Lent 2017: You Are Mine: Day 23

The Lord’s Mercy

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Today's Text: Isaiah 30:1-33, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Romans 8:14

Text: Isaiah 30:1-33, Jeremiah 31:31-34, Romans 8:14

Driving at night in Colorado can be a hazardous adventure. Deer, antelope, and even mountain lions have been known to scurry onto the road at the most inconvenient times. You know that terrifying moment when you lock eyes with the poor creature over your steering wheel and just pray they will move? If only the animal would keep moving forward—then they’d be safe. But it seems that nine times out of ten, they have the worst instincts and either freeze or run back into traffic.

Sometime we have a similar response to danger.

It’s easy to become immobilized by fear or anxiety in the midst of a big decision or overwhelming circumstances. The stress of a crisis can send us to running back to old, unhealthy habits and vices. In those moments of panic, I can all too easily forget that my God is bigger than all the worries of this world—that I can trust Him to lead me.

The prophet Isaiah rebuked the people of Judah for turning to their own devices of self-saving. In Isaiah’s time, God’s people in Judah were terrified of Assyrian armies amassing on their border. They sensed a very imminent danger. Instead of trusting in God and seeking His power and plan, Judah turned back to Egypt for safety in an alliance.

Let’s pause here, just for moment…

They turned back to the very Egypt that had previously enslaved them?

These descendants of Abraham and David had inherited great promises and seen great wonders of the Lord’s blessing and salvation. Yet in crisis they turned to what they could see and remember, rather than seeking God’s merciful path forward.

Why is it so easy to look for help everywhere but the feet of Jesus? Perhaps because we are prone to self-focus. Theologians such as St. Augustine of Hippo, Martin Luther, and Karl Barth all described our sin nature as incurvatus in se; Latin for “curved inward on oneself.” Because we are imperfect people, we tend to focus inward instead of outward, if we’re not relying on the Spirit to lead us.

When Judah trembled with fear at a crossroads, the people turned inward and backward instead of upward and forward. They turned inward by serving pagan gods of the culture around them and turned backward toward the familiar power of Egypt. But their faithful God longed for them to turn upward toward His mercy, and forward on the path He made for them.

When we are fearful about the circumstances in our lives, it’s easy to turn toward our generations’ idols of success and security, or backward to old habits of self-reliance like control, apathy, or anxiety. But the Lord longs to bring our focus upward and forward just as He did with Judah.

It’s convicting to think of the ways we fall short, but there is good news: we love a God of incomprehensible mercy. He relentlessly called—and calls—His people back to Him. The Holy Spirit guides us in the way to go: the way of Jesus, our Savior.

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Kaitie Stoddard is a professional counselor who recently relocated from Chicago to Colorado with her husband. She has her Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and is passionate about helping couples and families find healing in their relationships. On any given weekend you’re likely to find Katie snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, checking out new restaurants with friends, or catching up on her favorite Netflix and podcast series.

  • Rebecca Bates

    Giving so much thanks to God right now. Wonderful scripture and wonderful message I needed to hear today. Thank you!

  • Michelle C.

    So so good, and so so needed. Lord, help me not to turn to this world’s idols of success and security, and not to freeze into a ball of anxiety and control when things seems unsure. Your word is sure, and there is nothing more sure to bank on. Remind me that it’s not a gamble to trust in You, but that You take care of Your children, even and especially when it’s hard. Turn my gaze upward and forward, Lord.

  • Melody Bouwers

    I am so struck by how our society is moving that same way. Inward toward pagan gods, and backward.

  • Melody Suarez

    This is so good for this week. I’ve had such overwhelming circumstances with family sickness, a nursing test tomorrow and a friends wedding I must write a speech for on Saturday. I’m praying that God will see me through. I’ve been relying on my own strength instead of His.

  • I LOVE Isaiah 30:23: “Then He will send rain for your seed that you have sown in the ground, and the food, the produce of the ground, will be rich and plentiful.”
    United Pursuit said it this way in their song, “Seasons Change:” “Lord you’ve been faithful to plant the seeds, and you will be faithful to always send your rain.”
    – Yes. yes. yes. This too helps me focus less on what I feel like I have to do… all that pressure I put on myself to make things happen… and shift my focus to Him, and trusting Him with everything. And when I’m not worried or focused on those things, there’s so many other opportunities that I am able to see that I wouldn’t otherwise! So good!

