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Aug 9 20

Saturated in Prayer

by J. M. Farro

   “Don’t be pulled in different directions or worried about a thing.  Be saturated in prayer throughout each day, offering your faith-filled requests before God with overflowing gratitude.”  Philippians 4:6 TPT

   This verse of Scripture is one of the most often quoted passages in the Bible, with good reason.  It is God’s way of reminding us to get our focus off of the things of this world, and onto Him, so that we can walk in the supernatural peace that is our inheritance in Christ.

   This Passion Translation highlights how worry can pull us in different directions.  When it does, we can veer off course, away from the Lord’s best plans and purposes for us.  Then our impact on this world for Him will be greatly diminished.  I love how this translation says, “Be saturated in prayer throughout each day.”  This is similar to us being on the phone with God, and staying on the line with Him day and night.  This way, we are praying through every task, problem, and interaction with other people – bringing God’s involvement into every moment of every day.  Then this text says that we should offer our “faith-filled requests” up to the Lord with “overflowing gratitude.”  In other words, every request we make to God should be made with an attitude of faith in His Word and promises, as well as in His goodness.  And all of our petitions should spring from a grateful heart – not from a resentful or doubtful one.

   The next verse in this passage says, “Tell Him every detail of your life.”  The Lord knows that whenever we fail to talk to Him about a certain aspect of our lives, worry and anxiety creep in, and we forfeit our peace and joy.  That’s why the second half of this verse says, “THEN God’s wonderful peace that transcends human understanding, will make the answers known to you through Jesus Christ.” (v. 7)  When we allow God’s kind of peace to flow unhindered into our lives, we are positioned to receive revelation knowledge that can transform our problems into divinely-ordained solutions. 

   God did not create us to bear the burdens of this life alone.  From the very beginning, He fashioned us to live our lives totally dependent upon Him.  When we do, we will experience the abundant, victorious lives that Jesus died for us to have.  God bless you!

   Lord, deliver me from all anxiety and worry that would pull me in different directions, away from Your perfect purposes for me.  Teach me how to saturate every aspect of my life in prayers of faith.  Give me a thankful heart that will never take Your blessings for granted.  Thank You that as I cooperate with You to walk in Your indescribable peace, I will receive the revelation knowledge I need to live a victorious and successful life!

   *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

Aug 2 20

Things That Distract

by J. M. Farro

   “Turn my eyes away from vanity [all those worldly, meaningless things that distract – let Your priorities be mine], and restore me [with renewed energy] in Your ways.”  Psalm 119:37 AMP

   It would be an understatement to say that this generation is the most distracted generation of all time.  Think about all of the time that we spend on our devices – all of the attention and energy we devote to unessential things – and it’s no wonder that our society is getting further away from God all the time.  We can see the devastating consequences of this reality all around us.

   The verse above from Psalm 119 is a good one for us to pray daily.  We are praying God’s will when we ask Him to turn our eyes away from “worldly, meaningless things that distract” us, and to make His priorities our own.  Psalm 101:3 (AMP) is another verse that talks about the importance of what we give our attention to.  “I will set no worthless or wicked thing before my eyes.  I hate the practice of those who fall away [from the right path]; it will not grasp hold of me.”  Some people think that what they spend time looking at has no bearing on the direction of their life, but the Bible says otherwise.

   Right after the Scriptures tell us about how God’s Word ministers life and health to all our flesh as we set our eyes and ears on it, we are told, “Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 GW)  This is God’s way of telling us that what we give our attention to will greatly affect, not only our spirits, but our bodies.  I am extremely sensitive to what I look at and listen to.  That’s because I have done my best to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit when He prompts me to change the channel when I am listening to something, or viewing something, that can adversely affect my well-being.  If you think that your listening and viewing habits don’t affect your health, then the devil has you badly deceived.  You are providing him with an inroad into your life that will produce a harvest of destruction in the days ahead.

