“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!!

“What A Friend We Have In Jesus” Devotional for Wednesday 10/22/14

what a friend we have in Jesus
by Dona Hake
I am feeling that I am to share some devotional thoughts that are based on the lyrics of the hymn written by Joseph M. Scriven,  entitled “What A Friend We Have In Jesus.”    This was written in 1855, and it is known by many as a very precious hymn.   I can remember singing this as a little girl.  Quite honestly, I sang this before I even knew Him and the whole concept seemed so foreign to have such a good friend that I could not see.   Once I came to know Him as my personal Savior I totally understood what a wonderful friend He could be, and today He is my best friend!  Today we will look at the first of the four verses.
“What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!”
I am sure as you read this carefully there may be a particular word or a special thought that ministered to your heart.   My heart is touched firstly by the word PRIVILEGE.  May I never forget what a privilege it is that I can carry everything to the feet of Jesus in prayer.  When something is a privilege it is  a right,  or benefit.   We have the privilege of going to Jesus any time and for any thing  because of our rightstanding  with God through Jesus Christ.    
The second word that  touched my heart was the word EVERYTHING.  When Jesus has come to reside in our hearts we can rejoice in knowing that it is our  God given right and blessing to take everything to Him in prayer.   He wants to know everything that is bothering us.   He wants us to lay down our hurts and troubles.   If we do not lay them down, our hearts will be heavy, and we will not enjoy the freedom that is ours to live.   Do not forfeit your peace and take on needless pain because you are trying to carry the load that He desires to bear for you.   Today, take everything to God in prayer.   Your Friend, the Lord Jesus Christ desires to be there for you as a good friend would.

“The Power of Encouragement”

by Dona Hake
One evening I was in my back yard and I was strolling around with my camera.  Sometimes I do that as I look for special nature gems that I seek to photograph.   As I was ready to walk back in the house I heard a flock of geese overhead, and I was so excited to capture this shot.    The sound of their honking and the flapping of their wings was so amazing to see and hear.  One geese always leads in the front and the ones behind are in formation following right behind.   I found this interesting thing written regarding geese in formation and their honking as they fly.  Today let us reflect on the power of encouragement.
The Importance of Encouragement


“Geese flying in
formation “honk”
to encourage those up front to
keep up with their speed.

We need to make sure
our “honking” is encouraging.
In groups and teams where
there is encouragement,
production is much greater.
Individual empowerment results
from quality “honking.”
Author Unknown

The geese “honking” teaches us the power of encouragement but the form in which they fly teaches us another lesson. Did you ever wonder why geese fly in the “V” formation?    There are two reasons.  First, it conserves their energy. Each bird flies slightly above the bird in front of him, resulting in a reduction of wind resistance. The birds take turns being in the front, falling back when they get tired. In this way, the geese can fly for a long time before they must stop for rest.   The second benefit to the V formation is that it is easy to keep track of every bird in the group. Flying in formation may assist with the communication and coordination within the group. Fighter pilots often use this formation for the same reason.  I found understanding this makes this an analogy that can teach us about encouragement as we as unity. 
This is the time of the year where I live that you hear flocks of geese beginning to leave for the cold winter months ahead.    These facts will remind me why they fly in formation and why they are honking.   So how can we learn from the behavior of geese?  
 When we as believers find our rightful place where God wants us to be, we will be strong and effective.   We will find our rightful place and soar to new heights.   We will draw upon the strength of our God and those people that He has put in our lives.   When we see anyone around us that is weakening and needs an encouraging word, we will speak an encouraging word, and they shall be lifted up. 
As we look to love and encourage one another as God desires us to, we will see each other walking out our God given assignments that we have been given.   There is power in encouragement and unity!    Today, I encourage you to be sensitive to those around you.  There are troubled hearts everywhere, let us seek to speak a word of life giving encouragement to the heavy and anxious heart!
Proverbs 12:25  
Anxious hearts are very heavy,
but a word of encouragement does wonders!” 

“What Happens When…”

by Dona Hake
Today I want you to think about this question.  What happens to you when your idealistic thoughts or plans meet disappointment?   Truth is…. we have all done it.   We build up expectations at times and if they do not turn out the way we planned, we are disappointed and let down. How we react to those disappointments will either upset us or just make us a bit stronger inside.   It all boils down to how we decide to face things when they do not turn out the way we thought they should.  Let our goal be that we face disappointments with a proper attitude.
Today I will tell on my parrot. Since she talks but does not read I will be able to get away with this. (lololo!!!)   Our parrot, JJ, observes our household very closely and she understands our routines very keenly. I was told by a very wise woman that raises and understands these birdies that you should never get them too used to a routine, because if they like it too much and you break it…well let’s just say they will not be too happy with you. This is why I NEVER feed her at the same time everyday.   All of her treats come when she least expects them.  This is somewhat tough on me because I am very much a routine person, and I especially like to see my pets in a routine.

