• Devotionals

    When the Needy Help Others

    Written by Madeline Kalu

    “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.”

    Philippians 2:3-4 (NRSV)

    Thought of the Day:

    Each of us has needs, and yet simultaneously, we all have gifts that can benefit others. By practising giving and receiving, we balance out social and economic inequities, encourage others, and provide hope for a better future.

    In the past week or so, many of us in the northern hemisphere have experienced thunderous storms, heavy snowfall, and glacial temperatures. Here in Germany, where my husband Solomon and l live, it has also been the same.

    The other day, Solomon went out to clear a snow path on the sidewalk for the footfall that passes by our house. However, this task proved to be a rather difficult one. The unexpected snowstorms and drastic drop in temperature had resulted in about 20cm of hard and soft snow, with a layer of black ice underneath. As spreading salt over snow is only allowed in extreme cases in Germany, Solomon had to crush through the snow and ice layers with his scraper in order to reach the cobbled path below.

    With much exertion and plenty of patience, Solomon started to slowly carve a path through the white freezing mass. As he leaned back on his shovel and took a brief rest, a man passed him by. He was dressed inadequately for the weather and looked gaunt. The man offered to shovel snow in Solomon’s stead and fulfilled his intentions with great gusto and a cheerful spirit.

    Whilst the unknown helper shoveled snow, he and my husband struck up an amicable conversation. Upon hearing that the man was homeless, Solomon’s heart was grieved. With the outbreak of COVID-19 and the onslaught of a harsh winter, many homeless people are in dire need of shelter and provision. And yet this stranger had not approached Solomon with the hope of receiving, but rather with a heart intent on giving. My husband was greatly touched that this kind individual had taken the focus off his own troubles in order to offer his assistance.

    Working together, the two men finished their snowy task.  In return for his kindness, Solomon gave the homeless man a gift, which he accepted with thanks, before bidding him farewell.

    Afterwards, Solomon ruminated on the lesson, which God had shown him through this experience – that help can come in the most unexpected of ways, and we should be open to receiving it without bias or judgement. Furthermore, every one of us has God-given gifts, which we can use to lift each other up, and thereby provide someone who is broken and lost with hope for a better tomorrow.

    Prayer:

    Merciful Father, we thank You for the sacrifice of Your precious Son Jesus, and we receive the gift of His Salvation with thankful hearts. As you taught us to receive from You, help us to receive from others without judging the situation or the giver.

    Furthermore, show us Lord, where we can use the gifts You give us to provide hope to the hopeless, encourage the defeated, and bring those who are trapped in the darkness into the light of Your love and mercy.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    Delve Deeper:

    GIVE

    Take a piece of paper and a pen and draw a line down the middle of your page.

    In the left column, list down your talents, characteristics, and qualities that make you the wonderful person you are. In the right column, write down 1 way that you can use your listed talents and qualities to help someone you know, your community, or even a complete stranger. For example, if you enjoy communicating with others, you could undergo online training to become a volunteer digital counselor. If you are a gifted handyman, you could offer to help your neighbors with any repairs they need in their homes. If you have more free time due to lockdown, why not write letters to the residents of your local nursing home and thereby help them feel less isolated?

    You’ll quickly see that God has equipped you with more than enough skills and a generous heart to make a positive difference in someone else’s life!

    RECEIVE

    Additionally, write down the areas in your life where you are overwhelmed e.g. with your health or trying to parent your children during lockdown. If you’re completely honest with yourself, could you really do with some help in dealing with this situation?

    If so, write down the names of three people whom you trust with your problem. Then, ring them up and share your burden with them. You’ll feel so much better for it, and God may even provide them with revelation of your situation, which will help you!

    Too many times, a desire for self-independence, guilt, and even shame prevents us from admitting to others and even to ourselves that we need help. But you don’t need to condemn yourself. Even Jesus, who was the Son of God, was totally dependent on His Father. If Jesus could ask God for help during His time on earth, then what is stopping us from asking Him for help as well?

    Not only do we need to learn how to give – we also need to learn how to receive!

    Blog banner photo: Filip Mroz on Unsplash

  • Devotionals

    Who are „Corona People“ anyway?

    Written by Madeline Kalu

    “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid.

