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Feb 19 18

Blessed or Offended?

by J. M. Farro

   “Blessed is he who does not take offense at Me.”  Luke 7:23 NASB

   I was speaking with a young woman I know when I discovered pretty quickly that she was offended at God and His dealings with her.  She shared with me how she had tried praying, but when her prayers went unanswered, she became disappointed and bitter.  I have met a lot of people like her over the years, and it saddens me that they are going to miss out on the joys of heaven simply because they are offended at God.

   Jesus said, “Blessed (happy – with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, apart from outward conditions – and to be envied) is he who takes no offense in Me and who is not hurt or resentful or annoyed or repelled or made to stumble [whatever may occur].” (Luke 7:23 AMP)  This verse describes this young woman perfectly.  Because the Lord didn’t meet her expectations, she has become resentful and annoyed with Him to the point that she is forfeiting “God’s favor and salvation.”

   Think about this:  Jesus says here that “apart from outward conditions,” His favor and salvation can be ours.  So, it may look to the outside world – and even to us, sometimes – that we are not being “blessed” by God, when in reality, we really are.  Those prayers that we pray that go answered can be the Lord’s greatest gifts to us sometimes, even when they don’t appear that way to us or to others.

   Some Christians today have received God’s gift of salvation, but they are living without “God’s favor.”  Why?  Because they are offended at God.  They have allowed themselves to become resentful toward the Lord because He hasn’t fulfilled their expectations.  And they do not have the “life-joy” that this verse talks about, because you can’t be resentful and joyful at the same time.

   Jesus says that those who refuse to be offended toward Him – “whatever may occur” – are “to be envied,” because they will be “blessed” beyond measure in the long run.  You cannot be blessed by God and offended at Him at the same time.  Which will you choose?

   Lord, I want to live my life blessed, and not offended.  Work in my heart so that when trouble comes, I will keep in mind that You are never the problem – You are always the answer.  Remind me often that when you don’t answer my prayers the way I would like You to, it’s always because You have something even better in mind for me.  Today, I choose to be joyful, instead of resentful!

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

   *Check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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

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

Feb 12 18

Be Determined to Do His Will

by J. M. Farro

   “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.  Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will.  And I know that I will not be put to shame.  He who gives me justice is near.”  Isaiah 50:7-8 NLT

   When I surrendered my life to the Lord for real 25+ years ago, a lot of people around me were not happy about it.  Conflict immediately began arising in my household, and I was constantly assaulted by hurtful words and actions, even by some of my closest loved ones.  As I spent time alone with God, and earnestly sought Him through His Spirit and His Word, He continually comforted me and strengthened me.

   One of the promises the Lord gave me that meant the most to me back then was Isaiah 50:7-8 (NLT): “Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced.  Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do His will.  And I know that I will not be put to shame.  He who gives me justice is near.”  And God graciously kept His promise to me.  Over the years, He has either transformed people’s hearts and made them His devoted ones, or He has strengthened and consoled me so thoroughly, that it no longer pains me when others oppose my faith.

   But here’s the key:  We must rely totally upon God for His wisdom and power, and we must be “determined to do His will,” no matter how fierce the opposition.  When the Lord – and other people – see that we are serious about our devotion to Him, God Himself will be our Vindicator, and He will equip us to refuse and resist the shame and disgrace that the devil and his minions try to attach to us.

   If you are in the same painful place that I was in years ago, I urge you to take these words to heart.  Never forget that you are not alone.  Remember that “He who gives [you] justice is near.”  Be bold.  Be confident.  And watch the Lord go to work on your behalf!

   Lord, I thank You for saving me, and for adopting me into Your family.  When I encounter conflict and criticism because of my faith, strengthen me and console me so that I can stand firm in my devotion to You.  Guard me from shame and disgrace, and grant me the justice You promise in Your Word.  Thank You that as I remain determined to do Your will, You will anoint and equip me to be a world-changer for Christ!

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

   *Check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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

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

Feb 5 18

The Ministry of Heartbreak

by J. M. Farro

   “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”  2 Corinthians 1:3-5 NIV

   I recently read a quote that said that our most effective ministry will come out of our deepest hurts.  I can attest to that.  Because I suffered the pain of rejection and a broken heart at the tender age of 20, I have been able to minister to people who have experienced the indescribable suffering of a relationship gone wrong.

