“Don’t Give Up!”

power of determination
by Dona Hake

“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against

you until it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never

give up then, for that is just the time and place that the tide will turn.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe

I love this quote. It makes me wonder how many times that I have given up on something or someone just when the tide was ready to turn. Determination is when you come to a decision or you fix yourself on a purpose, and nothing is going to hold you back.

I cannot help but think of Peter as he stepped out of the boat upon the Lord’s command. “Come Peter!” I can only imagine what was going through Peter’s mind as he looked down and saw himself walking on the water. His faith was at work and he was defying the impossible. Yet when his mind became focused on the wind, waves and the turbulent storm, he began to sink. Jesus reached out His hand to Peter, took a firm hold and kept him above water. The thing that always hit me the hardest with this account was that Peter was only an arm’s reach away from Jesus. Peter was almost there but circumstances caused his heart to weaken in faith and determination.


How many times are we just an arm’s reach away from the finish line of success in that which we are setting ourselves. How many times is the tide ready to turn, and we throw up our hands and give up. We must apply faith, persistence, and determination to all we set ourselves to do. As we fix our eyes on Jesus with determination and faith in our hearts, He will enable us to do the impossible. It is as we do this that we can share the testimony of what we learned in our accomplishment to those that need this same word of encouragement!
 

“And let us not get tired of doing what is right, for

after a while we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t get discouraged and give up.”

Galatians 6:9 TLB



“God’s Timing Is Always Correct”

 
 
Gods timing
 
 
I found an interesting quote today in one of my prayer books.

 

“I have learned to thank God for

answering some of my
prayers with “no” or “not now.”

Sometimes we may be interpreting our prayers as unanswered when God really is at work, but at His time and pace. When I read this I immediately began to think how we are so used to getting everything fast. You ride through the drive through window to buy your lunch, and no sooner you pay there is a bag in your hand. I have literally had my salads all but upside down in my bag because they were thrown into the bag for speed sake. Nothing like ordering a salad, and they worked so hard to get it to you so fast that they put no utensils in the bag. In the name of *instant* and *I want it right now!* things can suffer at times.

In the society of everything going quick and instant I find more impatience than ever. On and on I could go about how our expectations of timing can be off in areas in which we just need to patiently wait for God to move in our lives as He wills.

May we never feel that everything we pray about has to arrive from Heaven instantly. The Lord has a perfect timing for everything under the sun and as we live to obey and respect His will, we also will learn to abide by His timing.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (CEB)

” There’s a season for everything
and a time for every matter under the heavens…”



“Eternity In the Heart and Mind of Man”

 
 
god alone
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Ecclesiastes 3:11 (AMP)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He also has planted eternity in men’s hearts and minds [a divinely implanted sense of a purpose working through the ages which nothing under the sun but God alone can satisfy], yet so that men cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.”
 
 
 
I think this scripture is so awesome. I love how it tells us that God has planted eternity in every heart and mind that has ever lived. We are born with the choice of whom we will look to to satisfy our every need. Within the heart of man is a longing that only God can satisfy yet man who chooses to fill his voids apart from Christ will never be fulfilled.  I can remember someone saying that there is a whole in every man’s heart that only God can fill.    Until one accepts Jesus Christ as Lord of their life, there will always be a yearning for more and an emptiness in the soul of that person.
 
 
 
 
I like how the New Life Version translated Ecclesiastes 3:11:
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has put thoughts of the forever in man’s mind, yet man cannot understand the work God has done from the beginning to the end.”
 
 
 

I particularly want you to look at “man cannot understand the work God has done from the beginning to the end.” The beauty of this fact is that this makes God who He is!   He is beyond us figuring Him out, nor should we try to comprehend His ways.    His ways and thoughts are beyond our ways.

 
 
 
Let us trust Him today with all of our hearts.    Let us also rejoice that because
we know Him, we can live in all of the beauty and abundance that He desires for us.
I praise God that He did plant eternity in every man’s heart and mind.   Lord, we ask
that You lead us in our actions and words that we would be a testimony to those around us that have not yet made that choice for You.     God, you have planted eternity within those hearts
that are still empty….oh that they would see their need for a Savior!


“Embracing God In Prayer and His Word”

 
 
 
where do I turn
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
“Which is the right decision in this circumstance?”    “Should I go or shouldn’t I?”     “What is my next step?”    Many times our hearts cry out with these words for we may be facing tough or not so tough decisions.   I don’t know about you but I value embracing that I know God is directing my decisions, and I have a knowing in my heart that I am doing the right thing.  
 
 
 
 
Everyday we have choices and decisions  before us.  Today I want to encourage your heart in simply meditating upon the truths and power of the written Word.   Every answer or direction is there for us. It is as we keep ourselves full of His Word and spend time in prayer with Him that our choices and decisions will be guided by Him.
 

