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Jan 17 21

Jesus is Praying for You

by J. M. Farro

   “Who then will condemn us?  No one – for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and He is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.”   Romans 8:34 NLT

   Now that we have said goodbye to 2020, and a new year has already begun, I encourage you to keep in mind a very comforting truth – Jesus is praying for you.  I think we would all admit that last year was an especially difficult one, especially in light of a worldwide pandemic ravaging most of it.  And that is why I believe that Christ wants His followers to remain hopeful that 2021 will not only be a better year – but an exceedingly blessed one.  Let me start off by sharing a famous quotation with you that has encouraged believers for more than a hundred years.  It’s by a Scottish preacher from the 1800s, and it says – If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million enemies. Yet distance makes no difference. He is praying for me.” (Robert Murray M’Cheyne)  Just knowing that he was in the Savior’s prayers dispelled this godly man’s fears and anxieties.  Let this knowledge do the same for you.

   Here are some encouraging truths.  The Bible says that Christ “is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” (Romans 8:34 NLT)  The Passion Translation says that Jesus is “continually praying for our triumph.”  The Lord is committed to our success.  He has specific purposes and plans for us in this life, and He will help us to fulfill them and complete them, as we seek His face and His wisdom each day.  Whatever He has called you to do, Christ will help you to do it with passion, joy, and excellence, as you depend on Him for help.

   Scripture says that Jesus “is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.” (Hebrews 7:25 NLT)  The Lord doesn’t just save us, and then act like His job is done.  No.  The Message Bible translation says that Christ is “always on the job to speak up for [us].”  He is praying for us continually – when our bodies are hurting, and we need healing.  When we lose our job, or our finances are in a mess.  When we suffer rejection or lose a loved one.  And if we know that the Savior is praying for us, then we can know without a doubt that help is surely on the way.

   The apostle John wrote that when we sin, we can be sure that “we have an Advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ.” (1 John 2:1 NLT)  Any way you look at it, Christ is on our side, and He is committed to our success in every area of our life.  Today, He wants you to know that this can be the best year of your life – if you will simply remember that He will never leave you, and that He is praying for you!

   Lord, when trouble strikes and my heart is in turmoil, remind me that You are continually praying for me.  Reassure me that You have specific plans and purposes for me, and that I will see them come to pass as I walk closely with You throughout each day.  Teach me how to seek Your face and Your guidance on a moment-by-moment basis.  Thank You that as I give You first place in my life, You will transform all of my troubles into triumphs!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Jan 10 21

Creative Miracles

by J. M. Farro

   “Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if You had been here, my brother would not have died.  But I know that even now God will give You whatever You ask.”  John 11:21-22 NIV

   If you know anything about the Bible account of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead, then you know what a miracle it actually was.  Lazarus had already been dead for four days by the time that Jesus got to him, and a true creative miracle was needed in order for Lazarus to live and breathe again.  I am so deeply inspired by Martha’s (Lazarus’ sister’s) statement of faith in the verses above.  Even though her brother’s body had undoubtedly begun to decay already, Martha says that “even now” she believes Jesus can do the impossible.  Moments later, she and many others witness Lazarus being raised from the dead by the Savior.

   In recent years, God has been challenging me to believe Him for miracles on a regular basis.  For instance, I have been asking the Lord to heal my vision.  When I began doing this, part of me told myself, “Yes, God will heal your vision when you get to heaven.”  But then, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit saying, “Believe God for your healing right here and now.”  When I saw my eye doctor recently, he confirmed that my vision HAD improved, but it’s still not perfect, so I’m continuing to pray for my healing.  Do I realize that I am asking God to do a creative miracle?  Yes, I do.  I have discovered that God will do things when we pray, that He won’t do when we don’t pray.  As Scripture says, “You don’t have the things you want, because you don’t pray for them.” (James 4:2 GW)

   During an aerobic exercise class many years ago, I literally shredded my left shoulder.  After looking at my x-rays, my doctors confirmed that I needed surgery to replace my shoulder joints.  I was an extremely busy young mom at the time, so for ten more years, I endured the excruciating pain and lack of mobility.  When I surrendered my life to Christ, and began allowing the Holy Spirit to teach me how to pray for healing, I started rebuking the pain and injury to my shoulder, and I started speaking healing to my joints.  One day, I noticed that the pain and disability were totally gone.  And more than twenty years later, my shoulder still feels great!

