By Stephanie M. White

Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful & give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer & Mediator of that will]. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 AMP
Thankfulness is lacking today. Complaints flow freely when we should be giving thanks. Even in the middle of a trial, we can find something to be thankful for – no matter what we go through, if we’ve received Christ, we’re going to Heaven! That is something to be thankful for!
In the day of prosperity be joyful, but in the day of adversity consider… Ecclesiastes 7:14 KJV
We are told to “consider” when we are experiencing trials. Consider means to see and to advise self – you must realize what’s really going on and advise yourself of the truth.
James, chapter one, encourages us to see that trials develop us Spiritually WHEN we abide in the Word. Our faith is tested – the Word is proved true in our lives when we remain focused on the Word in spite of a trial. The end result of your trial is God’s victory! God wants to turn your situation around for you good and His glory!
See what God has to say about your trials and continue to remind yourself of the truth! Your trial is NOT here to punish you, beat you up, make you miserable, and so forth! Your trial IS here to prove that the Word is true and it IS here to work out the fruit of patience (cheerful endurance, constancy) that is in you because of Jesus Christ. Thank You, Lord!
Stephanie is a wife, mom, and author, from Ohio. Find more of her work including her books HERE.

Contempt is Not Conviction

Susan Barnes

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” 2 Corinthians 7:10

One of the devil’s strategies is to copy God’s gifts. He will even try to copy the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but instead of it being true conviction it is actually contempt. Conviction means I have done something wrong but contempt means there is something wrong with me. It is when we say “I hate myself” instead of saying, “I hate what I have done”. Sometimes we trick ourselves into thinking that we are being humble when we berate ourselves or that condemning ourselves will keep us from doing wrong in the future. But in reality contempt is the devil’s counterfeit for true conviction.

Godly sorrow or conviction is intended to bring us to God to confess, repent and accept forgiveness. This is what God desires so we can find forgiveness and healing. Sometimes it is difficult to admit our need of God and it is tempting to condemn ourselves for our shortcoming instead of relying on the grace of God. However the alternative is contempt or worldly sorrow which leads to hating ourselves, poor self-worth and perhaps even depression. It is a dead end road and this verse calls it death.

Next time we are tempted to react with contempt, remember this isn’t God’s way. He doesn’t want us hating ourselves. God’s way is to confess our failures and receive the forgiveness and grace that he so freely offers.

Susan, an Australian pastor’s wife, regularly writes devotional thoughts on Bible passages, book reviews and inspirational articles. Contact

More Than A Conqueror!

By Stephanie White

Nathanael said to Philip, “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Philip told him, “Come and see!” John 1:46 (GW)

Did you ever wonder if anything good could come from where you are? Wonder no more! Instead, “Come and see!”

Come and see what the Word says about you! You’re not limited by anything in this life – what is impossible for man is possible with God. We have unlimited possibilities with our God! Do you feel like something is putting limits on you? Take that thing to the Lord! Find out what God has to say about what He wants to do in your life and begin to focus on that instead of your circumstances.

We do not have to be another statistic or another sob story. We can conquer – in fact, we are told in God’s Word that we are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37). We can sit around and we can feel sorry for ourselves because of our circumstances or we can rise above them. Joseph was a man in God’s Word who started out in a pit but he ended up in a palace (Genesis chapters 37-50). He did not let his situations control him.

Joseph had God’s promise and he held on to it through extreme circumstances. God promised him that he would reign in life, but he had to hold on to that promise while he was living as a prisoner. Our circumstances will not always line up with the Word, but we must remember that our circumstances are only temporary when God’s Word is involved! Hold on to the Word in spite of your situation and you will conquer what once conquered you!

