“Where To Turn? What to Do?

where to turn  what to do
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today we are going to continue meditating in the first book of James.  Let us look at James 1:5…
 
 
 
 
James 1:5 (The Voice)
“If you don’t have all the wisdom needed for this journey, then all you have to do
is ask God for it; and God will grant all that you need. He gives lavishly and
never scolds you for asking.”
 
 
 
 
 
Many times we could be tempted to run from a test or hardship because we simply do not know which way to turn. I have heard it said that 50% of a problem solved is understanding what it is.   Many times fear can come upon us simply because we do not understand what is going on.   Once you have the knowledge of a problem, then we need the know how to deal with it.  This is why it is so vitally important that we keep ourselves full of the Word of God, stay in prayer, and know that we are purposing to stay in His presence.   Confusion will always be easy for the devil to bring into a situation when we are not staying diligent.     Being full of God’s Word will enable us to rightly discern exactly what to do in any given situation.   Saying all this, we can trust God to speak to us, and give us the exact wisdom that we need for what we need answers for.
 
 
 
 
 I am sure you have experienced in the past a time that you  were walking through a trial or a tough decision and  well meaning people would  try to give you advice, and it was based solely upon their past experiences.   There may also be those that are truly giving you wisdom that needs to be heeded to.  We must be very careful  that we are being discerning and taking that advice and making sure it is godly wisdom and not human wisdom that proceeds from past experience. Wisdom does not come from old age and hard knocks. Yes, the older you get you do learn a few things but that is not how God desires that we develop it. It begins with knowing and depending on Him and allowing Him to speak into our heart about the direction of our life, our actions and our words.
 
 

It so important that we run to the Lord and cry out for His wisdom on a daily
basis.
 
 
Proverbs 8:17 (KJV) says “I love them that love me; and those that seek
me early shall find me.”
 
 
 
 
 
The “seek me early” is pertaining to asking Him for wisdom before EVERY TASK! He desires we make a conscious effort in our hearts and minds to be drawing upon His wisdom from the time our feet hit the
floor when you get out of bed till you lay down at night.   I am not talking about being over spiritual either. I really do not think that God cares what I wear or what flavor of coffee I drink but I do know that He cares about a lot about my plans and thoughts for my day. I think He really wants to be in our life more than we realize.   Yesterday I knew my day was going to be quite full, and I had much to be accomplished.   Every square inch of the minutes in my day were needed to reach a goal.    I simply asked God first thing in the morning to order my steps for each thing that needed to be done.   I asked Him to help me use every minute wisely, and He was faithful to cause me to reach my goal.
 
 
 
If you want God to lead you than you need to understand what His wisdom is on a matter. So I
encourage you today that if you do not know what to do, ask Him.   Ask Him what He thinks about your problem or whatever it is that you are dealing with. I warn you also to be patient and keep all questions in your heart before Him. He is faithful and He will answer. He knows exactly what the right thing is for us to do in our situation and we must simply trust Him.
 
 


“But Pray and Ask God…”

but pray and ask God
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Over the past few days we have been meditating upon counting it all joy when we go through various trials, and expecting our God to turn the hopeless into the hopeful.  Many times when we are in a trial we just can not see how any good could come out of it. It is those times when we are troubled and weary that we need to run to Him and lay it all before Him in prayer.   This is the very best way that we can keep ourselves guarded from our own emotions and thoughts that can surely work against us.  As He begins to minister to us  all that we need, we will be in a position to see more clearly. Many times He will begin to speak to us and show us His plan, and it is above and beyond all that we could ask or think.
 
 
 
 
When we take our cares to the Lord and pray we can expect Him to speak to us in our hearts, and instruct us in the way that we should handle our problems. We must always embrace the fact that no matter what we walk through Jesus has promised to never leave or forsake us. He sees from beginning to end, and as we trust Him we  can believe for Him to work on our behalf. I shared yesterday from  Ephesians 3:20  and I want to share it again…it says,
 
 
 
 
“Now unto Him that is able to do above and beyond all we dare ask
or think, above our highest hopes, prayers and dreams.”
 
 
 
 
I believe this scripture will help us  see that our prayer over a situation can be an amazing opportunity
for God to work on our behalf like we never dreamed. I like to look at it this way, think about a situation and what you could perceive as a good outcome, and then think how God can surpass  our expectations. I love when God turns a hopeless situation inside out, and uses it for His glory.
 
