Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Half Time devotion: Hope and Strength - Psalm 31:24

Psalm 31:24  Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

            This is one of my favorite verses from the Bible. When I read or hear it, it reminds me that faith is a mysterious mixture of hope and love. I place my hope in Christ because He loves me. I love the God of my heart because He sustains my hope. This is what I experience as faith. This is what I know to be personally true for me.

            Life isn't fair and sometimes we struggle through each day. We all have troubles and disappointments in our lives. We all experience times of sadness and loss. We all have difficulties to overcome and problems to solve. Today’s Bible verse doesn't fix our issues or cure our ills, but it does enable us to cope, to endure, and to eventually get through whatever we are facing.

            Like you, I muddle through each day as best as I possibly can. I take what comes and try to maintain a course that will steer me through whatever confronts me. The source of my strength comes from God, and my ability to deal with my problems is empowered by Christ. Without Him, I am both hopeless and helpless. With Him, I am hopeful and strong.

            Whatever you are personally going through at this time, please know this: God gives strength to the weak and hope to the helpless. You are not alone and you are loved. Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.

Questions for personal reflection

What problems am I currently facing? Am I relying upon God for the strength I need? Am I hoping for His support and guidance?

Prayer:           Lord Jesus, You once said that each day has enough trouble of its own, in order to remind us not to worry about tomorrow. Be with us today and guide all of our responses and decisions. Let us know of Your comforting and abiding presence in our lives. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to ask questions or make comments about today’s message, please send him an email to

Today’s image is one of John’s latest winter drawings called “Northern Skies.” If you would like to view a larger version, please click on this link: Skies.

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