DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Nine, Day Six

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Nine, Day Six

 

“Though the mountains move and the hills shake, My love will not be removed from you and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says your compassionate LORD.” Isaiah 54:10 (HCSB)

 

The God of all creation has made a covenant with each and every believer on the name of Jesus Christ and will not forsake His covenant vow. How powerfully we see this after Jesus Christ defeated the power of hell and the grave by raising from the dead on the third day (John 2:19, John 10:18, Philippians 2:8 & 1 Corinthians 15:3-4)! He assured His eleven disciples that He would be with them always—even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20). Take heart in this truth. Regardless of the shock waves shaking your reality, hold fast to the promises of God that boldly declare that, through Jesus Christ, regardless of our need or complexity of circumstances, we will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord Jesus, allow me to claim and hold fast to the promises of Your Holy Word. Thank You for the truth of Your Word. Thank You for Your covenant of peace. Allow me to walk in the reality of this truth amidst the complications of this present time. Thank You for Your guidance amidst the chaos. Please help me to quiet my heart and listen to Your leading. Give me boldness and faithfulness to carry out Your will within this season of difficulty for I am encouraged that You will not lead me (Isaiah 54:10). In Jesus’ Holy and victorious name I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Nine, Day Four

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Nine, Day Four

 

“LORD, Your faithful love reaches to heaven, Your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 36:5 (HCSB)

 

As traumatic moments turn into dreadful days, or weeks, or longer—our hearts can grow very tired and weary. In such times, we can find ourselves wondering if prayer is really doing anything at all. In such times, we can be tempted just to “hold on” rather than actively pray for the Lord’s continued will for the situation. In it in such times, praise God for His Word, that we need to return our gaze back to the Holy Scriptures. Psalm 36:5 plainly states that the LORD’s faithful love extends to the heavens and His faithfulness to the clouds. Allow your aching heart to soak in these truths today. The LORD loves you and is able to bring about beauty from any situation; no matter how hopeless or beyond repair it may seem. Do not give up in praying—meditate on this verse today and write it down where you can reference it frequently. In the midst of the chaos, God is more faithful than any friend or family member could ever be (Proverbs 18:4). Reach out to Him in a vulnerable way today and ask for the strength to trust Him with this heartache and to use it for His eternal purpose. Your life or the life of one you love may be in harm’s way, but nothing can separate us from the faithful love of God (Romans 8:31-39). And as faith hits fire, our doctrine and our determination have the opportunity to become more solid as we press, further still, into the Holy Scriptures to guide us in our distresses (1 Peter 1:7).

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord, I feel the heat of the fire. Gosh, I hate this. I hate what it is doing to (name)___________. Help me to see this situation from Your eyes. Help me to see any good that could possibly be coming out of this mess. Lord, Your Word assures me that Your faithful love and faithfulness are endless. Impression Your love and presence upon my heart in a fresh and vibrant way today. I need You every second. I am sorry for turning to other means to numb the pain. Please forgive me for turning to screens, people and other things, rather than turning to You for help in this. I accept that You alone are faithful at all times and through each stage of this life. Help me to walk out the truth that I know. Please help (name)___________ to hold fast to You in the midst of this fire. You are worthy of all glory, honor and praise. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eight, Day Seven

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eight, Day Seven

 

“Sing to God! Sing praises to His name. Exalt Him who rides on the clouds — His name is Yahweh–and rejoice before Him.” Psalm 68:4 (HCSB)

 

After being rescued from captivity in Egypt, the Israelite people were guided around the desert for forty years by a pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night (Exodus 13:21). Whether we are called to walk a road that we can see far down the path or not, rest in the assurance that God, Yahweh, will provide the light we need to walk the road we are called to (Psalm 119:105). When we find ourselves slumping into a place of depression and lack of hope to make it through a tumultuous time, reflect on the Lord’s faithfulness. This is the very thing the Israelites did as they would travel to Jerusalem three times a year for their great festivals. Psalm 126 is one of these such songs of ascent that were sung by the Israelite people as they would travel to Jerusalem. Much in the same way, our strength and hope are sharpened, as were the Israelites, as we take the time to reflect on the goodness of God in the midst of a trying time. It is of great comfort to take hold of the solid truth that the LORD is mighty to save—in His perfect timing and His perfect way (Isaiah 55:8-9).

