The writers of Encouraging.com are celebrating their fifteen year landmark by making their 365 daily devotional book, God Moments, available as a free digital download! A total of thirty-six GABC writers have faithfully captured “moments of God’s presence” in their lives to encourage your own spiritual journey. You can find God Moments on amazon.com, iTunes, and BarnesandNoble.com.

Count Your Blessings

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not  be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

  
Last month I had surgery on my right hand. The surgery was more intense and painful than I had anticipated. Being very “right handed,” it has been difficult for me to do anything these past few weeks.

During this time, I have had a few “pity parties.” On one occasion, God spoke to me in a strong way. I could hear His voice within me saying, “Think of the blessings and not your troubles.” I listened to Him and began to realize how blessed I have been. My husband has been here to take care of me. Some people have a paralyzed hand. Some folks have lost a hand.

I began to count my many blessings, and I immediately felt better. Our blessings always outweigh our troubles.

Our Bible passage for today was encouraging to me. I found it while I was feeling sorry for myself. Notice that God promises help, strength, and encouragement. I am so grateful for God’s righteous right hand. This one verse makes these promises:

            God’s presence – I am with you
            God’s power – I will strengthen you
            God’s protection – I will uphold you and help you

Did you notice that these promises are very personal? They are made to you—that’s each of us. As I read this verse several times, it was as though God was speaking directly to me.

Suffering is a part of life. It teaches us lessons which enable us to help others. Suffering tests who we really are. In my times of suffering, I feel closer to God. He has my attention.

Are you trusting God in your trials? His promises are many. His promises never fail. Look for your blessings.

Dear Lord, I thank You for Your showers of blessings. Thank You, Lord, for always being there for me


Georgia Andrus

Dump Your Distress

 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
1 Peter 5:7


My husband and I live in a newly developed area, so there are homes being built around us. The other day I watched a dump truck unload a load of dirt. I immediately thought of our verse for today.

I have read that the French translation of this verse is “Unload your distresses upon God.” Being a child of God and knowing how He loves me, why do I feel that I have to carry my distresses alone?

I watched the truck driver back up to the lot, pull a lever, and the load of dirt dumped just where he wanted it to go. That truck would be of no further use if it carried its burden forever.

That’s how it is in our lives. God does not want us to be crushed under the weight of burdens. He wants us to unload them on His shoulders. We can’t live a good life if we are burdened down with unconfessd sin, problems, and other difficulties. Carrying our burdens with us affects our relationship with God and with others. It affects our prayer life. We are so consumed with our problems that we aren’t able to think.

We can be confident that God cares for us. His love and care for us is obvious. He sent Christ into the world to die for us. We can always turn to Him for the strength and encouragement we need.

Life can be overwhelming at times. But when it is, we should remember this: God knows what we are facing, and He cares for us.

Father, I thank You for the love and care You have for me. Help me to remember that you are always there to take my burdens.


Georgia Andrus

An Anchor in the Storms of Life

             We have this hope an anchor for the soul, firm and secure . . .
Hebrews 6:19

  
Recently my husband and I went on a dolphin and whale safari. As we were about to board the boat, our guide announced that the waters were quite rough that day. We had already purchased our tickets. The guide said he could not refund our tickets but that he would transfer them to another day. We were vacationing in California and didn’t have another day. So we boarded.

I am not a real fan of water sports, so I began to feel uncertain. Sure enough, as we went out we were in rough water. I saw more white water than I wanted to see. The waves were beautiful to look at, but I didn’t particularly want to ride on them.

As we tossed about in the Pacific Ocean, I immediately thought about how quickly Jesus calmed the rough waters that came upon His disciples as they were fishing in the Sea of Galilee.

The Sea of Galilee is small but very deep. Storms can appear quickly and cause high waves. All Jesus had to do was to speak to the water, and calm descended upon them.

Sometimes life can be very stormy for us. We feel tossed about with problems, decisions, and difficult situations. When we give our lives to Jesus, He becomes our anchor in the storms of life. He also anchors our soul. We are anchored physically and spiritually.

Many people have not anchored their lives with Jesus. He is not their foundation. They have built their lives around materialism, power, recognition, hobbies. Therefore, they collapse when the going gets tough because they are not anchored in Jesus Christ.

Remember, Jesus can calm any storm that comes into your life, regardless of the size.

Father, I thank You for the hope and security You give us.


Georgia Andrus

God's Provisions

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10


My friend “Sally” is a single mom with a teenage son and is working hard to complete a college education. Sally has had one of the most difficult lives that I know about. She’s from a dysfunctional family, dropped out of high school, married young and had a baby soon afterward. Her former husband was abusive.

Finally, Sally could take no more and left with her son. She cleaned houses for a living. After becoming a Christian, Sally received wise counsel from several ladies who grew to love her. I am one of those ladies. She now has one more year of school and continues to clean houses for her income. Of course, Sally has financial difficulties and has to deal with a sometimes-rebellious son.

Sally’s faith is amazing. Even though she seems to go from one difficult situation to another, she still trusts God for financial provisions and for strength to keep up her heavy schedule. She works really hard to provide a stable home for her and her son. Of course, Satan is always knocking on her door, trying to get her to give up and turn to the world.

Notice in our Scripture for today that God promises His presence. He promises to strengthen us. He promises to uphold us and to help us. Sally claims each of these promises. She gives God the glory for His provisions. Her testimony is a blessing to all who know her.

What is your need? Give your need to God and trust Him to meet it. No need is too small or too large for God. He is the God of compassion and abundance. Follow Sally’s example.

Thank you, Father, for all of your provisions. I pray that I will always trust You for all of my needs


Georgia Andrus 

Who's In First?


"You shall have no other gods before me."
Exodus 20:3


When I first married my husband, I was eager to begin our life together. We were young, and we were in love. To understand where I come from, you have to know that I am an only child, and I possess some of the personality that goes along with being an only. So . . . I wanted my husband to take care of me and meet my every need. And lots of the time, he did! 

But there were times he did not act  like I wanted. There were times he let me down. There were times I was disappointed. I was setting him up to fail.

He could not possibly take on all that I expected of him, see, I had placed my husband over my God. I was expecting God-sized behavior out of my human husband. I allowed my husband to be my idol.  

When I realized what I had done, I decided to let my husband off the hook. I decided to let my Father in heaven meet those needs instead. My husband was allowed to be the husband God intended him to be for me. And my relationship with Jesus grew.

This is what God wants for us. The Lord created us to need Him, and He longs to meet those needs. He wants to strengthen us through His power and love us through His grace. When we expect others to meet those needs, they will come up short. Every time.

A loving marriage is what we all desire. We want the fairy tale ending, right? True, but a Disney movie based on my life has not yet been made. But I can tell you, without a doubt, that the most fulfilling marriage is one centered on Christ. Colossians 1:17 reminds us, He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Depend on Jesus, He will never fail.

Thank you, Lord, that you desire to meet our needs. Show us how we can make you more central in our relationships and in our lives. 


Julie Smith