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.

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

What Are You Talking About?

Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife. Proverbs 21:9



When I read this verse, I can't help but laugh a little. God has a sense of humor, but the truth of this verse rings out loud and clear. Who wants to share a home with someone who is always stirring up trouble and complaining about everything? Communication is vastly important, but there is a better way. 

So I came across some common things women say and what they really mean. When clearly upset, and a woman is asked what is wrong, she responds with, "Nothing." This means something, and the man needs to be worried. When a woman says, "Go ahead," this is not permission, this is a dare. Do not do it. 

Funny, right? But, oh, so true. Why do we play these games? Why would we expect our husbands to be able read our minds? My husband is pretty super, but he does not possess super human abilities, like a certain mind-reading vampire. (Movies and romance novels also skew our thinking as to what love and marriage really looks like!)

So how should we communicate? We should be honest when we are hurt and sorry when we wrong. We cannot expect our spouses to know how we feel unless we tell them. Your little signals just might not get through. When communicating how we are feeling, use "I" statements. If we start off with, "You . . ." , defensiveness is sure to follow. 

Your husband is your best friend; you share your life with him. If you can't be honest with him, with whom can you be honest? Share with your husband the things God is teaching you. Share the wins at work and the funny moments with the kids. Share your hopes and ideas, not just a roof. 2 Corinthians 1:7 says, And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort.

Lord, help us to communicate effectively with our husbands. Convict us when we are quarrelsome, nagging, or complaining. Open more of our hearts to share ourselves with our life-mates.


Julie Smith

Words

The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21


Sticks and stones, right? It is easy to say that words don't hurt, but the truth is that words have power. You may remember some of the happiest words you've ever heard, and these words made your heart swell. Also, we have been the receivers of hurtful words, and there are probably instances in which you can remember the exact phrase that broke your heart. And we ALL have dished out some hurtful words as well. 

It is easy to fall into the trap of gossip or putting others down. Groups of women sometimes get together and start in on the "man bashing." As wives we ought to honor our husbands at all times. This includes honoring our husbands with our words.

We can also honor our husbands by the words we speak to them, not just the words we speak about them. It seems that sometimes we speak more kindly to strangers than we do to our own spouses. Our men love to hear words of affirmation. There are many things that impress us about our husbands. We married them, right? Think on these things and don't forget to tell him so! A kind word diffuses a bad day or a frustrated attitude. Make it a point to tell him the many things you love and admire about him. Just because. 

When we put forth the extra effort to be kind, even when we don't feel like it, we are allowing the grace of Jesus to flow through us. When we show grace, we are loving well. 1 Peter 4:8 reminds us, Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.

When we use kind words, full of grace, you might be surprised to find that your spouse gives you a little more grace as well.

Lord, help us to always use our words to bring life. Help us to encourage and build up our husbands with the perfect love and grace only possible through You.          


Julie Smith