January 1

Under His Wings

He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you may seek refuge. PSALM 91:4

As you start a new year, remember that God offers a choice regarding where you can live, under the circumstances or under His wings. I recently came across a photo of a mama bird perched in a tree with her wings spread over her two babies. It immediately reminded me of today’s verse from Psalm 91.

Occasionally, we’re blessed to see something in God’s wonderful creation that beautifully illustrates a biblical principle or truth. Sometimes a concept is too wonderful for us to fully comprehend, so God “draws us a picture.” Not only is the picture a perfect illustration, but it usually comes at the exact moment we need to see it. Psalm 91 is all about God’s protection, deliverance, security, and love for us. It was written to provide hope for those going through a very dark time.

Think of how you could use some encouragement right now. Your Heavenly Father knows exactly how you feel and what you’re going through. He is patiently waiting to receive you into his arms, even if you have been deliberately flying away from Him. He is waiting to protect and cover you with His outstretched wings where you are safe and secure, where the Father’s warmth brings welcome relief from the cold, where His touch dispels the loneliness, where His shelter keeps you hidden from everything the world has been throwing at you.

Are you feeling defeated? Have your dreams been shattered? Read the verse again. This is where God wants you, not just when your world is coming apart, but all the time. He is offering you this kind of security 24/7, no matter what. The choice is yours. Where will you choose to live this year, under the circumstances or under His wings?

December 31

Leaving a Legacy

“As for me, this is my covenantwith them,” says theLORD. “My Spirit,Who is on you, will not depart from you,and My words that I have put in your mouthwill always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants—from this time on and forever,” says theLORD.ISAIAH 59:2

This devotional book is all about leaving a legacy. Today’s final thought is that your actions today will affect your family tomorrow. Your children watchwhat you do more than they listen to what you say. If you have lived out your faith with joy and excitement, most likely, so will they. If you have consistently offered grace more than judgment, most likely, so will they. If you have lived a life of submission to Jesus Christ in every area of your life, most likely, so will they.

I pray daily not only for my children and my grandchildren, but also for all their descendants, generation after generation. I pray for each succeeding generation to be spiritually stronger than the one before it. I would be delighted if my children and grandchildren leave me spiritually “in the dust.” That’s why I wrote this book—so it doesn’t take them as long as it took me to enter into the joy of the Lord, and to comprehend the vastness of God’s love, and the value of the gift of God’s righteousness. I pray that the light of each generation will be so bright that the darkness will be expelled by their mere presence wherever they go. I pray that their hearts will break for the lost, especially those society has cast aside. I pray that they will be fearless culture changers, defenders of the faith, yet always tender-hearted and full of mercy. As the world spirals downward, may they offer a firm foundation for those whose spiritual houses are being shaken. May theyall live in such a way that they are rewarded with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

January 19

God Tests our Hearts

Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. JAMES 1:12

When we’re going through our rough times, it’s helpful and comforting to know that God has a purpose for them. Consider how God used the 40 years in the wilderness in the lives of His people. He was humbling and testing them. He humbled them to show them how much they needed Him. He tested them to reveal what was in their hearts, but also to purify and refine them. Yet, they were free to choose if they would love Him, and that was what God desired most of all. Today’s verse shows how God rewards those who pass the test, emerging through the ordeal stronger than ever and with an undeniable love for Him.

In the wilderness, God allowed His people to get really hungry and thirsty so they could really know Him by experiencing Him as their Jehovah-Jireh, their provider. With each new experience of their God, their trust should have grown. Their 40 years of wandering showed that they failed the test. They refused to trust their Goddespite everything He had done for them. They hadn’t really cometo know Him.

My thought for today is this: be determined to pass God’s testing in your life. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture. Don’t get so caught up in your worrying and fears that you fail to experience God’s hand leading you through your valley. Take time to think back on all the ways God has already revealed Himself to you. If you don’t trust Him, you really don’t know Him, and if you don’t know Him, you can’t love Him. Don’t wander for 40 years in your own personal wilderness because you don’t trust Him. The stakes are too high,andthe rewards are too great. Don’t miss out on what God has for you. Take some time to meditate on today’s verse.