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Sep 15 19

God Can Give You Much More

by J. M. Farro

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

   I was thinking about the fact that my husband, Joe, would be retiring at the end of this year, and how it might radically change our way of living.  And then I thought about inflation, and how prices always seem to be going up, and never down.  And as I began thinking about one of our expenses in particular, and how it recently increased, the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance a Scripture that I had heard many years before – “The Lord can give you much more than that.” (2 Chronicles 25:9 NIV)  God was assuring me that He was able (and willing!) to give us the amount of that rate increase – and more!

   Because you and I have trusted Christ as our Savior, and made Him Lord over every area of our lives, He has obligated Himself to provide all of our needs – abundantly, and not meagerly.  The Bible says that “God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 AMP)  The Lord is keenly aware of our expenses, and how they fluctuate, and He will more than compensate us for them.

   Those of us who love God don’t have to be alarmed when our rent goes up, or gas prices increase, or we suddenly have additional expenses.  God can, and will, give us that much and more – IF we will trust Him, and expect Him to supply our needs, and to even go beyond that, so that we always have a surplus to spend, save, and give.  Scripture promises, “And God is able to make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].” (2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP)  Hallelujah!

   My husband, Joe, has worked with a lot of people who had multiple pensions, and more money than they could ever spend in one lifetime, and still faced their retirement with fear and trembling.  I refuse to be one of those pitiful people, and I’m asking you today not to be one of them, either.  Let us go forward in faith, remembering David the shepherd-king’s words of encouragement in the psalms – “I have been young and now I am old.  And in all my years I have never seen the Lord forsake a man who loves Him!” (Psalm 37:25 TLB)

   Lord, forgive me for the times that I doubted Your ability or willingness to abundantly supply all of my needs.  Please increase my faith and expand my vision so that I can believe You, not only for my needs, but for a surplus of provision to spend, save, and give.  Guard me from fear, doubt, and laziness, and make me productive and fruitful all the rest of my days.  Thank You that as I keep my trust in You and Your goodness, You will bless me and use me in mighty ways for Your glory!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

Sep 8 19

Resort to Prayer

by J. M. Farro

   “In return for my love they are my adversaries, but I resort to prayer.”  Psalm 109:4 AMP

   I often hear from believers who are in relationship with people who are bitter, angry, and vindictive.  Some of these difficult people are family members that they just cannot bring themselves to cut off.  So they are constantly met with opposition, criticism, and accusations that wear them down, and even harm their health and well-being.  To make matters worse, when these precious people look for help and support from their other loved ones, their pain is often minimized, and even ridiculed.

   If you are one of these hurting people, let me assure you that I have some understanding of how you feel.  The last time I was in this kind of situation, and I sought the Lord for answers, He led me to a very powerful principle in Psalm 109:4 (AMP):  “In return for my love they are my adversaries, but I resort to prayer.”  Being hurt by our own loved ones is some of the worst kind of hurt that we will ever experience on this earth.  Feelings of betrayal and rejection can shake us to the core.  And it can affect our whole outlook on life.  But there is hope.  If we will learn to “resort to prayer” – earnestly and diligently seeking God for His love, wisdom, comfort, and courage – He will show us exactly how we should respond to gain the victory in our situation.

   Many times, the Lord will lead us to distance ourselves from a loved one’s hurtful behavior.  We can do that physically by limiting our exposure to them.  When that’s not possible, we can often distance ourselves from these difficult people emotionally.  We detach ourselves from them in an emotional sense, and we remain guarded in all of our dealings with them.  Jesus said:  “Behold, I am sending you out like sheep in the midst of wolves; be wary and wise as serpents, and be innocent (harmless, guileless, and without falsity) as doves.  Be on guard against men [whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God].” (Matthew 10:16-17 AMP)  The Lord offers us His protection, but He expects us to be on the alert for people who mean us harm.

   One translation of Psalm 109:4 (NKJV) says, “In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer.”  Giving ourselves to prayer – seeking God’s will and wisdom when we are faced with opposition – can bring peace, victory, and blessing.  The Lord wants to help you deal with your own adversaries and accusers.  Will you earnestly seek Him today?