 

Prayer For Today:

Jesus, please help me to praise You when all I can do is question. You alone are good. You alone are just. You alone can redeem this situation. I pray that You will give me praise and an undeniable joy in knowing that You have a purpose for this season. Please be with (name)__________ in the midst of the pain. Please work in miraculous ways to bring healing—in Your mighty name, for Your glory. I know that one day, all sickness, sin and death will finally be defeated due to Your victory (Revelation 21:4). Help me to faithfully trust You and listen to You each day as I return sincere praise that You are God and You can make a way where there is no way. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

**Week Eight in review:

Please take a moment to reflect on the biblical realities of promised peace amidst chaos. What are some things you can do to declare the Lord’s praise to your own heart in this season of chaos? How good the Lord is to never give us more than we can hand over to Him (1 Peter 5:7). He is worthy to be praised.

 

***Optional Service Project (Acts 20:35):

This week for the optional service project, go for a walk outdoors and pick up ten pieces of trash from the path you walk. When we are in a season characterized by grief and ongoing trauma, finding ways to bless others and see the physical results of our efforts is sincerely gratifying. As you pick up the trash, pray for those who will walk down that same outdoor setting later that day. Ask the Lord to draw others closer to Himself as they are able to see the beauty of His created world (Isaiah 55:11-12).

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Eight, Day Two

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Eight, Day Two

 

“Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.” Psalm 139:16 (HCSB)

 

Life in every way is a created art. While we were still without form, the Lord knew every detail of our lives, before time began. How amazing to think that in the midst of the furious winds and torment of life, Jesus Christ, has already provided a way out of each and every hurricane (1 Corinthians 10:13). As the winds begin to blow within the stories of our lives, and we begin to see signs of even greater destruction on the way, may we turn our hope to the LORD—for He has already made a way out of the chaos for us (1 Corinthians 15:57-58)!

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear Jesus, thank You for the victory over this. I have to confess that I do not know how to speed up the discomfort to achieve the victory, but I know that all of Your ways are good (Psalm 92:12-15). Help me to root myself down deep into the truths of Your Holy Scriptures. Help me to be an example of steadfast love to (name)_________. Please allow Your hope, despite the details we have, remain in our hearts. Help (name)_______ to realize that victory—be it now or in heaven—will indeed be realized and fully grasped by Your victorious name. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray, amen.

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Seven, Day Five

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Seven, Day Five:

 

9He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure that He planned in Him 10for the administration of the days of fulfillment — to bring everything together in the Messiah, both things in heaven and things on earth in Him.” Ephesians 1:9-10 (HCSB)

 

The Apostle Paul had seen first hand, on a road near Damascus, that God’s plan of salvation was indeed through Jesus Christ the Messiah. Although He had murdered and imprisoned many followers of Jesus, the Way, Paul was shown divine grace as Jesus audibly spoke to Him and used Paul as an example of a radically changed life. The same man who had breathed murderous threats to those who followed Jesus, was now the very man being used by God to proclaim that Jesus was in fact the Messiah to those both near and far (Acts 9:1-31). The fact that God would choose to continue to extend undeserved grace and unmerited mercy to each and every one of us, is indeed, a mystery of our loving God (Ephesians 1:9-10). May we make the conscious choice to love God fully and submit our worries, our doubts and our prejudices to the feet of Jesus (Ephesians 1:22-23). Each and every hardship and difficult circumstance can in fact be radically changed due to the transformative power of Jesus Christ. Paul, who was once a murderer, was now the very man leading the charge to further the message that Jesus Christ was Messiah. God truly can make all things new (Isaiah 43:19).