  • Upward and forward, not inward and backward… I’ll be chewing on this for awhile… thank you!

  • Allie Smith

    In the last 9 months, my husband and I left the church that we had been at for 6 years (since graduating college) which also meant leaving our jobs at the Christian school that was connected to the church. There were very unbiblical things happening, and some of our closest friends are now leaving and getting jobs out of state. We decided to stay because there is a needy inner-city near by. Nothing has gone according to plan. Our jobs are difficult and one is support-based ministry work and it has been incredibly hard to find supporters in this impoverished city. We don’t have money for a house which we feel is needed as we pursue foster care and hosting other families for the ministry we’re involved in. My family is going through a small crisis a state over, so part of me just wants to give up so we can move and go help them and enjoy the support of family. Almost every prayer I’ve prayed in the last month seems to be answered, but then before the solution comes fully to fruition everything unravels even more than before. If I’m honest, it seems like God has been listening to my prayers just enough to hold out what seems like an answer, just to take it away…and I’m so tired. So weary of waiting and not having income or a home or family. Can you please pray for our little family in this struggle?

    • Elle

      Saying a prayer for you and your husband for peace and clarity. Maybe it’s not that going to your family is giving up, but rather God calling you to help with a new project? I pray that you’re both able to the meaning in all of this hardship.

    • She Reads Truth

      Allie, as I read this, all I could say was “wow”. Absolutely praying for you in this time of weariness and struggle. I am so glad, though, to know that we have a faithful God who will carry us through these times and provide for us in ways we could only dream of. Asking Him to provide, grant peace over your family situation, and to strengthen your marriage in this time of trial. So, so grateful for you.

      – Stormye

    • Veronica

      Praying for you, sister. Although are sitcuations are different, my husband and I find ourselves in a similar circumstance- weary, alone, and feeling forgotten by our father. Joining you in prayer for him to reveal clearly the steps for you to take, that he will give you the strength you need to pursue your calling.

    • Kersti

      Praying. I wish I could offer more than just prayers, but I know God is working. I pray today especially you see him in something around you. It will be a gift of love from Jesus to your heart Allie! ❤️

    • JennyBC

      The silence of God can be deafening at times. My heart goes out to you and prayers are lifted for sustaining grace and glimpses of God’s direction and purpose. As you can tell, I’m behind and catching up on reading today. I can only say from experience that when God seems silent His plan comes together in ways my mind cannot and could not imagine. He is always bigger than what my mind can conceive. Press in. Praying that He will amaze you very soon and for protection over your hearts and minds as you walk in obedience to Him.

    • Marietta

      Praying for blessings in your faithfulness

  • Recently, I’ve been struggling to decide about my vocation, where I’m gonna work after I graduate, where I want to live…this read this on the day when my worries and uncertainty about my future were really bad. I think God really spoke to me through this reading as there are words : “This is the way, walk in it”. It is amazing how God wants to make sure that I know I am safe when I am with Him and that he will show me His ways in my life. Thank you for this study !

  • April Heather

    Thank you for this study today!! Sometimes I get so focused on the study and the note taking I fail to make time for prayer and repentance–When I need to lean into God’s plans and stop worrying and scheming on my own. Today’s lesson reminded me of the book by CS Lewis called The Great Divorce. The people on the bus chose to go back to “Greytown” ( Hell) rather than step out into the light (Heaven). Such a great book!

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Divorce

  • Lexi McClure

    Thank you so much for this post. I am currently in a long distance relationship and I find myself struggling everyday with control issues. When I get scared about the future I turn on all my self-defense mechanisms, but it never helps. It is hard for me to continue to trust that God is in control, but it is the only way I find true peace. What a beautiful reminder of his unending love and devotion for us.

  • Jody Heavenrich Hensley

    I am so guilty of ‘going back to Egypt’ in my life. What a powerful reminder for me to turn upward to Him.

  • “This is the way, walk in it” has been on my heart a lot lately. I feel like I’ve said it a thousand times, but not being in control over the circumstances of my life drives me crazy… & giving God that control is such a fight. For all the things I’ve been uncertain of, I’ve kept bringing that verse to mind again & again & again (shoutout to Annie Downs for including it in her Let’s All Be Brave book, it’s featured in a chapter I’ve went back to so many times). It was great to read the verse in context of Isaiah & being supported by this devotional. God is merciful. I can’t count on things going my way, I can’t count on me being able to dictate how every single thing is going to go, but I can lean into that truth. God is merciful, He won’t fail to show me which way to go (even when it looks crazy & uncertain), & He needs me to keep turning back to Him in all things.