   Lord, whenever I am met with contempt, criticism, or vindictiveness, I pray that my first response will be to “resort to prayer.”  As I seek You, give me all the wisdom, comfort, and courage I need to do Your will, and reveal Your love for me in fresh, new ways.  Show me which people I need to love from a distance.  And surround me with believers who will support and encourage me.  Thank You that as I follow Your will and Your wisdom, You will prove Yourself to be my mighty Vindicator and Rewarder!  (Isaiah 54:17)

   *Join the 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!

   *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

Sep 1 19

Stay Away from Fools

by J. M. Farro

   “Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge on their lips.”  Proverbs 14:7 NLT

   This verse of Scripture was one of the first that God gave me when I got serious about my relationship with Him many years ago.  He made it clear to me that I was never going to fulfill His call on my life if I allowed myself to get distracted and sidetracked by people that the Bible classifies as “fools.”  These are the people who have no fear of God, and no respect for His Word, and who are often unreceptive and unteachable.

   The Lord showed me that my first duty as a Christian is my own safety.  Therefore, when I am faced with people who are hostile to God and His Word, my first response should not be to fight, but to flee.  The intention of many of these “fools” is not to learn anything from me, but to contaminate, hurt, and harm me.  Over the years, I have seen the faith of many believers spoiled because they spent too much time in the company of foolish people. (Colossians 2:8)  I have also seen God’s people demonstrate poor judgment by engaging unbelievers in unhealthy conversations that do more harm than good. (2 Timothy 2:14)

   Proverbs 23:9 (NLT) says, “Don’t waste your breath on fools, for they will despise the wisest advice.”  One of Satan’s favorite strategies is to cause Christians to engage in endless discussions and debates with fools who are totally unreceptive to the Gospel message.  Jesus Himself warned His disciples of this kind of error when He said, “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs.  If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matthew 7:6 NIV)  As focused as Christ was on saving the lost, He knew there would be times when His disciples would need to use discernment in sharing the Gospel, so that they would not become the victims of Satan’s evil plans to harm them and their witness.  The Bible reveals that even the Apostle Paul separated himself from those who stubbornly rejected his message, taking his disciples with him to a safer place. (Acts 19:9)

   The saddest part of all this is that sometimes, the “fools” that we need to keep a healthy distance from will be among our own family members and loved ones. (Matthew 10:34-36)  I know without a doubt that I would not be in ministry today if I had not spent the last 20+ years limiting my exposure to ungodly, hurtful people.  Yes, we need to have a heart for the lost of this world, and we need to be motivated by love to help them.  But our efforts must be Spirit-initiated and Spirit-led, so that we remain within the realm of divine protection at all times.

   Today, I encourage you with the Message Bible translation of Proverbs 14:7 – “Escape quickly from the company of fools; they’re a waste of your time, a waste of your words!”

   Lord, help me to perfectly fulfill Your high calling on my life.  Teach me how to be led by Your Spirit at all times, and give me the discernment I need to minister effectively to others in Your name.  Warn me when I am spending too much time and energy on people who have no desire to know You.  And help me to distance myself from those who would spoil my faith.  Thank You that as I trust and obey You, You will make me a powerful world-changer for Christ!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

Aug 25 19

Seething Within

by J. M. Farro

  “I am seething within and cannot relax; Days of affliction confront me.”  Job 30:27 NASB            

   When I was praying and asking the Lord to work in a greater way in my family and ministry, He surprised me by challenging me to get serious about refraining from complaining and criticizing.  Months later, I had made some progress in being more grateful and less critical, but I wasn’t seeing the Lord’s intervention the way I had hoped.  When I asked Him about it, He impressed upon me that I was outwardly less angry, but I was often “seething within,” as the above Scripture says.

   What is “seething”?  It’s “being filled with an intense but unexpressed anger.”  The Lord showed me that just because I didn’t express my anger outwardly, that didn’t mean that it wasn’t going to have dire consequences.  As the verse above states, when we are “seething within,” we “cannot relax,” and as a result, “days of affliction” WILL “confront [us].”  This kind of constant inner turmoil can lead to “afflictions” such as heart, head, and stomach problems.