    No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 

    In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

    Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSV)

    Thought of the Day:

    During these unprecedented pandemic times, the love of God that resides in us needs to shine like a beacon through the darkness of fear and doubt, and offer encouragement and hope to others.

    My husband Solomon and l have been collectively living in Germany for over 20 years. I am British and Solomon is Nigerian. Despite our acclimatization to the German culture and language, we enjoy connecting with our cultural and linguistic roots when the opportunity arises. 

    A few months ago, in the period between the first and second national lockdown, Solomon ran into an old friend from Nigeria in the nearby city of Essen. The friend declared that he was now a pastor of a church for African ex-pats, and consequently invited my husband to attend their upcoming church service that Sunday.

    Solomon’s happy anticipation of home-grown worship and fellowship was very much realized that Sunday. After the church service, Solomon walked to the main train station with a couple of African men from the church. They maintained social distancing and had their masks on their persons.

    As they were chattering and exchanging pleasantries, a lady walked past them and yelled, “Hey, Corona people!”

    The group was struck dumb by this unprovoked verbal attack. One young man in particular was very upset.

    “Why are we being randomly targeted as harbingers of the COVID-19 virus?” he asked the others dumbfounded. “Why be unnecessary cruel during such unprecedented times, when we all are suffering? And, who are “Corona people” anyway?”

    Instead of expressing their own hurt, Solomon and the others comforted the young man. They assured him that the lady was probably feeling the stress of the Corona pandemic and was thereby projecting her fears and anxieties on them. They reminded each other that as believers of Christ they should forgive this lady, just as Christ forgave them their transgressions.

    The fellowship of these men, at first carefree, had turned earnest, and they were grateful for the spiritual support they could provide each other under both happy and serious circumstances.

    As they parted ways, the group expressed a wish that the lady would be able to experience the same peace and freedom that they did, by putting their faith in the Lord.

    Prayer:

    Almighty Father, we do not know why mankind has been struck down with the COVID-19 virus, but we do know that You make all things good with Your perfect timing.

    Until then, we will be comforted in the knowledge that Your grace goes before us, and we will shine with Your love, so that we may be a light to others and encourage our fellow brethren in this dark world.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen.

    Delve Deeper:

    This entire experience was a reminder for Solomon of how imperative it is that we as Christians continue to be a light for others during these unprecedented times.

    Where fear and anxiety reign in people’s hearts, where prejudice and postulation override common sense and sympathy, God’s love needs to be a beacon that cuts through the darkness to offer revelation and encouragement – not only to those who do not know God, but also to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • Devotionals

    A Second Chance through Forgiveness

    Written by Madeline Kalu

    “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
    Colossians 3:13 (NIV)

    Thought of the Day:

    Forgiveness and understanding forms a bridge that promotes peace with our fellow man and undoes the damage caused by adversity.

    A few months ago, l had a memorable encounter with a lady, who taught me the value of second chances through her act of forgiveness.


    I had just left a doctor’s appointment and decided to pop into a shop, which was adjacent to the doctor’s office. When l am in public places, l always have headphones on, as l suffer from social anxiety and am particularly sensitive to noise. However, as l had removed my headphones for my doctor’s appointment, l didn’t think it was worth donning them to make a quick purchase.


    I was perusing some items on a shelf, when an unexpectedly loud cry made me literally jump in the air. I clutched my chest and felt my heart beating a staccato rhythm underneath my ribcage.


    l turned around slowly to uncover the source of the noise: A mother was standing near me with a 3-year old girl in a stroller. The toddler was upset, which was evident through her loud cries and failing limbs, complete with tightly clenched fists.


    I felt sorry for the girl, as well as for her mother, the latter who was visibly at a loss as to how to soothe her child. l fervently hoped that the lady hadn’t noticed my involuntary reflex towards her child’s outburst. Unfortunately, she had.


    “You don’t need to behave so distastefully towards us!” she barked at me. “My goodness, she is only a child!”


    I was so embarrassed. I turned to the lady and tried to explain my predicament and how I felt no animosity towards her baby.


    Oh, why didn’t l just put on my headphones? l lamented to myself.


    Still offended, the lady stormed out of the shop. l felt just awful. I was about to look for the lady outside, when she suddenly reappeared.


    “I apologize,” she said gently. “I’ve had a hard day with my girl. I heard you when you said you had health problems, and l felt sorry for you. I had to come back and tell you that.”


