Are you waiting? The door is slowly opening… Do you see the faint sliver of light? Do you feel that quiver of expectation and hope stirring in your spirit? Praise Him in the waiting…praise Him in the doing…praise Him in the resting! PRAISE HIM BELOVED!! HE IS OUR GOD AND HE IS WORTHY!!!!!
“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,”. (2 Corinthians 10:5 )
I want to be transparent with you about my weak moments. I know this scripture in 2 Corinthians and have even taught it. But, just because we know God’s truth does not mean it is easy to walk it out in our lives.
I have to admit that the isolation and social distancing during COVID-19 has been hard for me. There are some days that I wake up and I can feel the heavy blanket of depression trying to take over my thoughts. And that is not a good place to be! Not only does it affect me but it affects those closest to me.
Brothers and Sisters! We all have times when we may feel despair, doubt, fear, frustration, anger, and hopelessness. But, we need to make sure that we have the right response when and if it happens.
We are told in God’s word that we are to TAKE EVERY THOUGHT CAPTIVE to the obedience of Jesus! We are to DESTROY speculations and every lofty thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God.
In other words, are our thoughts in alignment with our knowledge of who God is and in alignment with who God says we are?
We don’t have to act upon every thought! We don’t have to allow our thoughts to dictate how we feel about ourselves or others. We don’t have to allow our thoughts to be the “rudder” of our lives!
WE are in control of what thoughts we allow to take hold in our lives! If the thoughts we are having are causing us to fear, to hate, to be judgmental, or to feel depressed and unworthy —then we are to TAKE AUTHORITY over our thoughts and replace them with GOD’S TRUTH!!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7)
LORD, thank You for being the Giver of Truth! Thank You for empowering us through Your Holy Spirit to control our thoughts and to not be ruled by them. We bring our thoughts into obedience to YOU!! Thank You, Jesus, for being the way, and the truth, and the life! It is in Your Name that we pray. AMEN!!
~Tina K. Roach
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.” Psalms 19:14 NASB
I have been thinking alot about my words lately. I have to admit that with everything that has been going on during the last 3 ½ months, sometimes my words may not be acceptable to the LORD. I have allowed words of negativity and complaining to flow from my mouth. Forgive me, LORD!
As I look at the meditation of my heart, I see the same problem. My words are connected to what I am thinking – to what is in my heart. God’s Word tells us that out of the heart the mouth speaks.
What words do we find ourselves speaking to others and even to ourselves? Are they words of life…words of encouragement? Or are they words of discouragement and discontent? What do we meditate on during the day? What do we allow our thoughts to dwell on?
LORD, may Your Holy Spirit help us to filter our words and our thoughts. May we lift up and encourage all who we come into contact with. May we take every thought captive and bring our thoughts into alignment with You and Your life-giving truth. May we be vessels of reconciliation and peace. In Jesus’ mighty name we pray. AMEN!
~Tina K. Roach
“I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. Ephesians 1:15-23 NRSV
What powerful scriptures of thanksgiving and prayer! Do you ever think about using scripture as a basis for your prayers? As I read this today, I wanted to use it not only as a groundwork for writing my devotional, but to use it to pray for you.
Brothers & Sisters, I love hearing about your faith in Jesus and your love towards others as we continue on this life journey through the covid-19 season. I am indeed thankful for all you do!
I pray that as you draw closer to the Lord:
- a spirit of wisdom and revelation will enlighten the eyes of your heart.
- You may know what is the hope to which He has called you.
- You may know what are the riches of His glorious inheritance.
- You may know what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe.
Father God has put this great power to work in Jesus when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in heavenly places. This is the immeasurable power that is at work for us!
Jesus is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion. He is above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come.
Father God has put all things under Jesus’ feet and has made Him the head over all things for the church.
We, the church, are the body of Christ. And as His body, we have His fullness – His presence, His power, His wisdom, His revelation, and the riches of His glorious inheritance. HALLELUJAH!!
DURING THESE DAYS OF LACK…MAY WE REMIND OURSELVES OF ALL THAT WE POSSESS!!! AMEN!
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God. Psalm 42:11 ESV
I don’t know about you, but sometimes my soul does get “downcast.” Other words that describe this state are – dejected, sad, depressed, discouraged, and disappointed.
I think we all have those days. How do we rise above those feelings? How do we get our soul (mind, will, and emotions) to leave the position of being “cast down” to one of being “uplifted?”
Have you ever thought about speaking to your soul? This is what is happening in this passage of scripture. If you are someone who has ever engaged in “talking to yourself” – you now know that it is scriptural!! 😃
As we read this verse, we see that the solution to the soul’s downcast state is to hope in God, praise Him, and to remember who He is – our salvation and God!
Sometimes we need to remind ourselves (speak to our souls) of God’s goodness and how we should respond to Him. As we move our attention from ourselves to God Almighty, our feelings of depression and discouragement begin to fall away.
Oh my soul, why are you discouraged? Jesus is my salvation and Lord! The Lord loves me. He is faithful, strong, and true! He is my Rock and my Redeemer! Oh my soul, why are you cast down within me? By day the LORD commands his steadfast love, and at night his song is with me! Oh my soul! Hope in God! Even in my discouragement, yet will I praise Him!