  • Thank you for this today. I read the scripture and had no idea what it was talking about. Now it is clear. Thank you.

  • Christine

    My husband was in the hospital last week, and it was serious. There was a period of time that I did not know what was wrong with him and neither did the doctors and I was so scared. I ran so fast back to my “Egypt”. The very Egypt that the Lord delivered me from some 6 years ago. I acted out in every negative way I could find. All the old behaviors to comfort… but there was absolutely no comfort to be found there. Egypt just hurt me again. And I am so ashamed that I ran backwards. That when my family needed me I was so focused on myself I was useless to them. I am so thankful for His love and His mercy and His forgiveness. I am so thankful that my husband is home, and he is healthy. And I am even thankful for this stumble and the lesson learned. God is always the better choice. It is so heartening to know I am not alone in this, reading through these comments. We all have our own “Egypt”. We have all gone back for comfort. But we all have the same choice to turn forward and upward towards our God! Praise His name!

    • She Reads Truth

      Christine, wow. Thank you for sharing this. What a strong reminder for us all that we can’t return to those past comforts and that we can look upwards towards God!

      – Stormye

    • Zoe

  • What a timely post for such a hard day. Thank you Lord that you are bigger than the pain and hurt of this world <3

    http://www.in-due-time.com

  • That’s so me… I know the next few weeks will be stressful but instead of drawing closer to God and praying about it I just want to run. When I have a pile of work and time pressure I’m paralyzed when I look at the work and often end up distracting myself with facebook or YouTube. Could you pray for me that I turn my eyes to God and just start the things I need to do?

    • She Reads Truth

      Regine, praying for you right now! Thank you for asking. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • Alexis Maycock

    What a great reminder! Currently walking through a season where fear and anxiety over the unknown couple grip me. But with each day I am placing my trust in the One who is in control.

  • Isaiah 30:10 really struck me this morning in reading, “who say to the seers, ‘Do not see,’ and to the prophets, ‘Do not prophesy to us what is right; speak to us smooth things, prophesy illusions…'” The “speak to us smooth things…” Hands raised… guilty. I know I crave what is smooth/easy/comfortable. I know I turn back to familiar instead of forward on the path God has for me. I am really loving this study of Isaiah. I have never read and studied the book straight through, and it is hard and heavy, but it is GOOD. There are so many convicting things… and so much to learn about the heart, kindness, and patience of our GOOD God in the convicting. Thank you Lord for your mercy.

    • Erica

      Yes! I feel like through such difficult scriptures, I’m learning just a little more about what the heart of God actually looks like not just want I’d prefer it to.

    • Sarah K

      Love this comment, Kristen. My feelings exactly. And for the same reason loving this study of Isaiah- because, while I believe a study of the beautiful books like Romans is also important, I think it’s of upmost importance to study the “smooth.” This book bumps back and forth between destruction and redemption, and it seems everything but smooth! But here it is, a very important reference taking up its equal space in The Word!

  • So timely today. I needed this. I had a very anxious and fearful day yesterday. Thank you for the reminder to turn upward and forward instead of inward and backward. I feel like this was written just for me.

  • Really enjoying the readings and commentary today. I was supposed to fly off to a conference this morning, but my stomach had other plans and I ended up cancelling my flights. It’s hard to know if I should have gone anyway and just had faith that God would be with me, or if did the right thing by resting and not needlessly pushing myself just for job stuff. It’s hard to know what the right decision is at any given time. All I can do is put my faith in knowing that I’m supported in this and not dwell overly in what choices I might have made!

  • The Lord said, “In returning and rest you shall be saved”– if you depend completely on Him, everything will turn out all right–but the people were “unwilling,” and instead returned to the very Egypt from which God had rescued them. He warned them that they would suffer the consequences of that decision–“your pursuers shall be swift,” etc.–but then in verse 18 He goes on to say, “Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you…”

    This verse astounds me. Even though I have returned to my “Egypt,” to the sins and patterns of behavior that once enslaved me, to the very things from which He wants to set me free, He still waits to show mercy to me. He still has a future planned for me. He still promises to hear me when I cry to Him: “As soon as He hears it, He answers you” (Verse 19). Suddenly I no longer understand why I would ever turn to something besides Him for comfort and security. Where else am I going to encounter love and grace like His? Who is like Him? Today, may I stop running to “Egypt” for help. May I rest in Him alone and learn to find strength “in quietness and in trust.”