   That day at Lazarus’ tomb, Jesus told Martha, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?” (John 11:40 NIV)  God is prepared to do creative miracles in our relationships, our careers, our ministries, our finances, and even in our bodies – IF we will ask Him and trust Him to work wonders on our behalf.  What is the Lord speaking to your heart about on this subject today?

   Lord, I am so grateful that You are still in the miracle-working business.  Teach me how to pray for miracles for myself and others on a regular basis.  Fill me with an ever-increasing love for Your Word, which can build my faith, and enable me to pray effective prayers.  Thank You for Your ability and willingness to work creative miracles that will bring great glory to You!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Jan 3 21

Expect God to Act!

by J. M. Farro

   “But, O my soul, don’t be discouraged.  Don’t be upset.  Expect God to act!  For I know that I shall again have plenty of reason to praise Him for all that He will do.  He is my help!  He is my God!” Psalm 42:11 TLB

   In the days leading up to this past Christmas, my ten-year-old grandson, William, was lamenting to me that he wouldn’t be able to shop at his school’s Secret Santa Shop, as he did in previous years, because of Coronavirus restrictions.  I tried to assure him that he needn’t worry because his loved ones, including me, would understand if he couldn’t give us gifts this year.  When Christmas Day arrived, William handed me a small box that had been carefully wrapped.  When I opened it, I discovered that it contained a small piece of paper on which he had written one single word – “Hope.”  As I looked at him with a bit of confusion, he explained that in his Sunday school class, they learned about giving gifts from God to their loved ones this year, instead of the usual store-bought ones.  I thanked my grandson, but I didn’t realize until later how valuable and precious his gift was to me.

   A few days later, during my quiet time with the Lord, I was reading my old, worn copy of the Living Bible.  When the Holy Spirit led me to Psalm 42, four words in verse 11 leaped off the page and into my heart – “Expect God to act!”  That’s when I realized that over the course of this past year – a year filled with a global pandemic, hardship, isolation, and disappointment – I had lost a measure of hope, and I had stopped expecting God to act in some areas that I had been praying about for years.  Oh, I still prayed about these things, but it was as though the wind had been knocked out of my sails.  So the Lord has me writing this message today to encourage myself and you.

   Psalm 130:5 (TLB) says, “I wait expectantly, trusting God to help, for He has promised.”  When we base our prayers on God’s promises, He wants us to believe that our expectations will eventually be met – IF we don’t quit hoping and praying before our answers come.  Psalm 71:14 (TLB) says, “I will keep expecting You to help me.  I praise You more and more!”  One way to prove that we are expecting God to act on our behalf is to begin thanking and praising Him in advance for the answer.

   Scripture says, “In the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.” (Psalm 5:3 NIV)  Are you laying your requests before the Lord each day, and waiting in expectation for His answers?  If so, then you can bank on His precious promise today – “The Lord is good to those who hopefully and expectantly wait for Him”! (Lamentations 3:25 AMP)

   Lord, I ask You to fill me with a fresh sense of hope today, especially in those areas where I need it most.  Help me to lay my requests before You each day, and to wait with expectation for Your answers.  Teach me how to base my prayers on Your promises, and to praise You in advance for Your intervention.  Thank You that as I keep my hope and expectation in You and Your faithfulness, I will experience Your goodness in greater ways than ever before!

