Tracy and Marilyn

Devotional 13th February 2020

'In God I trust, I will not be afraid ' Psalm 56: 11

On the 31st Jan the UK took the momentous step of breaking free from the EU and maybe you’ve been celebrating if you voted to leave? Or are you struggling with anxiety or even anger? However we voted there is no doubt but that this is a time of great uncertainty for the UK as no one can quite foresee how the transition will pan out in the coming months and years.

In the same way we often face times of confusion in our own lives. Times when although we know in our heads that God loves us and holds our lives in His hands, yet He can seem far away and His love unreal compared with the circumstances we are facing.

So what do we do? Do we just ride the winds of our emotions, celebrating when we feel things are going well but plunging into anxiety when they seem tough? Or is there another way?

In the last devotional we looked at how God didn’t wrap Mary and Joseph in cotton wool but asked them to constantly put their hope in Him. Circumstances were tough for them for a long time but He was always with them. So we too are called to live in hope and trust in God’s ever present love and in the power of His word at work in our lives rather than in the roller coaster ride of our emotions.

In Psalm 56:3-4 David says ‘When I am afraid I will trust in you. In God whose word I praise. In God I trust, I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me?’

I feel that his words ‘In God whose word I praise,’ is a key to empower us to live from the wellspring of trust rather than fear. Do we take time to praise God for His word? Do we listen for His voice every day and praise Him when we sense Him speaking to us, either through the Bible or direct into our spirits? The act of praising in itself is life giving. It causes us to focus on the things that are pure and lovely, praiseworthy and excellent rather than on all the negatives that life can throw at us. It makes us smile.

The other day I was feeling upset because I’d failed to plan properly in my need to meet a writing deadline so I’d had to ask for an extension. I felt ashamed that I’d fallen into this pattern of disorganisation yet again. Satan uses our weaknesses and fears to whisper lies to us. He wants to imprison us in our sense of failure or doubts about God’s love but God wants to set us free. Learning to praise God for what He says rather than listening to Satan’s lies will help us step into that freedom and joy in living. As David says, ‘What can mortal man do to me?’ His circumstances are still the same but a deep inner confidence is growing as he learns to praise God for His word.

So what happened to me with my feeling of failure? Eventually I came to My Father and said ‘I’m so sorry I’ve failed again Father and I’m not sure I can even manage the new deadline.’ Suddenly, deep in my heart a verse came to life, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ Philippians 4:13. I knew He was lovingly saying through that verse ‘Tracy you can do it. Trust in me, I will strengthen and help you. You can do it!’ I started to praise Him and felt a real joy and confidence welling up instead of shame and fear.

What does God want to say to encourage you and give you new hope today?

Will you praise Him for His word?

Will you start to live in trust rather than fear?

Father forgive me that so often I’ve drawn back in tough times and allowed my circumstances to steal my peace. I choose to trust you and draw close to you; to praise you for your wonderful love and your life giving words of hope. Please open my ears to hear you today.

Tracy Williamson

God's strength