   The apostle Paul had the right idea when he wrote:  “You may say, ‘I am allowed to do anything.’  But I reply, ‘Not everything is good for you.’  And even though ‘I am allowed to do anything,’ I must not become a slave to anything.” (1 Corinthians 6:12 NLT)  God wants us to devote ourselves to things that will benefit us – not harm us or distract us from His purposes for us.  Do some honest soul-searching right now, and decide to come up higher in this area today!

   Lord, on the basis of Your Word, I ask that You turn my eyes away from all of the worldly, meaningless things that distract me from Your purposes for my life.  Make Your priorities my own, and help me to live Your way each day.  Give me the discernment and determination I need to act wisely where my viewing and listening habits are concerned.  Thank You that as I guard my heart with all diligence, You will lead me in the paths of peace, wholeness, vitality, and success!

    *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

Jul 26 20

Our True Hero

by J. M. Farro

   “My true hero comes to my rescue, for the Lord alone is my Savior.” Psalm 3:8 TPT

   When I was growing up, Superman was my favorite hero.  Today, while I’m still a fan of the Man of Steel, this fictional character is in a totally different category for me.  Why?  Because as the Scripture above states, Jesus is “my true hero,” and He “alone is my Savior.”  This Passion Translation tells us in a footnote: “The Hebrew word used sixty times in the Psalms for deliverance is Yeshuah, a variant form of the name for Jesus.  This is pointing us to where our salvation is found.”  This doesn’t just refer to our new birth, but to every kind of deliverance we will ever need on this earth – from every sin, bondage, and evil addiction, and every form of harm, including sickness, disease, poverty, and lack.  Jesus is well able to deliver us from them ALL.

   The second half of Psalm 3:8 in this translation says: “What a feast of favor and bliss He gives His people!”  In other words, the Lord delights in showering His devoted ones with an abundance of special benefits and blessings.  And He fills us with the kind of joy that can only be experienced by those who walk in close fellowship with Him.  If you look up the definition for the word “bliss,” you see that it refers to “a state of perfect happiness, typically so as to be oblivious of everything else.”  This doesn’t mean that we become so happy and content that we live irresponsibly.  It means that even when we are facing hardship and heartache, we can still experience a deep, abiding joy that helps us to resist dwelling on our troubles.

   The Message Bible translation of Psalm 3:8 says, “Real help comes from God.”  When we need healing, real help comes from God.  When we need finances, real help comes from God.  When we are troubled by loneliness, fear, depression or rejection, real help comes from God.  If you are looking for “real help” today, you can’t do any better than making your real hero Jesus – and calling upon His mighty and precious name!

   Lord, today I appeal to You as my true hero and Savior.  Deliver me in every way that I need deliverance, and set me free in every way that I need freedom.  In every situation and circumstance, help me to refuse to look to anyone but You for help.   Shower me with Your favor, and fill me with Your joy.  Thank You that as I learn to rely on You more and more, You will prove to be my Rescuer and my Rewarder!

   *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

Jul 19 20

Don’t Live for the Praises of Others

by J. M. Farro

   “Of course you’re unable to believe in Me.  For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.”  John 5:44 TPT

   One way that people, including Christians, can get off track where fulfilling their God-given purpose is concerned, is by living for the praises of other people.  Well-meaning people can try to get us involved in their agendas, which may sound good on the surface.  However, when we take a closer look and hold them up against the truth of the Gospel, we realize that they conflict with God’s agendas.  Some of these people who want us to stray from what the Bible teaches will see themselves as enlightened, and us as closed-minded.  They may even try to make us feel guilty when, in their eyes, we are not being loving, because we refuse to accept the sinful lifestyles that a corrupt society approves of.

   Jesus said: “Your approval or disapproval means nothing to Me, for as I know so well, you don’t have God’s love within you.” (John 5:41-42 TLB)  You and I have to be extremely wary of people who have no real love for God.  Christ had no desire to try to please them, and neither should we.  The Savior goes on to say: “I have come to represent my Father, yet you refuse to embrace Me in faith.  But when someone comes in their own name and with their own agenda, you readily accept him.” (v. 43 TPT)  Sadly, there are many people today who readily accept the worldly agendas of their own society and culture, and refuse to embrace Christ and His Gospel.  Then Jesus reveals: “Of course you’re unable to believe in Me.  For you live for the praises of others and not for the praise that comes from the only true God.” (v. 44 TPT)  Living for the praises of others, rather than of Christ, will ultimately destroy our faith and our witness, and prevent us from fulfilling our God-given destiny.