    *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 27 20

Hopeful Faith

by J. M. Farro

   “Why then do you complain that the Lord doesn’t know your troubles or care if you suffer injustice?” Isaiah 40:27 GNT

   This passage of Scripture records the subject of God’s people complaining that He doesn’t seem to know or care about their troubles, or their suffering through injustice.  These people insinuate that God’s power and wisdom are limited.  They believe that God can’t possibly know about their suffering.  And if He does, He doesn’t have the power to do anything about it.  The final verse in this passage is a well-known one for most believers in Christ.  “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV)  In other words, the Lord will empower, deliver, and exalt those who respond to their suffering with hopeful faith in God.

   Jesus talks about this kind of faith in the midst of injustice and suffering when He says: “And will not God bring about justice for His chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night?  Will He keep putting them off?  I tell you, He will see that they get justice, and quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8 NIV)  Our Savior is constantly looking for those who continue to believe in Him in the midst of their trials and tribulations.  Those are the ones He will hasten to help in their time of need.

   Anyone can give up in times of suffering.  It’s the easiest thing to do.  And it doesn’t require any faith in God.  Is it any wonder, then, that there’s no reward for giving up?  On the other hand, there are great rewards, blessings, and benefits ahead for those who maintain a hopeful faith in the Lord in the midst of adversity and uncertainty.  God has His eye on you.  He knows what you are going through.  And He has a plan for your deliverance and success.  Don’t give up!  The best is yet to come!

   Lord, I rejoice that Your power and wisdom are unlimited, and You always know and care about my troubles.  Help me to cooperate with You for the building of my faith.  Fill me with an ever-increasing love for You and Your Word.  Lift me above my circumstances when they threaten to overwhelm me.  Thank You that as I respond to adversity with hopeful faith, I will reap all of the rewards and blessings You have for me!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 20 20

Let God Cross-Examine You

by J. M. Farro

   “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; Cross-examine and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about; See for yourself whether I’ve done anything wrong – then guide me on the road to eternal life.” Psalm 139:23-24 MSG

   I can tell you a way in which you can grow closer to the Lord than ever before.  A way to have more favor with God and people than ever before.  A way to experience more of His protection, provision, and healing in the days to come.  What is it?  Ask the Lord on a regular basis to cross-examine you, as the verses above say.  In other words, let God deal with you.  One translation of verse 24 says, “Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (NLT)  Imagine the courage and the desire to please God that are behind this prayer.  These are the words of David the shepherd-king.  This man was not only brave in battle, but he was brave in his relationship with the Lord, too.

   In Psalm 19, David declares to God, “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.” (verse 12 NLT)  David freely admits that he isn’t even aware of all the ways that he sins against God each day.  So he wisely asks the Lord to cleanse him from these “hidden faults.”  Is it any wonder that the Bible records God saying of this man – “I have found David son of Jesse a man after My own heart; he will do everything I want him to do”? (Acts 13:22 NIV)

   In Psalm 90, Moses the man of God wrote: “You spread out our sins before You – our secret sins – and You see them all.” (v. 8 NLT)  Since we can’t hide any of our sins from the Lord, we should realize and remember that confessing them to Him quickly and sincerely is our best option.  When we do, we can trust Him to keep His promise to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness because of our faith in Christ. (1 John 1:9)

   You and I can enjoy greater intimacy with God, and more favor with Him and others in 2021.  We can experience more supernatural protection, provision, and healing in the coming New Year.  We just need to let God deal with us more than we ever have before, and to submit to His dealings with humility and reverence.  Happy New Year!