   Every time someone tells me about their heartbreak over the loss of a cherished relationship, I feel the pain in my own heart as if it happened only yesterday.  This positions me to minister to them in loving and effective ways, and to pray for them with a fervency springing from an “I know how you feel” mentality.

   Because I don’t know what it’s like NOT to have experienced a true broken heart, it amazes me how clueless some people are about this sort of thing.  They will talk about a friend who is having trouble loving and trusting people after a broken-heart experience, and they will be totally perplexed over their friend’s odd behavior.  Basically, they just don’t “get it.”  As a result, they’re often not much help to their hurting friends.

   I would never have asked to be hurt in such a devastating way those many years ago, but I am deeply grateful for what that experience taught me.  It showed me how to relate on a deeper level with people who have put their heart and soul into a relationship, only to be rejected and mistreated by those with whom they believed they had a bright future.  Just as the apostle Paul’s words state in the verses above, because of my own painful experience, I am able to give comfort to other hurting people, out of the abundant supply of comfort that the Lord has given me.

   If you have suffered hurt and heartbreak, my heart goes out to you.  Let me encourage you by saying that God will not allow your pain to be wasted, if you will offer it up to Him, and ask Him to use you as His instrument of healing and restoration.  May the comfort of Christ continually overflow in your life as you share His comfort with others!

   Lord, only You know the depth of my hurt and heartbreak.  I ask that You comfort and heal me on the basis of Your Word.  I offer up to You all of my pain and suffering, and I ask that You use me to minister to others who are hurting, and to draw them to You.  Thank You for making me a powerful instrument of healing and restoration for Your glory!

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

   *Check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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

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

Jan 29 18

Trivial Troubles

by J. M. Farro

   “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?  If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?”  Jeremiah 12:5 NIV

   My husband, Joe, and I have been dealing with some persistent and frustrating problems with our dishwasher.  We have had six repairmen come to our house to date, and we have a seventh scheduled to come next week.  We have called the manufacturer twice, and we have done everything we know to do, all the while praying for God’s help in the matter, and thanking Him that our appliance is still under warranty, so all of these service visits have not cost us a penny.

   As I was lamenting to the Lord about these problems, He led me to His words to the prophet Jeremiah when he was doing some lamenting of his own to the Lord.  “If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?  If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jeremiah 12:5 NIV)  I knew the Lord was basically telling me, “If you are letting these passing inconveniences and annoyances unnerve you, how are you going to handle it when you have real trials and troubles come against you?”

   There’s no question that God cares about all of our problems – including the trivial ones.  But if you and I are easily sidetracked by the irritations and annoyances of daily life, then our usefulness to the Lord is going to be extremely limited.  The more God promotes us, the more resistance we will meet from Satan and his kingdom of darkness.  If we are not “strong in the Lord” through a life devoted to prayer, worship, and Scripture study, or we are not continually wearing “the full armor of God,” we will never fulfill our God-given purpose or potential. (Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV)

   As followers of Christ, you and I are filled with Holy Spirit power to do difficult things with an ease and a confidence that worldly people will never know.  When we are in a challenging situation and we begin to lose our peace, that’s a sign that we have stopped leaning on God, and we have begun operating in our own strength.  And it’s our cue to get alone with the Lord to seriously seek Him and His wisdom.

   Proverbs says, “If you falter in a time of trouble, how small is your strength!” (Proverbs 24:10 NIV)  Let’s make a habit of relying on God’s strength, so that we never need to falter when trouble comes our way!

   Lord, teach me how to draw continually on Your strength through prayer, Scripture study, and worship.  When I am tempted to operate in my own strength, convict and correct me so that I don’t become weary and worn out.  Thank You that as I look to You for divine enablement and direction, I will be able to handle all kinds of trouble with confidence and composure!

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

   *Check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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

Jan 22 18

Focus on Love

by J. M. Farro

   “Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of…making Jesus Christ attractive to all.”  Philippians 1:10-11 MSG

   The other day, I was using my prayer book to pray for healing and prosperity for myself and my loved ones, when I came to the chapter that I had included on “Love.”  As I began praying those “love” Scripture-prayers, I suddenly received revelation knowledge about a problem I was wrestling with for quite some time.  I immediately said to the Lord in my spirit, “Is that You, Lord?”  And as I kept praying those “love” prayers, I kept getting that same impression over and over.