  • This is my first She Reads Truth book study- I’ve done the free ones on the app before, but never purchased a plan. I was listening to Annie Downs’ podcast with Russ Ramsey and heard her talk about that she had done some writing for this study- but I couldn’t find that in my book. I just realized it’s all online. So, I’m just making sure I understand correctly: we buy the book and then follow along online? Do I have to pay the $2.99 to do that on the app? I’m just a little bit confused!! Help!

    • She Reads Truth

      Hi Sarah! Great questions. All content is available for free online! There are a few features that only the app has to offer, but you do not have to pay to access the daily readings. I hope this helps! We are so glad to have you reading the Word of God with us daily!

      – Stormye

    • Tara

      Hi Sarah – I just follow along on the website without purchasing the studies (book or app).

    • Candy

      Just go to the SRT website and it’s free.

  • Sometimes it’s hard to trust that the Lord is in control and knows what’s best for us, especially when it feels like everything is falling apart and/or not going the exact way we want it to. I suppose that shows just how much I trust in my own thoughts and ways rather than believing that His thoughts and ways are higher than my own. I must believe that He will show me the way to walk in, but I must also trust Him in the path that He lays out even if it’s different than the one I planned out.

  • I love the constant reminders in Isaiah of God’s sovereignty and His GOOD plan that He so desperately wanted His people to experience! And in this season of life, I’ve finally begun to learn that God’s good plans require us to TRUST Him. It means stepping away from our own plans, habits, comforts and turning to Him instead. I hate change and really anything new and unfamiliar. But isn’t that how God created us to grow? To experience new things. And it’s confusing sometimes because it’s also mixed with difficulty as we step out of our comfort zones because they feel SO GOOD. Yet, God has something better. Something that will grow us, draw us closer to Him, teach us more of who He is, deepen our love for Him. And in all of that, there is a deep sense of joy and peace, not like what the world gives (or promises to give). This joy is built on an unchanging, perfect, loving God.

    • Danielle

      Love this—I’m going through this as well . Thank you for sharing.

  • Keri McCue

    “Perhaps because we are prone to self-focus.” This has been a theme in my life the past few months. I am learning areas of my life that I need to stop focusing on myself. I am learning that I am way more selfish than I’d like to admit. I love the visual used about the deer. Such a good comparison. And it’s so true, if we just keep moving forward, if we just focus our eye on Him, then we will be okay!

    http://www.littlelightonahill.com

  • Isaiah 30:11…How often do I ask God to speak to me, but don’t want to hear what he has to say? How often do I want to be soothed by what I want to hear, not by what he is trying to tell me? Lord, I pray that I turn outward to you and listen to your words. Remind me that you know what is best, what is just, and what is right.

  • Diane Vincent

    I was very anxious this morning about a frustrating situation with unbelieving family members….God came to me and said,”In repentance and rest you shall be saved, in quietness and trust shall be your strength”. Katie’s comments couldn’t have been more timely! I’ve repented from turning backward to the old habit of self-reliance called anxiety, and I am focusing upward and forward to all the Lord is and all the good He has planned for me! Praise Him for always being with me in Spirit and Truth!

  • I’ve seen a lot of ladies here struggling with Isaiah and the difficult parts of this journey—the parts where sin overtakes and destroys and elicits the wrath of the Father. It is difficult, indeed, to acknowledge our sin nature, brokenness, and failures. It’s difficult to see the consequences and justice at work. But today I was reminded of Romans 5:19-20: “For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more…”
    I’ve dwelled on these verses a lot. We’re in the Old Testament in Isaiah, so we’re dealing with present mercy rather than grace since Jesus hasn’t arrived yet, but the same principle applies here. The more we sin, the more we experience God’s wonderful mercy and grace. The book of Isaiah happened, but immense mercy and grace happened as a result. It’s a beautiful, beautiful thing—all praise to God for that! God provides both the temporal and eternal remedies through His perfect, relentless love. In His goodness and compassion, His grace increases as our mistakes increase when we fall to our knees.