   What’s interesting is that the word “seething” is from an Old English term meaning, “to make or keep boiling.”  The Lord showed me that if I didn’t want my seething resentment to reach a boiling point, I was going to have to deal with my anger at its roots.  And that meant dealing with my thoughts.  Jesus said, “The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34 NIV)  We can hide what is in our heart for a time, but eventually, our words will reveal how we really feel.  When that happens, we can say things that have the potential to destroy our most cherished relationships – or keep us from receiving the promotions, opportunities, and rewards that the Lord had in store for us.  God would rather help us to get to the root of our ungodly thoughts, so that they never bear rotten fruit.

   When someone offends us, we can choose to dwell on it, and to feel sorry for ourselves.  We can think about it over and over, until it robs us of our peace and joy, and perhaps, even our health.  Or, we can choose to overlook the offense, committing it to the Lord, and trusting Him to right our wrongs.  Proverbs 19:11 (AMP) says, “Good sense and discretion make a man slow to anger, and it is his honor and glory to overlook a transgression or an offense [without seeking revenge and harboring resentment].”  “Harboring resentment” will lead to us “seething within,” and that is never God’s will for us, because it is harmful to us.  What is it that the Lord wants you to let go of today?

   Lord, today, I ask You to deliver me from a critical and complaining spirit, and fill me with an attitude of gratitude.  When others hurt or offend me, help me to shake it off quickly, and to trust You to be my Defender and Vindicator.  Teach me how to discipline my thoughts so that I never allow ungodly emotions or feelings to take root inside me.  And guard me from “seething within,” which can rob me of my health and well-being.  Thank You that as I cooperate with You in this area, I will experience the peace, joy, abundance, and wholeness that are my inheritance in Christ!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

Aug 18 19

Prepare and Strengthen Our Hearts

by J. M. Farro

   “O Lord, You have heard the desire and the longing of the humble and oppressed; You will prepare and strengthen and direct their hearts, You will cause Your ear to hear.” Psalm 10:17 AMPC

   When I got the news recently that my husband, Joe, needed yet another medical procedure on his heart, my own heart sank.  He had suffered a massive heart attack years before, and had open-heart surgery some years later.  And we had hoped and prayed that Joe’s heart problems were behind us.  So when I heard this latest news, bitter disappointment swept over me.

   As I poured my heart out to God, He gave me the promise above.  He assured me that He heard my prayers and cries, and He was aware of my pain.  I began praying this promise with all my heart, believing that the Lord would honor His Word to me. 

   I said, “Lord, please ‘prepare’ my heart!”  I felt so unprepared for this latest surgery.  I knew that I would have to wake up in the wee hours of the morning in order to get Joe to the hospital in time for his procedure, and I knew that it meant that I would be sleep deprived.

   I also prayed, “Lord, ‘strengthen’ my heart!”  I would have to endure long hours of sitting in a hospital waiting room while the doctors operated on Joe’s heart.  I knew that there would be moments when I would be tempted to become fearful and fretful.

   When I prayed – “Lord, ‘direct’ my heart!” – I was asking the Lord to provide me with all of the guidance and direction I would need to navigate these troubled waters skillfully and successfully – fully cooperating with God so that He could bring great good out of them. (Romans 8:28)

   Psalm 10:17 reassures us that when we turn to the Lord in times of difficulty and pain, He hears the desires and longings of our hearts.  And He will anoint, equip, empower, and enable us to not just endure our trials – but to emerge triumphant for our good and His glory!

   Lord, when trouble comes, let my first response be to turn to You with all my heart.  Show me which promises apply to my circumstances, and enable me to lay hold of them and receive them as my own.  Prepare me, strengthen me, and direct me to receive Your best in every situation I face.  Thank You that as I look to You for help, and follow Your lead, I will experience Your matchless presence, power, and peace!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

 

Aug 11 19

Blame or Blessings?

by J. M. Farro

   “Jesus said, ‘You’re asking the wrong question.  You’re looking for someone to blame.  There is no such cause-effect here.  Look instead for what God can do.’”  John 9:3 MSG

   I just found out that a very dear reader of mine passed away.  Sam was a great man of faith, and an inspiration to everyone who knew him.  But in the last few years of his life, he struggled with a recurring illness.  He would write me regularly, asking me to pray for him, and he would always tell me how much my writings encouraged his heart and his faith.  He had no doubts that God was going to heal him, and that the day would come when he would be completely whole.

