“Hold Fast To Good”

good thoughts good words
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
“Lord, are my thoughts and words acceptable to you?” This would probably be a very good question and prayer that should cross our minds often. I believe if we kept our heart’s challenged with this question that we would be kept from some situations that could easily be avoided. Many times we are quick to think things or form opinions based on our first impression. Maybe you are thinking things and speaking things based on what you have seen in the past. As a result of not asking the Lord for how you are to respond in word and in thought, you could get yourself in a difficult situation or offend someone.
 

Psalm 19:14 (AMP)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart

be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my

[firm, impenetrable] Rock and my Redeemer.”

 

It is only God that knows you all too well. He understands how you tend to think and react. He knows every hurt and pain that is still in the healing process within you. He is well able to help you hold your tongue and alter your thought process. It is He that can help us to be rock solid in every area of our life because He is the Rock! Look to Him as often as you need to be your Helper today that you may think thoughts and speak words that are pleasing to Him.  Let us do as it is written in I Corinthians and speak words taught to us by the Spirit of the living God.   As we do this, we can be assured that we are speaking God’s truth and not our opinions or our own wisdom.

 

1 Corinthians 2:13 (ERV)

“… we don’t use words taught to us by human wisdom.

We use words taught to us by the Spirit.” 
 


“Sowing Seeds of Strength In Others”

god our refuge and help
 
by Dona Hake
 
 Have you ever encountered someone going through a very big problem and you feel at loss for words? Undoubtedly, I am sure you have. Sometimes we can desire so badly to say the right thing and we end up saying something and wished we would have kept our mouth shut. It is times like these that we need to be careful listeners and allow the troubled person to share their heart. As you hear with your heart, God is always faithful to fill your mouth with His words of consolation and wisdom.
 
The scripture that I want to share with you today is one that is very dear to my heart.   It is
2 Corinthians 1:3 and it is from the Message translation.
 
“All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”
 
I want you to now think about the times that you have been on the side of the deep valley of trouble.  That place where there seemed to be no answers and hope.   As you set your face toward the Lord you experienced His sweet comfort, and He gently and lovingly led you to the mountaintop.   I know for myself that those particular times are bittersweet memories.  
 
 
I encourage you today that if you have experienced that powerful comfort that can only come from the hand of God, to be ready to share it with the one in need.    Think about it…you may be the one that God desires to bring alongside of someone who is going through hard times that you can be there for that person just as He was for you!


“Be Patient Because God Is At Work”

be patient God is at work in you
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
It is vital that we continue to walk patiently with those we live with and work with. There is also the whole realm of patiently waiting for circumstances to change in our life, but how many times do we think about being patient with ourselves?

As we pursue to grow in God’s love and in His Word sometimes we focus too much on what we are NOT rather that how far He has brought us. With any work that needs done in us there needs to be a time of waiting for His loving hand to work. I guess there are all times we wished He would work a bit faster, but His wisdom encompasses more than we will ever understand. As He works, He promises that the transformation will indeed happen, but remember sometimes we can tend to be impatient in that which we have to wait for.

Be encouraged today that as you are applying yourself to do that which is right and good in His sight that His loving hand is at work in your life. Guard yourself from focusing on your weaknesses but rather the gifts, the strengths and abilities He has blessed you with. As we keep our hearts humble and open to Him, He will be faithful to show us the areas in which we need to give attention. He leads and guides us into ALL truth in every area of our lives! God bless you.

 
 

 

Phillippians 1:6 AMP

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.”



“The Mercies of God”

streams of mercy
 
by Dona Hake
 
Maybe you are reading this first thing n the morning or maybe you started your day many hours ago.   Regardless of when you are reading this, I want to bring to your heart a reminder of God’s wonderful mercies in your life.   No matter how busy your day is, and no matter how good or bad it seems to be going, I encourage you to ponder this…
 
 
 
Lamentations 3:22-23
New American Bible (Revised Edition)
 “The Lord’s acts of mercy are not exhausted,
his compassion is not spent;
 They are renewed each morning—
great is your faithfulness!”
 
 
 
 
As we look to Him at the start of our day we can stand believing for bountiful blessings flowing from His hand into our life.   We can know that everything we will need to sustain us is there, and all we have to do is ask Him for it.  I love knowing that I serve a God that is FULL of mercy and He promises that it never runs out nor  can it be exhausted!   As you meditate upon this, I encourage you to set your gaze upon Him and allow your spirit to receive all that He has for you today.   We can look to Him in prayer and believe that His fullness will be upon us as we trust in Him.
 