   In Luke 16, Jesus says: “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts.  What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.” (v. 15)  The Passion Translation says, “The very things that you approve of and applaud are the things God despises.”  Look at some of the vile things that many are approving of and applauding these days.  It’s up to you and me to stand against these things that “God despises.”  As Christ’s representatives, it’s our job to be champions for biblical commands and principles in this world.  Scripture says: “What people say about themselves means nothing.  What counts is whether the Lord says they have done well.” (2 Corinthians 10:18 ERV)  When we live our lives in a way to receive the praises of God, He will bless us and use us in mighty ways for His glory!

   Lord, help me to avoid getting involved with worldly agendas that conflict with Your Word and Your laws.  When given a choice to offend You or other people, help me to choose to offend others every time.  Thank You that as I concentrate on pleasing You in all things, You will see that I fulfill my God-given purpose and potential in Christ!

   *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

Jul 12 20

Your Progress will be Evident to All

by J. M. Farro

   “Practice and work hard on these things; be absorbed in them [completely occupied in your ministry], so that your progress will be evident to all.”  1 Timothy 4:15 AMP

   The verse above is from a passage of Scripture where the apostle Paul is instructing his spiritual son, Timothy, in the things of God.  Paul goes into detail about how Timothy should set a godly example to other believers, especially as a church leader.  These instructions and principles can be applied to all followers of Christ in some way.  We all have our own ministries.  Whether your primary job is to raise children, support a family financially, be a caregiver, or be a student, you have a “ministry” of some sort.  And if you let Him, the Lord will use you wherever you are to advance the Gospel and the Kingdom of God.

   Notice that the Scripture says that our goal should be to make our progress “evident to all.”  In other words, we are to bear spiritual fruit that everyone can see.  We do this with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, once we surrender our lives to Christ.  The Bible says, “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NASB)  These are lofty goals, to be sure, but God doesn’t expect perfection from us – only cooperation with His Spirit, so that we can make the progress He calls us to.  Without this kind of progress, we will have very little impact on our world.  I like to pray daily, “Lord, make me sensitive and obedient to Your Spirit’s leading in all things, so that I will always walk in Your perfect will, and receive Your absolute best!”

   The next verse in this passage in First Timothy says: “Pay close attention to yourself [concentrate on your personal development] and to your teaching; persevere in these things [hold to them], for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16 AMP)  Here again, the Scripture makes a connection between our personal development and our impact on this world.  Imagine being able to “ensure salvation” for yourself and those in your sphere of influence.  Some Christians reject this kind of responsibility.  They want to live their lives their own way, without anyone watching or assessing their behavior.  But this is totally unbiblical, because Scripture says: “Prove yourself to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15 NASB)  

   The apostle Paul wrote, “Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it.” (2 Corinthians 13:5 AMP)  Do some serious soul-searching today, and ask the Lord how you can make a greater impact on this world for Christ!

   Lord, teach me how to be absorbed in the things of God – including Your Word – so that my progress may be evident to all.  Help me to concentrate on my personal development in order to ensure salvation for myself and others.  Remind me to speak the truth in love to everyone, and guard me from all deception.  Thank You that as I bear abundant fruit for Your glory, I will prove myself to be a powerful witness for You and Your Word!

   *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

Jul 5 20

We Are All One in Christ

by J. M. Farro

   “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.”  Galatians 3:28 NLT

   My dad grew up in the midst of the Great Depression of 1929.  His father died just before he was born, and he lost his only sibling – an older brother – to disease at the age of 14.  He served in the Air Force during World War II, and afterwards, he attended Rutgers University and got a degree in Accounting.  When he tried to get a job in public accounting so he could sit for the CPA exam, no one would hire him.  Why?  Because he was Italian.  Thankfully, he had a praying mother, and eventually, an accounting firm hired him.  Later, he was able to get his CPA certification, and enjoyed a long and successful career working for a prestigious company in New York City. 