   A few months ago, I noticed that Sam’s communications with me began sounding much different.  He would ask me how he could know if he was hearing from God.  And he would express his fears that Jesus was going to abandon him in his time of need.  He pleaded with me to tell him what he was doing wrong, and why God wasn’t healing him.  And it became obvious to me that people around him were blaming him for his illness and his lack of faith to be healed.  Each time, I reminded Sam of the truth of God’s Word and promises, and he would thank me, and seem more at peace.  The last time I heard from Sam was only days before he died.  I was greatly saddened because this great man of faith had left this earth questioning God’s goodness and faithfulness.

   The Bible tells us of a time when Jesus came upon a man who was blind from birth.  His disciples asked Him if his affliction was caused by his own sin or his parents’.  Jesus replied, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him.” (John 9:3 NKJV)  The Message Bible records the Master’s words as saying, “You’re asking the wrong question.  You’re looking for someone to blame.  There is no such cause-effect here.  Look instead for what God can do.’” (John 9:3 MSG)  In other words, the disciples’ focus was wrong.  They were looking to assign blame to someone as the cause of this man’s blindness, while Jesus wanted them to focus on God’s willingness and ability to intercede on the man’s behalf.

   No one will ever know this side of heaven if Sam would have survived if he hadn’t been surrounded by people pointing the finger at him.  That’s why I am telling myself and you today to be very careful about what we say, or even infer, when someone is hurting.  We are called to lift people up in the name of Jesus, and to minister truth and hope to them – and to do it in ways that will draw them closer to God, instead of causing them to doubt Him.  We can assign blame, or we can administer blessings.  Which will you choose?

   Lord, make me a loving, giving, and forgiving person in ways that will touch and change lives for Your glory.  When you put people in my path who are suffering in any way, help me to pray for wisdom as to how You would have me minister to them.  You have said that “mercy triumphs over judgment,” so enable me by Your Spirit to show mercy to everyone I come in contact with. (James 2:13)  Thank You that as I allow Your love and wisdom to flow through me to others, Your blessings will overflow in my own life!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

Aug 4 19

What We Hope for is Waiting for Us

by J. M. Farro

   “What is faith?  It is the confident assurance that something we want is going to happen.  It is the certainty that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we cannot see it up ahead.”  Hebrews 11:1 TLB

   I love the Living Bible translation of Hebrews 11:1.  It speaks to my heart like no other.  It defines faith in ways that I can relate to.  It reminds me that the kind of faith that God approves of is a deep-down confidence that something we want is really going to happen – if not today, then the next day, or somewhere down the line.  It’s feeling certain in our hearts that “what we hope for is waiting for us,” even though we can’t yet see it with our eyes.

   The Lord gave me a great example of how I can know for sure if I am really trusting Him and taking Him at His Word.  Suppose I tell my grandson, William, “Will, I’m going to take you to the zoo!”  He doesn’t look at me dubiously and say, “I’ll believe it when I see it!”  No, he immediately begins thanking me.  He says, “Thank you, Grammy!  That’s so nice of you!  I can’t wait until I see the lions and the tigers!  I’m going to take lots of pictures of the monkeys.  And I’m going to eat popcorn and ice cream while I’m there.  Hooray, I’m going to the zoo!”  William is confident and certain that what he hopes for is waiting for him up ahead.  That is true childlike faith – the kind of faith that God approves of.

   Unfortunately, many times, when the Lord shows us a promise in His Word that He wants us to lay hold of, we begin reasoning in our minds in ways that literally talk us out of our blessings.  We think, “That promise can’t be for me.  How could that possibly come to pass in my life?”  We begin to think that because we can’t envision HOW God could make it happen for us, it couldn’t possibly happen.  Or, if we begin believing a promise that speaks to our hearts, we start to doubt it when we are faced with delays and detours.  We forget that in God’s kingdom, delays are not necessarily denials.

   I heard someone say that when we thank God AFTER He blesses us, that’s called “gratitude.”  But when we thank Him BEFORE the blessing, that’s called “faith.”  When we are confident that something we want to happen WILL happen…when we are certain that what we hope for is waiting for us, even though we can’t see it up ahead…we are demonstrating the “kind of faith the men of old gained divine approval” for. (Hebrews 11:2 AMP)  Today, start thanking God in advance for the answers to your prayers, and watch Him bring His promises to pass!