    • Jen Downs

      Thank you Eriana for the verses in Romans 5, our God is such a good and merciful Father. The wrath and consequences we see in Isaiah are covered by our Jesus. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder.

  • Diane Huntsman

    All throughout history every person needed and currently needs to be convinced that He>i that His ways are higher that His truths are infallible.. because if we aren’t convinced, we’ll reach for the quickest, easiest old habit to escape whatever uncomfortable circumstance we find ourselves in.. I cry out this day with that father in the New Testament “I believe, help me with my unbelief!!” Oh that the trust would go down to our deepest places, that turning to Him and trusting Him fully would be as natural as breathing.. increase our faith, Lord.. even a mustard seed sized faith will suffice..

  • I so needed this study of Isaiah. Week after week, we learn how we stray. We learn what happens when we stray. And we learn how to get back on the right path. This. Is. Such. Useful. Information.

    It’s so funny how I can be three weeks deep in study, and then stray in a way Isaiah warns me of, a way in which I personally know the destruction it causes because I’ve done it before. Here I go walking down that treacherous path BACK to Egypt.

    But here is Isaiah and God, sometimes screaming at me, sometimes using gentle words, to remind me to stay going upward and forward.

    Thank you for this study, SRT. It has been exactly what I needed at this point in my life. Please pray I stay on the right path and that I don’t wander back off to Egypt. It’s been really hard. I could use any and all prayers for this. Sending you lots of love and thanks.

    • She Reads Truth

      Lana, praying for you in this time! Grateful for you, friend.

      – Stormye

  • There’s so much truth to this. Most of the time we tend to fall back on what we truly know or have gone through, even though it hasn’t brought us the peace we long for. We know God is there just waiting to lead the way but we hesitate because of fear, doubt, and even the comfort we feel when it doesn’t involve the unknown. Sometimes walking with Christ is exactly that; the unknown. Of what His plan is, of what He has in store for us. We revert back to ways that don’t involve a blind faith but then we come to realize any remedy that is found will only last temporarily. Anything that you are searching for here on Earth, whether it’s peace, love, forgiveness, you name it, you can find it in God abundantly and infinitely! He longs to have His children take Him by the hand with blind faith and put their trust solely in Him. Mercy does not come greater from humanity than it does from the Lord. How blessed are we to have a God so merciful and so loving that as the years pass, one thing always remains; God patiently waiting for His children to come home.

  • Praying for you Sarah! :)

  • Prayers appreciated all. Crying now. I just broke down. I have so much work to catch up on from being sick and I just want to be done. I don’t want to be dizzy, I don’t want to do hard things. I’m sorry for my attitude Lord. I’m sorry for my negative thoughts. I know I need to trust in Jesus, it’s just so hard. Help me trust in you Jesus. Help me trust. Give me your peace Jesus. I need you and only you.

    • Zoe

      Praying for you!

    • candacejo

      Dear Sarah, taking time to pray for you right now, in Jesus’ name, the name above all names! He is able to give you the strength and peace you so desperately need. Turn to Him, rest in Him and His Word. Read the Word, maybe a Psalm that encourages and reminds you of His power and might and His love for you. We will take you to the throne room! May this song strengthen you today https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5L6QlAH3L4&index=3&list=FLTgZ8BFIfIOfZCkwQFsHI_g

    • Sherri

      Sarah D, God is a way maker, He will see you through. Praying for you right now.

    • Maggie

      praying for you this morning, Sarah! you are not alone.

    • Alexis

      https://youtu.be/XV_uXnL2DVM. This song encourages me when I am overwhelmed.

    • Sarah D.

      Thank you all so much. I wrote this before I read the devotional, and wow the scripture hit hard. I was falling back, into myself, instead onto Jesus, forward. Praying that I lean on Him. Praying, Take it all, my life in your hands. Ahead is unknown, but I’m going to trust. My heart is yours. My life in your hands. Take it all. Thank you all for your prayers <3

    • Mari

      Praying for you Sarah. My situation may not be the same but I know exactly how you’re feeling when you want things just to get done.

    • She Reads Truth

      Sarah, continuing to pray for you. Asking the Lord to calm your anxieties and to show you His trustworthiness and character through His Word. Grateful for you.