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God… Psalm 42:1-2
“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 NRSV
As I was seeking the Lord about what my devotional would be for today, I felt that He was nudging me to not focus on what has happened and is happening in this time of COVID-19, but to look FORWARD to what He is calling us to.
I know you have probably heard, as I have, people saying that they can’t wait for things to get “back to normal.” Well, I don’t think that as we transition through this season, God is calling us BACK to where we were before. I don’t believe He wants us to just pick-up where we left off.
Brothers & Sisters! The Lord wants us to go FORWARD into a new season, a new reality, and a new “normal.” It can be a little scary and a little unsettling not to know what to expect as we journey into the remainder of 2020 and beyond.
BUT! We are reminded by the Lord in Jeremiah that we have a FUTURE WITH HOPE! The Lord has plans for us – and they are plans for our welfare. When I looked up welfare in the dictionary I was given the meanings: health, happiness, and well-being.
WELL-BEING! I am encouraged to know that the Lord desires for my being – my body, my mind, my soul, and my spirit to be well. His plans are not to harm us! When life throws us an unexpected “curve ball” the Lord still can use use it to work for our good!! HALLELUJAH!!
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 NRSV
LORD, we are so thankful that You have plans for us – plans that are in no way abolished because of what is happening around us. We put our whole trust in YOU, knowing that You desire our health, happiness, and well-being. We continue to journey forward knowing that You have already gone ahead of us preparing the way. We are ready to embrace the “new normal” and we know that YOU are moving in and through it all manifesting Your good and perfect will! ALL GLORY AND HONOR AND PRAISE IS YOURS NOW AND FOREVERMORE!! AMEN!
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 ESV
Well, the days of quarantine and staying at home continue. As we are separated from others physically and separated from participating in some things that give us pleasure, it is easy to dwell on those things that make us frustrated or angry or sad.
We are instructed in God’s Word to take control over our thoughts! We are not to let our thoughts control us – to control how we feel – but we are to control what thoughts we allow to “hang around.” [2 Corinthians 10:5]
If we allow God to guide and direct our thoughts – we will discover that we can change our focus from thoughts of doubt, negativity, blame, frustration, and hopelessness to thoughts that focus on those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and praiseworthy.
In other words, what are things that we are THANKFUL for? May we take each day and write down those things/people/circumstances that are commendable and deserve our praise.
Let’s not just write them down once a day, but let’s have a running list that continues throughout the day as we are proactive in bringing our thought life into alignment with God’s thoughts.
LORD! We are so thankful that You are with us 24/7 as we journey through this quarantine season. Help us, Lord, to take control of our thought life. May our thoughts and our words be full of life and love and praise. Help us to see others through Your eyes and may we be vessels of honor and truth and love. Oh LORD!! YOU are the One at the top of our list who is worthy of our praise!! And we praise You each and every day! HALLELUJAH!!
~Tina K. Roach
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” Hebrews 10:23-25 NASB
I woke up on Palm Sunday feeling at odds because I was not getting ready to attend church on this special day. As a matter of fact, it was supposed to be the day of our Easter Cantata. But, due to the quarantine/stay-at-home, we were unable to follow through in leading this worship experience.
I know that once this separation is over, we will not only pick up where we left off, but we will pick up NEW ways to “stimulate one another to love and good deeds….and encouraging one another.” We already have found ways that maybe we weren’t doing before as a Church or individually. I would say that Church, as we know it, is being transformed!!
We have also discovered that even though we have been unable to assemble together in our church building – we have NOT forsaken our “assembling together.” Through phone calls, email, texts, and social media – we HAVE stayed connected!! Hallelujah!
In and through it all –
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful!!”
GOD IS FAITHFUL!!
Your Sister on the journey,
“…let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NASB
I would say that we are definitely in a time of need! God loves us so much. He doesn’t expect us to make this journey alone. He tells us exactly what we are to do during these challenging times.
We are to DRAW NEAR! As we faithfully follow the social-distancing guidelines, it is imperative that we remember that it is not a time to distance ourselves from the Lord. He invites us into His “personal space!” He won’t back off and say, “Whoa! Too close!” No, as we begin to step closer and closer – I see Him smile, and with a soft, loving look He whispers, “Closer…”
We are to draw near with CONFIDENCE! Some translations say with BOLDNESS. We are to come before the throne with the assurance of who we are in Christ Jesus and who God is. We are “dressed for the occasion!”
“I will rejoice greatly in the LORD, My soul will exult in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” Isaiah 61:10 NASB
Ahhh, Brothers & Sisters! He is inviting us to His throne to receive mercy and grace during our time of need. Are you ready to join me there?
Dearest LORD, such love You have for us! Even as we struggle daily with new boundaries of quarantine and social-distancing…YOU are with us every moment of every day. May we take this time of forced separation and see the blessing in it – more time with You…more time with family…more time to evaluate our priorities. We aren’t happy in the circumstances that we face, LORD. But we do rejoice because YOU are with us!! We exalt and honor You each day – in quarantine or out. Blessed be Your most holy name!
~Tina K. Roach