JJ even knows my personal routine in the morning and one morning everything seemed to be going wrong.   I was rushing to get out the door because I had an appointment.   She could see something was very different and she DID NOT like it.  I always walk over to her cage before I leave, and say goodbye and tell her I love her.   Well…since she did not like the “rush-rush” deal that I was doing, she decided to let me know what she thought.    When I moved toward her cage  to say goodbye she snapped the side of her cage in anger rather than her usual affectionate little goodbyes that I get. She just did not want me to leave her. I left her with these words… “That was not very nice JJ!” Whenever I return home I am usually greeted with  happy whistles and fun greetings, but not this time.   I walked over to her cage and she turned her back and would not even look at me.   Oh my gosh…I could not believe it was in this little bird to act like this.  You see, she had an expectation based on what “she thought” should have happened. She was indeed a disappointed and mad little bird that day!


Let us be honest and admit that we may at times have preconceived ideas of how we feel people should treat us and do for us.   We can all relate to having expectations on how we think something should go.  Sometimes  our expectations that are based on the ideal meet up with the real, and we have great big disappointments.

Disappointments are going to  happen, and life is full of them. It is what we do with our disappointments that makes all the difference. It is so important to just move on and not permit anything to hinder or rob our joy. It is of great consolation that our Lord well understands our disappointments and as we take them to Him, He will help us walk through them. Thank God for Jesus because He understands every up and down we will ever face.
“The Lord is close to those who have suffered
disappointment.   He saves those who
are discouraged.”
Psalm 34:18    (ERV)

“Quick To Hear” – devotional for Sun. Oct. 19,2014

quick to hear Oct 2014
by Dona Hake

James 1:19 (AMP)


“Understand [this], my beloved brethren.

Let every man be quick to hear [a ready listener],

slow to speak, slow to take offense and to get angry.”
 I think of how many arguments and misunderstandings that would be avoided if this simple truth were taken heed to. If one does not give their full attention to the one speaking to them, there will more than likely words that are spoken which could be inappropriate, hurtful or misunderstood. This verse has a wealth of wisdom in it for us. It also shows us that it is just as important to listen to another’s heart for the unspoken words and feelings they may be feeling. Many times we may feel that we have the right answer for someone yet it is not the appropriate time for that word to be spoken. As we take care to listen, our words spoken will be appropriate and edifying to the listener. 

Let us ask the Lord to have sensitive hearts that we will listen more closely to those around us. Many times we may indeed know what that individual may need but we need to ask the Lord for the proper season to share it.

Proverbs 25:11 (AMP)
“A word fitly spoken and in due season is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Listening to someone may be the greatest gift you could give them. Choice words are even a greater gift to one that is in need. After you have listened carefully you will find they will be much more apt to hear your heartfelt and choice response. They will be more likely to take heed to the wisdom that you feel you are to share too. I believe the Lord can help us to guard our tongues that our words will be as choice silver and gold.

“God’s Word-My Shield”

by Dona Hake
Proverbs 30:5 Expanded Bible


“Every word of God ·is true [passes the test;  is refined;
·He guards those [ They are a shield to those] who come to
him for ·safety [refuge].

God’s Word to us is flawless. We need not try to analyze it, we need only to believe that His Word is true. He promises that His Word is a shield to those that place their trust in Him. In your day of battle you are promised that His Word will shield you and keep you. It is in those times when the fiery darts of the enemy come to penetrate your soul that the Word of God that you believe and speak will be a protection, a refuge, and you will walk in victory. Jesus stressed the importance and the blessing of living by the truth.

John 8:31-32 (PHILLIPS)

“If you are faithful to what I have said,

you are truly my disciples. And you will

know the truth and the truth will set you free!”

Oh that we would be diligent to know His Word that we may be free in every area of our lives. Let us never add or subtract from His Word either.      Proverbs 30:6 says “Add thou not anything to the words of him, and thou be reproved, and be found a liar. (Do not thou add anything to his words, lest thou be rebuked, and be found a liar.)”      Again let us be reminded that God’s Word is perfect. Let us never add our own thoughts or opinions to the Word of God because His Word is total truth and it need no more.

