• 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

  • Devotionals

    How God showed me His love through a song on the radio

    Written by Madeline Twooney

    Thought of the day: In every situation, God is with me and comforts me. He shows His love for me in many unexpected ways.

    “Let your steadfast love become my comfort
    according to your promise to your servant.”

    Psalm 119:76 (NRSV)

    My childhood was an unhappy one. My parents beat me, and they constantly fought with each other. l lived in constant fear of them and felt unsafe and unloved.


    Being confined to close quarters with my parents was always stressful, so l wasn’t pleased when one day, my parents decided we should all go on a day trip. It was the early 80’s, so my father always had a mixed tape of songs he played in the car, in order to while away the journey time.


    However, during this trip, he turned on the radio. The opening twangy notes of a pedal steel guitar filtered through the car’s speakers, filling the car’s cabin with the melodious overtures of the song “Missippi” by Pussycat.


    My father had once told me that this song had stormed the UK charts in 1976, in the week l was born. We had been living in London at the time, so in celebration of my birth, he had gone to Selfridges, to buy the single on 7” vinyl.


    I used to enjoy the times my father would play the song, because l associated it with the few memories l had of his pleasure at my existence. However, this was the first time that l had ever heard the song on the radio.
    I may have been only a child, but sitting in that car, l knew that the timing of this song, through this particular format, was no coincidence.

    Unbeknown to them, l had been praying for someone to come into my life and protect me from the violence and mental anguish that l felt at the hands of my parents.


    Then “Missippi” came on and through the sweet-toned harmonies, l heard a still, small voice telling me that l was not alone. God was here, and He knew my suffering: He would protect me and keep me safe.

    God kept His word, and l managed to cope with my parent’s maltreatment until l was old enough to leave home.


    Lately, as l have been struggling to recover from burnout and chronic depression, l have been needing God’s comfort and assurance of love more than ever. Then, the other day, God showed me His love again through the radio.


    I was in the kitchen with the radio blaring as l prepared dinner. Suddenly, l heard the familiar twang of the opening bars of “Missippi”, greeting me like an old friend. I couldn’t help but smile, because even if nobody else saw it, l knew that God was telling me that He was keeping the promise He made me years ago, to look after me.


    God shows me His presence in many ways, however, the radio has become our own personal means of communication. Every time l hear “Missippi” on the radio, I am reassured yet again of God’s love for me.

    Prayer:

    Merciful Father, thank you that You are always with us. Your love is steadfast and always provides comfort in every situation we face. Help us to see Your presence every day, and show us how we can experience You in unexpected and delightful ways. Amen.

    Delve deeper:

    Are you wanting God to show you His presence in your current situation, but you can’t see Him?
    Maybe He is showing Himself to you in an unexpected way. Spend time with Him today, and ask Him to open your eyes to the manifestation of His love and comfort in your life today.

    Photo credit: Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

  • Devotionals

    My trust is in the name of the Lord

    Thought of the day: In God do l put my trust and confident reliance and not in the world. 

    “Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
        but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.”

    Psalm 20:7 (NIV)

    A few months ago, l stopped going on social media. I got to the point where l could not see another Instagram pose, you know the kind with the phone held up in front of a mirror, hip to the side, complete with a pouty lip? Or the photo exemplifying a person’s posterior, with a peach emoji next to it?

    We live in a society that encourages self-promotion and narcissism as a measurement of popularity. Unrealistic beauty and partner ideals, material acquisitions, and exotic travel locations are blatantly advertised as “goals” that should be achieved in order to live an accomplished life. Failing to fulfill any or all of these requirements leaves one feeling insecure, worthless, and constantly comparing.

    However, where is God in all of this? Why isn’t He presented as a “goal” to social media followers, especially to the more easily impressed youth?

    Turning off my notifications has brought a stillness into my life. Free of distractions, l can hear God more clearly. He tells me that He loves me, He is my provider, and that His Truth guides my way.

    I may live in this world, but l don’t have to yield under its pressures. In God do l put my trust and confident reliance and not in superficial conformities. With this revelation, l feel set free from society’s expectations.

    Prayer: Wonderful Lord, help us to not prioritize the ideals and expectations of this world; instead let us hold You first in our hearts, for You give us Love, Truth, and Life.

    Delve deeper: Do you live your life according to how society says you should live it? Do you go on Facebook or Instagram and compare yourself to others? Do you constantly check how many likes your latest tweet or post received?

    Friends, if you find that the things of this world are taking priority over God’s values, spend time in prayer with Him and ask Him to help you re-focus your eyes on Him. What the world says about you is not important; only God’s opinion matters!

    This devotional was published on PresbyCan Devotionals on 26th May 2019.

  • Devotionals

    My strength comes from the joy of the Lord

    Thought of the day:
    When God is leading me through a transition, His joy for me is my source of strength.

    “Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions of them to those for whom nothing is prepared, for this day is holy to our Lord; and do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
    Nehemiah 8:10 (NRSV)

    Being in a period of transition is a stressful time for me. When my circumstances start to change and l experience growing pains, it can affect my ability to see the situation for what it is – as God testing and purifying me so that He can prepare me for the next level of His wonderful plan for my life.

