“This medicine doesn’t help me, and besides, it makes my mouth so dry that no matter how much water I drink, it’s not enough. I’ve taken it for a couple of weeks now, and it hasn’t made any difference.”
That’s what I thought about the medicine which the doctor at the mental health clinic had prescribed. I continued going to the clinic for counseling but didn’t mention that I had quit taking the meds.
The counseling alone wasn’t enough to take care of the problems I had, and I quit going.
My husband thought a daily walk outside was what I needed. We walked together once a day—I was afraid to walk alone.
That was before I landed in the hospital with depression. Those are all helpful things, just not enough individually.
In the hospital, I didn’t have a choice about taking the medicine. We also received group and individual counseling, and we walked each day, although not outside.
I wonder if I would have gotten well without the hospital stay if I would have seen and heeded 1 Peter 4:6 which says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time” (NIV).
Even if f I had remembered that verse, would I have recognized the medicine as God’s hand?
Maybe so, but the reality is that I was hospitalized, and that God used that for His purposes.
Is there anything in your life that needs to be submitted to God?
All wise Father, please help me recognize when You are calling me to humble myself under Your mighty hand. Amen.
I felt irritated at my friends because they weren’t doing what I thought they ought to do. Then my frustration mounted when their choices interfered with what I chose to do. God may have been pleased with my choice of activity, but definitely not with my attitude.
The next morning, I read 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable….” (New Living Translation)
Oops! In my mind, I was demanding my own way. Then surely pride prompted my choice of irritability over friendship when their plans interfered with mine.
So I humble myself and ask for God’s forgiveness and help.
Oh, Lord God, please forgive my sins of pride and an unloving attitude. Holy Spirit, I ask you to pour Your love into my heart again so it overflows into my attitudes and out to others! Amen.
Do you ever find yourself listening to doubts instead of God’s Word? I confess that I’ve done that more than once. Thoughts attack with “Maybe God will give up on me because I make so many foolish choices or because I often stumble from His path or because I get caught in worry traps.”
But God’s Word endures forever (Isaiah 40:8), and it is forever settled in heaven (Psalm 119:89).
And God’s Word says:
John 10:28-29 “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.”
Romans 8:33-34 “Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”
1John 1:9 “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23 “The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.”
And since Psalm 139:1 assures me that God knows everything about me, I can add a couple of lines to the little song “Jesus Loves Me”:
Malachi 4:1 talks about the arrogant and evildoers being burned up completely and turned to ashes. I think of the people who want to uproot everything good in our nation and of wicked tyrants around the world. Then I want to cheer Malachi 4:1, but Proverbs 24:17-18 warns against being glad when my enemy stumbles. Also, we who follow Christ are to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). How can I not want the “arrogant and evildoers” to be destroyed?
Maybe I could think of them as people for whom Christ died but who have been taken captive by the devil and are listening to him. Then I can pray for their repentance so they won’t have to be destroyed on Judgment Day (2 Timothy 2:26).
“Surely, the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and that day that is coming will set them on fire,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays….’”—Malachi 4:1-2 NIV
“Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him”—Proverbs 24:17-18 NIV
“But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:44-45 NIV
“And that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.”—2 Timothy 2:26 NIV
“The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.” Psalm 145:20 NIV
Colossians 3:8-10 says, “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. ….” (NIV)
Get rid of anger…how? Is that really possible? I think of a recent situation and wonder why I felt so angry at a couple of the women involved.
One reason—My old self wants to be in control and make them do what I think is right and possibly even get back at them in some way. But the “new self” me wants to obey Christ and forgive and remember that vengeance is God’s job, not mine.
Second, maybe I’m not trusting God to make everything work out for good. Perhaps I need to remind myself that Almighty God is still on His throne and that He is accomplishing His plans and purposes in ways I can’t imagine.
I can grow from this situation which is beyond my control if I will humble myself and submit to Christ’s Lordship and allow God to renew my thinking (Romans 12:2).