   “God, I invite Your searching gaze into my heart.  Examine me through and through; find out everything that may be hidden within me.  Put me to the test and sift through all my anxious cares.  See if there is any path of pain I’m walking on, and lead me back to Your glorious, everlasting ways— the path that brings me back to You!”  (Psalm 139:23-24 TPT)

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 13 20

Call to the Lord for Help

by J. M. Farro

   “Then they called to the Lord for help, and He saved them from their troubles.” Psalm 107:6 ERV

   When I did an in-depth study of Psalm 107, I discovered that many Bible commentators consider it a celebration of God’s compassion and kindness toward those who call upon Him for help in times of crisis.  What’s most interesting to me is that this psalm makes note of the fact that the Lord often intervenes in mighty ways on behalf of those of us who have been the cause of our own problems.  “Some of us once sat in darkness, living in the dark shadows of death.  We were prisoners to our pain, chained to our regrets.  For we rebelled against God’s Word and rejected the wise counsel of God Most High.” (Psalm 107:10-11 TPT)  Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies.  Instead of depending on the Lord for wisdom and guidance, we go our own way, causing ourselves pain and regret.  What happens next?  “So He humbled us through our circumstances, watching us as we stumbled, with no one there to pick us back up.  Our own pain became our punishment.” (v. 12)

   Before I had a personal relationship with the Lord and began studying His Word, I thought that He was always watching me and waiting for me to do something wrong, so that He could punish me for it.  Now I know that if I choose to rebel against Him and His Word, all He has to do is to allow me to suffer the natural consequences of my own poor choices.  That’s always enough to cause me to turn to Him in heartfelt repentance, and to begin depending on Him once again for His “wise counsel.”

   The refrain that is repeated throughout this psalm says, “Then they called to the Lord for help, and He saved them from their troubles.” (Psalm 107:6,13,19,28)  When trouble strikes, do you run to the phone, or to the throne?  Before you ever had a problem, God already had a custom-made solution for it.  As you make Him the first One you turn to, you will see His spectacular rescue operation begin!

   Lord, when trouble comes my way, remind me that it’s the desire of Your heart for me to run to You first.  Give me a spirit of humility so that I will live my life totally dependent upon You and Your wise counsel.  When I am the cause of my own problems, urge me by Your Spirit to turn to You in heartfelt repentance, and to ask for Your help.  Thank You that as I cooperate with Your rescue operation, I will experience Your goodness, mercy, and deliverance once again!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

Dec 6 20

The Legacy of an Encourager

by J. M. Farro

   “Encourage the hearts of your fellow believers and support one another.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 TPT  

   Last month, a cherished reader of mine died and went to be with the Lord.  I never met this sweet lady in person, but we had a spiritual bond that will last into eternity.  I know that I will see her in heaven, but the fact that I will never hear from her again here on earth has left me feeling heartbroken.  Her name was Cindy, and for more than 20 years, she encouraged me in my ministry work, and was a great blessing to me.  When I think about her, I can’t help but marvel at the tremendous impact someone can make simply by being an encourager. 

   Barnabas of the Bible was like that.  He was such an encourager that the disciples changed his name from Joseph to Barnabas, which means “son of encouragement.” (Acts 4:36)  Scripture says that he habitually “encouraged [believers] to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts.”  It also describes him as “a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith.”  And here’s the part that impresses me most – “and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” (Acts 11:23-24 NIV)  This man of God was responsible for bringing an untold number of people into the Kingdom, just by being an encourager.

   Scripture reveals that all Christians should be encouragers: “Encourage one another and build each other up.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11 TPT)  Very often, it doesn’t take much to encourage a fellow believer.  Sometimes, all it will take is a brief email, text message, or phone call.  Sometimes, just an arm around someone’s shoulder, a kind word, or even just a listening ear will be enough to lift their spirits.  I’m convinced that if people knew the power of encouragement, they would put more effort into building others up.  God used Barnabas and my friend Cindy in mighty ways because they were encouragers.  Today, I encourage you to start building others up – and watch the Lord use you to build His Kingdom in extraordinary ways!