Within the Word of God is a wealth of testimonies of those that have gone before us. Their lives can encourage us to be strong when fear and weakness are trying to overtake our hearts. The Psalms are full of words to encourage your heart every time you read them. Many of the Psalms were written by those that may have been depressed, weary or their lives were endangered yet they chose to call out to the Living God and praise His holy Name! Allow them to escort your heart to praise the living God in your time of questions and great need.     The Proverbs are so beautiful and profound and they can serve to bring wisdom to our heart as we may be facing a time of decision making. 

The Proverbs exhorts us to cherish His instruction and knowledge above anything. We are to value it above anything this world puts a price on.

 
Proverbs 8:10-11 (NIV)
“Choose my instruction instead of silver,
knowledge rather than choice gold,
for wisdom is more precious than rubies,
and nothing you desire can compare with her.”

In this scripture God is showing us that even the jewels that we could ever possess that are incredibly expensive do not measure in value to His instruction, His wisdom and knowledge. Think about it…NOTHING we could ever desire no matter how wonderful can compare to the worth of His great knowledge and instruction. Lord, help us to continue to grow in valuing your written Word.   We thank You that You desire to give us answers to our every question and prayer.   Help us to be discerning over our time that you have blessed us with that we may be diligent to keep our time with You and the reading of Your Word, for it is there that You will meet us and keep us in all our ways.   

 


“Anchored By Your Single-Mindedness”

 
 
 
singleminded
 
James 1:6-8 (The Voice)
“The key is that your request be anchored by your single-minded
commitment to God. Those who depend only on their own judgment are like
those lost on the seas, carried away by any wave or picked up by any wind.
Those adrift on their own wisdom shouldn’t assume the Lord will rescue
them or bring them anything. The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your
compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.”
 
 
 

I really love how this translation brings such great insight into the importance of being single minded. This scripture warns us of leaning on our own understanding and placing our wisdom above God’s. God desires that we be totally devoted in our hearts and minds to His wisdom only that we may be anchored with a single mind. Let us look closer to the one verse here in James…

 
 
 

“The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your
compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.”

 
 
 

May we press into our faith as we are loyal to God and His Word.   We shall not be dizzy and confused for we have set our course, and we will be able to decisively move forward in the plan and will of our Father.   Just as a compass leads us and keeps us on track, being single-minded with all that God has for us will also keep us wise, discerning and very sensitive to the voice of the Lord at all times. Our spiritual “compass” will keep us  centered in His will, and we will remain strong, steady, and focused in the midst of any storms that may come our way.  We thank You Lord that as we draw upon Your grace and seek Your face that You will help us to stay single minded in our commitment to You.



“Not Our Ability But His”

all things

by Dona Hake

 
 
Corrie ten Boom profoundly said it this way…

“It is not my ability, but my response

to God’s ability, that counts.”
 
 
 
 
Many times we are faced with things that God has asked us to do and we can discourage ourselves because we tend to try to accomplish them our own ability. We feel deep down we are to do something yet there may be times in which we lack the confidence we need because we are so focused on our inability or where we are lacking.
 
 
 
 

Philippians 4:13 (AMP)

 
“I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].”
 
 
 
 

Today I encourage you to look up and draw from Him. Draw upon heavenly possibilities and God making you able through Him. If you are dealing with something that seems too big for you, set aside your thoughts and plans. Ask Him to infuse you with His strength and His thoughts on the matter. The Lord loves when we do things with our whole heart and soul yet we need to keep check that we are NOT drawing upon our own wisdom or how others say it is to be done. Remember, it is not your ability but responding to His ability!



“The Work of Worry”

worry quenches the work of grace in you
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today I want to share about the path of faith that God desires that we keep our feet upon.   I am presently absorbed in a favorite devotional book entitled  “The Seeking Heart” by Francois de Fennelon.  I love his writings for they touch and convict me heart.   Here is part of his devotional I was reading that prompted this devotional.
 
 
“Don’t worry about the future–worry quenches the work of 
grace within you.   When God gives you comfort, enjoy it.
Look to Him continually.  Enjoy His provision day by day as the Israelites
received their manna.  Do not try to store anything.”

 

 
 
His exhortation is to live in the present moment and provision of our Lord.   Let us not try to store up the grace and provision of today for tomorrow or weeks ahead.   May we understand that worry is what water is to a fire.   If enough water is thrown  on to a fire, it will go out.   The Lord desires that we seek His face everyday, and He desires to provide us with the fresh bread of all that He is!  He desires that our heart is ablaze for Him as we serve Him wholeheartedly in faith.
 
 
 
May we remember that the faith, comfort, peace, etc… we may have walked in yesterday  are completely inadequate for the moment you are now in.   Let us live in the present moment with our Lord as we live and move and have our being in Him!


“The Power of Forgiveness”

forgiveness July 2014
by Dona Hake
I just read the most heartbreaking story of someone losing their father to medical error.   My heart was breaking for this person.   They stated the anger in their hurt, and honestly I understand.   Yet, I know and understand that the greater truth we possess as believers is that we MUST forgive.   When someone hurts or offends us, we can let it go or hold on to it.   It is only by the power of God’s love at work within us that we can give someone our forgiveness by releasing them of the offense or hurt they have caused us.

