The Daily Encouraging Word Devotional
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“If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Ro 8:31 NLT
Paul asks five all-important questions: (1) “If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” The assurance of God’s presence tilts the scales in your favor. So whatever you’re facing today, remind yourself, “God is for me.” (2) “Since [God] did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t [God]…give us everything else?” (v. 32 NLT). Think about it: Would God save your soul, then leave you to fend for yourself? Or address your eternal needs and not your earthly ones? No! (3) “Who dares accuse us…? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself” (v. 33 NLT). Every accusing voice, including your own, counts for nothing in the court of heaven. God’s acceptance trumps everybody else’s rejection—and He accepts you because He sees you “in Christ.” (4) “Who then will condemn us?…Christ Jesus died for us…he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us” (v. 34 NLT). When your accusers rise up and speak against you, Jesus, your defense attorney, silences them. Why? Because His blood covers you! (5) “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love?” (v. 35 NLT). Paul answers his own question: “Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love…nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vv. 38-39 NLT). Knowing these five truths will help you enjoy your day, and sleep better at night!
“Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him.” Ge 37:5 NIV
Staying power overcomes misunderstanding and rejection. Sometimes the people you count on to support you will actually try to undercut you. When God gives you a vision too big for them to handle, they’ll say, “You’re getting too big for your boots,” and then try to cut you down to size—their size! Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, then went home and told their father he’d been killed by a wild beast. Can you imagine how Joseph felt when someone asked, “Tell me about your family”? General Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “There are no victories at bargain prices.” And sadly, betrayal happens as often in church as in secular society. When Charles Spurgeon was in his early twenties, such large crowds came to his church that the building couldn’t accommodate them. So he met with thirty of his church leaders and suggested they build an auditorium that would seat 5,500 people. Allegedly, he told them that if any of them doubted the possibility of accomplishing this, they should leave. And twenty-three did! But Spurgeon held true to the vision God had given him. He had the “stickability” to see it through, and for over thirty-five years crowds packed the Metropolitan Tabernacle morning and night, making it one of the most influential churches in history. “Got any rivers you think are un-crossable? Got any mountains you can’t tunnel through? God specializes in things thought impossible; He can do just what no other can do.”
“I have opened my mouth unto the Lord, and I cannot go back.” Jdg 11:35
Staying power overcomes family opposition. When Jephthah’s family disowned him and threw him out of the house, he built an army that delivered Israel from the hands of their enemies. As a result, he ended up becoming the nation’s youngest judge. When faced with the challenge to “fold up or hold up,” David Livingstone demonstrated staying power. His wife, Mary, gave him so much trouble, always complaining and criticizing, that she made his life’s work almost impossible. The tension between them became so great that Livingstone sent her home to England for a period of more than twelve years while he suffered, bled, and ultimately died in Africa for the cause of Christ. When Jesus went home to Nazareth to minister to the people He grew up around, some of them tried to throw Him off a cliff. And in spite of His teachings and miracles, His family thought He was mad. Did that hurt Him? Of course. But He didn’t let it stop Him. He said: “Anyone who wants to be my follower must love me far more than he does his own father, mother, wife, children, brothers, or sisters—yes, more than his own life—otherwise, he cannot be my disciple. And no one can be my disciple who does not carry his own cross and follow me…don’t begin until you [first] count the cost” (Lk 14:26-28 TLB). When your family opposes you, love them and pray for them because God can change their hearts. And until He does, keep serving Him.
“Here on earth you will have many trials.” Jn 16:33 NLT
Two more reasons you need to develop staying power are: (1) It overcomes prolonged illness. When sickness saps your physical, emotional, and mental strength—that’s when you need staying power. The Bible says, “The strong spirit of a man [or woman] sustains him in bodily pain or trouble, but a weak and broken spirit who can raise up or bear?” (Pr 18:14 AMP). Charles Spurgeon was known to multitudes as “the prince of preachers.” His ministry impacted London and much of the British Isles. Yet he was so sick that he had to spend a lot of his time resting in Southern France. His wife, who became an invalid after the birth of their twin sons, transcended her physical limitations with staying power. Though paralyzed, she directed from her bed an unprecedented book distribution effort. And it’s largely because of her staying power that Spurgeon’s books are on the shelves of more people around the world than the books of most other ministers. (2) It overcomes financial limitations. George Müller, who founded homes for orphans in England, is a prime example of staying power. He saved the lives of thousands of children, and he did it by faith. Many times he didn’t have the money to buy food for their next meal, but he never complained. Instead he prayed. And in response to his faith, money poured in from all over the world, much of it from people he never knew. Müller lived by the scriptural principle: “Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (Ro 12:11-12 NIV).