   Lord, teach me how to be the kind of encourager that You have called me to be.  Make me sensitive to the needs of those around me, and show me how to reach out to them with Your love and compassion.  Give me the right words at the right time to minister to those You put in my pathway.  Thank You that as I follow the leading of Your Spirit in this area, You will use me to touch and change lives for all eternity!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

Nov 29 20

Where is Your Faith?

by J. M. Farro

   They came to Jesus and woke Him up, saying, ‘Master, Master, we are perishing!’  And He got up and rebuked the wind and the surging waves, and they stopped, and it became calm.  And He said to them, “Where is your faith?’”  Luke 8:24-25 NASB

   Sixteen years ago, I was sitting in a hospital waiting room surrounded by strangers after my husband, Joe, suffered a massive heart attack.  Even though I can be a pretty excitable and emotional person, at that moment in time, I was filled with a great sense of peace.  To be honest, I didn’t know if God was going to spare my husband’s life, even though that’s what I was asking Him to do.  I just know that at some point, I made a decision to put my faith in God, and I knew that He was with me in the storm.  At the time, that was all I needed to know. 

   Today, in the midst of a global pandemic, I seem to be surrounded by people who are overcome with fear.  Some fear death.  Some fear sickness and disability.  And others fear all of those.  And they are living in torment.  Where do I stand in all of this?  I have the same sense of peace today that I had in that hospital waiting room many years ago, even though I am in the high-risk category because of my age.  You see, I have made a decision.  You could call it a “faith decision.”  I have decided to put my faith in God to protect me and my family throughout this pandemic.  And I am going about my daily life – and serving God and others with all of my heart – without any fear.

   In the passage of Scripture above, the disciples are in a boat with a sleeping Jesus when a fierce storm descends upon them.  As the boat begins to fill with water, putting them “in real danger” (v. 23 NLT), the disciples cry out, “Master, Master, we are perishing!” (v. 24)  Jesus arises and rebukes the wind and waves, and then He rebukes His disciples: “Where is your faith?” (v. 25)  Even though the disciples were in real danger, the Lord still rebuked them for their fear.  Think about that.  Does God still expect us to be full of faith instead of fear when a loved one of ours has what seems to be a fatal heart attack?  Yes.  Does He still expect us to resist fear when we are in the midst of a pandemic that has already claimed the lives of many people around the world?  Yes!  Why?  Because faith pleases and glorifies God, and He ALWAYS rewards us for it. (Hebrews 11:6)  On the other hand, all fear ever accomplishes is to provide Satan with an inroad into our lives and our families.

   I knew that the Lord would reward me for trusting Him with my husband’s life that day 16 years ago.  I didn’t know for sure what that reward would be, but I was so grateful when it turned out to be my husband’s supernatural recovery.  I believe that God is asking you today to trust Him in the midst of your own storm.  How will you answer His call to faith?

   Lord, whenever I face trials and troubles in this life, help me to put my wholehearted trust in You.  Fill me with a desire to devote myself to Your Word and prayer, so that I can cooperate with You for the building of my faith.  Teach me how to resist and rebuke fear whenever it comes against me.  Thank You that as I answer Your call to faith in every situation and circumstance, I will reap the blessed rewards that are reserved for Your most faithful followers!

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

Nov 22 20

Stay Busy Enjoying Life

by J. M. Farro

   “God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.” Ecclesiastes 5:20 NLT

   The Holy Spirit gave me this promise recently so that I could begin praying it over my life each day.  God knows that I have NOT been “busy enjoying life” these past 60+ years.  I have spent most of my days “brooding over the past,” and worrying about the future.  And what has been my reward?  Nothing good, I can tell you.

   I have become so determined to reap the full benefits of this promise from God that I have written it out by hand in several translations, and I keep it right in front of me while I am sitting at my desk in my home office, as I am doing now.  One translation says, “God will keep you so happy that you won’t have time to worry about each day.” (CEV)  Glory to God!  This is another powerful prayer for us to pray for ourselves daily.

