A Prayer for God’s Help in Times of Trouble

“May your God, who you serve continually, rescue you!” – Daniel 6:16

The Story of Daniel: The Power of Prayer and Faith in Times of Great Trouble

If anyone needed help in time of trouble, it was Daniel. This verse finds him sentenced to a pit of lions for praying to and worshiping God (Daniel 6:13-18). The administrators set to serve under the current reign of King Darius were bent on removing Daniel from his seat. Daniel had found favor with King Nebuchadnezzar and King Belshazzar prior to King Darius’ reign through his interpretation of dreams and godly wisdom.

So, they convinced the king to “issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or man during the next thrifty days, except to you, O king, shall be thrown into the lions den” (Daniel 6:7). The king, not realizing that the “royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed …”(6:7) did not include Daniel, agreed.

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5 Bible Stories to Help Your Kids Gain Courage in Tough Times

Life can be tough on kids but leading them to the feet of Jesus ushers in a hope that surpasses all their hard moments.

I felt the first sting of letting go when I dropped mine off for school. It was my first real sense of giving them back to God. Lock down drills, conflict, and bullying crept onto our radar as elementary school continued. With every nuance about the world they learn, questions arise. When they brush up against serious illness, loss, or tragedy, it can be especially hard for them to get through the pain. But God is bigger. And we must help them fight to find the good, even amidst hard times.

Guiding children though the harsh realities of life requires us to acknowledge their feelings and guide them to His feet. God will ready our hearts with the encouragement our children need, as we are faithful to meet Him in His Word. Here are five Bible stories that can help kids gain courage in tough times.

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The Triple Apology (#jammed daily devo, day 173)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 173: Keep confessing.

“Keep up your courage.” Acts 27:22

It takes three apologies to extract sincerity from my kids.June 22

The first apology is accusatory, as they try to squirm their way out of whatever they’ve gotten themselves into. The second is compliant, knowing that if they don’t utter those two very important words, a yard full of dog poop awaits them. Finally, after they have drifted around to the dock  ownership  …they are able to focus on the effects of what they’ve done, shake the automatic defense mode into remembering their manners, and sincerely apologize for the feelings they’ve hurt.

Children are not the only ones that have a problem taking ownership for their mistakes. It seems to be a natural inclination of humanity. Entitlement comes automatically, and pride is always prepared to start swinging …but humility, courage, confession, and repentance? Not so automatic.

In today’s verse, we find Paul encouraging this ragged boat of prisoners and administrators to rally with courage. He’s encouraging them, despite the fact that they still fail to take ownership in their part of the problem.

 I was correct in my warning, so I urge you to believe me now…”

Those words come flying out of my motherly mouth multiple times a day. We undoubtably know when we’re right and when we’ve been wronged …

“…none of you will die. We will lose the ship, but we will not lose one life. “

Every life was spared despite their disobedience.

Our lives will be spared, despite our disobedience …because of the Cross.

“So keep up your courage, men!” -Acts 27:22 (VOICE)

Grace has nothing to do with what we can do, and everything to do with what Jesus did. Death on a cross, to spare our lives. Why? Because God is love.

Whether we look upon stormy situations as North wind crashing upon someone else’s shore, or our beach being drowned in a torrent of wind and waves, Jesus calms the storm and encourages us to …

Keep up your courage …and apologize.

Keep up your courage …and change.

Keep up your courage …and remain humble.

Keep up your courage …and forgive.

Keep up your courage …and keep following Him.

Bravery isn’t always the picture of an armed soldier claiming victory over his enemies, but a shipwrecked soul with formidable faith in the One who holds them together int he storm.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for courage. Thank You for making us brave in the face of humiliation and torment. Forgive our hesitation to take ownership over the calamity we cause, and forgive those who have offended us. Please bless our lives with humility and bravery, as we follow Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Courage Keeping,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80. 

 

The Windows

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” Psalm 56:3 ESV

King David wrote Psalm 56 when the Philistines captured him in Gath (Lucado Life Lessons).

“Isn’t this David, then king of the land? Isn’t he the one they sing about in their dances: ‘Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands?” 2 Samuel 21:11 (NIV)

The strength to live authentically comes from God, alone. King David’s encouragement is centered on the confidence source of our courage. Living our full truth out loud comes from bravely walking within our God-placed purpose.  Comparing our lives to those around us, and the mold of societal acceptance, chokes our ability to live uninhibited. But life exposed to the Light sets us free.

Hidden Heart Health

When I first earned the freedom to drive, I began to exit the highway early on the way to my family’s favorite summer hangout. Windows down and Alanis turned up, I dreamt of what it would be like to swap the suburban hustle for a sleepy lake-town life. Little did I know at 16, that roughly fifteen years later God would move our family onto a piece of land that my ’86 Nova passed by hundreds of times.

We unwrapped and repacked Christmas the year that we moved from our beloved starter home. The tree was reassembled and each ornamental reminder was placed back on it’s branches, and everyone in that sleepy little lake town noticed.  Suddenly the plethora of windows we choose to fit our house with, along the only busy road in town, seemed like a questionable idea.

“When I’m afraid …”

Charles F. Stanely points out that “the psalmist does not say, ‘if I am afraid,’ he says, ‘when I am afraid.'” 

David was afraid of Saul. He was on the run, and hoping to be considered insane, so he could continue to run further away from who he was. “He pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard.” 1 Samuel 21:12-13 (NIV)

Is this seriously the King David that killed Goliath? Fear is a slippery slope. They bought his act, and he continued to run.

“Look at the man! He is insane!” 2 Samuel 21:14 (NIV)

We all face something in life that makes us want to close all the blinds and hide from the world. God promises never to leave us, and forgive our sins when we confess them. Fear causes us to assume we are alone and unforgivable,  re-confessing and running from sin that He has already forgiven.

