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12/09/2023 - 13/09/2023 All day

“I would have lost heart, unless I had believed, That I would see the goodness of the Lord In the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” – (Psalm 27: 13-14).

Those who follow “Day by Day with Jesus” Daily Devotionals” will recalll how yesterday we saw Apostle Paul warning the centurion, ship owner and captain not to proceed with a dangerous journey only to be ignored, which all ended in disaster (Acts 27)! Today we see another aspect of Paul’s final journey that can speak to any of us.

As the storm raged on (vv18) everyone in the ship was down with worry. Around 60 AD travelling on the high seas was rudimentary, relying much on Mother Nature. There were no compasses and life jackets. The 276 passengers on board, their ship battered by the savage winds, despaired and feared that all hope was gone. “When neither sun nor stars appeared for many days and the storm continued raging, we finally gave up all hope of being saved” (vv 20).

But in all there was one man who was not as worried. Paul had already heard from God that all lives would be saved. Seeing everyone distraught with worry and fearing imminent death, he decided to cheer them up. “Last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’ So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me” (verse 23-25).

Here is the point. In a time of great distress Paul asked all the sailors not to despair but have faith that God would deliver them. Today as back then there are storms raging all around us. There are financial storms caused by economic disruptions. There are storms in relationships that are disintegrating. There are storms from personal loss. Yet, just as then, God is speaking to us not to despair, and that all will end well. Calm down for everythig is fine.

This is not a bluff. After Paul had delivered his message of hope he told the ship captain to look for a ground to land. And unlike the last time the captain listened. And all the 276 lives were saved! Your situation is no less important to God who will in the course of time bring deliverance.

Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth., today, just as was then with storms raging you gave a message of hope and lives were saved and so here I pray that I look up to you in the midst of storms raging around me, that you will deliver me and all around to safety, because of the faith in Christ Jesus, all this I pray in His holy name.

 

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  • 02/03/2024 - 03/03/2024 All day

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”- (Philippians 4:6).

    Perhaps you have heard of a certain old magical trade known as mind reading. According to this trade which has been around for millenniums and has its share of tricksters, mind readers are able to discern thought patterns of individuals before they even utter a word. There are places in the world where this, as expected, is a lucrative occupation, with practitioners, often crafty magicians, demanding hefty fees, just to tell thoughts of others.

    As Christians, of course, we have an all knowing God, who has said, “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him”  ( Mathew 6:8). Further, our Lord has pointed out, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words” ( Mathew 6:7). As Christians when we come to God, we do so with full confidence, that He already knows our needs and will meet them according to his glorious riches in heaven.

    Of particular interest for us here is that while God perfectly knows our needs before we even dare utter a single word, still it is incumbent upon us to make our requests known to Him. A parent may have long noticed a child has a need for a new pair of shoes; but it is another dimension, when the child does come out and share aloud that his pair is worn out, hurting and is quite in need of a new one. The parent takes notice, especially when the matter is presented with such conviction and urgency. This is why Hannah cried out to God for a child ( 1 Samuel 1:9-18).

    In our relationship with God, as the Apostle Paul advises us, it is not just enough to assume and let matters be, that after all God knows all our needs, but we too bear a responsibility to make our requests known to Him. Once we are done with that, we let God do  His part, allowing “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding” ( Philippians 4:7) to flood us.
    So, today, do not hold back your needs from the Almighty God. He has paved the way to walk to Him through His son Jesus Christ, to present your case, bear out your heart’s desire, and let Him do His part!

    Prayer today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, today I rise to make my requests known to you, knowing you have heard me even before I utter a single word, assured that you will meet each and every one of my needs, according to your glorious riches in heaven!

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