      – Stormye

  • “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength. But you were unwilling.”
    When I am anxious or afraid, the last thing I want is to be still. I want to do everything within my power to control my situation. I let the world rob me of my Peace daily! In things big and small.
    If I would just turn to Him first. Even for just a moment.
    Christ can do more in a moment than I could in my entire life. And I know He can change my life in a moment. If only I would turn to Him and rest in His presence.
    Lord, I am willing! My prayer for myself and for all the women in this blessed community is that you open our eyes to see Your hand in our lives. That gratitude flows freely from our hearts. I pray that You are the One our minds leap to when we encounter trouble, because You can change our perspective with the Truth in an instant. You alone have the answers and You alone can give us the strength to persevere. Work in our lives Lord, today and always, and may our lives be a testimony to Your Goodness for all we encounter.

  • ” Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
    and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
    For the Lord is a God of justice;
    blessed are all those who wait for him.”

    This verse stuck out to me. I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old and when I tell them to wait it’s almost worse than if I tell them no. Parenting has taught me so much about God and His relationship with me. I tell my son or daughter to wait when I know the timing isn’t right but want them to enjoy whatever it is that they ask for to the fullest. But in their tiny minds they are so impatient and can’t grasp that I want what’s best for them and I want to give them good things. Waiting is hard for all of us but trusting and knowing that God has a perfect plan for me and He will bring it to completion is the truth of it all. He has a plan and He wants what is best for His children. He’s Lord over all and we aren’t. Have a great day ladies. Thankful for you all.

  • EXCELLENT

  • Elisabeth7291

    Several days of meditation were tied together for me in this morning’s reading of Jer 31:33: “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” This is the NT gift of the Holy Spirit – His law on my heart that woos me onto the right path: this, the mark that I am His.

  • I have to admit, this study has been hard for me so far. So hard to read these crippling words and then the next morning, read even more destruction but finally, today…today I almost jumped out of my seat and sang hallelujah to the Lord. I was so happy that the Lord came and brought mercy, what a relief!! Amen!!
    And then reading Jeremiah 31:33 and 34. Gave me chills. “…I will put my teachings and writings on their heart” “no longer will they say, Know the Lord” and my absolute favorite “For I will forgive their wrongdoing and never again remember their sin”
    That alone will bring me to the feet of Jesus. What a powerful reminder of our amazing God who’s mercy is endless. That alone is enough to hold me tight within the Lords arms and find comfort in his rest. Thank you Jesus for being my savior. You have my heart.

  • So many good truths in this passage. Verses 9-11 stuck out at me. So often I don’t want to hear the hard stuff. I’d rather read or hear about happy, nice, beautif, pleasant things rather than hurt, pain, injustice. I’d rather hear about the things I’m doing right and not the sin in my life that needs purifying. Honestly I’d rather study easier to understand parts of the Bible than Isaiah which can be difficult to read and understand. But I know God has good things for me to learn about Him even in Isaiah. Help me God to not run away from the hard, or more difficult things in life, but to run straight to you and allow you to walk alongside me and carry my burdens for me. Amen

  • Struggling with forgiveness today as I read this devotion. I recently had a situation where I made some pretty big life decisions based on the guidance of brothers and sisters who I then found did not share quite the same belief and trust in God as I did. I am disappointed in myself for trusting them. Disappointed in my surroundings which were impacted by them. But it is so much easier to blame them or myself than to trust that this difficult journey was all part of God’s plan. It is so much easier to go back to a place of anger and bitterness than to lean on God and trust His promises to me. That dark place is my Egypt today. But what if I were to fight my feelings with His truth? What if I were to lean into His mercy and forgive? That is the only place where I will find healing. Thank you for this devotion today. My prayer is that He will help me find strength in forgiveness.

    • candacejo

      He will!!! ♥

    • She Reads Truth

      Joy, praying for you in this season of hurt. Asking the Lord to give you a supernatural ability to forgive and love despite feeling mislead. So grateful to have you in our community, friend.

      – Stormye

  • “You will be delivered by returning and resting; your strength will lie in quiet confidence.” (30:15) “All who wait patiently for Him are happy.” (30:18) “Whenever you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: This is the way. Walk in it.” (30:21) And this…”I took them by the hand.” (Jeremiah 31:32)
    As I continue to struggle with my personal goals and see my momentum drain away as I spend all my extra time with my sister who is on bedrest for a high-risk pregnancy, today was the encouragement my spirit needed. I am trying to build my business on my own effort, but God has been reminding me that things will fall into place in His timing and in His way. My satisfaction is not to be found in success, but only in Him. I want to be with my sister during this time, and that means letting go of my personal agenda and trusting God to work things out as they need to work out.

