Daily Archives: May 13, 2022

Trust In The Lord

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Trust His Heart

Terry Meeuwsen – Co-Host – The 700 Club

27 Bible Verses About Trusting God - Scripture to Inspire Trust & Belief

Dealing with death is not easy for any of us. Whether death is sudden and unexpected or whether it is the culmination of a long illness, we all struggle with letting go of our loved ones. In 1986, four tragic deaths tested my faith and alienated me from the Lord.

My cousin, Ray, was a fun-loving young guy in his 20s. He and his wife, Debbie, had a little boy who was nine months old. Ray was driving home from work in the wee hours of the morning. As he descended a hill, the entire electrical system on his car went out. A giant truck crested the hill behind him, but its driver never saw Ray’s car until it was too late. Ray was killed instantly. He left a young wife, a baby, and no life insurance.

Andy Boggs, at 21-years-old, was an extremely gifted musician and composer who was being treated at Mayo Clinic for a rare type of brain cancer. Andy seemed to respond remarkably well to the treatment, and despite the low survival rate of this cancer, doctors were hopeful. I invited Andy to be a guest on my radio program, and my producer and I both felt an immediate rapport with this brave young man and his family.

Early that year, he went to Mayo for a routine checkup. The doctors were shocked to discover the cancer had spread like wildfire. His parents were told to take him home and make him as comfortable as possible. Andy Boggs died with the promise of musical greatness still in him.

Ron Jones owned a hair and makeup salon in Chicago and was my personal friend. When we met in 1972 he helped me prepare for each level of the Miss America Pageant. We stayed in touch regularly over the years. Ron was a kind man who gave generously to others without thought of cost. When he was diagnosed with brain tumors, I was stunned and filled with dread. I watched those tumors destroy him a little bit at a time. It was a slow, terrible way to die. Ron’s family helped him do that with dignity.

Linda Jorerres, a mother of four in her 30s, and her husband, Tom, were friends of ours for a number of years. She was diagnosed with cancer that, because of medical error, had already spread to her liver. She endured chemotherapy, radiation, and unbelievable pain at the same time she was sending her youngest off to preschool for the first time.

She wasn’t doing well, and I called her husband to see if she was open to visitors. I had such a burden to pray for her. He called back to say that Wednesday would be good. On Wednesday morning my husband called from his office and said, “I think you’d better sit down. Lind Joerres died this morning.” I hung up the phone without speaking.

I was so angry with God. I couldn’t pray. I couldn’t read the Bible. I did not want any pat answers or easy Scriptures. Unresolved pain burned inside me. Then one day in my car I could no longer stop my tears or questions. “Why God? Why? Why? Why?” Alone in my car, in the quiet of my heart, came a response so clear it seemed almost audible. I am sovereign. Silence.

I knew what God was saying. Either He is God or He isn’t. If He is, I needed to trust His will in all things – and not just in the things I understood or agreed with. If I was willing to let go of my hurt and my anger and offer it all to Him, in return He would give me His peace and comfort.

Letting go, relinquishing, releasing – give it all to Him. It’s a day-by-day, moment-by-moment challenge. It is never easy to do this, but when we do, it always leads us straight to the heart of God.

Today’s Devotions

Morning

May 13

1 Samuel 12:23-25 23As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. 24But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. 25Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will be swept away.”

Samuel had anointed Saul as king. Shortly after, Saul led them in a great victory. Samuel gave them a sign to help them discern what an evil decision they had made in asking for a king. Then he encouraged them to make the best of their wrong choice by seeing that they and their king serve God.

In today’s passage Samuel comforts them with the fact that he will pray for them. He says it would be sin for him not to. We often think of sin as an evil action we commit, but it also the good that we should do but neglect.

He also promised to continue to teach them the good and right way. As Christians, we have an obligation to those under our influence, to teach them the good and right way the LORD has taught us. Israel had seen the hand of the LORD in power. Their attitude of fear, regarding their relationship with God, was a good thing. They realized His might and holiness and their need for instruction.