    At such times, I hand over the situation to God, but emotionally, l can’t help but see changes in our family’s circumstances as portents of doom. I admonish myself constantly for allowing my fears to overpower my faith.


    My husband, Solomon, on the other hand, is the kind of person who can always tap into God’s joy, despite what is going on around him. He interacts socially and generally enjoys his life, while l sit at home lamenting over what l perceive as a downward turn of events.


    In order to cheer me up, Solomon encourages me to go out for a coffee with him or to meet up with friends. However, l get too caught up in the cinema playing in my head to take on his suggestions. In such times, my husband reminds me that the joy of the Lord is our strength. God knows our current dilemma and is preparing us for promotion and blessings. In the meantime, we should rejoice in each day that God has made.

    Maybe l am not as spiritually mature as my husband, for l have never really understood what Nehemiah meant when he told the Israelites in Nehemiah 8:10 that God’s joy strengthens us.

    Then, a few days ago, l watched an online sermon that gave me a revelation of this Bible verse.


    The pastor preached on Psalm 23:6, where God prepares a table for us in the presence of our enemies. As l listened, l began to understand Nehemiah’s words better. Sure, life would be more joyful if l could foresee how we were to persevere through our adversities, but true joy comes from the strength that only God can give me.


    Revelation rained down on me: God takes joy in me as His child – I am loved, cherished, and protected. Though changes may be whirling around me in a chaotic cyclone of fear and doubt, l can be confident in the presence of it, fortified in the knowledge that God has my back.


    With this in mind, l will heed Nehemiah’s words to the Israelites to eat, drink, and not grieve. I need not fear change, nor should l condemn myself for feeling it. Instead, l should lift my eyes to Jesus and remember that my joy comes from above. God will do the rest.

    Prayer:
    Wonderful Father, thank you that You love us and take joy in us as Your children. As You lead us through changes, help us to remember that Your joy is our true source of strength which overcomes fear and doubt. Amen.

    Delve deeper:
    Are you currently finding it difficult to experience joy in the midst of your present circumstances? Is God leading you through a period of transition, which is making you anxious and worried?

    Remember that your help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth! In prayer, ask God to show you how you can tap into the strength that comes from the joy He feels for us, His beloved children.

    Photo credit:  Preslie Hirsch on Unsplash

  • Devotionals

    The Worry Habit

    Written by Linda Washington

    Thought for the day: Worry is a habit we can overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

    Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

    Romans 12:2 (NRSV) 

    I’m a worrier. Whenever I feel sad, afraid, or overwhelmed, anxious thoughts tumble over and over in my mind, like clothes in a dryer. Even after praying, I still worry over problems. 

    Recently, worry escalated when my niece began to have epileptic seizures out of the blue. I felt cold all over when my brother texted me these words: unresponsive . . . at hospital. Thankfully, he’d been home when she had a seizure. He’d called 911 and off they went to the hospital. 

    She was released when the doctors couldn’t find any reason for the seizure. Everything was good, right? I didn’t have to worry about her any more, right? Wrong. A week later, she had another seizure, which required a hospital stay.  

    As you can imagine my worry meter was off the charts. Even after my niece received excellent care at the hospital and was released, I still worried to the point of sleeplessness.  

    After praying about it, I realized that my constant state of worry showed my belief that problems were bigger than God’s ability to handle them. I needed to be transformed. This brings to mind Paul’s advice in Romans 12:2: “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Sounds impossible, especially if I have to do it on my own. But I don’t. God can help me to change.  

    Recently, I took the first steps toward that change:

    (1) Admitting that I wrongfully chose worry over trust in God; 

    (2) Asking God to forgive me and help me change. That’s part of being a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1) – putting wrongful habits to death. I want to be a prayer warrior, instead of a worrier. 

    Transformation doesn’t happen overnight. I need to “persevere in prayer” as Paul suggests in Romans 12:12, seeking God for help whenever I’m tempted to worry. I also need the truth of God’s promises to “hold fast to what is good” (Romans 12:9), instead of to worried thoughts. They also remind me to “rejoice in hope” and be “patient in affliction” (Romans 12:12). 

    Prayer:

    Lord, forgive me for the time I wasted worrying. You are bigger than the biggest problem I will ever face. I’m grateful that I can always count on you. You are my helper, the One who will never forsake me, as Hebrews 13:5-6 tells me.  

    Delve deeper:

    Got a worry habit? Allow God to transform you “by the renewing of your mind.” Instead of letting worried thoughts tumble over and over, consider Paul’s advice in Philippians 4:8: “[W]hatever is true, whatever is honorable . . . think about these things.”  

    About the author:

    Linda Washington received a B.A. in Creative Writing from Northwestern University and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She has worn many hats: textbook editor, senior project writer, manuscript reviewer for several publishers, ghostwriter, and a freelance developmental editor. She has authored or co-authored fiction and nonfiction books for kids, teens, and adults.