    • Stacy

      Thank you for being with your sister! It’s encouraging to me! Praise God

    • Maggie

      I have been doing the same…striving to create a small business, struggling with being productive versus present with my people…I need to stop and rest and allow God’s timing and path play out not my own anxious striving and miss sweet moments with my husband and kids. such a hard balance.

    • Mari

      Yes agreeing with Stacy Thank You for being with your sister! I have 3 sisters and for the most part we would do ANYTHING for one another.

    • She Reads Truth

      Tonya, praying for your sweet sister today. Grateful for you and that you shared this with us.

      – Stormye

  • Great devotion today- challenging but really helpful. I agree it is easy when we feel uncertain or under threat to turn inward and rely on ourselves or others around us, or to turn back to old coping mechanisms rather than looking upward to God and moving forward his way, in his strength.
    This is such a good reminder of where we should be putting our hope. By trusting other things the result is humiliation, disgrace and shame but if our trust is in God then, as David writes in Psalm 25:3, “No-one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced.” This song came to mind for me this morning. https://youtu.be/iQgZAg8QwX4

  • Churchmouse

    Oh Isaiah, I picture you as Pigpen from the Peanuts comic strip – always walking about covered in dust with a gloomy cloud over your head. Were you not weary of admonishing your pig headed brethren? Yet you stayed at the task, at the Lord’s calling. Surely the infrequent words of future deliverance and hope kept you going. Keeping your eyes on Him who was speaking kept you moving forward in obedience and trust. Oh that I would be as you! Oh that I, walking in my own tough times, would keep my focus on Jesus who quietly speaks to me. Oh that I would move forward in obedience in trust, even when those around me scoff and mock me for it. In You alone is deliverance and hope. You are the light that shows through the dark and ominous clouds. If I look I will see. And I am comforted.

    • She Reads Truth

      Churchmouse, I giggled at your comparison, but how great a comparison it was! Thank you for sharing.

      – Stormye

    • Emily B.

      I’m sorry you’re walking through your own difficulties. Your comments always uplift me, and I’m praying that your spirit is encouraged by the God you worship so well.

  • Walk in the way – it’s simple yet daring. I pray I will.

  • Wow- I needed this admonition. My tendency is to turn in, in, in until I’m so lost in my own fear and anxiety. Thank you. Isaiah is not a book I love to study, but these devotions make it easier to digest.

  • Heather Kulaga

    Thank you. Up since 4am, can’t sleep for worries. Thank you.

    • Lesley

      Praying for you, Heather, that you know God’s perfect love casting out your fear and that you find peace and rest in him.

  • As I was writing what has now disappeared….grrrrrr, this song began to play….I cannot rewrite what I wrote but I can share the link to the, I believe appropriate song for this message, I think…
    Elavation Worships’ Call upon the Lord…
    https://youtu.be/e7iKmka651U
    Blessings sisters and love…Happy Tuesday…xxx

  • I love 30:15… ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, …”‘
    I keep running faster, doing more, thinking harder, trying harder… especially when under pressure.
    Repentance, rest, quietness and trust really sound quite different… and so hard when life seems to be off, not going in the right direction.
    Time to let go of all my empty efforts and surrender yet again to the Father who knows best.
    Have a great day ladies! ❤

    • Karen

      Yes! That was the verse that stood out to me too. So true! Definitely something to prayerfully meditate on in my own times of stress or crisis.

    • Claire

      Sounds familiar! Come Holy Spirit, draw me back into rest with the Father

  • Yes! Curved inwards on ourselves on our small problems, and yet if we look to him he is there, and as we turn our gaze, and set ourselves to true north, he makes clear the path. A wonderful timely reading, coupled with yesterday’s, bringing peace where I’ve been agonising. Thank you.

  • Oh am so glad to be reminded of the Lord’s mercy. Even though time and time again I run back to what I knew and not up to The One who loves me. Thank you Lord for Your unending grace and mercy.
    Have a wonderful day ladies! It’s 2:20am here. I haven’t been tired but hoping now, after reading of God’s mercy I can.
    Blessings from Pennsylvania.

  • peanut cheese

    Many people have said this is a difficult reading plan and I agree. But this morning I realised how every devotional points out something else, which is quite great as to me each passage seems to be largely similar. Thanks for that!

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