Stephanie is a wife, a mom, and an author from Ohio. Contact

Alone, Yet Not Alone

Darlene Edmondson

“…all of you will leave me alone, yet I am not alone…the Father is with me” (John 16:32 NKJV)

While it sounds self-explanatory, loneliness is a complicated situation. Physically, we may feel nauseated in the pit of our stomachs. Psychologically, we often sense isolation or disconnection. Internally, we realize a deep longing to be wanted, loved, and known for who we really are. Even though we desire intimate relationships, many times fear wins. Therefore, during a breakthrough or on the brink of being understood, we shut down. Perhaps put on a clever disguise. Yet, don’t despair, beloved—He who created us, knows us best. Head to toe, inside and out. By the way, He’s the only One who knows us completely (Psalm 139). As your heart soaks in that, realize too: the One who knows us best; loves us most (Deut 33:27).

Ironically, we are not alone in our solitariness. We see mighty men of God get tripped up in this area. Take Elijah, for example. Depressed, he cries out to the Lord, “Lord, they have killed Your prophets…and I alone am left… How does God encourage the great prophet? By saying, ‘listen, son, I have 7,000 more!’ (Romans 11:3-4) We almost hear Paul’s voice splintering while in dire straits…he pens, ‘only Luke is with me’ (2 Tim 4:11). Indeed, all disciples forsook Jesus in His darkest hour of need (Mark 14:50). The reality of God’s presence is our greatest need and problems arise when we do not trust this amazing, wonderful, living fact.

“I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5-6 ESV)

Contact Darlene and find more of her writing HERE.

By blackeybaptistchurch Posted in Faith

Seeing the Unseen

 – Ken Barnes

So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. (II Cor 4:18 NLT)

It is easy in the light of the present cares of this world to become overwhelmed and lose our hope. The antidote for this is seeing the unseen God.

It is what we gaze upon that shapes us. If we dwell only on the temporal or transitory aspects of life, the things that we can see, feel, or touch, we will always be disappointed. As the Scripure states, “For the things we see now will soon be gone.” We must be able to look at our troubles with a backdrop of God’s sovereign eternal goodness.

God is always enough. What enabled Moses to preserve when he asked Pharaoh to let his people go and resulted in them being in a more precarious situation? (Exodus 5&6) He saw this invisible God finishing the task. And what about Joseph when was betrayed by his brothers in Genesis 37? Or when he was falsely accused by Potiphar’s wife in Genesis 39, or forgotten by the chief baker in Genesis 40. Joseph saw this seemingly distant God as one who brought good out of bad. If we see this unseen God, it will always be enough.

Ken was a missionary with YWAM and is the author of The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places. He lives in VA with his wife Sharon. Contact

Contentment In Christ

by: Susan Ferguson

Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV)

The apostle Paul was imprisoned in Rome when he wrote to the Philippians. Written in his later years, this great man of God had to learn to be content, just as we do.

True contentment is rare and doesn’t come naturally to anyone. Much of our discontentment stems from our sin nature that’s naturally selfish and self-centered. (Galatians 5:17) Comparing our lot in life with those who are more prosperous, successful, or talented than we are can fuel discontentment. To complicate matters, the world we live in encourages dissatisfaction with our lives. There’s always something new that will make life better. There’s always a dream that must come true before our lives are complete. But when that dream is fulfilled, we often discover it has its problems. Real contentment comes from the joy of knowing Christ, serving Him, and realizing just how blessed we are.

Be inspired by the words of Charles H. Spurgeon: “Now, contentment is one of the flowers of heaven, and if we would have it, it must be cultivated. It will not grow in us by nature; it is the new nature alone that can produce it, and even then we must be careful and watchful that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in it.”

Today’s freelance writer lives with her husband in Madison, MS, USA. Contact

Cheer Up

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

by Robert Valleau

Jesus said in John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.”

Jesus had just finished telling His disciples some things that, at that time, they could not fully understand. But, He didn’t leave them clueless. He made a statement of fact: “In this world you will have trouble.” He doesn’t say our troubles will go away. He doesn’t say we will no longer be plagued by fear or doubt. Instead, our solution to a troubled heart, is to find peace in Him. But, He takes that a step further by saying something strange. He tells us to, “take heart,” or, “cheer up.”