    “No, it is me, who should apologize!” l exclaimed with relief. “Raising a child is hard, and l so admire you! I wanted to find you and tell you that!”


    We spent the next 30 minutes talking, and I was grateful for the second chance this lady gave me to make amends by forgiving me.


    This experience was an important reminder for me that God forgave us for our sins through the blood sacrifice of His son Jesus Christ; His gift of Salvation is our second chance at eternal righteousness with our heavenly Father. Thank You, Lord!

    Prayer:

    Thank You for forgiving us for our sins and offering us a second chance at eternal life through Your gift of Salvation. Help us to forgive others like You forgave us. Amen.

    This devotional was published on PresbyCan Devotionals on the 3rd of September 2020.

    Madeline Kalu is a Christian writer and the co-founder of Jacob’s Ladder Blog. She was born in England, was raised in Australia, and currently lives in Germany with her husband, Solomon. Madeline is in recovery from burnout, chronic depression, and anxiety. She believes that God can take life’s adversities and work them out for His good; hence, she uses her writing voice to raise awareness of mental illness, as well as to spread the light of God’s love to those who are mentally trapped in the dark, and provide them with hope and encouragement.

  • Devotionals

    A love reaction to racism

    Thought of the Day:

    When faced with persecution, l will remember the love of Christ and bless those who seek to mistreat me.  

    “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”

    Romans 12:14 (NRSV)

    My husband Solomon and I have been living in Germany for many years as expatriates. I am British and Solomon is Nigerian. We are well integrated with the traditions and social intricacies of the German culture, and we speak the language fluently.

    In the past few years, I have become increasingly concerned about the growing presence of xenophobia in Germany. A few months ago, my husband was personally confronted with racial prejudice.

    Solomon was entering a train, when a young man stepped forward and barred his progress. He looked angry, and his hands were balled into tight fists.

    “Hey, you, foreigner,” the young man said gruffly. “Go back to your own country, and stop taking our jobs!”

    Solomon was sorely tempted just to ignore the man. He was very tired and just wanted to get home. However, he saw that his persecutor was pale, gaunt, and poorly dressed. This individual had clearly gone through some hard times. Solomon felt sorry for him.

    Smiling at the man, Solomon replied, “I can see that you’re angry. But I am not your enemy.”

    Taking advantage of the man’s shocked silence, Solomon continued, “Anger and resentment are costing you your health. Turn those negative emotions into positive thoughts that can change your mindset and ultimately your life.”  My husband is a great admirer of Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and his ministry of preaching God’s Word in combination with the principles of positive thinking.  

    Suddenly, the man’s mask of bravado evaporated. He admitted to Solomon that he was unemployed and living below the existence minimum. Out of frustration, he had joined a right-wing political party that cultivated animosity towards foreigners by targeting them as the cause for Germany’s socio-economic problems.

    Later, when they both disembarked from the train, Solomon wrote down the title of Dr. Peale’s bestseller The Power of Positive Thinking and offered it to the young man. Solomon told him about how a relationship with God and an application of thinking positively had changed his own life around – it could change his life, too.

    The young man took the piece of paper from Solomon eagerly, promising to read the book. As he walked away, gone were the former anger and bitterness that had been etched on his features; instead, the young man’s face was now full of hope and encouragement.

    Prayer:

    Wonderful Father,

    You tell us in 1 Peter 4:12, that we are not to be surprised when faced with persecution. Help us to react with love to those who mistreat us, for You opened out Your arms to give us Your redeeming love when our transgressions had made us Your enemy.

    In Jesus’ name, we pray.

    Amen.

    Delve Deeper:

    What if my husband had perceived this act of persecution as a threat and not as an opportunity to share God’s love and to set someone on the path towards a relationship with Jesus?

    Paul writes in Romans 12:14 that we should bless those who persecute us. The next time someone mistreats us, let us try to react to them as Christ would — with love and forgiveness. From personal experience, I know that it’s not always easy, but it is worth striving for, in order to further God’s kingdom on earth.

    Watch the video to “A Love Reaction to Racism”

    We have also made a short video about this devotional for you to watch!

  • Devotionals

    The grace of God

    Written by Onome Ogbajibrede

    Thought of the Day:

    Grace knows no boundaries and when the human effort fails, grace elevates. A fellow that carries grace can never be disgraced by any foe.