 

Prayer For Today:

Dear LORD, thank You for the encouragement found in Your Word, the Holy Bible. Help me to look afresh at the situations around me that seem too difficult for You to fix. Help me to counsel my heart with Biblical accounts, like this one, that show You can do the impossible time and time again. Help me to show (name)_____________ the mysterious gift of love and merciful grace that is found through Jesus Christ alone—regardless of the details in our stories. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL by Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Check Point and Week Six, Day One

Check Point Two: Be Advised–Severe Thunderstorms with Hail

 

During our last few weeks in the Middle East, prior to parting ways with my husband for a year due to his next assignment, we encountered an incredible storm—unlike any we had ever heard of in this part of the world. Hail, severe wind, booming thunder and flashing lightning lit the sky as pelting rain attacked the backside of our home. As the rainwater and desert dirt were blown violently into the house as the storm raged, a poignant lesson was ingrained in my heart. It is not until we encounter the “storms of life” that we actually see where our “leaks” are. Whether your leaks (or holes) are within your perception of God, your relationship with your spouse, or another topic entirely, the reality remains the same—until the waters hit the house and the winds rage, you would be unaware of the hole. Speaking from personal experience, while weathering the storm, it is vital to remember where your hope and security are found as a follower of Jesus Christ—and that is in the Lord Himself. The storms have proven to be perfect opportunities, if I have been willing to see them as such, as ways to learn to follow the Lord more closely as the chaos, stress and strife of difficult times pound on the walls of my heart. Thus, rather than becoming paralyzed by the overwhelming reality of water “leaking in”, may this current “storm” be used by God in your own stories to push us to the Lord for rescue. May this “storm season” prompt you to take the needed steps to further fortify and protect your “home”—be it your heart, your relationships or even your faith in Almighty God (Proverbs 16:9). Why? Because you are worth it to an Eternal God who loves you (Galatians 2:20).

 

Theme of Week Six: God Knows The Way

Week Six, Day One:

 

“You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me.” Matthew 5:11 (HCSB)

 

When we follow hard after the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, there will come a time when persecution will come. At that moment, may we be shown as faithfully aligned to the Lord as we call out to Him in both sincerity of need and urgency of deliverence. God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7). Thus, the Lord will be our defender and the One to ensure that all who call upon His name will be redeemed for His glory—in His perfect time. If you find yourself in a place today that leaves your faith feeling attacked or trampled on, realize the great opportunity you have been given to highlight the source of your strength. In the midst of hardship, as Christians, it is in our raw cries for rescue and our heartfelt need for salvation that the world is able to plainly see God on display. Ask the Lord to equip you, this very day, with an ability to stand tall in the midst of insults and crushing circumstances. In doing so, as a Christian you can declare with boldness He will see you through and that there is nothing unrighteous in the Lord (Psalm 92:12-15).

 

Prayer For Today:

Lord, I don’t know where to begin. You see the opposition. You see the massive obstacles I have to get around. I am overwhelmed. Help me to look beyond these present challenges. Help me, as is echoed in Psalm 92:12-15, be firmly grounded firmly in You like the palm and cedar of Lebanon so that I can withstand the storms and challenges that are all around. I want to be found faithful to declare Your goodness and righteousness to all. Please help (name)_________ to be like a palm and cedar as well; sturdy, grounded and bearing fruit until old age, for Your glory. You are bigger than this circumstance. Thank You that nothing catches You off guard. I trust You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

 

DAILY DEVOTIONAL Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor” Week Five, Day Six

DAILY DEVOTIONAL Katie Messer: “Through The Valley Of Achor”

Week Five, Day Six:

 

The peacemakers are blessed, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (HCSB)

 

When we believe in Jesus Christ, we receive a peace that surpasses all of the logic and rhetoric of the day (Philippians 4:7). As believers, we are to pursue peace, rather than looking for ways to stir the proverbial pot. We are to study peace and spread it throughout the diverse societies of this vast globe. True peace with God can only be obtained through the sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on the Cross; which is offered to each desiring heart (Ephesians 2:8-10). It is our privilege to forgive quickly and not bring up past issues as weapons to hurl at others. As we exhibit peace, we will find others attracted to that something that is different about us. As a child of God, we have the awesome privilege to promote and bring the peace of Jesus Christ to other people. In your turmoil today, the Lord desires to use you to promote peace and forgiveness for His name’s sake and your ultimate blessing. Rise to the occasion, dear sister. You serve a Great God who has great things to accomplish through you.

 

Prayer for today:

Lord, please give me the heart and mind of a peace maker. I am one who is prone to quarrel and fight for my way. Teach me Your ways. Help me to represent Your character to (name)____________. I need Your help so desperately. Please help (name)__________ to let go of the hurt and bitterness—knowing that justice is found in You. Allow Your peace, true peace, to wash over (name)_________ anew today. In Jesus name I pray, amen.