Be sure to fear the LORD and serve Him faithfully with all your heart. We need that reminder. So many distractions would pull us away from that good frame of heart and mind. Consider the great things He has done for you. That will help you keep a heart of gratitude and put distraction in perspective. Yet if you persist in doing evil, it doesn’t matter how great a king you have, God will sweep you and your hero away.

Consider Calvary, Easter, Pentecost, and your salvation. The LORD has done great things for you!

Onlooker Delay

By Brent Rinehart, Crosswalk.com.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12: 1-2a).

If you are a daily commuter, you’ve undoubtedly heard the unfortunate phrase on the morning or afternoon radio traffic reports: “onlooker delay.” A wreck has happened that has been moved to the shoulder, yet there are still miles of backups due to everyone’s desire to catch a glimpse of what happened as they pass by. We all complain about it, yet I’d venture to say that we are all guilty of “rubber-necking,” as I’ve heard it called. We are distracted by what’s happening around us, and we take our eyes off the road ahead.

Peter knew a few things about being distracted. In Matthew 14, he sees Jesus walking on the water, and he calls out to Him: “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14: 28). Peter steps out of the boat and miraculously, is able to walk on the water just like Jesus. That is until he noticed the wind and the waves around him. He took his eyes off of Jesus, and he began to sink.

Peter experienced onlooker delay. His eyes were drawn to other things – things of this world – and it diverted him from his path to Jesus. It’s easy for us to criticize Peter for his split-second loss of faith. But, how often do we let the things of this world distract us from our walk with Christ? As a result, we experience countless delays in our spiritual growth.

The Apostle Paul knew this, as well. In Hebrews 12, he encourages the reader (while writing also for himself, I might add, since he uses personal plural pronouns) to “throw off everything that hinders” and the “sin that so easily entangles…fixing our eyes on Jesus.” Paul recognized that even in his own life, he was drawn to be distracted from what mattered most.

In Psalm 119, the author writes about the importance of staying focused on God’s Word. He uses similar language: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways” (Psalm 119:9, 15).

In our current vernacular, to fix your eyes on something, or to become fixated on something, almost has a negative connotation. It’s an obsessive attachment to someone or something. I think of fixation in terms of my son and his Legos, or my daughter and wanting to hang out with her friends. They can be obsessed to the point that it’s all they think about.

In the biblical context, I believe that is exactly what we are exhorted to do: to fixate on Jesus and learn about God’s promises through the reading of His word. As followers of Christ, we are all on a journey to becoming more and more like Him every day. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, it should produce a walk that is marked by certain characteristics. These “fruits of the spirit” (Galatians 5) – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – are the characteristics that set us apart from the world. But, if we are distracted on our journey, our eyes pulled from one thing to the other, this onlooker delay keeps us from being all that God intended us to be.

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3: 1-2

Today, let’s focus on what matters: our destination. Let’s fix our eyes on Jesus, block out those distractions, and avoid the onlooker delays. At the end is the ultimate prize, and it is worth every step in the journey.

Suffering Savior

By: Kurt Selles

  LUKE 23:13-25

With loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.

—  Luke 23:23-24

Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, is a pitiful figure in history. Though he was conflicted about sentencing Jesus to death, Pilate gave in to the mob calling for Jesus to be crucified.

Why does the Apostles’ Creed note that Jesus suffered “under Pontius Pilate”? This statement points out the historical fact that Jesus was condemned to suffer and die by the governing authority of that day. Pilate represented the Roman government, and his judgment made Jesus’ sentencing and suffering an official event in history, even though Jesus was totally innocent and without sin.

We all need a Savior because we are guilty of sin and deserving of punishment. And in his mysterious wisdom, God used the government of Rome, flawed as it was, in the process of bringing salvation for our sake. By suffering “under Pontius Pilate,” Jesus took on himself the condemnation we deserve. And through his suffering Jesus has extended God’s grace to us, covering us with his own righteousness and granting us peace and the blessings of fellowship with God forever.

Through his weak and wrongful judgment, Pilate served Jesus a hideous sentence. But God, through his power and wisdom, used Jesus’ suffering to redeem us. What amazing grace and love!

What love is this, Father, that caused you to send your Son to suffer and die for us? Thank you for your amazing love and grace. Amen