    ‘‘But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.’’ (KJV)

    I Corinthians 15: 10 (KJV)



    A few years ago, in my homeland of Nigeria, there was this incidence of a lady, whose compound was infiltrated by armed bandits.

    Having witnessed her neighbors being robbed, the lady placed her tithe card on her doorstop, reminding God of her faithfulness in tithing. Did you know that she was not robbed by the bandits? She had grace for exemption, and God was faithful to her. To God be the glory! Through grace, the race is won.


    Apostle Paul is one Bible character I have cherished so much. As an unbeliever, he persecuted the Church of Christ a great deal and was committing people to prison with reckless abandon. The persecutor became the preacher, and he was able to acknowledge the grace of God upon his life in our above Bible reference. The life he lived became solely for Christ (Galatians 2:20), and he was always recounting the grace of God upon his life. This same grace became sufficient for him, and he was able to accomplish his Christian race to the finish line (2 Timothy 4:7).


    The God of all grace is the giver of strength to the weak, and He has all humankind at heart. He knows that all mortals have limited strength, and He is always on standby to help all. God Almighty wants us to always call on Him to give us grace daily to live above sin and to conquer each day. When we do that, He will always respond to our clarion call, and He will send us His grace speedily from His sanctuary. God is too faithful to fail, and He will continue to renew our strength each new day.

    The grace of God is the divine grease that governs the life of all mortals. Let us always ask for grace in all that we do, and above all, let us ask for the grace to make it to Heaven, which is the fulfillment of our destiny.


    Prayer:

    Dear Lord Jesus Christ, I acknowledge You today as the only original Savior, for I cannot help myself. Release upon me Your fresh grace daily so that I can succeed in all that I do. Amen.

    Delve deeper:

    Spend time today remembering all the ways that God has given you favor and showed you mercy. A personal reflection on God’s faithfulness to us will help us to understand His grace better.

  • Devotionals

    The Lettuce

    Written by Lynne Phipps

    Thought for the Day:

    “Salvation is God’s way of making us real people.” 

     St. Augustine

    “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

    Hebrews 4:16

    As I grabbed my ringing phone, I heard my daughter saying that Frank was in the greenhouse.  Dropping the receiver, I made a dash out of the house and arrived at the greenhouse to discover Frank had indeed broken in and was contently munching all the tender lettuce plants down to their roots.

    Frank is my miniature horse. He is extremely nosy and very determined.  Unaware of my arrival, he was chomping away when I asked him what he was doing.  He almost leapt out of his skin and then gave me one of the guiltiest looks I had ever seen.  Who knew?  A horse could look guilty? Not until I caught him red-handed.

    Trying not to laugh at this unexpected reaction, I chastised him and pointed my finger for him to get out, which he at least had the humility to obey.

    Frank is not the only one who gets caught out in his sin though.  The Holy Spirit is pretty adept at catching me as well and then pointing the way out and the way to go.  And the way out and forward is through God’s grace in Christ: Grace which allows me to acknowledge my sin, be forgiven of it – as well as the guilt of it – and then go forward with a clean slate to set things as right as possible concerning the situation.  Not that I deserve forgiveness but because God’s grace is undeserved.  He extends it freely to all those who trust in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.

    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— “

    Ephesians 2:8

    This marvelous gift of grace is something that I am becoming more and more aware of as I age, due to the fact that I am often awake during the night.  

    And during these periods of wakefulness, the Holy Spirit brings things to my mind.  I remember occurrences of sin from years ago, even though I was often not aware that they were sin at the time.  They are not huge things but rather those everyday instances when I did not love my neighbor as myself.  I acted hastily, rudely, and in an unthinking and unkind manner.  I did not take the time to help when I could and should have.  I used harsh words or a manner which was totally uncalled for.  I left undone what I should have done. All these things I either justified at the time or was simply blind to.  

    And yet, God was aware of them and because He loves me so much, He wants me to be holy in Christ, which also means becoming aware of any ungodliness within and dealing with it, through His grace, which I am obediently doing step by step, as He lovingly catches me out.

    Prayer: 

    Father God, thank You for Your grace through Jesus Christ.  Thank You that it is always available to us through faith that we might not only be forgiven of our sins but also the guilt of them that is so often the cause of depression, discouragement, and hopelessness.  May each of us learn to accept and rest in that grace that we might become more and more like You.  In Christ’s name. Amen.