 
 
 
Again we must remember that in order for Him to work in such a way that we must be willing to give the situation to Him totally, exercise our faith, be enduring and patient. Within every trial and troublesome time there are the thoughts that we must deal with. Many times individuals just try to keep their mind occupied so they are not thinking about their troubles, and this is not God’s way to deal with our troubling thoughts and cares. This would be nothing more than just staying preoccupied, and we need to understand that God has a better way. It is necessary that we guard our hearts and minds from anxiety, and the secret is in the following scripture:
 
 

Philippians 4:6 (Easy-to-Read Version)
” Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need,
always giving thanks for what you have.”
 
 
 

Today I would like you to think about the times where the Lord answered a  prayer of yours, and it was not the way you expected. Many times I have found that potential problems ended in great opportunities to minister to people, and I was stronger than before. This is part of the work of the Lord in our lives as we stand strong in our faith, and endure no matter what. It is a good thing that we meditate and testify of the goodness of the Lord in our lives!
 


“That Moment When God…”

that moment
 
 
Yesterday my heart was once again reminded of how I need to keep proper perspective of what is going on around me.   This is something we all need to keep in check within our souls.   I can remember recently saying to myself while having somewhat of a rough week, “Remember…it could be worse…”     Sometimes I think of the horrific things people are facing in different parts of the world, and really we must be mindful that we are blessed.   We need to ever remind ourselves that God is walking with us, and He has promised to lead us in the paths that echo His Name.  
 
 
 
 
I am a part of a group on Facebook that is closed and strictly for those interested in photography.  Each day we are called upon to submit an image in accordance to the assigned prompt for the day.   I have been so blessed with this group for I am now interacting on a regular basis with people from all over the world.   Many are Americans, Canadians, Australians. some from Wales, England, Germany, and Holland.   What has really been awesome is some are believers in the Lord Jesus Christ.   I was glancing through the prompt that was assigned and it was entitled  “This happened…”   My heart was touched and moved to pray when I saw this individual’s image.    She opened with her post saying “this happened”  and it was an image of a truck all but completely under the waters caused by a flood.   She first apologized for her length of explanation as she shared that her little country town had been devastated with flooding and strong damaging winds as high as 170mm.   She said her family was safe yet she had friends that lost everything.  On top of that, there was more rain on the way,  Their power had been cut off,  but would come back and then they would lose it again.     At the end of her post she said “Please hold onto those you love and spare a thought for my friends who lost everything, but we are a strong little community, and we will get through this.”
 
 
 
 
My heart went out as it hit me how devastating that must have been yet there was even more rain on the way.    She wrapped up her post with what was the most important thing that she wanted to stress. Her words caused me to once again to just be so thankful for the precious people that God has put in my life, and yes we need to appreciate and love them more and more each day.    God has put us with people, and given us each an assignment for such a time as this.   Is it always a “bed of roses”?   Absolutely not, yet we need to continue walking strong in His plan and purpose for our life.   The Lord impressed upon my heart that yes…He is well able to turn our hopeless situations inside out, but it begins with us believing that He can do so.     Sometimes the way He turns things around is not the way we planned nor it is in the timetable we expected.   Let us grow in our expectancy of Him, and what He is well able to do in our lives.
 
 
 
Ephesians 3:20 (AMP)
“Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—”
 
 
 
 


“Your Faith Will Blossom”

your faith will blossom
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
I am happy to be able to bring this devotional to you today.   After days of not having use of my computer and the internet, I am very thankful that it is up and running!   
 
 

James 1:2-4 (The Voice) “Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and
sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you
embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true
patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip
you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete,
and wanting nothing.”
 
 
 
To be quite honest this scripture used to kind of baffle me and I would think I can not understand why James would say to count it as joy when you are going through a bad time. The more of life that I have experienced the more I understand this scripture.  If our hearts and minds are open hardships have the ability to bring new perspective, and greater appreciation for everything and everyone around you.
 

The first thing I want to say that really stands out to me is that we need to come to a place where we embrace hardships and tests with a right attitude. I think the hardest thing for us to do is embrace a difficulty. It seems like human nature just wants to live in a place where there is no conflict but we well know that on this earth that is not going to happen. I find it troubling when Christians want to
get angry with God and turn their eyes away from Him when things are not going their way. The truth is, we live in a fallen world but we serve a risen Savior that is well able to bring victory in every thing we face!
 