   My dad saw that our family grew up in an Italian-friendly area of New Jersey.  It wasn’t until my husband, Joe, and I moved to our current home in Pennsylvania with our two young sons that we realized just how little some folks think of Italians.  When we began experiencing attacks on our home and property, and we had to get law enforcement involved, the Chief of Police warned us about people in our town who would never accept us because we were Italian.  That was over 30 years ago, and we are still here because we know that God has called us to be here.  My son, Joseph, launched the only successful Bible Club in the history of his public high school.  And both of my sons met their wives here.  When HBO decided to air a new series called The Sopranos, I was heartsick.  Here was just one more negative depiction of Italians that would contribute to people seeing us as crooks, mobsters, and low-lifes.  I was especially disappointed when my own cousin allowed the filmmakers to use his house as the Soprano home.

   When a Christian publisher offered to publish my devotionals in a book series some years ago, they recommended that I use my maiden name, Farro, instead of my married name.  My husband immediately knew why – my married name sounds too Italian.  Then my publisher suggested that I don’t use my first name, Joanne, but only my first two initials, J. M., in order to hide the fact that I am a woman.  Even today, I hear from people who are angry when they buy one of my books and start reading, and then realize that I am not a man.

   The Bible says: “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.  For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28 NLT)  In God’s sight, we “are all the same in Christ Jesus,” as one translation says. (ERV)  Another verse like it is in Colossians 3:11 (TPT): “In this new creation life, your nationality makes no difference, or your ethnicity, education, or economic status – they matter nothing.  For it is Christ that means everything as He lives in every one of us!”  Even though other people may see me as Italian, I have decided to see myself simply as a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.  I know there are people in this world who will never accept me because of my nationality, and that’s okay.  I don’t need their approval in order to fulfill my God-given purpose and potential.  If you can relate to my situation today, remember this – “It is Christ that means everything as He lives in every one of us!”

   Lord, I know that You made me the way I am for a good purpose.  You don’t make mistakes, and You don’t make junk.  When people exclude me or treat me unfairly, help me to remember that You love me and accept me.  Teach me to walk in love and forgiveness every day, so that You can bless me and use me in extraordinary ways.  Thank You for surrounding me with brothers and sisters in Christ who will cherish me, and encourage my devotion 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

 

Jun 28 20

Fly Away and Be at Rest

by J. M. Farro

   “I said, ‘Oh, that I had the wings of a dove!  I would fly away and be at rest.  I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.’”  Psalm 55:6-8 NIV

   These are the words of King David, who laments in this psalm about how he has been betrayed by one of his closest friends.  This painful betrayal has led to a vicious conspiracy against him, and David longs to be able to “fly away and be at rest” in a distant refuge, far from the storm that rages all around him.

   Perhaps you can relate to David’s feelings.  I know that I can.  I have felt this way many times since this worldwide pandemic has caused so much devastation, upheaval, and uncertainty.  More than ever, I long to have our Lord Jesus come back for His beloved Church, to rescue us all, and to take us to our true home in heaven.  Never before have I heard from so many fellow believers who are longing to escape from this dark and chaotic planet.

   While we wait upon the Lord to take us to our eternal home, we can find shelter from these turbulent times by getting still before Him, by quieting our minds and hearts, and by focusing on His Word and promises.  David reveals in verse 22 of this psalm how we can achieve stillness in the midst of trouble.  “Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.” (Psalm 55:22 NIV)  When we can’t physically escape and fly away to a desert refuge, we can find peace and relief by releasing our cares to the Lord in prayer.  Then, when a troubling matter comes to mind, we can say, “Thank You, Lord, that You are taking care of that for me!”

