Daily Devotional – 9/22/17 “Will you still praise Him?”

It is another Friday and somebody woke up with the same funky attitude you laid down with because you gave another person your heart and they fumbled with it. Or maybe it’s the fact you’re still temporarily out of funds and just got paid. Or maybe you are still trying to figure out why it’s you who have to be sick. Or maybe you’ve been on this faith journey for some time and still seeing no return on your harvest. Or maybe you’re watching your child choose the streets over salvation. Or you have to be witness to your spouse choosing the addiction over their family. Or maybe you’re just plain ole fed up with everything and everybody. But what now? After you’ve thrown the tantrum, what changed? After you’ve broken some stuff, what happened? After you cried, then what? After you shut folk out, what? What happened beloved? I know you are worn out with the ‘preacher’ talk and hearing, ‘hold on,’ tired of being told, ‘it will be alright in the morning,” but can I ask you a question.

Will you praise God right where you are? Even if your prayer hasn’t been answered, even if there is no check in the mailbox, even if the kidney hasn’t shown up yet, even if you woke up still craving the alcohol and drugs and even if it still hurts, will you praise? Because I just believe that God has already spoken to the end of your situation. You don’t have to believe me but in the bible when Lazarus was sick and dying, Jesus didn’t show up right away. His friend lay at the point of death and Jesus says, “Lazarus’ sickness isn’t until death,” and for the next two days Jesus stayed where He was until Lazarus died. Why? Because He needed people to see the manifestation of His power. Beloved, your situation isn’t until death but will you trust that God has already spoken your deliverance and praise Him in the middle of it? Because in a few days, Jesus will show up and tell them to roll the stone away and He will call your name saying come out. All you have to do is trust Him enough to praise Him, even in the darkness of the grave. Will you?


Daily Devotional – 10/20/11 “Just a thought”

I wonder how much better you’d be if you prayed for me as much as you talked about me?  I wonder how many more blessings you’d receive if you would help me instead of always hurting me?   I wonder how many more doors you’ll close because you’d rather tear me down instead of building me up.  You consistently talk about folk and wish bad on their life and then wonder why you can’t get a prayer through.  John 13:34 says “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”  Why is that so hard? When you hear folk gossiping about me pray for me.  When you see me struggling, be there for me.  When you see me lost and having a hard time finding my way, guide me.  When you see me crying and hurting, love me.  When you see me hungry and cold, feed and clothe me.  Don’t give up on me, don’t walk away from me and please don’t talk about me.  Not all the days that I am given are good days so are you willing to be there for the bad?  Isn’t this what a Christian is supposed to do?  James 5:16 states “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

But we would sometimes, rather, put our trust in man and then get mad when it falls through.  But God says trust in me & I’ll never do you wrong (Proverbs 3:5). It’s like when you put your trust in a chair, not knowing if it will hold you up each time you sit in but you do anyway with the expectation that it will.  Trusting in God is the same way.  Every time we trust in God we do it not knowing what blessings will be sent our way but with the expectation that one will.  We believe in the reported news that we see on TV and what folk say only to learn that it may not be true, but God says I am the word and I never change (John 1:1).  It’s like when you read the newspaper each morning.  You may read a story of a coworker who has done something awful and without knowing for sure, you take that printed news as the truth and now you treat or think of that person differently.  But next week while reading, you see a small insert about the story and learn that the information that was printed, last week, wasn’t all true after you’ve judged this person so harshly.  But if you blow the dust off your bible and read it sometimes, you’ll see that its word never changes.  1 Corinthians 4:5 says “Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God.”

Be careful who or what you commit too because not everybody or everything is sent from God.  You do now that the devil has folk working for him the same way God does?  See, the devil will send that fine young man or woman to you just when he has you low enough.  They’ll come in whispering all the things you need to hear and show you that being in the world is much better than being with God.  They place these blinders on your eyes that will have you looking one way, to that one patch of green grass on their side of the fence.  They’ll put their arms around your shoulders to keep you from looking around so that all you see looking forward is joy.  You happily go along because all you see is sunshine, no dark clouds and rain like you sometimes see on God’s side.  You go along because you’ve been promised a place like none other on their side.  But once the devil has you, he’ll remove the blinders and his arm from your shoulder so now you get the full picture.  You see that on his side the bad days greatly outweigh the good and now you’re begging God for mercy.  The great part about God is that he doesn’t hold grudges and he doesn’t count the number of times you’ve given up on him because to him it’s not about the starters but about the finishers.  God’s word says you may be, “persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed,” ( 2 Corinthians 4:9) and “They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.” (Psalm 37:24)

Every now and then you will fall, but that’s alright, as long as you get back up.  Sometimes hitting rock bottom is the best because you’re the lowest that you’ll ever get but during these low times, don’t count yourself out! Pray your way up, praise your way through and shout your way out!  Sometimes you have to get in a closet or an empty room and give God a crazy praise.  You don’t have to wait until Sunday morning because you can praise him now.  You don’t have to wait until altar call, pray now.  You don’t have to wait until the choir sings to lift up your voice to God and you surely don’t have to wait for the Pastor to pump and prime you; get your shout on now!  What if Sunday never comes, will you have wasted the time that you could have used to praise God? 

Stop wishing for the blessings I’ve received because you didn’t go through the same storm I did to get them.  You are wishing for my marriage but you didn’t see the heartache I had to endure to get my spouse.  You are wishing for my job but you didn’t see the doors being shut in my face before I got it.  You are wishing for my car but you didn’t see the numerous rejections I received before I received it.  You’re wishing for my smile but didn’t see the many nights I cried myself to sleep to get it.  Be careful what you ask for because your legs may not be as strong as mine to walk the path I did, your shoulders may not carry the weight mine did and your back probably won’t take as many knives as mine has!  God isn’t short on blessings, but you have to ask him for and be ready to work to get them.