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 170). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 11 Reasons to Trust God

Scripture Reading: Psalm 37:1–9

Key Verse: Psalm 37:3

Trust in the Lord, and do good;

Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

There are many reasons why we can trust God:

  • He is the one, true God (2 Samuel 7:21–22). From the beginning of time, those who seek God have found Him. No other god has revealed himself to man in this way.
  • He is the essence of truth (Hebrews 6:17–18). God cannot lie, and He will never lead you astray. However, He has told us that there is one who deceives us, and that is Satan. Jesus called him the “father of lies” and rightly so (John 8:44).
  • He is absolutely faithful (Lamentations 3:23). When was the last time God let you down? He never has, and He never will. No matter what you are facing, God knows about it, and He is near to show you how to resolve your dilemma.
  • He has all power (Matthew 28:18). Henry Thiessen writes, “God can do what he wills to do, but he does not necessarily will to do anything.… To the Christian the omnipotence of God is a source of great comfort and hope.”
  • He loves you unconditionally (John 15:9). God will never stop loving you. Even when you are unlovely, He loves you. And it is His love that draws you away from sin and into His arms of infinite care.
  • He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). God is immutable. Thiessen writes: “He is exalted above all causes and above even the possibility of change.”

You are the one, true God and the essence of all truth. You are faithful, You have all power, You love me unconditionally, and You never change![1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 170). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 11 Reinforcing Your Faith

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1–5

Key Verse: Romans 5:3

Not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance.

You forgot a 9:00 a.m. meeting that you were supposed to attend. Your computer lost a half day’s work. You arrived home to discover a car windshield smashed by a baseball. Have you had one of those days when everything went askew? What about one of those weeks or months?

We like our days to be as cooperative as possible. We tolerate adversity but certainly do not appreciate it. Often, however, God can accomplish more of His purposes on these perplexing, aggravating occasions than on unclouded days. God uses rough times to build character:

  • When the boss says no, we develop perseverance.
  • When a mate is ill for an extended time, long-suffering and kindness are cultivated.
  • When a neighbor is harsh, goodness and love are surfaced by the Holy Spirit.

God also uses rough times to build trust.

Jerry Bridges writes in his book Trusting God that it is often “easier to obey God than trust Him.” Trusting God under a heavy cloud cover is the surest sign of a growing faith. God wants us to lean on Him, even when we cannot always see His presence. Let your hard days build sturdy character and reinforce your faith. You may not enjoy them, but they will not be wasted.

Dear God, nothing is wasted—not even the hard and difficult times. Use them to build my character and reinforce my faith. Teach me the value of adversity.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 170). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 11 God Is in Everything

Scripture reading: Psalm 89:1–17

Key verse: Psalm 89:11

The heavens are Yours, the earth also is Yours;

The world and all its fullness, You have founded them.

God is involved in every area of your life. And while this may be easy to understand in joyful times, it is just as true in times of sorrow and heartache. God will never abandon you to the harsh forces of this world without some form of help and support.

In 1 Corinthians 10:13, the apostle Paul told us: “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”

Let the Holy Spirit show you a deeper meaning of this word. Temptation can come in the form of a testing of your faith. It may involve something that suddenly appears and leaves you feeling helplessly overwhelmed.

Often you cannot see the outcome of the testing of your faith. God stretches you in your relationships, job, and other areas to see if you will remain steadfast and true to Him and the others involved. Ultimately, the outcome of your testing is tremendous blessing.

Is God in everything? The answer is a hardy yes! He is not the One who causes the pain you feel or the disappointment you experience, but He promises to use each one for your good and His glory. Therefore, you can trust Him in times of rain, wind, and sunshine.

I trust You, Lord, in good times and in bad. You have promised to use everything for my good and Your glory.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 170). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 11 Anger

scripture reading: Ephesians 4:26–32
key verse: Ephesians 4:27

Nor give place to the devil.

A jarring tackle by a linebacker on a running back at midfield is perfectly acceptable behavior. On the other hand, a blow by the same linebacker on the same running back out of bounds is a rule infraction met by a penalty.

Thinking of anger in similar terms is helpful. If you keep your anger within certain acceptable bounds, it is not sin. David’s anger is obvious in the Psalms. Jesus visibly vented His anger in the temple. Nowhere are these actions described as sin.

