Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:
“Having seen that they were troubled and tormented in their rowing, for the wind was against them, about the fourth watch of the night (between 3:00 – 6:00 a.m.) He came to them, walking (directly) on the sea…and He went up into the boat with them, and the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its own beating). And they were astonished exceedingly beyond measure.”
Mark 6: 48, 51
The Eye of the Storm
“Fear not that the whirlwind shall carry thee hense,
Nor wait for its onslaught in breathless suspense
Nor shrink from the whips of the terrible hail,
But pass through the edge to the heart of the gale,
For there is a shelter, sunlighted and warm,
And FAITH sees her God through the eye of the storm.
Let hope be not quenched in the blackness of night
Though the cyclone awhile may have blotted the light,
For behind the great darkness the stars ever shine
And the light of God’s heaven, His love shall make thine,
Let no gloom dim thine eyes, but uplift them on high
To the face of thy God and the blue of His sky.
The storm is thy shelter from danger and sin,
And God Himself takes thee for safety within
The tempest with Him passed into deep calm,
And the roar of the winds is the sound of a psalm,
Be glad and serene when the tempest clouds form;
God smiles on His child in the eye of the storm.”
Words of Comfort and Cheer
Mrs. Charles Cowman
Today’s Study Text:
“Then the word of the Lord came to Jehu the son of Hanani against Baasha, saying, ‘Forasmuch as I exalted thee out of the dust, and made thee prince over my people Israel; and thou hast walked in the way of Jeroboam, and hast made my people Israel to sin, to provoke me to anger with their sins; Behold, I will take away the posterity of Baasha, and the posterity of his house; and will make thy house like the house of Jeroboam.”
1 Kings 16: 1-3
“Our God Is In Control”
“Contrary to the rag-tag appearance of history the word of God rules. History even in an apostasy-ridden domain is not merely one disaster after another. No, the word of God controls history.”
Dale Ralph Davis
When I look at all the confusion in the world today, do I really believe in my heart that our God is in control?
Have I asked my heavenly Father to take charge of my “personal” world and guide my every footstep?
“God is in control of every atom in His universe, and even those things which seem a direct contradiction of His love will one day be seen to be a dynamic confirmation of His power.”
“The fixed point in the universe, the unalterable fact, is the throne of God.”
G. Morgan Campbell
As we have placed a magnifying glass over the time in history which was ruled by the kings of Israel and Judah: David, Solomon, Rehoboam, Jeroboam, Abijam, Asa, Baasha, Nadab, Elah, Zimri and Omri, it is quite easy for us to recognize the drastic decline in the spiritual lives of not only these kings, but also the people whom they ruled.
This fact brings me to ask. “Who was in control?” Yesterday, as we studied about the great evil wrought by King Omri of Israel, one wonders how things could get any worse. But they did! And to an outside onlooker like myself, it can be perplexing. You, too, may ask yourself, “Where was God in the midst of this chaos?” Both the kingdoms of Judah and Israel were in such disarray, it could leave you with the idea that God wasn’t watching. Yet, I love the way author Mary Nelson gives us insight into those times in the world and even in our own lives, when we may think God doesn’t have a handle on things. Here’s her perspective.” The next time you wonder if God knows what He’s doing, think about just how much distance is between the earth and the heavens above. A million miles? Ten million? More? That’s how much more your heavenly Father sees than you see.”
This is why I find such comfort in the words shared by G. Campbell Morgan which began our devotional: “The fixed point in the universe, the unalterable fact, is the throne of God.” There is a stable, solid place for us to fix our eyes upon! PRAISE GOD! This particular concept took my mind back to the time in high school when I was taking gymnastics class and was assigned to the balance beam, a narrow piece of wood which is approximately 4 feet off the ground and 16 feet in length. The kicker, however, is that the width of the beam is just 4 inches. Trying to navigate this “elevated stick” as I called it, wasn’t easy for a girl who was 5’8” tall.
As I repeatedly lost my balance and tumbled to the floor, after observing my wobbly attempts at navigation, my gym teacher offered this helpful suggestion: “Dorothy” she called out, “Stop looking down at your feet. Don’t focus on the floor either. Instead, keep your eyes looking toward your final destination -- the end of the board. And then just walk slowly putting one foot in front of the other.” I’d like to report that this advice immediately turned me into an Olympic athlete -- it didn’t. However, I was able to walk the entire length of the beam without falling and it had a lot to do with where my eyes were directed.
The same can be said regarding the perspective we have about what’s going on in the world and in our own lives. What to us may be viewed as confusion and havoc, from our Father’s throne has a completely different viewpoint. Thankfully, as Alfred Noyes so aptly notes, “The universe is centered on neither the earth nor the sun. It is centered on God.” And He is the “One” we need to keep our eyes focused on. In the words of one of my favorite writers, A. W. Tozer, “With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack?”
If today you feel that the beam you’re walking on is too narrow and the road you are traveling is too long, I hope your heart will find encouragement as you look to our God who is on the throne -- our God who is in control. George MacDonald offers this thoughtful observation about our Guide and Helper on life’s journey: “How often we look upon God as our last and feeblest resource! We go to him because we have nowhere else to go. And then we learn that the storms of life have driven us, not upon the rocks, but into the desired haven.”
Keep your eyes on the destination -- for our God is in control!
“There’s not a plant or flower below
But makes His glories known;
And clouds arise, and tempests blow
By order from Thy throne.”
“Begin your day by acknowledging your dependence upon God and your need for God. Purpose by grace that your first thought of the day will be an expression of your dependence on God your need for God, and your confidence in God.”
C. J. Mahoney
“In You, Lord, I live and move and have my being.”
Acts 17: 28
I cannot fathom or hold You,
I can only ask You to take hold of me.
I cannot grasp or contain You in a formula or tradition;
I can only ask You to fill me with Yourself, and make me
part of the mystery of Your presence in the world.”
Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
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