I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you. - (Philippians 1:6)
Are you discouraged today? Afraid of an uncertain future? The Bible tells the story of a time when Jesus’ disciples were not only discouraged, but they were actually in terror for their very lives.
Jesus had told them to get into a boat and go over to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, and they obeyed. But when they were a considerable distance from land, a fierce storm arose that terrified them. Jesus, who had been on a mountain praying, went to meet the disciples, walking on the water. Thinking He was a ghost, the disciples cried out in fear. So Jesus immediately told them, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27, NIV).
There are two simple reasons the disciples didn’t have to be afraid: First, Jesus would help them weather the storm. And second, He had told them to go to the other side, which meant they would reach the other side. Where God guides, God provides.
Jesus knows where you are at this very moment. As complicated and tangled as your situation might seem to yourself right now, it’s all perfectly clear to Him. He knows what you are thinking, feeling, experiencing. He’s telling you to be courageous because He is with you, and there is a brighter tomorrow for you. Even if you’ve failed, even if you’ve made a mistake, it isn’t over. You can still learn from that mistake and get out of the situation in which you find yourself.
God has a future for each of us. Jeremiah 29:11, one of my all-time favorite verses, says, “For I know the plans I have for you . . . plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (NIV). God will complete the work He has begun in your life. Take courage!
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When God doesn’t make sense, when it seems that He is asleep, when it feels like He doesn’t care, we must remind ourselves of His promises. Going back to God’s promises, we find something that we desperately need in those hard times: perspective.
That eternal perspective is the focus of Dr. James Dobson’s book When God Doesn’t Make Sense, which we’re offering as a thank-you to anyone who gives a gift of support to Harvest Ministries this month.