   Lord, work in my heart so that I can have the kind of faith that You approve of most.  Show me which promises You long to bring to pass in my life, and help me to lay hold of them by faith.  When the answers to my prayers don’t come as quickly as I’d like them to, remind me that delays are not necessarily denials.  Thank You that as I praise You in advance for Your blessings, You will reward my faith in extraordinary ways!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

Jul 28 19

Change the Channel

by J. M. Farro

   “Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV

   I was watching a movie on a Christian TV station the other night, and suddenly, one of the characters sustained a severe injury.  One look at her gaping wound was enough to cause me to immediately change the channel.  Unfortunately, the gruesome images in my mind still remained, and as I prayed for the Lord’s help, He reminded me of a powerful teaching that I heard not too long ago that applied to my situation.

   When we begin to think on things that are not good for our health or well-being, we can immediately “change the channel” mentally, and “fix [our] thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable,” as well as “things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT)  You and I are not at the mercy of our thought life.  Because the Holy Spirit dwells in us, we have the power to reject thoughts and images that don’t honor or glorify God, and that have the potential to do us harm.

   Scripture tells us: “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV)  When we are bombarded by unclean and unholy “imaginations” and images, we can cast them down – rejecting them – and replace them with thoughts that are good and wholesome.  In this way, we are “changing the channel” in our minds, and taking our thoughts captive in order to obey Christ.

   The Bible says that what we watch and listen to can affect us for good or for evil.  Proverbs 4:23 (AMP) reads: “Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”  When we expose ourselves to movies, TV programs, music, magazines, and media filled with sex, violence, or profanity, we are feeding on trash and ministering death to ourselves.  We are literally polluting and poisoning our own “springs of life,” and harming our spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical health.  And we are partnering with Satan and his dark forces to create demonic strongholds in our minds and hearts.

   God has equipped His children with everything they need to succeed in this life, and that includes a healthy heart and mind.  Let’s be quick to “change the channel” mentally and literally whenever ungodly “imaginations” come our way!

   Lord, I want to please You with my thoughts, words, and deeds.  Give me the strength and the wisdom I need to avoid every kind of media and material that would poison and pollute my mind and heart.  Teach me how to cast down imaginations that are not pleasing to You.  Help me to cooperate with Your Spirit to live a holy, healthy, and happy life.  Thank You that as I guard my heart above all else, You will enable me to fulfill my God-given purpose and potential!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

 

Jul 21 19

Instead of Worrying, Pray

by J. M. Farro

   “Don’t fret or worry.  Instead of worrying, pray.  Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.  It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”  Philippians 4:6-7 MSG

   When I heard a godly man say that when we worry, we are actually practicing atheism, I felt convicted.  He said that by worrying, we were totally disregarding the fact that we, as followers of Christ, have a heavenly Father who has promised to protect us and provide all our needs.  And we were acting like orphans without any hope or help in this world.

   If we look intently at the verses above written by the apostle Paul, we can see that it’s God’s will for Christ to displace worry at the center of our lives.  When we “fret or worry,” it’s because we have taken our eyes off of our Savior, and either we are not praying about our concerns, or our prayers have no real faith behind them.  Then our burdens can become unbearable.

   Scripture says, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You!” (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)  How do we know when we are really trusting God to take care of us and our concerns?  Peace floods our minds and hearts, and worry dissolves and disappears.  One of the best ways to focus on God’s goodness and graciousness toward His children is to read and meditate on His promises.  When we are reminded that Jesus said, “Be sure of this – that I am with you always, even to the end of the world,” fear and anxiety have to flee from us. (Matthew 28:20 TLB)

   Are you worried about your finances today?  God has promised to be your Provider. (Philippians 4:19)  Perhaps you are concerned about your health.  Remember that the Lord has promised to be your Healer. (Exodus 15:26)  Maybe you are facing injustice and oppression.  God has vowed to be your Vindicator. (Isaiah 54:17)  When you begin to worry about anything – “Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns.  Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.”  Hallelujah!