   The Easy-to-Read version of Ecclesiastes 5:20 says, “God will keep them busy with the work they love to do.”  I like to pray this translation, too, because a big part of life involves our work.  No one wants to spend their life doing work that they hate to do.  Life is too short for that.  That’s why it’s wise to pray that the Lord will enable us to do work that we actually enjoy.  Another verse from Ecclesiastes says: “There is nothing better for people than to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment in their work.  I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment comes from God.” (Ecclesiastes 2:24 NET)  Solomon was wise enough to know that our ability to enjoy any aspect of our lives comes from the Lord Himself.  We can’t manufacture it ourselves, no matter how we try.

   Jesus said that He came so that you and I “may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).” (John 10:10 AMP)  If you haven’t been enjoying your life lately, perhaps it’s time for you to ask the Lord why.  Now that you know that it’s His will for you to enjoy your life, don’t settle for anything less!

   Lord, on the basis of Your Word, and in the name of Jesus, I ask that You keep me so busy enjoying life that I don’t waste any more time brooding over the past, or worrying about the future.  Keep me so happy that I won’t spend another day fretting or fuming.  And keep me busy doing the work that I love to do most.  Thank You that as I ask in Jesus’ name and receive, my joy will have no limits!  (John 16:24 TPT)

   *Join the J. M. Farro Devotionals group on Facebook, and connect with J. M. Farro — with all-new weekday devotionals in addition to the standard weekly devotionals. You can access this group by clicking here!

   *For autographed books, check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   *Visit Amazon’s J. M. Farro page by clicking here!

   *Comments or Prayer Requests?  Please email Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com

 

Nov 15 20

Pain’s Positive Outcome

by J. M. Farro

   “ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which circumstances have kept you – rise to a new life]!  Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!”  Isaiah 60:1 AMP

   While I was attending college years ago, my high school sweetheart of more than three years broke off our relationship.  I was right in the middle of one of my toughest semesters when it happened, and I felt like this breakup couldn’t have come at a worse time.  At first, I couldn’t focus on anything, and it seemed like everything in my life lost its meaning, including my studies.  I wallowed in self-pity for a while, and when I got tired of that, I became filled with indignation and determination.  With renewed vigor, I threw myself into my studies, and not only did I do well, but I succeeded in attaining a perfect 4.0 average for the semester.

   Over the years, I have realized what a great motivator painful experiences like these can be.  I have discovered that when we become disillusioned and disappointed by people, jobs, or other things, the hurt we experience can act as a catalyst for needed change in our lives.  If we have become too complacent, or too comfortable with the “status quo,” or if we have lost sight of our fondest dreams, visions, and goals – a painful situation can jolt us into making some necessary changes.

   One of the things I love most about God is that He never wastes our pain.  If He allows us to go through a hurtful experience, He always has a purpose for it, and He always works it out for our good. (Romans 8:28)  Sometimes the Lord will use heartbreaking circumstances to point out some things in our lives that have gotten off track.  Many times, our priorities need to be reevaluated.  Or our goals need to be reassessed.  Whatever it is, God will show us how to deal with it, if we will turn to Him for guidance and grace.  During a trial, I like to pray, “Lord, show me what it is You want me to learn from this experience.”  I don’t want my trials to be any more lengthy or intense than absolutely necessary, so I like to humble myself before Him, and be as receptive to His instruction during these times as I can.  Each time we face disillusionment or disappointment, we have to decide if we will become bitter or better.  Those who turn to the Lord for help will emerge from their trials with greater strength, faith, and purpose.

   If you are going through a difficult time now, take heart!  God loves you, and has a positive outcome planned for your trial.  Turn to Him, trust Him, and by faith today declare like the apostle Paul – “This is all going to turn out for my good!”  (Philippians 1:19 TLB)

   Lord, when I face hurtful circumstances, please remind me that You can bring great good out of them.  I pray that painful experiences would always motivate me, and help me to refocus, rather than cause me to become depressed or bitter.  Help me to quickly learn the lessons You want me to in every trial.  Thank You, Lord, that as I turn to You in times of disappointment and despair, You will fill me with a fresh sense of hope!

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