Monthly Archives: August 2017

10 posts

I’ll Be There For You (Friday)

 

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by Chasen Pridgen

Do you ever feel like life has just beat you down to where you can’t get up and don’t want to try?  I know I have.  It takes a lot of strength and a lot of hope to get back up again.  But we, as Christians, can stand tall as God gives us hope.  In Isiah 43:2, the Lord says, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.”  This verse is saying that as you go through your struggles, God will be with you and not let anything over take you.  What a powerful verse.  To know this information is truly incredible and should give you hope.  A hope that you will make it out of whatever you are going through.  When you come out of it, you might be a changed person but God wanted you to change for a reason.  I encourage you to keep having hope, no matter what you are going through because the One who is eternal, is always with you.

I’ll Be There For You (Thursday)

by Alexi Bolton

Conceptually, I know that God is always there for me, but sometimes I find it hard to believe that because I struggle with putting my faith in things I can’t see.  When thinking about this devo, I thought of all the many examples of times God backed up His promise to be there for people in a very literal and visible way  – the cloud and pillar of fire leading the Israelites, the burning bush, David in the wilderness in like the entire book of Psalms, Jesus performing miracles – all physical or obvious manifestations of God being there for people.  But what about when God isn’t so obvious or loud?  What about when we can’t seem to see Him at all?  This made me think of the story of Esther, whose name translates roughly to “I will hide my face.” God is not explicitly mentioned once in her story, yet she is still considered a hero of our faith because of how the Lord worked through her.  It is the ultimate story of silent support from the Lord and one I often look to for advice on how to handle situations.  Esther has a strong background in her faith, so she knows that The Lord will be there for her if she stands up for Him, but she is still scared because she is going to be risking her life and is unsure what the right choice is.  So, she gathers a community and prays (Esther 4:16).  When she wavers in her trust in the Lord’s promises, she relies upon the wisdom of her friends and mentors (Mordecai) and the power of prayer.  Through this, an entire nation is saved and many people learn about God, proving that He was there for Esther and His people the whole time.  When you feel as though the Lord is not obvious, take a peek at Esther – find your Mordecai, who will point you back to the Lord who is always there for you and go directly to God in prayer, asking Him to reveal himself to you a little more each day.

I’ll Be There For You (Wednesday)

by Jonathan Seale

When things get tough and stressful, who do you lean on for support? Family, friends, God? For most of us, being at college is outside our comfort zone. We are on our own, some for the first time, and it can be a scary realization. However, college is also a wonderful time and place to find yourself and really dig deep into what God is calling you to do. Here at Wesley, there is always a group of people ready and willing to help take some of that stress off your shoulders. They may not write a term paper for you, but they will certainly pray and help you through whatever it is you may need. Finding a strong friend group can be difficult sometimes. Personally, I did not know a single person the first time I attended Wesley. God placed a strong feeling on my heart, telling me to go and give it a try and I am forever grateful I listened to Him. The friends I have made gave me a breath of fresh air. At Wesley, I found more than friends, I found a new family with whom I can share experiences and memories. John 14:27 says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you…Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” If you feel God is placing something on your heart, listen to Him, lean on Him. Though the journey may be scary, He will never lead us astray. He is a good, good Father.

I’ll Be There for You (Tuesday)

The One Where They Get Thrown in a Fire

by Haley Smith

Daniel chapter 3 has one of my favorite stories in the whole Bible. First of all- the names of the main characters: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, how can you not love those? But then, of course, they are some tough dudes with a whole lot of trust in God. They refused to bow down to the false idol the King was forcing upon the whole nation. Then, because of that, they were ordered to be thrown into a fire “seven times hotter than usual.” Once they were bound and tossed, God came and walked into the fire with them and kept them from any harm. He was quite literally ‘there for them.’ From their boldness, God was proclaimed THE God and His name spread throughout the nation.
So how does this apply to us? You may not hear zithers that summon you to bow to false idols (now you have to go read this chapter to know what that means), but you do have temptations all around leading you from the plan God has for you. However, whenever we are willing to boldly stand for what we believe and what we know to be true through God’s word, he is standing right beside us; ready to fight with us through our temptations.

I’ll Be There For You (Monday)

by Olivia Ledbetter

Jeremiah 17:5-8

This is what the Lord says:

“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LordThat person will be like a bush in the wastelands; they will not see prosperity when it comes. They will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives. “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

“Trust” is the word that I so often wish I could just rip out of the dictionary. It’s a nice idea and all but in reality, trusting is one of my least favorite things to do. To trust is to accept that you are no longer in control, and boy I love being in control. To trust is to have “no worries in a year of drought.” Have you ever lived in a season of drought? Perhaps you’re in one now.  Modern droughts can be everything from a lack of good friends to a dry season in your relationship with God. Good, deep relationships require a great deal of trust. Have you been treating God as an obligation, resource, or relationship? Trust is so hard, but it’s the key to resting in a deeper relationship with Him to thrive in seasons of drought and bounty. If you feel like you can’t do it all… you’re right! You’re not excessively broken, you’re just human. The good news? He can and will hold you and guide you through it all, it just requires some trust.

The Start of Something New (Friday)

by John Austin Higginbotham

 

Acts 27

 

Saul, also called Paul, is one of my favorite figures in the Bible. Paul is most widely recognized today as a major founder of the worldwide church. A man with a personal faith that many envy, Paul has continuously provided me with insight on how to further my own path with Christ. What speaks to me the most about this man, however, is the fact that we would consider him to be entirely unworthy and unacceptable as a church leader in today’s society.

 

Initially a wealthy, educated, and intensely pious Jewish leader, Saul persecuted the early Christians and the Church, bringing death and destruction wherever he came across them. Crimes wholly unbefitting of a man of God were unable to separate him from God’s grace, love, mercy and will. For it was through this man that God’s will was ordained and the message of the Gospel was delivered to the rest of the world– the Gentiles.

Nothing one does can permanently separate them from the love and grace of God. Paul was a killer of Christians, but even he was converted, repented of his sins and was used by God to be a monumental figure of Christian history.

Acts 27 recounts Paul’s journey to testify unto Emperor Caesar in Rome. A prisoner who has refused to renounce his Christian faith, Paul sails under guard with fellow prisoners and soldiers. On the ship, he and the others have entered the stormy season of winter. Paul, knowing what lay ahead, attempted to warn the others that only destruction awaited them at sea, but the others refused to heed his words. Setting sail, the crew and prisoners were beset by tempests, raging winds, and blistering showers of rain, tearing at their clothes, bodies, and minds. They became weak and battered as they struggled to survive the storm. All hope had seemed utterly lost. Yet miraculously, God visited Paul and urged the others that the end was almost near, for soon the storms would relent. Encouraged, the shipmates ate their last provisions and awaited for the next day to see if this man Paul’s words could actually be true.

Paul and his companions, both soldiers and prisoners, survived the ordeal without a single loss of life. The most important point that sticks out to me is that even though the others refused to listen to what God had revealed would happen, the Lord still had mercy and love and protected the ship and its crew. Truly, they did not deserve such grace, for only Paul was a believer in Christ and none of these had lived particularly holy lives. Yet, the Lord still chose to watch over them.

If we are honest with ourselves, none of us deserve second chances or His love when we constantly turn our backs, close our eyes, and harden our hearts to God.  Yet the beauty of God and His Grace is that it is freely given; both before, during, and after each and every mistake we make.

This school year I encourage each and everyone to take advantage of their second chance, to love with their whole heart, and to enjoy this school year with God no matter the storms that you shall face in your lives.