But when anger crosses certain boundaries, it becomes sinful behavior. Knowing those emotional and spiritual land lines is difficult, but here are a few helpful guidelines.

Anger is okay as long as it is not a synonym for a constant, irritable temper. If you frequently stew over matters and are quickly irritated, you are not walking in the Spirit. You need His self–control and a megadose of biblical love.

Anger is acceptable as long as it is directed at another’s behavior and not the person. God does not treat you as your sins deserve; likewise, you must be careful not to attack a person’s self–worth. Let your anger be directed at the problem, not the person. Don’t always suppress your feelings. Express your ire, but keep it within legitimate bounds.

Dear Lord, help me learn how to express my anger properly. I want to exhibit better self–control in difficult times. Give me a megadose of Your love.[1]

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

June 10 The Desires of Your Heart

Scripture reading: Psalm 25

Key verses: Psalm 25:4–5

Show me Your ways, O Lord;

Teach me Your paths.

Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

On You I wait all the day.

Most of us are familiar with the scripture from Isaiah in which God said, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways” (55:8). Yet many times we fail to see the goodness of this verse. God often takes us places we could never dream of going on our own. His vision is far beyond ours. His might and power open doors for us we thought were permanently closed.

God has a way of providing all we could ever hope for. The problem comes when we fail to trust Him in times of waiting. All of us have done this. We want something to take place so badly that we try to convince God to give us what we want now.

When we fail to see His immediate response, we often think He is not going to provide what we desire to receive. Jesus told His disciples to seek God first and then all the other desires of their hearts would be given to them.

Who plants desires in your heart? Many times God does, especially if you are walking closely with Him. These are the very things He wants to give you as a blessing from Himself. Don’t worry about wrong motivations. God knows how to sift away selfish longings and replace them with healthy dreams and goals.

God’s blessings are so satisfying, few have ever sought to return them. Therefore, wait for His way to be known, and the blessing you receive will fill your heart with boundless joy.

Father, help me to wait for Your way to be known. Don’t let me walk in my own way.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 169). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 10 The Stages of Faith

Scripture Reading: Romans 4:16–21

Key Verses: Romans 4:20–21

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.

Making the decision to follow Christ takes faith. No matter how weak our faith begins, salvation only comes through belief in Christ. Once we accept Jesus as our Savior, God begins the process of stretching and increasing our faith. When facing a challenge, a person with small faith might say, “I know He can, but I am not sure He will.” We all begin our journey unsure about many things, yet we are sure enough to take the first step.

At this point, our emotions play a big role in whether or not we believe God is going to hear and answer our prayers. We give up and doubt, and our faith remains restless. However, God wants us to continue on past that point to a place of great faith where we say, “I know He can, and I know He will.”

It is there that we begin to ignore the circumstances surrounding us. We trust in Him, meditating on His promises and seeking understanding. We remember what He has done in the past, and we refuse to give up.

Abraham “did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform” (Romans 4:20–21 nasb). Through difficult times, our faith is tested, seasoning us as believers and teaching us that trusting in God alone is vital to keeping our confidence in Him.

Father, just as Abraham, in all his human weakness, followed You without wavering, I, too, claim Your promises and want to stand firm in my faith.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 169). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 10 God Is in Control

Scripture Reading: Psalm 121

Key Verse: Job 42:2

I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.

In his discussion on suffering and adversity in his best-seller When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Rabbi Harold S. Kushner states that Job had to conclude that God was not really all-powerful. Job is “forced to choose between a good God who is not totally powerful or a powerful God who is not totally good.”

The thrust of his argument is that when bad things happen, God is apparently unable or uncaring. In other words, he claims that God is not the Sovereign Master of the universe.

When adversity strikes, we often are plagued with similar thoughts:

  • Why doesn’t God do something?
  • Why did He let this happen?
  • Doesn’t He care?

The Scriptures reveal a God who is always in charge, regardless of the circumstances. We live in an abnormal world where evil is present; but God’s providence is over all, and He uses His power for His purposes (Gen. 50:20).

God also cares. His Son met death on a cross because God’s love transcended suffering. Whatever hardship you face today, know that God is in control of your life and He cares for you. Never doubt God’s power or love.