   I finished my prayer time, and then I went about applying the wisdom and strategy that the Lord had given me, just to confirm that it was from Him.  As it turned out, it WAS the Spirit of God speaking to me through my prayer time.  And that’s when I learned that the Lord was directing me to spend less time praying for things like prosperity and healing, and more time praying about my “love walk,” and how I treat, and relate to, others.  If I would do that, I would see the Lord working mightily in other areas of my life, including where my health and finances are concerned.

   If you spend any time reading the Bible, you discover pretty quickly that God is a gracious healer and provider to His devoted ones.  So it’s right for us to pray for our physical and material needs.  But we shouldn’t put so much emphasis on them that we neglect praying for Him to make us more like Christ, so that we can impact others in an eternal way.  I love how the Message Bible says, “Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of…making Jesus Christ attractive to all.” (Philippians 1:10-11 MSG)

    The Lord made it clear to me that He has special revelations and rewards for those who pursue His kind of love.  How about you?  Could you witness more of God’s intervention in other areas of your life, if you would simply focus more on your “love walk”?

   Lord, speak to me about my focus and my love walk.  Teach me how to reorder my priorities so that they will always be in line with Yours.  Show me how to pray the prayers of Your own heart for myself and others.  Thank You that as I concentrate on how I relate to You and others, You will abundantly supply all my needs, and You will give me the desires of my heart! (Philippians 4:19; Psalm 37:4)

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

   *Check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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

  

Jan 15 18

Peace in the Days of Adversity

by J. M. Farro

   “Blessed [with wisdom and prosperity] is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and whom You teach from Your law, that You may grant him [power to calm himself and find] peace in the days of adversity, until the pit is dug for the wicked and ungodly.”  Psalm 94:12-13 AMP

   Years ago, the Lord showed me these verses and told me that if I will seek Him through His Word on a daily, consistent basis – receiving His teachings and instructions with a willing heart and mind – He would not have to continually use my circumstances to discipline me.  This is because, it is the Word of God that trains us to recognize, and become more sensitive to, the voice of God and His Spirit’s leading.  It is God’s Word that renews our minds, and enables us to see people and things from a godly perspective, rather than from a worldly perspective.  You could say that the Word “reprograms” us, so that we can walk in agreement with God, and His plans and purposes for our lives.

   As we become more sensitive to the Lord’s instructions, He grants us divine revelation and insight that enables us to enter into His peace and rest, right in the midst of adversity, so that we can experience a sense of security and stability that the world will never know.  God gives us a “knowing” that all of the schemes and evil tactics of the wicked will come to nothing in the end. (Psalm 112:10)  And He reassures us that He will cause every difficulty that comes our way to profit us and promote us, so that He can use us in greater ways to advance His kingdom.

   I encourage you to give the Lord plenty of opportunities to teach and instruct you through His Word.  It will be well worth the effort when you experience how He will give you “power to calm yourself and find peace in the days of adversity.”  Then you can watch from a place of safety and tranquility how the Lord will fight your battles and win the victory for you!

   Lord, show me how to give You plenty of opportunities to discipline and instruct me through Your Word on a regular basis, so that You don’t always have to use my circumstances to teach and correct me.  Help me to read Your Word for myself, and to spend time in total stillness before You, listening for Your voice.  Remind me often that it is Your truth that renews my mind, and enables me to see things from Your perspective, instead of the world’s.  Thank You that as I cooperate with You in this process, You will bless me “with wisdom and prosperity,” as well as power to remain calm and peaceful, even in the midst of adversity! 

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

   *Check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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

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

 

Jan 8 18

The Lord Can Give You Much More

by J. M. Farro

   “The Lord can give you much more than that.”  2 Chronicles 25:9 NIV

   When my sons were teenagers, we went to our local Christian bookstore one evening because they were having a contest, and giving away numerous prizes.  The grand prize was a huge Christian music collection.  My boys entered their names, and prayed that they would win.  As it turned out, they didn’t win.  But later that night, the store owner shared a remarkable story with us about the winner, which inspired my sons and gave them consolation.  The young man who won the contest was a new believer in Christ, and just a few nights before, he had thrown out his entire collection of secular music, vowing to listen only to music that glorified His Savior.  The Lord used this contest to reward him with an entire new collection of music that he could enjoy with God’s blessing.