 
 
Jesus tells us in the Word that we will have trials and troubles and he tells us how to handle them.
John 16:33 (AMP) ” I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]”    Isn’t it interesting that Jesus mentions that in the midst of tribulation, trials, distress and frustration that we are to be of good cheer or as James said it,  “Count it all joy…”
 
 
May we continue to grow in our faith as we live everyday for Him.    May we keep our eyes toward in when all is well, and may we ever keep our gaze on Him when we have hardships.   God has promised that He would equip us in this journey.   May we rest in that promise no matter what.   God is good all the time, all the time…God is Good!
 
 
 


“Singing In the Storm”

as the tornado hit
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I am reflecting on a very precious account of an elementary school teacher, and how she kept her small children calm during a deadly tornado in May of 2013.   This story is so precious to me because the hearts and minds of little ones touch me in a very special way.   I teach small children in church, and I love the many times that they have innocently and honestly shared their little hearts with me.   Sometimes they may share their fears, sometimes it may be bad memories, and sometimes what they share is simply hilarious.   The thing that stands out to me is their hearts being open, trusting and honest.    My heart only wonders what it would be like to be with a group of small children, and having to calm them  during an approaching deadly tornado.   I would like to recall the story of this teacher, and how God helped her get her small classroom through such an event.
 
 
During the memorial service held in Moore, OK in May of 2013 Governor Mary Fallin of Oklahoma quoted excerpts from this portion of scripture…
 
 
 
Psalm 46:1-3 ”
God is our protection and source of strength. He is always ready
to help us in times of trouble. So we are not afraid when the earth quakes and
the mountains fall into the sea. We are not afraid when the seas become rough
and dark and the mountains tremble.”
 
 

After the tornado killed 26 and injured hundreds, the town of Moore gathered to remember those
that lost their lives and look to God and each other for strength to go on.During the service an elementary school teacher shared  about how she handled her classroom of small children as the deadly tornado approached. She exclaimed how she did not want her children to be frightened
so she asked them if they wanted to play a game with her. She told them to move their desks against the wall and get under them. As they huddled they began to sing songs and after a few songs one little one asked to sing “Jesus Loves Me.”
 
 
 
As the tornado hit they were singing this song and the louder the
tornado got the louder they sang.
 
 
Even though the whole ordeal was a frightening one for this teacher and children, they lived to testify that they made it through the storm. During the memorial service these same children stood and sang “Jesus Loves Me” and received two standing ovations -once on their way in and again after they finished singing.
 

During the service the Rabbi Veder Harris read from the book of Kings, noting that God was not in the storm but is in the “still, clear voice within us.” I believe that even in the “storms” of this life if we stay still in our spirits and our faith strong in Him we can still hear His voice and proclaim His love for us. When we know we are hearing His voice we can always be assured that He is with us and He will bring us through.

 
 
I was so touched just trying to imagine little children in such a horrific situation huddled under desks singing at the top of their little lungs “Jesus Loves Me.” I began to think about when the storms of life come our way that this is what our reaction should be. Do our spirits hold fast to knowing and embracing that Jesus loves us as the storms  of our life get louder and louder or do we allow the storm to overtake us because of doubt and unbelief?      

 
 
I encourage you today to ponder the love of God that came through Him giving His Son.   His love is great and He is greatly to be praised.   Don’t forget, Jesus loves us, this we know, for the Bible tells us so!!!!


“Refresh My Soul”

refresh my soul
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
  Today I will be sharing from Psalm 23:2 (AMP) “He makes me lie down in [fresh, tender] green pastures; He leads me beside the still and restful waters.”
 

This Psalm is probably one of the most favorite and most memorized over the years. The other day I was reading it, and my heart has returned to share with you what the Lord has impressed upon my heart. I would dare to say that anyone would love to say that their heart and mind is surrounded and totally permeated with God’s peace and rest. Along with a heart and mind at rest, I believe He desires that we be good stewards of our bodies in the area of rest that we experience good health.