 
 
 
Psalm 90:17
“And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us,
and direct thou the work of our hands upon us…”
 
 
 
 
I believe as we allow His beauty or His grace to be upon us, He will direct the work of our hands. He will begin to deal with how we view everything. He is well able to put us in alignment with His will as we stay humble to Him. He will in turn cause all that we set our hand to to be blessed and prosperous.  


“Our Daily Bread – Exactly What We Need”

seeking God
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
The Word of God tells us that if we seek we will find.   Our loving God loves when we seek Him.   Even though He knows EXACTLY what we need, He desires that our hearts exhibit our need of asking Him.   Jesus taught His disciples to pray, and one of the things to ask for was daily bread.   Let us look at two translations that I felt were excellent.
 
 
Matthew 6:11 (DRA)

 

“Give us this day our supersubstantial bread.”

 
Matthew 6:11 (VOICE)

 

” Give us each day that day’s bread—no more, no less—”

 
 
The Lord knows our needs before we are even aware of them.   He also knows the areas in our hearts that are weak and needy.  It can be so tempting to concern ourselves with things that we do not yet have to deal with.   When we believe that He is faithful to give us exactly what we need, our hearts and minds will be at peace.   Today I encourage you to meditate upon the fact that God is faithful to give us the “bread” we need to get us through one day at a time.   That bread will sustain us, and keep us nourished in our spirits.   Thank you Lord for daily bread that is alive and living and all so powerful!


“Do You Know What God Is Looking For?

creation  Oct 2014
 
by Dona Hake
 
 

I marvel at God’s creation! I can remember being at  The Grand Canyon and it literally took my breath away as I stood at the edge of the greatness of it all.  I said out loud, “How can someone see this and not believe there is a God in Heaven?”  Experiences such as this  should always position us to be reminded of how great our God is! In the book of Isaiah it is written
 
 
 
Isaiah 66:2 (AMP)
“For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.”
 

As God in Heaven proclaims what He did with the work of His hands He goes on to say, “but here is where I look…” I do not know about you but I want to know what God is looking for. After all the beauty and wonder of His creation He is still looking? I love this because it is reminding us that God’s eyes are moving to and fro watching for the one that will ALWAYS put Him and His Word first and reverently respond to what He says. He is looking for those that even when they mess up they admit they are wrong and receive His forgiveness. He is watching for the man and woman that desires to be humble and respect His Word above their own opinions and thoughts. He is watching you and your heart.

 

Let us be reminded today that His eyes are looking and watching for the one who will listen and hear what He is speaking. Know that He is waiting for someone that He can use for His purposes. Think about it…He made it all and in all it’s grand beauty He is still watching for those of a humble and contrite spirit. I encourage you today to think about how He desires to use you as you purpose to remain humble and reverent to His Word.



“The Water Jesus Gives”

but the water
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
This world can try to pull and tug at our hearts.   The devil tries to deceive us and tempt us, and we must live with guarded hearts.  If we do not keep our eyes on Jesus we can be lured into seeking our satisfaction in things other than Him. If we are not careful we can get our eyes too much on our blessings and forget the One that gave them in the first place.  
 
Only Jesus can satisfy the thirst of our souls. Jesus explained to the woman at the well the meaning of the true spring of water that only He gives.

 

 
 

John 4:13-14
Amplified Bible

“Jesus answered her, All who drink of this water will be thirsty again.
But whoever takes a drink of the water that I will give him shall never, no never, be thirsty any more. But the water that I will give him shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling) [continually] within him unto (into, for) eternal life.”

 
 

When you feel life problems and this world draining you of your strength and peace, stop and drink of His water that will strengthen and refresh your soul. Know that it will continue to nourish your soul and it has no end. As this scripture translation says, His water “shall become a spring of water welling up (flowing, bubbling, continually…” This gives such a beautiful image of His living water within us. It truly is the life flow from which we can draw upon whenever we meet uncertainty and overwhelming problems. God is gracious and He ever lives to pour forth that living water onto us!



“Our Sweet Portion”

soon in glory
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
Today I will wrap up our meditation upon the verses in the hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.” The following is the fourth verse:
 
 
“Blessed Savior, Thou hast promised
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.”
 