   This experience reminded me of the Biblical account of King Amaziah of Judah.  When the king was organizing his army, he paid $200,000 to hire 100,000 experienced mercenaries to fight alongside his own troops in battle.  Then a prophet of God told Amaziah that no matter how well his army fought, the Lord would not grant Him victory, as long as he was making unrighteous alliances.  The king’s response to this news was – “But the money!  What shall I do about that?”  The prophet replied, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this!” (2 Chronicles 25:9 TLB)  Amaziah wisely chose to obey God in the matter, and he dismissed the mercenaries, sending them home with their pay.  And the Lord rewarded the king’s obedience with a great victory in battle. (2 Chronicles 25:11-12)

   Both Amaziah and the young man who won the Christian music contest were faced with difficult choices.  Both of them stood to lose a lot if they chose to obey God.  Neither of them had any tangible proof ahead of time that they would be rewarded for their obedience.  But their decisions proved that they truly believed that if God asked them to give something up, He had something even better for them in mind.

   The truth is that whenever we choose to do God’s will, we can’t lose – we can only gain.  Jesus made this clear when He said: “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for Me and the Gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age…and in the age to come, eternal life.” (Mark 10:29-30 NIV)  Whenever we sacrifice relationships, material things, or anything else in order to please God, He will always make sure that we come out ahead in the end.  God is not a taker.  He’s a giver.  Once we get a revelation of this fact, we will be quick to make the sacrifices the Lord asks us to, knowing that it will be best for us in the end.  But being blessed shouldn’t be our main motivation for obeying God in situations like these.  We should want to please God simply because we love Him, and because we want to show our gratitude for all He is, and all He does.

   The apostle Paul had the right idea when he penned these words in the book of Philippians: “But all these things that I once thought very worthwhile – now I’ve thrown them all away so that I can put my trust and hope in Christ alone.  Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the priceless gain of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  I have put aside all else, counting it worth less than nothing, in order that I can have Christ, and become one with Him…” (Philippians 3:7-9 TLB)  Paul didn’t want anything to come between Him and God, and we should have the same attitude.

   What is it that’s standing between you and a deeper, more intimate relationship with the Lord?  Talk to Him about it today.  And believe that no matter what your obedience may cost you, the Lord has something better waiting for you up ahead!

   Lord, I ask that You reveal to me today anything that is hindering me from having a more vibrant relationship with You.  Help me to make the sacrifices I need to make so that I can become all You want me to be, and receive all You want me to have.  Thank You for transforming all of my “losses” into gains!

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

   *Check out the J. M. Farro ETSY Store at www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

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

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

 

Jan 2 18

Feeling Fragile

by J. M. Farro

   “How long will you assault me?  Would all of you throw me down – this leaning wall, this tottering fence?” (Psalm 62:3 NIV) 

   Not long ago, I suffered a disappointment that left me feeling down, depressed, and fragile.  I so desperately wanted to go away by myself and be left alone, but my circumstances wouldn’t allow it.  Those around me made some effort to understand what I was going through, but it was obvious that they just didn’t “get it.”  Instead of letting me have some time to myself to regain my strength, they asked even more of me than they usually did.

   I cried out to God for help, and I began voicing my complaints to Him.  “Don’t they get it?  I’m hurting now.  I’m feeling fragile.  I need some time to myself!”  The truth is that I wanted some time to brood.  Do you know what brooding is?  If you look the word up in the dictionary, you will find words such as “sulk,” “mope,” “agonize,” “fret,” and “worry.”  One definition is “to think deeply about something that makes one unhappy.”  Yes!  That’s exactly what I wanted to do.  I wanted to think deeply (not just casually) about the things that were making me miserable.  How stupid is that?  Yet, that’s how I felt at the time.

