Take shelter in Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalm 143:8-9 Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You. Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; In You I take shelter.

During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific Island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves.

Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed. As he waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen."

After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one.."

Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave. "Ha," he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor."

As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on.

Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while. "Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web are stronger than a brick wall."

God's resources to protect you are vast. When you pray for protection, believe that He hears you and is able to manage it with great skill, and even perhaps a stroke of humor.

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

Be Filled with the Hope of His Return!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hosea 3:4-5 For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim: Afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God, and David their king; and shall fear the LORD and his goodness in the latter days.

A prayer frequently heard at the conclusion of Orthodox Jewish services is "Ani Ma'amin" translated, "I believe." The full prayer is. "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Mashiach; and even though he may tarry, nevertheless, I wait each day for his coming."

We know that Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) did not meet the expectations of the Pharisees at His first coming because they were jealous of Him and focused on a victorious king, "Mashiach ben David", one who would rule on the throne of David, bring judgment to the wicked and restore the Temple and the Kingdom to Israel. So, to this day, Orthodox Jews anxiously await Messiah's arrival, believing he could come at any time.

Now this important prophecy in Hosea, often overlooked, speaks of a period of time for many days when Israel would be without a King, or Prince, or a sacrifice, or other religious articles — but that in the latter days (the Hebrew literally means "the End of Days") the nation will return, and seek the Lord and the Messiah — specifically "Mashiach ben David" — the Messiah Son of David. This time period began with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD and continues to the present.

But even having missed the first coming of the true Messiah, still the Jewish people nourish a continuing hope and expectation for His coming, which is included regularly in their liturgy. Enduring exile and persecution over many generations they have continued in the unwavering hope of his coming.

In light of this example of persevering hope among the Jewish people, how much more expectant and hopeful ought we to be who already truly know Him who is coming again for us…and for them? He who was resurrected from the dead — Yeshua, the "hope of glory"! As the earth continues to groan, and so do we, let's keep our focus where it really belongs. He is coming soon. Even so, Come Lord Jesus!

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

Hope for the Hopeless!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Jonah 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

When the prophet Jonah entered Nineveh, he gave a message of hopelessness — in 40 days your city will be destroyed! He did not say, Nineveh will be destroyed "unless", but emphatically prophesied destruction to the people of the city — seeming to say their situation was hopeless. Yet hearing this message Nineveh repented, and because their repentance was genuine God spared the city for a season and many lives were saved. Jonah's prophecy of judgment was averted, and Nineveh's destiny was changed by their response to the deep conviction from a message of doom. That's how it is with God. He is so compassionate, so longing to forgive and restore people to Himself, that He seems to "change His mind" showing how His mercy triumphs over judgment.

Is there a "prophecy of doom" over your life? Are your sins piled so high that God's judgment seems irrevocable and imminent? Don't despair … repent! With our compassionate God there is hope even when it seems all is lost. You may have wandered very far from Him — but if Nineveh, a pagan city, hardened and ripe for judgment and "hopelessly" heading toward destruction, could be saved — shouldn't you also have hope if you turn back to the Lord? Don't give up – with Yeshua (Jesus) there is always hope!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

Sometimes its hard to understand adversity — but there's a purpose!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I suppose one of the hardest questions to answer is: "Why do I have to deal with so much adversity?!"

Quite honestly, one of the best answers I've ever come across was written by C.S. Lewis in his book, Mere Christianity. Lewis likened God's use of adversity to walking a dog. If the dog gets its leash wrapped around a pole and tries to continue running forward, he will only tighten the leash more. Both the dog and the owner are after the same end: forward motion. But the owner must resist the dog by pulling him opposite of the direction that he wants to go. The master, sharing the same intention, but understanding better than the dog where he really wants to go, takes an action precisely opposite to that of the dog's will. It is in this way that God uses adversity!

We really don't like being pulled and corrected by the Lord — but when we understand there's a greater purpose involved, then we can pass through adversity with hope, expectation and steadfastness knowing these events are for our greater good!

Let's learn from the trials and tribulations we go through because God has a purpose in them. We may not enjoy it, but when all's said and done, enduring trials faithfully will produce perseverance, character, and hope. And hope will not disappoint us for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit…[Romans 5:4-5] We truly can trust in the God who loves us with an everlasting love because He knows the direction we need to go, AND He knows exactly how to get us there!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

Take a Leap of Faith!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Luke 17:5-6 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith. And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.

The African Impala (an African antelope) are amazing creatures that can jump to a height of over 10 feet and cover a distance greater than 30 feet. Yet Impalas can be kept in a zoo inside an enclosure with a simple 3 foot wall. Why? Impalas will not jump if they can't see where their feet will land. Do we have something in common with these antelopes? Able to take great leaps of faith, but refusing to do it unless we can see where we'll land?

George Mueller said of faith, "Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man's power ends."

In Biblical terms: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

True faith cannot see how the landing will occur…it simply leaps under the conviction that it WILL occur. Remember, Biblical faith begins where our power ends!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Hope