Almighty God, how I rejoice that You are always in charge. Your providence reigns over all. You have the power to use every situation for Your purposes.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 169). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 10 Yes, Lord

Scripture reading: Read: Jonah 1:1–5

Key verse: Psalm 139:7

Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Or where can I flee from Your presence?

God instructed Jonah to go east to Nineveh. Instead, he headed west to Tarshish and into the pathway of rebellion. He knew if he preached God’s message, the Ninevites would turn from their wickedness and follow God. They were Israel’s dire enemies, and Jonah could not bear the thought of their repentance. So he refused to obey, and in his rebellion he found he was the one separated from God.

Disobedience does not cancel God’s commands. Our lack of obedience does not alter His plan. There is no such thing as “getting off the hook” with God. We can’t escape the presence of God. Even in the belly of a whale, God was there to convict Jonah of his sin. Resistance to God’s will brings suffering to others. Rebellion has a ripple effect and erodes relationships with God and others. It steals our joy, divides our minds, and causes guilt.

Many times we are given a second chance. Jonah was, but that is not always the case. God wants us to respond to His will by faith and obedience. God always accomplishes His will. Nothing we do or say alters His plan. There is only one way to answer the call of God and that is to say, “Yes, Lord.” Anything else results in disobedience.

I say yes today, Lord—to Your will and Your way. Help me walk in obedience to Your Word and Your plan for my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 169). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 10 Alienation

scripture reading: Psalm 27:1–10
key verse: Proverbs 27:19

As in water face reflects face,
So a man’s heart reveals the man.

The ache of alienation is soothed first by building new intimacy with Christ Jesus as Friend. But it does not stop there, for Jesus knows our needs for mutual love and fellowship as well.

Elijah had Elisha. The disciples traveled in pairs. And Paul always had traveling companions. God knew each person needed the support of a friend as well as His supernatural presence.

Seek to cultivate new depths of intimacy with your family. Pray for your family. Look for creative ways to do things together.

God also understands your need for other beneficial friendships. Ask Him to provide one friend of the same sex with whom you can develop openness and sharing.

If you are single, widowed, or divorced, ask God to bring someone into your life who will brighten your day.

Don’t force a futile friendship. Let Him guide you. Look for avenues of service to your neighbor, church, or community that will open the door of fellowship.

You need others, and God knows that. As your most noble Friend, He will help you build godly friendships that keep loneliness at bay and sharpen you for His good and blessed purposes.

Lord, please bring good relationships into my life. As my greatest Friend, help me build godly friendships that will encourage me to accomplish Your purposes.[1]

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

June 9 Your Loving Shepherd

Scripture reading: John 10:1–15

Key verse: John 10:15

As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

Though written in 1836, William Bradbury’s hymn, “Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us,” contains a dear and relevant truth for us today. Jesus is our loving Shepherd, and He takes care of our every need.

Savior, like a Shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;

In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;

Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, let us early turn to Thee;

Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, let us early turn to Thee.

Many times we resist thinking of Jesus as our Shepherd until we find ourselves in the throes of trouble and despair. We may choose instead to meditate on His strength and power as our ruling Lord, or see Him as our merciful Savior who forgives our sins. Yet how many of us, when facing a great threat or trial, have turned to Psalm 23 and discovered amazing comfort and peace?

There is great security in Jesus. He is your intimate, loving Shepherd. Only in Him do we find the patience needed to protect and care for troubled and wandering sheep.

Heavenly Shepherd, thank You for protecting me. You are my intimate, loving Shepherd.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2002). Seeking His face (p. 168). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 9 Suffering a Faith Failure

Scripture Reading: Numbers 13:27–33

Key Verse: Hebrews 3:19

So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

By nature, we are people of belief because faith is the foundation of our relationship to God. But every once in a while, we experience what can be called a faith failure. Often, these failures happen when we hesitate or cease to trust God during challenging times. Yet there are many other causes for faith failures:

  • Fear of being unsuccessful
  • Failure to understand the nature of God
  • Forgetting God’s power
  • Focusing on our obstacles

As you read through today’s Scripture passage from Numbers, ask yourself this question: Which of these factors do you think played a role in the Israelites’ hesitance to enter the land of Negev?

Actually, it can be argued that a combination of all these issues suddenly caused the Israelites to doubt God and become fearful. This massive faith failure then led to a crisis among the people.