   I sought the Lord in prayer with an open Bible, and as I asked Him to speak words of comfort to my hurting soul, He led me to David’s words in Psalm 62.  Verse 3 leaped off the page, into my heart:  “How long will you assault me?  Would all of you throw me down – this leaning wall, this tottering fence?” (Psalm 62:3 NIV)  Hallelujah!  David “got it.”  He knew what it was like to go through a painful time, and to feel fragile as a result.  I marveled at the idea of this formidable, fearless soldier who defeated the giant, Goliath, feeling like a “leaning wall” and a “tottering fence.”  And suddenly, I didn’t feel so alone in my misery.

   I thought of David feeling “assaulted” by those around him when he was at his weakest point.  Here was the man who God Himself called, “a man after My own heart.” (Acts 13:22 NIV)  How did he handle himself at a time like this?  I got my answer in verses 7 and 8.  “My protection and success come from God alone.  He is my refuge, a Rock where no enemy can reach me.  O my people, trust Him all the time.  Pour out your longings before Him, for He can help!” (Psalm 62:7-8 TLB)  When David felt assaulted by the circumstances of life and by other people, his first instinct was to turn to the Lord, to pour out his heart to Him, and to place his trust in Him.  And I knew that if I wanted to come out of my trials victorious, I was going to have to follow his example.

   The Bible says:  “Only the person involved can know his own bitterness or joy – no one else can really share it.” (Proverbs 14:10 TLB)  The truth is, we can’t expect others to sympathize and empathize with us and our situation the way we want them to.  Placing unreasonable expectations on others, including our closest loved ones, will only serve to make us angry and resentful, and in the end, it will drive them away.  The only one who has the power to put himself in our place, and to feel our pain for real, is Jesus.  And that’s a good thing, because the fact is that He is the only One who can offer us the kind of help we need.

   Scripture assures us:  “Inasmuch then as we [believers] have a great High Priest who has [already ascended and] passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession [of faith and cling tenaciously to our absolute trust in Him as Savior].  For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to sympathize and understand our weaknesses and temptations, but One who has been tempted [knowing exactly how it feels to be human] in every respect as we are, yet without [committing any] sin.”  (Hebrews 4:14-15 AMP)  As one commentator put it, “We can turn with confidence to the God-Man, Jesus, who knows our frame, who wept human tears, and bore our sorrows, and was in all points tempted as we are, and who has taken His human experience with Him into heaven.”

   You are not going to find a better listener than Jesus.  You aren’t going to find anyone else who cares and understands the way He does.  Even when our problems are caused by our own stupidity, it’s Jesus who is standing by ready to comfort, console, and guide us.  And it’s He who has promised to work all of our troubles together for our own good. (Romans 8:28)

   So how do we respond to all this?  We heed Scripture’s admonition, which says:  “Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”  (Hebrews 4:16 AMP)  Glory to God!  As followers of Christ, you and I have the privilege – and responsibility – to approach God with boldness and confidence, and to have a reasonable expectation to receive His mercy, grace, and assistance – and the appropriate blessings, to boot.

   When trouble strikes, when disappointment and despair are assaulting you, don’t suffer in silence, or reach out to others for something they can’t offer.  Instead, turn to the only One who has the power, the wisdom, and the desire to help!

   Lord, when I face disappointment, difficulty, and pain, remind me to turn to You first.  Deliver me from unreasonable expectations that would only serve to anger me, and to alienate me from others.  Guard me from the tendency to brood or feel sorry for myself.  When others are asking me for more than I can give during these times, speak to their hearts on my behalf, and strengthen me to respond according to Your will.  Thank You that as I make seeking You my first response to trials and troubles, You will lift me up and give me victory as only You can do!

   *For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

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

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

Dec 28 17

God Sees and Cares

by J. M. Farro

   “I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love, for You have seen my troubles, and You care about the anguish of my soul.”  Psalm 31:7 NLT

   This encouraging verse penned by David in Psalm 31 has been a comfort to me more times than I can count.  When the Lord brought it before me the other day during my devotional time with Him, He impressed upon me that I should take it to heart, and ponder its deeper meaning.

   When David says to God, “You have seen my troubles,” I think about good King Hezekiah, a descendant of David’s.  The Bible records that Hezekiah was at the point of death, and was told by God to put his house in order because he would not survive.  Instead of resigning himself to his fate, Scripture says that he turns to the Lord in heartfelt prayer, and asks for mercy.  God’s response to the king is:  “I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears; surely I will heal you.” (2 Kings 20:5 NKJV)  And the Lord graciously adds fifteen years to Hezekiah’s life.