I love when people share what they have learned from the Lord through their experiences. It is so valuable when we can share the wisdom we attain with one another. Today I will share with you what the Lord recently spoke to my heart relative to leading me through a sickness I am recovering from. It has been a few weeks where I knew my body was dealing with something. Last Monday while I was quietly walking about my backyard with Aasha, He gently impressed upon my heart that I needed to commit my body to rest. May I emphasize ~He gently impressed upon my heart~. He did not command me…it was a gentle leading. The Lord never forces us to do a thing….”period…end of paragraph!!!”

I have to say that resting and doing nothing for me is a struggle. I am an achiever, and I do not stop until I am exhausted. I continue to learn that just going about doing things my own way can get me in trouble. You see, we can confess that He leads us to quiet places, green pastures, and still waters, but that does not always mean we obediently follow. My friend, I must tell you, this can get us in trouble!

After being diagnosed with pneumonia a few days ago, I can say that I am glad that I was obedient to do all that I knew to do. My body is healing up and strength is welling up from within, and I praise Him for it! Over the past few days I have experienced rest like never before, and it has been so amazing. I want to add to this that we need to be so thankful for our bodies, and God desires that we take care of them. Sometimes we can be overdoing it, and not respecting the fact that God has indeed created us to work and produce but he also desires we receive proper rest, We must obey that fact or we can end up paying for it. Our shepherd knows the “green pastures” and “quiet waters” that will restore us. We reach those places only by obediently following Him.

I hope this has blessed you today. As the old saying goes, “We live and we learn, and we learn and we live.” I praise Him for this experience and wisdom of a greater understanding of proper body rest.

 


“It’s A New Day!”

its a new day
 
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Philippians 3:13-14
“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching
forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of
the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
 
 
 

Today is here and tomorrow is coming. What happened yesterday is in the past.  May we look to Him today, and expect good things for this day and our future!   Sometimes our failures, experiences or hurts from yesterday can try to hinder the moment.   I believe God is calling us to live in the moment, in His presence, and in faith toward Him.  If our yesterday has brought pain to us we need to  ask the Lord to bring healing to our heart and ask Him for the wisdom we need to walk forward. It is important to remember that when we do walk through hardships that we should seek to embrace and pass on that wisdom when He calls upon us to do so.   Remember…we are His light and His mouth piece to speak to those hurting and in need.
 
 
 
 
God desires that we look forward into our future with faith in our hearts. It is a very bad mistake to live and dwell in our past. It is like trying to drive a car with our gaze continually in the rear view mirror. Yes, there are times we need to glance in our rear view mirrors so we can proceed cautiously. Those glances serve us  to proceed with caution that we do not make mistakes or put
ourselves in danger.   May we be continually looking forward as the Lord walks beside us, and leads us and guides us in His paths that echo His Name.
 
 
 
I love this quote by John Mason…”The future frightens only those who prefer living in the past.” Many times our minds may try to haunt us with reminders of our mistakes or failures from our pasts.  Know this…As we take our failures and mistakes to God, He will teach us from them, and we can actually grow stronger.  God does not want us to be fearful of our future but rather we need to rejoice in
the days to come knowing that He is ready to use us as He wills as we give Him
our all!   I leave you with this powerful quote…
 
 
 
 
“MY UNKNOWN FUTURE IS IN THE HAND OF AN ALL KNOWING GOD”


” A Love That Never Fails “

A Love that Never Fails Ministry Bulletin
 
by Dona Hake
 
Today will be the last day that I will share from 1 Corinthians 13.   I have enjoyed looking at what love is and what it is not over that past few weeks.   The last of the attributes of love in I Corinthians 13, it is written that love NEVER fails. The longer we are alive the more we realize that there are things that we thought were guaranteed to last somewhat, and they simply do not.     I often think that appliances in this day and age are manufactured not to last but to break in a matter of time.   I thank God that His love is tried and true and we have an eternal guarantee  never fails,and  it has no expiration date. but it is eternal. 
 
 
 
 
 

As we rejoice in knowing that love never fails, we can rejoice greatly in the fact that we will never be separated from it. Romans 8:39 it says, “Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” As we stay in fellowship with the God of love, light and life we will continue to go forward. Know that there will be times in this life that we may fail, but God and His love NEVER fail. He is always there for us and He promises to continue to be there for us.
 
 

 
Every day there will be new challenges that can bring potential frustrations that can tempt us to be weary and cause our heart to fear failing. Be encouraged, we serve a God of love that never fails. Our loving Heavenly Father is there to deliver us and bring us out of circumstances and we will be stronger than before!