Legitimate Labels

In an attempt to stretch farther than I could reach, a vase teetered and came crashing to the ground in pieces. I picked up the pieces, but the tiny shards were too small to be glued back together.

“I put my trust in you.”

The MacArthur Study Bible states that “Confidence in the Lord is a purposeful decision, replacing an emotional reaction to one’s circumstances.”

David was definitely having an emotional reaction as he ran from King Saul, but he eventually remembered what the Lord had said. God’s Truth can snap us out of temporary insanity. Hiding with his men in the back of a cave, King Saul entered to ‘relieve himself.’ David snuck up and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe, and then has an attack of conscience. (2 Samuel 24: 1-5)

“The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” 2 Samuel 24:6 (NIV)

Labels can be leveling, especially the ones that we are hesitant to claim. There are certain thing we don’t post on social media, or bring in up in casual conversation, because it’s hard to believe they belong to us. We’d rather close the blinds.

The redemptive power of Christ pieces every tiny shard back together. He rolls on grace like gorilla glue. We don’t have to stop living life or hide our progress. The journey back to who He says we’ve always been is a testimony to His great love. Don’t draw the blinds on that.

Charles F. Stanley says in his Life Principles Bible Notes, “God does not tell us to ignore our anxieties, but to bring them to Him and realize that He can overcome any terror we ever have to face.”

Reverse Roles

My husband and I didn’t think about the ramifications of everyone being able to peer into our lives through the windows, because we were attracted to the beauty of natural light.  Living in fear of what others might see draws the blinds. We hide from exposure. That’s not the life God gave us to live. That’s not the life Jesus died to grant us. “I came so that you may have life, and have it to the full,” Jesus said in John 10:10

“God, whose word I praise …”

When Saul was finished relieving himself, David followed him out of that cave. “My lord the king!” He bowed as Saul turned around. (1 Samuel 24:8He stepped out from the dark cave and into the light, exposing his truth, and the pieces were put back into place.

“You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly,” Saul replied as he wept allowed. 1 Samuel 24:16-17 (NIV)

Living our lives exposed to the light grants us freedom. When we turn up the volume on other voices, opinions, worries, shame, and regret, we become self-focused and selfish in protecting what we fear are unforgivable mistakes and missteps.

Authentically living for Christ begins with a real relationship with Him, in prayer and Scripture. David walked out of that cave to face Saul, reaffirmed by remembering who God said he was. Our stories, labels, and lives, exist so that others may experience the love of Christ.

“When struck by fear, I let go, depending securely upon You alone. In God- whose word I praise- in God I place my trust. I shall not let fear come in, for what can measly men do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4 (VOICE)

Father,  Praise You for this day, and Your purpose for it. Thank You for the blessings we woke up today, and those that will riddle our minutes and we walk throughout it. Forgive us for hiding the parts of our lives that are hard to face. We want to fully trust in You, God. Give us hearts like Jesus’. Help us to live authentically because we trust in You. Make us aware, as we travel through daily conversations, of those that we are meant to encourage by sharing parts of our struggles. Bless all those who hide in the darkness, ashamed and scared. May be a bright light of encouragement to every person You purposely place in our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Happy Brightening,

Megs

The Triple Apology (#jammed daily devo, day 173)

June #jammed: Under the Blanket of Grace.

Day 173: Keep confessing.

“Keep up your courage.” Acts 27:22

It takes three apologies to extract sincerity from my kids.June 22

The first apology is accusatory, as they try to squirm their way out of whatever they’ve gotten themselves into. The second is compliant, knowing that if they don’t utter those two very important words, a yard full of dog poop awaits them. Finally, after they have drifted around to the dock  ownership  …they are able to focus on the effects of what they’ve done, shake the automatic defense mode into remembering their manners, and sincerely apologize for the feelings they’ve hurt.

Children are not the only ones that have a problem taking ownership for their mistakes. It seems to be a natural inclination of humanity. Entitlement comes automatically, and pride is always prepared to start swinging …but humility, courage, confession, and repentance? Not so automatic.

In today’s verse, we find Paul encouraging this ragged boat of prisoners and administrators to rally with courage. He’s encouraging them, despite the fact that they still fail to take ownership in their part of the problem.

 I was correct in my warning, so I urge you to believe me now…”

Those words come flying out of my motherly mouth multiple times a day. We undoubtably know when we’re right and when we’ve been wronged …

“…none of you will die. We will lose the ship, but we will not lose one life. “

Every life was spared despite their disobedience.

Our lives will be spared, despite our disobedience …because of the Cross.

“So keep up your courage, men!” -Acts 27:22 (VOICE)

Grace has nothing to do with what we can do, and everything to do with what Jesus did. Death on a cross, to spare our lives. Why? Because God is love.

Whether we look upon stormy situations as North wind crashing upon someone else’s shore, or our beach being drowned in a torrent of wind and waves, Jesus calms the storm and encourages us to …

Keep up your courage …and apologize.

Keep up your courage …and change.

Keep up your courage …and remain humble.

Keep up your courage …and forgive.

Keep up your courage …and keep following Him.

Bravery isn’t always the picture of an armed soldier claiming victory over his enemies, but a shipwrecked soul with formidable faith in the One who holds them together int he storm.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for courage. Thank You for making us brave in the face of humiliation and torment. Forgive our hesitation to take ownership over the calamity we cause, and forgive those who have offended us. Please bless our lives with humility and bravery, as we follow Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Courage Keeping,

Megs

Get the #jammed Daily Devo sent straight to your inbox each morning, by subscribing to Sunny&80.