I rejoice in the simplicity that God has laid out for us in His Word. Love His Word and live by it. He promises that as we do this, we will be free indeed!!!

“By the Grace of God…”

I am what I am
by Dona Hake
I have a wooden piece that sits on top of my cabinet that encases my mirror in our guest bathroom. Everyone that ever looks into this mirror cannot help but look up and read…

“By the grace of God…I am what I am.”

I want it there for the purpose of reminding myself and others to be happy with how the Lord has created them. It always reminds me that all that has been done in me is ONLY by the grace of God. It speaks to my heart to draw upon Him for all that I need and to turn my back on my own ability. On the wall to the right I have written on a little chalkboard plaque…”His grace is more than enough.” This serves to remind me too that if I am ever tempted to think I cannot do what He is requiring of me, that I stop, pull up by “boot straps”, and go with the grace of God! Today I hope to encourage you to remind yourself of these truths.

When you look in the mirror, and you are tempted to compare who you are to others around you …STOP! God lovingly and fearfully created you and put gifts within you to serve those around you. Romans 12:6 (CJB)”But we have gifts that differ and which are meant to be used according to the grace that has been given to us.” In those times that you feel you cannot face another day and do what is required of you, remind yourself that all you need is to rest on His grace, for it is more than enough. When Paul came to the end of his strength, he realized he was in the greatest position ever to live drawing on God’s grace.

2 Corinthians 12:9
“But the Lord said, “My grace is all you need. Only when you are
weak can everything be done completely by my power.”
His grace is all that we need to do all that we need to do!

“A Time To Every Purpose”

season and time
by Dona Hake
As we commit our lives to the Lord, and seek Him first in all that we do, we will find His loving hand in every area of our life.  His Word proclaims that He will perfect ALL that concerns us so we need to be able to understand the time in which we live as individuals.    I encourage you to seek Him each day in the area of how He desires to use you.  We need to be able to say that beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are walking the path that He desires for us.  There may be specific things that you know the Lord is desiring to do in you, and they may not been totally fulfilled.     Remember…even as you walk in His paths you are still a work in progress.  Have you ever been tempted to be impatient with God’s timing as He works in and around you?  
 I think it is vital that we  remind ourselves that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts.  If ever there are times you find yourself impatient with His timing or how and when He is bringing things to pass, you will surely be tempted to do things in your own ability.  It is in those times that we do not understand how to walk the way that He is leading us that we look up and cry out for His wisdom on the matter.  The first chapter of James says that if we lack wisdom, we need to just ask Him for it, and then be patient in order that God’s perfect work be done in us.


 James 1:4-6(ERV)


 “If you let that patience work in you, the end result will be good.

You will be mature and complete.
You will be all that God wants you to be.
Do any of you need wisdom? Ask God for it. He is generous and enjoys
giving to everyone. So he will give you wisdom.

But when you ask God, you must believe. Don’t doubt him.”

 Today I want to encourage your heart that every day that you live, and as long as you have breath in your, God has a purpose for you.  He has desires, and His planning and timing are perfect.  As we purpose to seek His purposes, He promises to fulfill them!

“Craving the Lord”

Pray and learn
by Dona Hake
Psalm 105:4 (AMP)


“Seek, inquire of and for the Lord, and crave Him and

His strength (His might and inflexibility to temptation);
seek and require His face and His presence [continually] evermore.”
I read an interesting quote this morning by Ralph Waldo Emerson, this is what he said,
“No man ever prayed without learning something.”
As we ponder the scripture from Psalm 105:4 we too can see that as we truly seek the Lord in prayer, reading, and the hearing of His Word that there is much to be found.   Even if you have read a scripture many times over, there is always freshness and newness of life that it can bring to your soul…if you allow it to.
Today I encourage you to crave Him and His strength.  Think about those things you love to eat.  Sometimes it will hit me and I will  start craving a particular food because I love it so much.  So it should be with our love for our Lord!   The more we seek Him the more we will find ourselves needing to seek Him more.   The more you experience HIS strength and HIS ability, the more you will crave to turn your face to Him and receive all that He is!  Remember that all that He is, and all that He does is brand new everyday.  He desires to teach you continually and answer all the questions of your heart.  Crave Him, step into His presence, and prepare yourself to learn and receive  His portion for you today.  God is good!

Jeremiah 33:3 (CJB)


 “Call out to me,
and I will answer you —
I will tell you great things,
hidden things of which you are unaware.”


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!