So, when we are lonely or depressed, have doubts about our faith or feel the weight of the world pressing us down, we are to “cheer up”? This makes no sense until we read our Lord’s last statement: “I have overcome the world.”

We win our battles when we surrender to Jesus who has already fought them for us. We free ourselves from a bag full of burdens when we lay it at the cross and leave it there. We find peace, in the midst of life’s storms, when we rest in the One who walked upon the water and said, “Peace! Be still.”

He, who was rejected and despised of men, is now our Overcomer. That is definitely something we can all cheer about.

Today’s Writer was once named Christian Writer of the Year by the American Christian Writers Association.

Fighting with Faith Action

 by Ennis Smith

James 1:12(AMP) – Blessed is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor’s] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.

There are times when I take a mental snapshot of my life in terms of the world’s standards; my financial struggles, lack of social status, my self-diagnosed failures as a parent, unresolved issues as a husband, my lack of compassion as a brother and son. Human failures weigh heavily on me. It’s the perfect breeding ground for Satan to inject doubt and discontent into my weary spirit. He tries to convince me that I’ve strayed from God’s path; that somehow, what I thought was God’s intended direction was nothing more than my own egotistical desires. He chides, no matter what I do, I’ll fail in this life.

James saw this plight coming. He knew what Satan might attempt to do to the devoted Christian who stumbles. He knew our faith would come under fire and wrote an epistle to specifically address faith in action versus weak, idle faith. “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,” he says.

Everyday life is the trial. Though we may be new creations, we still struggle with the sin of our own humanity. James encourages us to not only lean on God’s word, but to put the word into action in our everyday lives. Fight Satan with faith action.


Ennis lives in Lincoln Park, Michigan with his wife and five children. He enjoys writing about the Lord’s grace and mercy.

He Knows my Frame

 by Cheryl Zelenka

Psalm 103:14, NIV:

“For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust”

We are taught that trials serve many purposes in the life of a believer. James 1:2-4 tells us that we should count it pure joy when we encounter trials of many kinds. Why? The verse explains that the testing of our faith develops perseverance, which will mature us and deepen our relationship with Christ.

God designs the perfect tests and circumstances for you. His process of sanctification is individualized. He made your frame and knows that you are but dust. He will not give His children trials that they cannot endure. By perfecting you in the furnace of affliction, He will bring the dross in your life to the surface. By acknowledging your sins and confessing them, God is providing you the necessary forgiveness to be victorious over them.

God created you and knows you intimately. He loves you and desires the very best for you. When the next test or struggle comes to you, consider it as a gift from God and count it pure joy as James instructs. That change in attitude will confound the enemy and provide witnessing opportunities.

When you smile in the midst of a storm those around you will notice. If they ask you how you are able to smile during such dark days, reply with “My God knows my frame and knows I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.”

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He Arrives with No Frills

Matthew 21:5, NKJV: “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.”

So Jesus the Messiah entered Jerusalem on a donkey. With His spreading fame and the eager anticipation of so many, He could have chosen a much more glamorous way to enter the city, yet He chose the lowly donkey. It was an expression of humility and simplicity on the Savior’s part, showing that He was here not for show but to prepare for His special destiny – a destiny which would produce a story which would never be rivaled.

As I ponder this part of his story, it also strikes me how it offers a shining example for all of us when we sometimes get carried away with our own lives. We often forget the true meaning of life, what got us here, and how we are merely a speck on the world stage. And I often ask myself: Why can’t we be more like Jesus?

The answer is because we are human. He was the only person ever on earth who was totally unselfish and always loving. It is because He was both God and Man. And I know that, despite repeated failures, we must try with His love and guidance to follow and be like Him. It is what He expects of us and the reward is everlasting life.

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