   David ends his heart-wrenching psalm on a positive note.  “But as for me, I trust in You.” (Psalm 55:23 NIV)  David had a revelation of how casting his cares on the Lord, and putting his wholehearted trust in Him, would guarantee his victory, no matter how bleak his situation looked.  What, or who, do you need to entrust to the Lord today?

   Lord, when I long to fly away and be at rest, show me how to get still before You, quieting my heart and mind, and focusing on You and Your promises.  Deliver me from all my fears, and give me a trusting heart.  Teach me how to cast my cares upon You each day, releasing the burden of them to You once and for all.  Thank You for being my true refuge and relief in the midst of a chaotic world!

   *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

Jun 21 20

Nothing Will in Any Way Harm You

by J. M. Farro

   “Listen carefully: I have given you authority [that you now possess] to tread on serpents and scorpions, and [the ability to exercise authority] over all the power of the enemy (Satan); and nothing will [in any way] harm you.”  Luke 10:19 AMP

   I have been claiming the above scriptural promise for myself and my loved ones every day for many years.  If you are a follower of Christ, then you can claim it, too.  The exciting truth of this verse is that our God has given us “authority over ALL the power of the enemy.”  As the Amplified Bible notes tell us, “serpents and scorpions” are “a reference to demonic powers and spirits,” including Satan himself.  But as the verse above states, we have to “exercise” that “authority” if we want to reap the full benefits of this promise.  We do that by speaking out loud the truth of this verse in faith.

   One of my favorite portions of this verse is “nothing will [in any way] harm you.”  Some translations say that nothing will “hurt” or “injure” you. (NKJV, NASB)  Once, when I called a prayer line to receive prayer for a virus that was attacking my body, the prayer counselor came against my illness with Luke 10:19.  This was a new application for me, and ever since then, I have used this verse to come against any attack on my body, my mind, and my emotions.  These days, I am using it to shield myself and my loved ones from the Coronavirus.  As I write this, my husband, Joe, is outside my office window using power tools.  “Thank You, Lord, that nothing will in any way injure my husband!”

   Psalm 91 says that if you make the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your home, No harm will come to you.  No sickness will come near your house.  He will put His angels in charge of you to protect you in all your ways.  They will carry you in their hands so that you never hit your foot against a rock.  You will step on lions and cobras.  You will trample young lions and snakes.” (Psalms 91:9-13 GW)  Here are more promise-packed and power-packed verses for God’s devoted ones to use against the forces of darkness.  How do we make the most of these promises in our own lives?  We not only declare them in faith, but we give God first place in our lives, and we do our best to walk in faithful obedience before Him in every area of our lives.  Are YOU making the most of your authority in Christ today?

   Lord, by Your Spirit, help me to know and understand the wonderful things You have freely given to me. (1 Corinthians 2:12 AMP)  Show me how to make the most of my authority in Christ so that I can fulfill my God-given purpose and potential.  Instruct me in how to effectively come against every demonic attack that comes against me and my loved ones.  Thank You that as I live my life for You, and exercise my authority in Christ, nothing will in any way harm 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

Jun 14 20

Far Above All Rulers

by J. M. Farro

   “He is far above all rulers, authorities, powers, lords, and all other names that can be named, not only in this present world but also in the world to come.”  Ephesians 1:21 GW

   There are many aspects of this Coronavirus pandemic that I have found disturbing and oppressive, but the isolation has been the worst.  For months, my husband, Joe, and I were not even able to see our own son and his family, even though they live only twelve miles away.  I have been involved with my grandson William’s care since he was two months old.  He’s going to be ten years old this year.  At times, the feelings of separation were so overwhelming that I found myself crying out to God for help and relief.  And then, feelings of anger came over me – anger against the authorities in my state that I felt were oppressing me and keeping me from my loved ones.  The Holy Spirit led me to begin searching the Bible for verses that would reassure me that God was still in control.

   Ephesians says that Christ is “far above all rulers, authorities, powers, lords, and all other names that can be named, not only in this present world but also in the world to come.” (Ephesians 1:21 GW)  Even though I have felt at the mercy of my state’s authorities, the truth is that Jesus is far above ALL of them.  The Amplified translation says that Christ is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion [whether angelic or human].”  This assures me that even the governor of my state is far below the Lord Jesus, and I can appeal directly to Him for relief and help.  