   Lord, I regret all the time and energy that I have spent fretting and worrying.  Please work in my mind and heart so that whenever I start to worry, I will promptly pray about my concerns, and praise You for Your goodness.  Help me to spend time in Your Word and promises each day in ways that will build and bolster my faith.  Thank You for sustaining me with Your unshakeable peace as I live a Christ-centered life!

   *Join the 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!

   *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

Jul 14 19

Fulfilling Our Glorious Destiny

by J. M. Farro

   “You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.”  Psalm 73:24 NLT

   One reason why it’s important for Christians to study the Bible, is that it reveals important truths we must know in order to reach our full potential in Christ.  One of these truths is that God has a “glorious destiny” planned for us. (Psalm 73:24 NLT)  This destiny doesn’t begin when we get to heaven, but it starts the moment we trust Jesus as our Savior – and continues to unfold as we walk in close fellowship with Him on a daily basis.  Because we will sometimes meet with resistance along the way, we must practice certain principles that will enable us to reach our goal.

   First, we must make up our minds to ignore the negative reports that come our way, and to keep our eyes on God and His divine promises.  When Moses sent out his twelve spies to scout out the Promised Land, all but two of these men came back with a negative report. (Numbers 13)  Because most of the Israelites put their faith in the “evil report,” instead of in God’s promise to give them the land, they were condemned to wandering around in the wilderness for 40 years.  We will face our own “evil reports” from time to time, and we will have to choose if we will put our faith in them, or in the promises of God that belong to those who believe.  Jesus gave us a powerful lesson in this area when He was on His way to heal a sick little girl in Mark chapter 5.  Before He and the girl’s father reached their destination, they were met with the report that she had already died.  Scripture tells us:  “Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said…‘Do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear; only keep on believing.’” (Mark 5:36 AMP)  On your way to your glorious destiny, you are going to overhear some things that will fill you with fear and doubt.  If you will stand firm in your faith and ignore the negative reports, God will move heaven and earth to see that your destiny is fulfilled.

   Second, we must heed the advice of David the shepherd-king in Psalm 37:3 (NIV), which says, “Trust in the Lord and do good.”  While we are on our way to becoming all that God created us to be, and to accomplishing all that He destined us to do, we will be met with tests and trials of various kinds.  If we don’t regularly feed our faith with a steady diet of the Word of God, we will find it very difficult to keep our focus on the Lord, and to trust Him with all our hearts.  Consequently, we will waver in our commitment to faithfully serve Him and others.  Scripture says:  “So let’s not get tired of doing what is good.  At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.  Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone – especially to those in the family of faith.” (Galatians 6:9-10 NLT)  There’s a harvest of untold blessings waiting for us.  But in order for us to reap it, we must keep on doing the right thing in every situation and circumstance – even when we are not getting the result we think is right.  Because of God’s indwelling Spirit, we can choose forgiveness over bitterness, loyalty over treachery, peace over strife, and love over hate.  And we can continue to perform the good works that the Lord has assigned to us, even when we are overlooked or unappreciated.  As we determine to, “Never tire of doing what is right,” the blessings of God will chase us down and overtake us. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV; Deuteronomy 28:2)

   Lastly, we must continually give praise and glory to God, especially when doubt, fear, or confusion come our way.  The Bible calls Abraham our spiritual father (Romans 4:16), and with good reason.  When the Lord told him that he and his wife would have a child, even though they were well past the age for it, he chose to believe God.  And from the time he took his stand in faith, to the time his miracle was manifested, he praised the Lord.  Scripture says that “he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God.” (Romans 4:20 AMP)  When our wait is long – when doubt and discouragement fill our souls – raising our hands and voices in praise to the Lord can lift us above our circumstances, and carry us on to victory.  In a time of great trouble and turmoil, the psalmist declared:  “Yet I still belong to You; You are holding my right hand.  You will keep on guiding me with Your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.” (Psalm 73:23-24 NLT)  May his declaration of faith be ours this day, and all the days of our lives!

   Lord, make me so firm in my faith that I will be able to ignore all of the negative reports that come my way.  Help me to trust in You and do good – in good times and in bad.  When I am tempted to doubt or become discouraged, remind me to press on and praise You.  Thank You for the harvest of blessings that’s headed my way right now!

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