DEVOTIONAL FOR MONDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2013 by Ellie Waldron
“Jesus spoke these things and lifting up His eyes to heaven, He said, “Father the hour has come, glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. I glorify you on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do” (John 17:1-4).
These were words lifted to God in prayer by Jesus just prior to His trial and crucifixion, as he gathered with His disciples in the Upper Room for the last time.
As he talked with His disciples that evening, Jesus had said in effect, “I promise you, life in this world is going to be difficult, but I’ve overcome the world. Nevertheless, you can be more than conquerors because of MY power.” He had shown them how to PERSEVERE with joy, TRIUMPH in love, and LIVE in peace.
Let me ask you some questions: Do you have a JOY that cannot be taken away? Do you have CONFIDENCE in God’s love? Are you CONFIDENT in the TRUTH that He is FOR you? Can you rest confidently in His WISDOM and say to Him, “Lord, You know everything so I’m not questioning you any longer?”
When life comes crashing down, the qualities of JOY,LOVE and PEACE are God’s GIFT to keep us going. But, it does us no good if we don’t draw on it. Those gifts require FAITH on our part. Failing to trust in the promise of God leads to LACK of joy, FAILING love and the ABSENCE of peace in our lives.
We lack JOY when we allow the troubles and cares of this world to gain the upper hand. What if you knew that each trial would become the means by which God will bless you. When we TRUST that we will ultimately overcome suffering, we persevere with JOY. FAITH makes the difference.
Do you have unfailing LOVE? The kind of love Jesus taught is selfless and unconditional. We can’t obey His command to LOVE ONE ANOTHER if our primary concern is entirely self-centered. It ALL comes back to FAITH. When we fail to turst the LORD to care for us, we fail to obey his MOST basic command: “LOVE ONE ANOTHER.”
What about PEACE? To have Christ’s peace is to have life and fulfillment in ABUNDANCE. Our ability to experience inner peace depends entirely on our TRUST in His sovereign care and steadfast GOODNESS and GRACE. We can endure short-term suffering because by FAITH we KNOW He will give us the victory.
Jesus gives us FOUR words to live by to OVERCOME ALL our dark, troubling times: JOY, LOVE, PEACE and FAITH. The first three are ours in abundance WHEN we EXERCISE the fourth….FAITH!
How can you be an OVERCOMER? Put your TRUST in the God who created you…the ONE who died for you and whose LOVE for you is HIGHER, DEEPER, WIDER and more ABUNDANT than you could ever wrap your mind around. The God of the UNIVERSE loves YOU and stands ready to give you the VICTORY over ALL that troubles you. TRUST HIM!
Heavenly Father, sometimes the path I am required to walk is so rocky and steep I can’t find the strength to keep going. And then I remember the promise You made that You would never leave me to bear my burdens alone–that I can be an overcomer when I place my trust in You. I find such relief and comfort in knowing that You are in charge–You have promised to fight all my battles for me, if I will just lay them at Your feet and leave them there. Lord, why do I find that so difficult to do? I know Your promises are true and meant for me to claim as my own–but somehow, my flesh gets in the way and I begin to feel as though the battle is mine alone. Holy Spirit please remind me daily of Your presence within me and the strength that You alone provide. Your Word tells me in Psalm 37:39, “the salvation of the righteous is fom the Lord; He is their strength in time of trouble…He delivers them, because they take refuge in Him.” What a wonderful promise. Thank You Abba Father! Today I take refuge in You….
In Christ alone and for His glory,
Ellie is a member of First Baptist Church Jacksonville, Fl, a member of the choir and co-leader of the FBC Grief Share ministry