   Let me share with you some scriptural promises that I have prayed and stood on in times like these.  Proverbs says, “Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice comes from the Lord.” (Proverbs 29:26 NLT)  When I feel robbed of true justice from authorities of any kind, I lay hold of this verse, and I appeal to God for His highest purposes to prevail in my life and circumstances.  But I usually have to go through a period of waiting patiently.  As Isaiah says: “The Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 30:18 NIV)  I have claimed Psalm 105:14 (NIV) many times throughout this pandemic: “He allowed no one to oppress them; for their sake He rebuked kings.”  This promise reassures me that my state’s authorities will answer to God Himself for how they treat me.

   Most of all, the Lord’s promise in Romans 8:28 (NASB) fills me with hope for the future: “And we know that God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”  I have continually declared – “God is good, and His plans for me are good.  God is in control, and He’s up to something good!”  Whatever you are going through right now, dear one, I pray that you will draw near to the Lord, and take comfort in these truths today! 

   Lord, I praise You that You are “enthroned forever” and “Your power is absolute.” (Psalm 55:19 NIV; Psalm 147:5 NLT)  When I am feeling oppressed or mistreated, remind me that real justice comes from You, and that appealing to You is my best hope.  Strengthen me, comfort me, and fill me with patient endurance as I wait upon You for my deliverance.  Thank You that in ALL things, You are working for my good and Your glory!

   *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

Jun 7 20

Against All Odds

by J. M. Farro

   “Against all odds, when it looked hopeless, Abraham believed the promise and expected God to fulfill it.”  Romans 4:18 TPT

   This verse of Scripture has gotten me through some of the most difficult times of my life.  It reminds me that “against all odds, when it looked hopeless,” Abraham not only became a father in his old age, but the father of many nations.  How did he manage that?  He believed God’s promise and “expected God to fulfill it.”  In the Christian walk, our expectations help to decide what we are able to receive from the Lord.  Without our belief that God will actually fulfill His promises to us, we will forfeit some of His very best blessings.

   Sometimes, we will be listening to a teaching or a sermon, and we will hear a Scriptural promise that the Holy Spirit will make come alive on the inside of us.  We could be reading our Bibles, and a verse will light up or jump off the page for us.  We may be looking at our little book of Promises one morning, and that afternoon, the Lord will have us read the same promise again somewhere else, or have us hear someone else speak it to us.  That is confirmation from the Lord.  Then we can pray and stand on that promise until it manifests according to God’s perfect will and timing.

   We don’t judge God’s Word and promises by our experiences – or anyone else’s.  This is where a lot of people miss it.  Believing God’s Word is not a feeling, but a decision.  It honors God when we believe His Word over our circumstances.  Imagine Abraham saying, “Well, I don’t know a single person who has had children in their old age, so why should I believe that it could happen to me?”  If Abraham had had such a doubtful mindset, he would have missed out on his God-given destiny, and we wouldn’t be talking about him thousands of years later.

   The second half of this verse in Romans 4:18 says, “He took God at His word, and as a result he became the father of many nations.”  How do we get the kind of results that Abraham did?  We take God at His Word.  We pray God’s promises back to Him, expecting Him to fulfill them according to His will and timing.  Isaiah 55:11 (AMP) says:  “So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; it will not return to Me void (useless, without result), without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”  Hallelujah!  If you want your prayers to be more effective, then learn to pray promise-centered prayers, instead of problem-centered prayers.  Ask the Lord to teach you how, and watch Him fulfill your dreams against all odds!

   Lord, show me which promises You would like me to receive as my own today, and enable me to expect You to fulfill them.  Help me to never judge Your Word by my experience, or anyone else’s, but to always make a quality decision to take You at Your Word.  Teach me how to pray effective, promise-centered prayers that always get results.  Thank You that even when things look hopeless, You will fulfill Your promises to me against all odds! 

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