Week 15 – “blue plate special”

Monday

And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

“Sufficiency of Christ”

Sometimes life is discouraging.  People disappoint us.  Certain situations in our life become seemingly unbearable.  What can you do?

Remember that we draw the closest to God and learn the most from Him in difficult times.  He wants you to draw strength from Him, even when it seems He is not answering your prayers.  A great source of strength is the Scriptures.  This set of devos is for encouragement.  You will have at least five scriptures to go to when you enter these trying times.  God promises to strengthen you, as you trust Him.

Our first devo is based on Philippians 4:19.  The Book of Philippians was written by the Apostle Paul when he was in prison.  His exhortations to them and us are not theoretical.  He claims that Christ is totally sufficient for us.  That means that if everything was taken from you (health, money, family, job, and even freedom) and the only thing that was left was your relationship with God through Jesus Christ, YOU WOULD STILL BE OKAY.

That is a powerful message.  The truth of it could very well revolutionize you life.  Why?   Because nothing else matters much in light of your relationship with Jesus.  He will always come through for you no matter what!  Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.” (John 11:25).  Even in death, Jesus will come through for you if you are a Believer.  Not even physical death holds you hostage.

God knows what you need better than even you do!  He sees the entire panorama of your life from start to finish.  Only He can truly assess your needs because of His eternal perspective.  He is totally sufficient and will meet all your needs through Jesus.


Tuesday

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

“A Guaranteed Victory”

Our verse today is from Romans 8.  It’s often quoted in time of conflict and sadness.  It’s important to examine the section of Scripture that precedes this verse.  We learn that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory of heaven (Romans 8:18).  The world is in a decayed condition – it’s messy.  There’s frustration here! (vs.19, 20).  We hope for eternity but often are in agony in the meantime. (vs.22-25). The Holy Spirit is here on earth to help the Believer navigate through turbulence.  “…the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.” (Romans 8:27).

So, given the fact that God left us with the Spirit (when Jesus ascended to heaven) and the Spirit shows us the way according to God’s will, we are called to trust in God’s will – no matter what happens.  But this is tough, isn’t it?  To apply this verse requires the suppression of our pride.  You must trust God and His purposes over your own plans and efforts.  When something happens that you perceive is adverse, you must trust that God’s plan (even if it hurts) is the best for you in the grand scheme of things.

Suppression of your pride is essential in this process.  Absolute trust in the God of love is also essential.  God loves us unconditionally.  Why would He ever allow something to happen to you (if you are not in sin) that is not for your ultimate good?  The simple answer is: He wouldn’t and He won’t.  It would violate His character.

Psalm 73 deals with the question of why “bad” things happen to good people and why “good” things happen to bad people.  The Psalmist discovers that his questions totally dissolve when he enters “God’s sanctuary” – “..then I understood their final destiny.” (Psalm 73:17).

Be assured that the comfort of Romans 8:28 is based on the firm foundation of an all-loving God.  All questions will evaporate when we ultimately enter His Presence.


Wednesday

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6

“No More High-Anxiety”

In the verses preceding this great message in Philippians 4:6, we are told to “Rejoice in the Lord always.”  (Philippians 4:4) and “The Lord is near.” (Philippians 4:5).  Our God is so kind to us!  Before the exhortation to not worry, we are told that God is not out in space somewhere uninvolved with our lives.  He is near.  In fact, the Holy Spirit lives within each Believer.  The believers who choose to follow the path of righteousness illuminated by the Holy Spirit are promised “in all things, God works for the good of those called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).

So, what do you have to worry about?  The answer is: really nothing.  It’s a natural part of the human condition to worry. For some of us,  anxiety just occurs; but worry is a choice. We are exhorted not to worry about anything.  God is sufficient.  God knows our needs.  God will work out everything for our ultimate good. Jesus said, “I am the Resurrection and the life.  He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.”  (John 11:25).  Jesus will take care of us through the shadow of physical death.

God has credibility.  He is with us.  So don’t worry.  It’s wrong to worry and it demonstrates distrust in God’s character.  It’s like trampling under foot His provision for us.  Rather than worry, channel that energy into prayer and petition with thanksgiving to the Lord.  This activity, as opposed to worry, will guard our hearts and minds from the attacks of Satan.

When you fall into worry, repent and ask God’s forgiveness.  Then rather than worry, pray about the situation and allow the resulting peace of God to protect you.


Thursday

Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

“He Will Never Abandon You”

The creator of the Universe who gives all men life and breath and everything else (see Acts 17:25) promises us: “I will never leave you or forsake you.”  Now, consider the source of this promise.  If it was made by anyone else but the Creator, it would be reassuring to different degrees, but not totally comforting.  Why?  Because only Jesus transcends physical death.  Only Jesus knows what’s best for us and loves us unconditionally.  Only Jesus can carry out such a promise without having “circumstances” limit Him.

As a father or mother, you can honestly tell your children that you will never leave them or forsake them.  You will always love them unconditionally.  But accidents or disease could take you out of the picture and prevent you from fulfilling your promise.  Not so with God.  He will never leave you; He will never forsake you.

What an encouraging promise!  God will never fail to fulfill this promise to you.  No matter what happens in your life, no matter what your circumstances are, GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF YOU.  This is such an important truth, that the writer of the Book of Hebrews quoted this verse from Deuteronomy.  In the passage immediately preceding, he exhorts the Jewish Believers to keep their lives free from the love of money and to be content with what they had materially.  Why?  Because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you!  So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.  What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13: 5, 6).

What can man do to you?  Nothing that is not okayed by God.  What a source of strength and encouragement!  God is in all, above all and through all.  He is not limited and He is faithful – no matter what.

  • “Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.”  (Psalm 145:13)
  • “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Friday

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

“God Loves You Unconditionally”

God loves us unconditionally.  In its perfect form, it is not available anyplace else but from God.  Human beings love one another and love God imperfectly.  You see, God hates sin, yet He loved us when we were still steeped in sin.  Amazing, isn’t it.  “Amazing grace.”  “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

The love that we are promised in Jeremiah 31:3, is an unconditional, everlasting love.  God has the best in mind for each of us.  “And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.  God is love.” (1 John 4:16).  How can you define this perfect love God gives us?  This love is perfect, kind, not self-seeking, not easily argued.  It always protects, trusts, hopes and perseveres.  God’s love for us never fails. (1 Corinthians 13:4-8).

No human can comprehend God’s love for His children.  Unfortunately, our experience with imperfect human love hinders our understanding of God’s unconditional love for us.  The incredible thing is that God’s love for us followed us to the depths of our sinfulness until He reclaimed us.  As Believers, His love for us is undaunted even when we sin and run from Him – He continues to pursue us.

This is the perfect love of God.  No matter what you have done; no matter what happens – you can count on the love of God for you.  Picture the scene when you enter God’s sanctuary and are in His embrace: your hope and faith will become reality.  Do you think there will be any questions with regard to how God has dealt this you?  No, you’ll have the assurance as you look into His eyes that everything that happened was part of His loving plan for you.

# We can be certain that God will give us the strength and resources we need to live through any situation that He ordains. The will of God will never take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us. BILLY GRAHAM