Devotional for Friday February 16th

Good Morning Everyone,


Our theme for this month: “Graciousness”


Our Bible verse for today: “He gives strength to the faint and strengthens the powerless. Youths may become faint and weary, and young men stumble and fall, but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not become weary, they will walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:29-31 (CSB)


Our thought for today: “The Lord will strengthen you.”


I enjoy hiking. Over the years I’ve hiked in many different terrains including long miles on straight beaches, easy walks on nature trails, slightly more challenging treks in the Smoky Mountains, and I’ve even done some hiking along the ancient stone trails of Machu Picchu in the Andes Mountains of Peru.


Although I enjoy all types of hiking, by far the most interesting and enjoyable are those hikes with varied terrains (like in the Andes). The problem with such hikes of course, is that the level of difficulty changes frequently depending on the terrain. Some parts of it are easy and others require great effort and exertion.


A hike through spectacular mountains with changing terrain and varying degrees of difficulty is not unlike our walk through life. The Bible often describes our journey through this world as “walking with the Lord”. And like those hikes through the mountains, the difficulty of the terrain we encounter in our walk through life can vary greatly.


In Isaiah 40:29-31 the prophet gives us some advice about how to handle those times when the journey gets tough and we find ourselves struggling. We’re to look to the Lord to renew our strength and energy. If we do that, we will soar as if we are on wings of eagles. In other words, God will help us to handle even the most difficult times well.


This is an important point, especially with respect to our theme of graciousness. A hike through the Andes Mountains is hard, and it requires you to reach deep for reserves of strength and energy if you’re going to keep going. But the reward is the spectacular vistas you get to see and the satisfaction and sense of achievement when you’ve successfully reached the top.


Likewise in life. With the Lord not only can you find the strength to push through the hard places along the way, but you can soar through them as if you were being carried along on wings of eagles. Rather than trudging wearily through your days, you lift your head high, you smile and are nice to people, and not only do you find blessings for yourself even when the journey is hard, but you find ways to extend blessings to others you meet along the way. That’s graciousness in the midst of difficulty. It’s finding joy in the most difficult parts of the journey. And it comes when you turn to the Lord for strength and renewal.


You can be gracious even in the most difficult places in your journey through life. Turn to the Lord and He will lift you up. He will strengthen you and He will enable you to soar.


God Bless,

Pastor Jim

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