    Delve Deeper:

    How about you?  What does God’s grace mean to you? 

    How aware of it are you in your daily life? 

    Have you been saved by grace, through faith – if so, this is not from yourself, it is the gift of God.  And if not, ask yourself, why not?  For one day, we will each be found out, much like I found Frank out.  Our life will come to its earthly end, and we shall stand before God.  And how we have accepted or refused His grace in Christ will be the judge of our eternity.

    This devotional was published on the 5th November 2019 on PresbyCan Daily Devotional.

  • Devotionals

    Take a breath, and allow God to make a change

    Written by Madeline Twooney

    Thought of the day: 

    Instead of procrastinating, l need to take a breath and allow God to make changes in my life. He will make all things work together for my good. 

    “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  (NRSV) 

    This past month, l have known little peace. It feels like one thing after another is changing in the lives of my husband and l. Each day brings something new to deal with, and l feel like my head is spinning uncontrollably in an effort to keep up.  

    I understand that God is leading us through a series of transitions in order to bring us into a higher understanding of Him, as well as bring us closer to fulfilling the dreams that He has put in our hearts.  

    However, this month, l have been too pre-occupied with the here and now, with the challenges that are confronting us. l have not been able to think about the future benefits that our transitional period will make possible for us.  

    Yesterday afternoon, l went out to my garden with my little one-eared pussycat to catch the last rays of sun for the day. The wind was blowing gently in my face, and l drank in the tranquility and stillness that my green oasis always gives me.  

    I watched my pussycat stretch out on the grass and close his eyes contentedly; above him, a few doves had landed on the neighbor’s roof and were drinking from a rain pipe. People across the road were laughing as they hugged each other goodbye.  Everyone in my direct vicinity was at peace and allowing things to happen as they came – except for me. How could this be? 

    Then, l felt like God told me to take a breath – just take a breath and allow Him to make the changes in our lives that He wanted to make. He loves us and will make all things work together for our good. I need not be afraid, for we were safe with Him.   

    So, l did what God asked me to do – l took a breath, breathed out, and gave Him permission to do what He needed to do in our lives. 

    When l woke up this morning, l felt like a weight had been lifted off my chest. I had been holding on so tightly to what God wants to change, that l had failed to see that He had been holding on tightly to me this entire time. By handing my pain over to Him, He had given me peace and renewed my faith. 

    Prayer: 

    Loving Father, thank you that You always meet us in the midst of our insecurities. Forgive us when a lack of faith makes us hold onto things that You want to change in us. Teach us to let go and trust in You, for You make all things come together for our good. Amen. 

    Delve deeper: 

    Are you resisting changes that God is making in your life? Do you crave peace during this period of transition? Spend time with God in prayer, and ask Him to help you let go of what you’re holding tightly on to. Trust that all things will work together for your good because He loves you.  

    This devotional was published on the 2nd October 2019 on PresbyCan Daily Devotional.

    About the author:

    Madeline Twooney is a Christian writer and blogger. She has written articles for SheLovesConverge, and Ruminate Magazine and is a contributing writer for Crosswalk.comChristianity.com, and YMI Magazine.

    In her spare time, Madeline gets creative as a freelance Special Effects Makeup artist, and she loves dancing to Sister Sledge and Stevie Wonder whilst cooking. Madeline is British but lives in Germany with her husband and their one-eared pussycat. You can contact Madeline at madelinetwooney@gmail.com or tweet her at @MTwooney

  • Devotionals

    My soul will be still, for the Lord is in control

    Written by Madeline Twooney

    Thought of the day:

    When faced with adversity, l will be still and rest in God’s presence, knowing that He is in control. 

    “Be still, and know that I am God! 
        I am exalted among the nations, 
        I am exalted in the earth.” 

    Psalm 46:10  (NRSV)

    One of my favorite experiences in church is Praise and Worship at the beginning of each service. Our church worship team plays contemporary songs with concert flair, complete with visual effects and loud beats, which enhances my worship experience. I love it!  