   In Psalm 56, David tells God, “You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.  You have recorded each one in Your book.” (Psalm 56:8 NLT)  The Lord takes note of every hurt and heartache that comes our way, and there isn’t a single tear that escapes His notice.  He is aware of our every disappointment and distressing situation, and He will act on our behalf when we look to Him for mercy and help.

   David’s declaration, “You care about the anguish of my soul,” reveals that he believed in God’s compassion toward him.  When we are in a trial, especially a prolonged one, voices of doubt may whisper that the Lord doesn’t care.  All we need to do is to turn to the Scriptures, and to meditate on passages that illustrate the extraordinary and indescribable compassion of God.  Matthew 9:36 (AMP) says:  “When [Jesus] saw the throngs, He was moved with pity and sympathy for them, because they were bewildered (harassed and distressed and dejected and helpless), like sheep without a shepherd.”

   All through the Gospels, we see Jesus healing, comforting, and reaching out to hurting people, because of His deep compassion and love for them.  It was His love and compassion – and the Father’s – that sent Him to the Cross to die for our sins and our salvation.  The next time you are tempted to think that the Lord doesn’t care about your suffering or distress, meditate on Isaiah 63:9 (NLT), which says:  “In all their suffering He also suffered, and He personally rescued them.  In His love and mercy, He redeemed them.  He lifted them up and carried them through all the years.”

   David’s words, “I will be glad and rejoice in Your unfailing love,” show that he had a keen awareness of God’s eternal love.  His faith in the Lord’s love and goodness not only filled him with joy, but it gave him the confidence to pray for – and expect – the Lord’s mercy and help, even when he was in the midst of “impossible” situations.  In Psalm 62, David declares, “One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard:  ‘Power belongs to You, God, and with You, Lord, is unfailing love.’” (Psalm 62:11-12 NIV)

   No matter what your circumstances are right now, God has all the power and love needed to help you to overcome and emerge victorious.  Dare to follow David’s example, and trust the Lord for your deliverance and success today!

   Lord, when I am going through a time of trial, remind me that You see and are aware of my troubles.  Help me to truly believe that You care about my hurts and heartaches, and that You love me with an everlasting love.  Thank You that as I put my hope in Your compassion and goodness, You will move in mighty ways on my behalf!

*For information on how to purchase J. M. Farro books, including her new book for Couples, click here!

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

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

Dec 18 17

New from J. M. Farro: The Promise-Powered Life for COUPLES!

by J. M. Farro

   Inside, you will find Spirit-led devotionals showing you how to cooperate with the Lord in fulfilling your God-given purpose and potential, how to have the kind of childlike faith that enables you to lay hold of every blessing the Lord desires you to have, how to renew and revive your marriage and your God-ordained relationships, how to receive divine wisdom to solve every problem you face, how to believe God for your healing, how to resist fear in the midst of trouble and turmoil, how to experience peace even in chaotic circumstances, how to discern and experience God’s best in every situation, how to shake off discouragement and hostility from others, how to pray effectively for miracles, and much more!

   Each devotional includes a Scripture-based prayer and a Promise-Power Point so that you can learn how to pray and claim the promises of God in every area for yourself and your loved ones.  Discover how rewarding, meaningful, and joyful life can be when you apply the powerful biblical principles in “The Promise-Powered Life for Couples!”

   You can purchase this book from Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle (digital) formats at https://smile.amazon.com/Promise-Powered-Life-Couples-Promises-Fulfilled/dp/1979859396

   To order autographed copies of this new Couples book from the J. M. Farro ETSY Shop, please use this link: https://www.etsy.com/shop/JMFarro

   To order a signed copy of this new Singles book (for $7.00 + 3.82 shipping for a total of $10.82) with a Credit Card or PayPal (only if you are in the U.S.), please use the BUY NOW button below. If you would like your book personalized for yourself or someone else, please specify that in the instructions area as you check out. Orders are shipped out promptly by First-Class Mail and will arrive in 2-5 days.




If you are in the U.S. and would like to purchase multiple copies of this book with a credit card or PayPal, please email Joanne at jmf@jmfarro.com .

Please direct any book-related questions to Joanne (J. M.) Farro at jmf@jmfarro.com.