• 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.

  • Articles

    Life sucks? Here are 3 reasons why you need to stick with God right now

    This post is a shout out to all of you who are going through something really hard right now.  

    First of all, l’m sorry that you or someone close to you is in pain and my heart goes out to you.  

    It’s always a blow when you get confronted with a difficult situation. However, God does not expect you to bear through times of hardship alone. He wants us to turn to Him, because He is the only one who can get us out of our difficulties. Not the bank, not another human being, and certainly not a stroke of good luck.  

    What you are going through is important to God, and He wants you to come out of this trial stronger and trusting Him all the more.  

    God doesn’t do things by coincidence. He doesn’t favor some people and not others (Acts 10:34). God loves us all the same.  

    God loves YOU! 

    Yes you! 

    The following are three reasons why you need to stick close to God when life isn’t treating you right. 

    Blog banner photo credit: AbsolutVision on Unsplash

    1. God knows you and has a great plan for your life 

    “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    and before you were born I consecrated you;
    I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

    Jeremiah 1:5 (NRSV)

    Who knows you better than He who created you? Not only does God know us the best, He loves us with a perfect love, a love infused with His grace, mercy, and selflessness.  

    You were made unique.  Know that you are precious to God and are ordained to do great things. 

    These pitfalls you’re experiencing will at some point be over.  God knows what is going on in your life right now. He knows that you are in pain.  

    Nothing that happens to you comes as a surprise to Him. 

             “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”

    Jeremiah 29:11 

    Instead of focusing on your problems, remember that God has a marvelous plan for each of us. He wants you to live a bountiful and fruitful life and will help you through tough times to make that a reality for you. 

    Photo credit:  Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

    2. Jesus has tremendous compassion for our suffering 

    Jesus knows firsthand how difficult life can be. His time on earth was punctuated with trials, disapproval, death plots, and suffering. 

    Jesus feels our emotions. He hurts when we are hurting.  

    In John Chapter 11, Jesus’ close friend Lazarus dies from sickness. Jesus shows great empathy for Mary and Martha, Lazarus’ two sisters, as they mourn their brother’s demise: 

         “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” 

    John 11.33

    Though Jesus knows He is about to raise Lazarus from the dead, His sorrow upon seeing the sister’s and other mourners grief is evident:  

              “Jesus wept.” 

    John 11:35 (NIV)

    This is one of the shortest, most powerful verses in the Bible. Jesus’ tears demonstrate the extent of His compassion for our suffering.  

    Jesus is with us, sharing our pain. When you are at your lowest, call out to Him. Jesus is right there, always beside you. 

    Photo credit:  Matt Collamer on Unsplash

    3. Sometimes God makes you wait for your breakthrough

    We’ve all been in a situation that we want to see change for the better.  

    You could be experiencing financial difficulty. Or you’re in a job you don’t like. Maybe you have been trying to get pregnant but to no avail. You could also be sick and desire to be healed. 

    You may have been asking God for a while now to help you, but you still haven’t seen things turn around.  

    So, why isn’t God doing anything to improve your circumstances? 

    We may ask God for His help with a strong sense of urgency, but God’s timing is different to our own. It is not unusual for God to want us to wait for our breakthrough.  

    Why? 

    •  To build our faith 
    •  So that we learn to trust Him  
    •  God sees the whole picture, whereas we don’t 
    •  God is more interested in changing us than our circumstances 
    • God will sometimes say no today, in order to give you a  better yes tomorrow. 

    Don’t lose hope. Your time of victory is coming! 

             “For there is still a vision for the appointed time;
        it speaks of the end, and does not lie.
    If it seems to tarry, wait for it;
        it will surely come, it will not delay. “

    Habakkuk 2:3

    God knows the hand you’re dealt with. He also knows that you can handle it, because He has equipped you with His love and His strength to go through it. 

    “ I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

    Philippians 4:13

    Don’t get disheartened because you don’t see any change in your life today. Trust Him and wait. 

    God ALWAYS comes through on His promises! 

    God’s love and power is indeed a great comfort and source of strength for us.  

    Still, you may ask yourself – Why does God let bad things happen to us?  

    That is admittedly a difficult topic. I am not a counsellor, nor am l a psychologist, therefore l am hesitant to venture a response that might not provide the answer you are looking for, nor give you the comfort you seek.  

    However, I can give you an account of a difficult situation l’ve been through.  

    l lost a beloved member of my family four years ago to cancer. I don’t know why it happened, but l know that God is a good God. Only He knows the whole situation and what He has truly spared us from. l still bear the scars of suffering and loss today – but God has taken me on a slow but patient journey of healing. And He can do it with you too.  

    God has not abandoned you to your suffering. He has not forgotten you either. He sees everything, from its origins to its solution, whereas we only see the immediate threat. 

    Live the miracle of seeing God work out everything for your good, to His glory; believe that He is always with you, starting from today. 

    My heartfelt prayers go out to you my brothers and sisters and may God’s peace and mercy be upon you. 

    Blessings, 

    Photo credit:  Xu Haiwei on Unsplash

    Are you in a difficult situation and need someone to pray for you? Then write us an email with the Heading “Pray Request” or leave a comment below and we will gladly pray for you here at Jacob’s Ladder Blog!