    Last week, the worship team played Be still by Hillsong Worship.  In the past, l found the song encouraging and the lyrics poignant, but l didn’t ruminate past these initial impressions. However, on this day, something shifted inside of me as soon as the first words of the song reached my ears: 

    “Be still and know
    That the Lord is in control
    Be still my soul
    Stand and watch as giants fall”

    These past few months have been extremely difficult for me healthwise. I have experienced a severe relapse in my convalscence from burnout and depression that has left me feeling emotionally drained, physically weak, and spiritually vulnerable to lies and accusations from the enemy about who l am in Christ.

    When l am feeling particularly morose, l question whether l will ever travel again to distant countries, take part in social interactions, or even be able to laugh out loud again – activities which require the physical and mental vitality that l haven’t possessed in years. Sometimes, l get really frightened that l will always be watching others enjoy their lives, while l waste away behind an invisible mental barrier of depression, fatigue, and loneliness.

    And yet, when l heard the words of this beautiful song, l felt like God was telling me to stop what l was doing – to stop feeling melancholy and afraid – and just be still in His presence.  

    “I won’t be afraid
    If You are here
    You silence all my fear”

    God assured me that He sees my situation, and He is working in it.  He reminded me that when l had faced adversity in the past, He had been there to support and guide me. Every time, He had brought me out of the valley.

    God had been in control then, and He was in control now. He is the God of yesterday, today, and tomorrow:  I did not need to be afraid. 

    Hearing this message in the heightened atmosphere of corporate worship instantly comforted me.  I felt like the doubts and fears that had slithered into my head were silenced by God’s reassurance of His love. Out of nowhere, I had a sudden surge of hope that everything would work out for the best. It was an unfamiliar sensation to experience – and yet, it felt comforting.

    Later that day, l spent some quiet time with God and played “Be Still” again.  For the first time in a long while, l actually felt the stillness of being in His presence. Finally, I could rest.   

    “Surely love and mercy
    Your peace and kindness
    Will follow me
    Will follow me”

    I learned an important lesson last Sunday: I need not search for God’s love, mercy, and kindness, for it is always within my reach – in fact, it follows me. It is a gift that God gives me, together with His peace, which transcends all understanding.

    All l need to do is stop, be still, and rest in the Lord.

    He will take care of the rest.  

    Prayer: 

    Loving Father, thank you that we can find true rest in the stillness of Your presence. When troubles overwhelm us or we feel doubtful and afraid, help us to remember that You are in control. You will not fail us, nor forsake us. Amen.  

    Delve deeper: 

    If you need to rest in the stillness of God’s presence today, spend time with Him in prayer.  Ask God to show you how you can lay all your problems and your busy schedule aside and just rest in the love, mercy, and kindness of His presence, where you will find peace.

    Blog banner:  Adam Zvanovec on Unsplash

  • Devotionals

    The Trust Factor

    Written by Lynne Phipps

    Thought for the day: Trust in God is first and foremost a fact and not a feeling.   

    Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
        therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
    For the Lord is a God of justice.
        Blessed are all who wait for him!”

    Isaiah 30:18 (NIV)

    Every day, my seven canines get a treat to help them maintain strong and healthy teeth. They never receive the treat at the same time on any given day. I hand them out when l fill up their food bowls for the evening meal. Sometimes, l do this early in the day, sometimes later.

    My seven canines used to be eight. And it was this eigth one that reinforced a valuable lessone for me, day in and day out, the older he got. By the time he was twelve, he was totally deaf. And by the time he was fifteen, his sight had greatly deteriorated. His cataracts were so thick, l doubt that he was able to see very much. He was such a happy little fellow though, always full of joy right from the first day he came to live with me and was still quite spry at the age of sixteen.

    And every day when it was treat time, even though he was deaf and basically blind, he always seemed to know. I would reach for the biscuits from the cupboard and turn around – and there would be seven dogs gathered around in expectation. I would dole out the goodies one by one until l had one left, which was Casey’s.

    And where would number eight be?

    Always sitting, waiting patiently in complete trust behind everyone else. He never barked or whined or tried to get his treat first, even though it would have been easy for him to walk under the bigger dog’s legs to get to the front of the line. Rather, he had learned over the years that he was never forgotten and he was never left out – he would receive that for which he hoped.

    Casey died just before Christmas, shortly after his sixteenth birthday. He suffered a stroke during his sleep and though it did not take him, the time had come to say goodbye.