So, how do we avoid faith failures? Truthfully, we will all experience doubts from time to time. But we can be prepared for these episodes by filling our minds with God’s truth. When we know the character of our heavenly Father, we will be prepared to respond with spiritual maturity when our faith is tested.

As you spend time with God today, focus on His true nature. Which of His characteristics has He shown you: faithfulness, goodness, mercy? The Lord longs for you to know and trust Him so that His perfect will may be carried out in your life.

Lord, there are lands of the Negev in my life—places where I fear to go. I want to immerse myself in Your truth so that my bolstered faith will carry me through.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 168). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 9 Be Still and Know

Scripture Reading: Psalm 46

Key Verse: Psalm 46:10

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!

The writer of Psalm 46 knew what it meant to face turmoil and tragedy. Wars and violence were very much a part of Old Testament life. Entire nations were wiped out without warning. Imagine the fear and dismay of such perilous times.

You may know personally how it feels to abide in the instability of pain and suffering. At times you find yourself longing for something or someone to anchor and steady your hurting heart. Jesus is your anchor. He is your sure hope.

The psalmist told us that even though our world appears disjointed, turned upside down, and on the brink of desolation, God is with us. He never abandons His omnipotent station.

He is our hiding place when the storms of life lash out at us. He is our abode of trust, covering us with His divine veil of protection when powerful forces attack. Martin Luther captured this thought in the words: “A mighty fortress is our God.” God is our refuge, and He cannot be shaken.

How do you tap into His sovereign watchcare? Verse 10 of Psalm 46 (nasb) holds the answer: “Cease striving [be still] and know that I am God.” Lay aside your human effort, and call out to your Eternal Hope—Jesus Christ.

Dear heavenly Father, even though this world seems on the brink of desolation, You are my anchor. You are my sure hope. You are my hiding place in the storms of life. Thank You for the veil of Your divine protection.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 168). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 9 The Way of the Cross

Scripture reading: 1 Peter 5:1–11

Key verse: 1 Peter 5:6

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

The apostle Peter had a streak of rebellion that lay hidden until Jesus announced His impending death. Then it surfaced in prideful array (Matt. 16:23). Peter did not understand God’s plan nor did he respond to Christ’s words in faith.

He thought only of the ensuing political unrest facing the Jews. His entire life was apprehended by the thought of the Messiah sitting on the throne of David instead of personal fellowship he shared with Jesus.

Had the Lord not rebuked Peter’s actions, the other disciples might have begun nursing a rebellious attitude as well. But in obedience, Peter yielded himself to Christ and thus begun a deeper journey into a loving relationship with his Lord.

God’s way is not the way of rebellion, but the way of obedience. It is not the way of pride, but the way of humility. Years later and long after the death of Christ, Peter wrote, “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time” (1 Peter 5:6).

The secret to submission is not fighting back in rebellion but drawing close to Jesus. The way of the Cross is not the way of rebellion, but the way of humble submission. Will you submit all that you are to Him today?

I humbly submit to You, Lord. Draw me close to Jesus. Bring me by the way of the Cross.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 168). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 9 Loneliness

scripture reading: James 2:20–23
key verse: Proverbs 18:24

A man who has friends must himself be friendly,
But there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.

A pastor shared the good news of God’s love in a small Russian village. He talked of Jesus as Savior, Lord, and Friend.

A young man thoughtfully responded to the message with this simple but profound truth: “Before, I had known Jesus as my Savior and Master. But I had always thought of Him as Boss. It never occurred to me that He was my Friend. This will change everything about my faith.”

Christians become mired in the murky waters of loneliness for many reasons—an extended illness, a divorce, an empty nest, the death of a genuine friend. The starting place to lift loneliness’s enveloping emotional fog is to build intimacy with Jesus as our Friend.

Fellowship with Jesus is sweet friendship with your most loyal Friend. It is coming to Christ with honesty and sincerity. You need not hide your feelings. He understands them and does not condemn you. You can draw as close to Christ as you desire.

Jesus stands ready now to embrace you with the love that died for you and now lives within you. He is no fair–weather Friend. He will stand with you and comfort you in your darkest hour.

Thank You for Your friendship, Jesus. I embrace Your love right now. I rejoice that You will stand with me and comfort me in my darkest hour.[1]

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