 
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ we can set our gaze on the blessed hope that “soon in glory bright, unclouded…” Oh that blessed day when we are in the presence of the Lord and His saints. This is a beautiful hope and it is to be embraced! I love this meditation especially when I think of loved ones that have gone before me. Some day….oh yes!…some blessed day, we will reunite and see each other again! What a wonderful day that will be.
 
 
 
We have looked at this hymn and have seen the writer’s focus and intent that it would bring revelation of understanding that Jesus desires to be our Friend. He has promised us refuge, He will heal our sicknesses, and He brings us peace in the midst of turmoil. On and on I could share of the many things that He promises. As for me I want to know that I am sticking by Him closely, and not taking my eyes off of His will for my life. You see, He has promised to never leave us but we do tend to get our eyes off of Him at times. Thank God for His forgiveness and restoration.
 
 
 
So we have this wonderful promise of our “sweet portion” awaiting us, but truth is we each have a work to do here. We need to be strong in our Lord, seek His will and run the race He has set before us. Each of us has a specific race to run, and our time left here is different, but one thing for sure, He wants us to give our all for Him! ~ Praise Him! ~
 
 

 


Hebrews 12:1-2  (ERV)
“…So we, too, should run the race that is before us and never quit. We should remove from our lives anything that would slow us down and the sin that so often makes us fall. 2 We must never stop looking to Jesus.”


“Precious Savior, Still Our Refuge”

are we weak and heavy laden
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
I have been sharing from the hymn entitled “What A Friend We Have In Jesus”.   I hope this has ministered to your heart, and is deepening your revelation of our Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ.  Today, we will look at verse three.
 
 
“Are we weak and heavy-laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Savior, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.”
 
 
 “Are you cumbered with a load of care?”    ~Cumbered ~ is not one of those words you hear today.   Defined it means 
to hinder; hamper..
to overload; burden.
to inconvenience; trouble.
 
 
We can all identify when our hearts are heavy. Our thoughts are hindered, and we cannot think straight. When we are weak from carrying care, our hearts and minds will go into overload, and it is going to affect us in many ways. It seems that the writer of this hymn Joseph M. Scriven, appeared to have a revelation that his good Friend Jesus did not want him to try to bear the cares and burdens of this world. As I read this verse I thought it’s enough to deal with resist carrying care at times, but then he throws into the mix the thought of friends not only walking away, but being despised by them. Terrible thought isn’t it?
 
 
When you have what you thought was a friendship with someone, and something comes between you, it can be hurtful and devastating.   So in this verse he asks, “Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?”   Today I just want to encourage those of you that have deep hurt from broken relationships.   Jesus with open arms wants to hold you and heal your heart.   He promises that you will find solace in His embrace.   Many times broken relationships are restored but sadly there are some that are not.   Jesus still promises to be there and be all that you need Him to be.    Our Savior, still our refuge!
 
Hebrews 13:5 (ESV)

 

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

 


“Faith Under Pressure” devotional for Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

faith under pressure
 
by Dona Hake
 
 
 
Today we will continue looking at the Hymn written by  Joseph M. Scriven,  entitled “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”    Today we will read and ponder the second verse.
 
 
 
“Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.”
 
 
 
Sometimes it seems as if there are seasons in which there is one trial after another.   Temptations are around us at all times, so we can answer the first part of this verse with a big “Yes!!!”   We all well understand that many times in the midst of trials and temptations that our hearts can lose hope and be tempted to discouragement if we do not stay focused and remain in faith.
 
 
I praise God that Jesus knows me inside and out and He also knows EVERY weakness within me.  I pray that as I stay in fellowship with Him in prayer that He will reveal to me those weaknesses.  I know this wonderful Friend named Jesus will not only show me my weaknesses but He will enable me to learn, grow and become strong in those weak places within my soul.   I encourage you to take your known weaknesses to Him, and ask Him for wisdom.   Also ask Him to reveal in His times the weaknesses that are within you that you are not aware of.  Many times it is when we are standing in the midst of hardships that we awaken to areas within our soul that are weak or broken down.  We can think we are so strong to find out differently in the midst of a trial.  Let this not discourage your heart but rather determine yourself to grow in the midst of it all.
 

James 1:2-5The Voice (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. 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.”
 
 
I thank God today that I serve and walk with my good friend Jesus.   He said He would share in all of my sorrows, and even though He knows every weakness of your’s and mine, He continues to stand and walk beside us.   What a friend we have in Jesus!!



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!