    Now, every day when l turn around with the treats in my hand and see all of my friends gathered in anticipation, l remember the wonderful gift Casey left me: the trust factor.

    I also remember that the Lord longs to be gracious to me, for the Lord is a God of justice and blessed are all who wait for Him.

    Perhaps today, you may be feeling left out or forgotten. The Lord seems to be blessing everyone else but you. You feel that God has been silent and wonder will you ever hear His voice again. If so, fear not. Instead, embrace Casey’s gift: the trust factor. Trust in the promises and the goodness of God. Wait patiently for Him, and you will not be disappointed with the blessing He has in store just for you.

    Prayer: Father God, thank You so much that You long to be gracious to us, Your children. Thank You that You show compassion and are a God of justice. Thank You that we are blessed when we wait for You, for never will You leave us nor forget us. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.

    Delve deeper: There is probably not a single Christian in all history, who has not struggled with trusting God when He seems to be silent, no matter how hard we try to reach Him. But trusting in God is not so much about our feelings but about standing upon the facts of Scripture.

     Consider these verses: 


        For I am with you, and I will take care of you.
        I, the Lord, have spoken!”

    Jeremiah 1:19 (NLT)

    Great is his faithfulness;
        his mercies begin afresh each morning.

    Lamentations 3:23 (NLT) 

    I will never leave you nor forsake you.

    Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) 

    So today, if you are struggling because God seems to be silent in your life, remember Casey and the trust factor. Then, begin to dwell upon those Scriptures that promise God is faithful. He is with you and will never forsake you!

    Additionally, think upon all His faithfulness to you in the past, and begin to praise God for His continued faithfulness, not only for today, but also for all the days which lie ahead for you throughout eternity.

    This devotional was originally published at PresbyCan Daily Devotional on 11th March 2019.

    Blog banner credit:  Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

  • Devotionals

    How to trust God when He is silent

    Written by Onome Ogbajibrede

    Thought of the day: Trusting in the living God is the living spring that opens the floodgate of divine help from above.

    ‘‘And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.’’    

    Psalm 9:10 (KJV)

    In one of the editions of our monthly crusade held in Abuja, Nigeria, which was organized by the Redeemed Christian Church of God Nigeria, a lady gave a testimony that boosted my faith again, and it is really a known fact that if we depend on God without looking elsewhere for help, He would come to our rescue.

    According to this lady, she said she delivered her baby inside the car, and the baby had catarrh in the nostril. At the hospital, it was diagnosed that the baby had a particular disease.

    It is only a mother that can explain the pains of motherhood in clean terms. Therefore, she took up this challenge upon herself. Every Sunday she was always giving a seed offering unto God concerning the baby’s health issue. This she did continuously, and God healed the baby: The disease was taken away by God Almighty who is our Balm in Gilead.

    Everyone who makes God a sure pillar of support and trust in Him will not be put to shame. God has never failed, and He has not forsaken His dearly beloved ones.

    Sometimes, in life, it may seem that God has abandoned us, and that He is silent concerning our case. This He does to see if we will give up on Him. But if we still hold on, it is then He appears from nowhere to calm our troubled storm.

    What a mighty God we serve! He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, and when He comes, every other lion runs away.

    How can we trust God even when it appears He is silent concerning our case sometimes?

    Firstly, it is to be born again by accepting Jesus as the only true Saviour. Furthermore, by building confidence in God through studying His Word regularly, through constant prayers, by believing God for the impossible, and by listening to testimonies of how people trusted in God and God did not fail them.

    Prayer

    Dear Lord Jesus, Increase my faith in you, so that I can have absolute trust in you daily and rely on your help always. Amen.

    Delve Deeper: Recount the stories of people who have trusted in God – they were not disappointed. In our daily living, trusting in God will help us survive the storms of life.

    Photo credit:  Joshua Ness on Unsplash

    About the author:

    Onome OGBAJIBREDE is an Evangelist and a Christian Devotional Writer, who inspires and encourages people to come closer to God. He holds a Degree in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from Nigeria. Onome lives in Abuja, Nigeria, and can be contacted via devotionalembassy@gmail.com He loves researching into new ideas.

    Some of his devotionals can be accessed from the following links.

      Link 1  https://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=71709

      Link 2   https://christiandevotions.us/viewauthor/450

      Link 3   https://presbycan.ca/author/onome-ogbajibrede