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Devotions

Calm in the Midst of Crisis

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)October 10, 2019

King David said, “Many, O Lord my God, are Your wonderful works which You have done; and Your thoughts toward us cannot be recounted to You in order” (Psalm 40:5).

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!” (Psalm 139:17).

God thought of you before you were born! He thought of you when your life was breathed into a cell — when you were still in the womb. It is hard to comprehend that our Father would think of us so highly. He thinks of us when we lie down in bed and when we rise. He thinks of us with every step we take. He also knows and understands every thought we think: “Jesus perceived their thoughts” (Luke 5:22).

Heaven is populated with highly intelligent beings — angels, seraphim, cherubim — who are witnesses to the faithfulness of our God. They know of all the promises he has made to us concerning his attention toward every minute detail of our lives. If God failed in a single one of these promises, all heaven would become chaos and ruin, for the heavenly host would say, “God failed to keep his Word! He can’t be trusted.” Yet, the fact that all heaven praises God, throwing their crowns at his feet, is proof that they behold and believe in his faithfulness. God can be trusted to do all he said he would.

The world is not looking for more doctrinal proof of the reality of God. The world is looking for Christians who can stand up to every crisis, trouble and difficulty, and remain calm and at rest in the midst of it all. The world needs to see God’s children trusting wholly in their Lord.

Beloved, trust in the Lord with all your heart. Freedom from fear and worry comes when you rest confidently in the very One who created you!

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Freedom From Fear and Worry

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)October 9, 2019

While walking up a country road in New Jersey, I had a good talk with my Lord. I cried, "Lord, I can't live with fear and worry of all kinds. I want to face whatever the future holds with rest, joy and simple trust! I want total freedom from all fear and worry!"

The Holy Spirit quickened me: "The key to freedom from all fear and worry is found in two words — sparrows and hair. Remember what I said in Matthew 10:28-33. 'One of them (sparrows) shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered'" (verses 29-30).

It sounds so elementary, so very simple — but what Jesus tells us here is very profound.

Out of 9,000 species of birds, God singled out the sparrow to reference in his Word. Sparrows are wonderfully made, their thin, small bones are strong and specially equipped for flying. In fact, modern science still cannot copy the intricate wing system that allows them to migrate up to three thousand miles. God designed every bone, every feather — and he counted every one of them.

Every hair on our heads is counted by our Father in heaven. Between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs blanket the average human head and even those who are bald have the vellus variety hair which is unseen by the human eye. God made hair useful — eyebrows keep sweat out of our eyes and eyelashes protect our eyelids when dust or tiny insects get too near. Tiny hairs in the ears and nose filter out incoming particles. Every hair is a cylinder of cells that has tunneled deep into the skin to reach the blood vessels that nourish it. 

It’s no wonder David said, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works” (Psalm 139:14). Being mindful of the intricate design of God’s creation should make us even more attentive to our heavenly Father’s watchful care of us. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things” (Matthew 6:34). He knows what we need and will gladly supply it.

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Faith Beyond Hopelessness

David Wilkerson (1931-2011)October 8, 2019

“One of the rulers of the synagogue … fell at [Jesus’] feet and begged Him earnestly saying, ‘My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live’” (Mark 5:22).

When this ruler, Jairus, ran to Jesus, he was affirming true faith: “Lord, all my daughter needs is you. You have all power and you can keep her from dying!” Jairus represents most of Christianity. We know Christ is our only hope, and in our times of crisis we run to him, fall at his feet, and seek his mercy and help. Responding to the faith of Jairus, “Jesus went with him” (verse 24).

Even while his heart was filled with great hope, Jairus also may have been struck by a terrible thought: “What if we’re too late? It’s wonderful to have Jesus by my side, but we need time. We need Jesus and time!” Most likely the people looking on said among themselves, “Jesus is the great physician but he’d better hurry — she may die at any minute.” And what happened? The little girl died!

Why did Jesus permit time to run out? Because he wanted his followers to have faith in his resurrection power — faith that goes beyond hopelessness, beyond even death! “Some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, ‘Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” (5:35). And Jesus instantly said, “Do not be afraid; only believe” (5:36).

Jesus never gives up on the dead! Walking right into a terrible scene of confusion, doubt and fear, he proclaimed words of life: “Little girl, I say to you, arise” (5:41).

Is there great commotion and upheaval in your life? Grieving? Confusion? Oppression? It could be because you do not believe that Jesus can resurrect what is dead. Believe that Jesus knows what he is doing; he has a life-giving plan for you, so don’t give up. Jesus will work a miracle if you will trust in his Word.

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Determined to Trust God

Gary WilkersonOctober 7, 2019

“Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he will answer him from his holy heaven with the saving might of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They collapse and fall, but we rise and stand upright” (Psalm 20:6-8).

Total trust in the Lord can change your life! It takes faith to believe that God is always at work on your behalf. Yet, the Word says that even the demons believe (see James 2:19) but their belief is mere mental agreement, not a genuine saving faith. Satan and his underlings are more aware of God’s reality than most people, yet the demons are certainly not saved. The kind of faith that saves us is the kind that changes us.

As we walk with the Lord, we can be full of questions; we can even have doubts. Why does God allow suffering? Why do bad things happen to good families? Why does it seem to take so long for God to answer our prayers? God longs to do a deeper work in us. He wants to take us beyond just a set of beliefs (traditions, doctrinal issues) and fill our hearts with a complete and total trust in him.

When we are tempted to doubt, we can say, “Help my unbelief, Lord. But until my belief becomes full, I choose to trust you.” We may doubt certain things at times, but the Lord always takes care of that. He reveals the truth, shows the way, and confirms the truth. In the midst of our struggle, during our greatest doubt, God puts something in our hearts. He lets us know that he is good all the time and always trustworthy. We can trust his holiness, his splendor, his grandeur, his majesty, his love.

I urge you to resolve your issue of trust today. Your faith may be shaken, but your Rock is still there. Say to your Father, “God, no matter what comes, I have determined that I will trust in you.”

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Inviting the Holy Spirit into Your Life

Jim CymbalaOctober 5, 2019

Jesus said, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

The Holy Spirit is God’s agent on earth, yet he is the least understood, least preached about, and least discussed member of the Trinity. And that is sad because without him, our spiritual lives will become a dry, mechanical struggle. There is nothing that will change your prayer life, your study of God’s Word, and your experience during worship in church more than inviting the Spirit to join you in a new way.

Examples of the Holy Spirit’s work often appear in accounts of the early church. Unfortunately, today many of us have gotten used to doing without the powerful presence of the Holy Spirit working in our lives and churches. Consider these honest questions:

  • How many Christians suffer from a spiritual life that is dry and mechanical?
  • How many serve a Jesus they know about from the Bible, but not a living reality in their experience?
  • Do we ever wonder why Holy Spirit interventions are so rare in our congregations?
  • Could we be missing out on wonderful blessings planned for our lives because we are not properly acquainted with the person and work of God the Holy Spirit?

There is only one thing more powerful than seeing the Spirit work in someone else’s life, and that is seeing him work in yours. If you want power, confidence, joy, peace, and more love in your life, ask the Spirit to come and do something new in you.

Everything we read about the church in the New Testament centered on the power of the Holy Spirit working in the hearts of Christian believers. They believed in Christ’s word, they expected the Spirit to do great things, and he came through as promised. And the good news is: he will do the same for you today!

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.

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