Even though I’m getting old, Jesus, maybe it’s not too late to learn from You things that would have helped me live a more God-honoring life through the years.
Yesterday at my job, I learned a little more of what it means to work “as for the Lord.” I work on the team that deals with clients and does the background paperwork. Near the end of the day, we received papers to file which we couldn’t finish before time to leave. I often stay late anyway to take care of things that can’t be done while serving clients.
Nevertheless, I resented the extra filing when most of the others were leaving. Then I remembered that I was working for Jesus, not for the people at the job site. I thought of what a privilege it was to serve Jesus by doing that extra filing. My attitude changed, and I worked at the job gladly.
Thank You, Holy Spirit, for teaching this “golden oldie” something new.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24 NIV)
“So high you can’t get over it. So low you can’t get under it.
So wide you can’t get around it. You gotta go through the door.” *
I thought of that song when I read Psalm 36:5-7 (NIV):
5 “Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.”
Dear loving, faithful Lord,What gigantic love and huge faithfulness! “So high I can’t get over it!” So much greater than I can comprehend. Please keep filling me with Your love so it overflows to others. (Romans 5:5)
6 “Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast.”
You, Lord, are absolutely righteous and just. In this world, righteousness and justice seem far away. Evil and lies seem to triumph, but You are greater than all. Jesus, You have overcome the world. You are worthy of all my trust and praise.
Your love is so large that it even includes care for animals! For example, You told Your people not to muzzle the ox as it treads out the grain (Deuteronomy 25:4). How glad I am, Lord God, that You care for both people and animals!
7 “How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”
A million “thank-you’s” is not enough for Your unfailing love, and it can never be bought or bartered for. Yet You lavish it freely on us, Your human creations. Amazing! Fantastic! Fabulous! Wonderful God! I will hide in Your refuge. I will trust in the shadow of Your wings. Amen.
*The door is Jesus. “I [Jesus] am the Door; anyone who enters in through Me will be saved (will live). He will come in and he will go out [freely] and will find pasture.” (John 10:9 AMP)
Lord, God, my history, to You is no mystery. You know every moment, both present and past. You know the future which I can’t imagine, And yet You still love me with love that will last.
Like Your people Israel, I’m so prone to stumble And think that my way is the one that is best. Yet when I repent and acknowledge Your lordship, I find I’m forgiven, and my soul finds its rest.
As we enter the New Year, let us do what the apostle Paul did, and that is to let go of past failure or shame and press on to what God has for us in the days ahead. (Philippians 3:12-14)
Nehemiah 9:28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time.” NIV
Can you believe it? God points to us as examples of His grace and kindness! That’s what Ephesians 2:6-7 says: “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.” (NLT) Maybe He says something like this:
“Angels, Principalities, Powers! Look at __. See all I, God, have done for them—forgiving, reshaping, renewing. See what they were and what they are now in Christ Jesus. And look at My light shining through them to others. Notice how I have planted a flower garden in their heart, taking toxic memories and redeeming them to promote spiritual growth.”
When we get discouraged, let’s remember what God has already done and choose gratitude and trust instead of discouragement.
(Image -The Gift of Grace, –-LightForEachDay.com. Found on Pinterest)
“I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart; before the gods I will sing your praise.”
All hail the power of Jesus’ name….” I will sing! Thank You God for a voice to sing. I will rejoice in You. You are my joy.
“I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.”
How can I thank You enough for Your unfailing, everlasting love and for Your Word which always accomplishes what You send it to do (Isaiah 55:11)? Without You, I am nothing, and yet You chose to love me and give me purpose. Not only that, You do that for any of us mere people who seek You!
“When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted.”
Therefore, I will receive Your strength and take courage, and abound in Your work (1 Corinthians 15:58).
“Though the Lord is on high, he looks upon the lowly, but the proud he knows from afar.”
So I humble myself before You and thank You and praise You forever.
“The Lord will fulfill [his purpose] for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever….”
Thank You, Lord. Every praise belongs to You. I will praise You for Your enduring love and faithfulness.