 



“God’s Love Bears All Things”

gods love bears all things
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Today we will meditate upon the fact that God’s love bears all things.   I would like to share two different translations that I found to be very helpful in bring an even greater revelation to our hearts.
 
 
 
1 Corinthians 13:7Amplified Bible (AMP)

 

“Love bears up under anything and everything that comes…”

 
 
 
1 Corinthians 13:7-10 (PHILLIPS)
“Love knows no limit to its endurance…”
 
 
 

The love of God  does not give up, and it never weakens. Here is another great scripture that I love that reminds me of what the love chapter is saying about the endurance of our God, and it is found in

 

 

 Isaiah 40:28-31 (The Voice) “Don’t you know? Haven’t you heard? The Eternal, the Everlasting God, The Creator of the whole world, never gets tired or weary. His wisdom is beyond understanding. God strengthens the weary and gives vitality to those worn down by age and care. Young people will get
tired; strapping young men will stumble and fall. But those who trust in the Eternal One will regain their strength. They will soar on wings as eagles. They will run—never winded, never weary. They will walk—never tired, never faint.”
 
 
 
 
Isn’t it good to know that even in times of weariness that as we look to Him, He will enable us to regain the strength that we need to go on because God never tires in any situation. Paul said, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” We serve a God that will help us to bear down and draw on new strength when we just feel like giving up.
 
 
 
 
I can remember a particular time in my life where I was growing weary as I was  believing for the salvation of my father.   He was in a nursing home and I would visit each day, as I was also teaching school.   I felt like my days were not long enough, and I was growing physically weak, and unable to focus.  One evening while I was in prayer the Lord showed me in my spirit an image of a candle that was burning so long that the wick was ready to go out because the wax was so deep and it was extinguishing the wick.   It seemed that the candle was a reflection of me losing hope and burning out.   As I pondered this, I can remember asking the Lord for His strength and just one moment of clarity with my father that I might be able to pray with him.    I rejoiced as that moment came within a day before he died.   I was assured he gave he life to the Lord, and I will never forget the strength that only God could give for I had none in my own ability!    Praise God that we serve a God that never weakens nor gives up but presses in until the desired result is accomplished.
 


“God’s Love Does Not Envy”

gods love does not envy
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today we will go back to 1 Corinthians 13 and think about what God’s love is not.   God’s love does not permit us to be envious.  Yesterday, I shared with you that godliness with contentment brings great gain to us, and I believe that one of the sure way our hearts could open us up to envy would be if we are not content in what the Lord has blessed us with.
 
 
 
God desires that we guard our hearts with all diligence for this is the place in which He dwells.   Proverbs 4:23 speaks to us and tells us why:
 
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above
all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.”
 
 
 
 
God desires that we allow no room in our heart for anything that could poison it, and cause it destruction.  He understands that it only takes a little bit of something bad that could become very big and destructive to our love walk and His will for our life.  As we look at envy today, we will see it’s power and how it could poison our soul.  Envy denotes a longing to possess something that someone else has. Here is a quote that will make it even clearer for us:
 
 
 
 
“Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.”
Harold Coffin
 
 
 
First of all I want to say that anyone of us can fall prey to this sin apart from the help of God.
The devil can trick us into thinking it is okay to feel certain feelings such as envy . He will try to convince us that it is okay to feel envious as long as we don’t talk about it. You know…just keep it hidden. He cleverly understands the whole concept of hiding things from others and putting on a front of looking spiritual or good while the inside of you is being eaten up by a poison and weakening in your walk with the Lord.  Remember this for the Word tells us in 2 Corinthians 11:14 “…Satan himself poses as a messenger of heavenly light…”
 
 
 
 
Satan may try to deceive us, and cause us to be comfortable with any sin such as the sin of envy, but let us be sober and vigilant for he seeks to devour us with such deception.   As we purpose to grow in the love of God, we will be grounded in the fact that love simply is NOT envious!
 
 
 
 
Lord, help us this day to be vigilant and very cautious over our hearts.   Help us to recognize such sins as envy that we can quickly weed it out of our soul and be free to serve You in greater ways.   Continue to remind us of all that Your love is and all that it is not.   We thank you for Your Word as it leads, guides and protects our hearts everyday! 



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!