One day the subject of forgiveness came up between the Lord and His disciples and Peter popped a question. I guess in Peter’s mind maybe he was willing to give even more than a second chance but a seventh chance. I am sure Peter was taken back by the Jesus’ answer to his question.

 

Matthew 18:21-22
The Voice
Peter:” Lord, when someone has sinned against me, how many times ought I
forgive him? Once? Twice? As many as seven times?”
Jesus: “You must forgive not seven times, but seventy times seven.”


Many times we are just like Peter. We want to feel as if we are so full of love, but you see our love has limitations. We all have our limits. God’s love has NO limitations. Today I encourage you to draw upon the love of the God in the midst of your day. Know that God desires you to draw upon His heart that you can freely forgive as many times as you have to. Continue to draw on and grow in God’s love that you may be able to freely give that which He has freely given you.

 

“Love is a fruit in season at all times, and
within the reach of every hand.”
Mother Teresa

~~~~~♥~~~~~



“With God…ALL Things Are Possible”

day 15 on my mind FB
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I have shared with you before that I am part of a photography group in which a daily prompt is assigned.   Today’s prompt is ON MY MIND.   I felt to share my image I photographed and submitted.  The following is what I have shared with the image…
 
 
day 15
~ on my mind ~
 
“I am quite sure that those seeing me laying on the ground of the driveway to my church were wondering what was on my mind as I was photographing this thriving little flower. When I shared…”Bloom where you are planted!” they understood a bit better what I was seeing and what was on my mind.  You see, I have been observing these beautiful little marigolds that are blooming in concrete with no tending other than the sun and rain from the hand of the Lord.
 
 
 
Sometimes things like this just speak to my heart and mind for they are analogies of the life in which we live. These flowers make me think of those that make a decision to stand strong, persevere and bloom…even though the odds are against them. I am reminded as well of times when things should not have worked out for me but the Lord took an impossible circumstance and turned into into an opportunity of possibility. So this is what is on my mind!”
 
 
Mark 10:27
“…With men it is impossible; but not with God: for all things are possible with God.”
 
 
Today I encourage you to bloom where you are planted.   Stand strong whether the storms of life are trying to bring you down, and discourage your heart.    May we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the hand of our Lord is upon us, and it is He that is well able to turn impossibilities into possibilities!
 
 
 
 


“When Peace Acts As An Umpire”

Peace Jesus' way
by Dona Hake

 

 
 
I would venture to say that maybe you have already had a good breakfast to get your day started, and it is because you know how important it is. There are certain things you purpose to eat and do to keep and maintain a healthy body. Like never before we see such a pursuit among people to stay healthy, look younger, and living stress free, etc… Goals toward good health are important to have because it causes you to discipline yourself and the end result is rewarding.
 
 
 
I bet if I asked a handful of people if they would love to have peace ruling in their heart, and in their minds, they would absolutely exclaim, “Yes!”    I love when I feel like my heart is full of His peace no matter what is going on around me. I have yet to meet anyone that says they would do any thing to keep turmoil, stress, and anxiety in their minds and bodies. God did not design us to live in worry, stress, and fears, therefore it is not good for us to allow these things to dwell within us. Doctors will tell you the harmful physical effects that fear and worry has on our body and emotional well being.    I just recently heard a doctor explaining how stress releases toxic hormones into our system.   How dangerous it is to permit worry and anxiety to become a way of life.    Let us look at what God’s Word has to say about peace…
 
 
 
 

Colossians 3:15-Amplified version

“And let the peace soul harmony which comes from Christ

rule act as umpire continually in your hearts deciding

and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds,

in that peaceful state to which as members of Christ’s

one body you were also called to live…”
 
 
 
 

In this scripture Paul spoke of Christ’s peace being like an umpire or referee in our hearts. His peace will settle all unrest and arguments that go on in our minds. Our hearts and minds are the center of all conflict because this is where our feelings and desires clash, our hopes and fears meet , jealousy battles with love, etc… Ask Him to help you listen to that umpire of your heart. He will instruct you in a way that peace will rule and reign no matter what. It is God’s peace that surpasses all understanding. Jesus indeed gives us peace that the world cannot give. Blessings to you this day!




6 Responses to “Devotional”

  1. Lisa Viands says:

    This is a good way of teaching the kids to forgive each other(Matt. 5:7). I like the power of this gentle scripture and lesson… Thanks!!

  2. Selena Neely says:

    Ralph &I are really enjoying your devotional together.

  3. Selena Neely says:

    Oh, what a wonderful reminder! I want to break the magnifing glass of worry and trust God for each step I take.

  4. Dona Hake says:

    It is interesting Selena how the more we worry the bigger and more magnified things get in our minds. Oh how important it is to trust our God for the smallest of things! Thank you for sharing!