He Will Be With You

Deuteronomy 31:8

“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” 


These encouraging words come from a section of the book of Deuteronomy where Moses is giving instructions to the people of Israel before they go into the Promised Land. The people are assembled by the Jordan River and Moses is recounting how God has led them out of the land of Egypt and protected them in the wilderness. The people of Israel had stood at this same place 40 years earlier. At that point, Moses had sent 12 men across the Jordan to spy out the land. When they returned, 10 of them gave a report of all the dangers in the land; “the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large” (Numbers 13:28). Oh, and there are giants in the land. Two of the spies, Caleb and Joshua, reported that the land was flowing with milk and honey and that they should go into the land because the Lord was with them. But the Israelites did not go forward; their fear kept them from the promises of God.

Now here they are again 40 years later, and Moses is preparing Joshua to lead the people of Israel into the land God had promised them. What has changed? Not the risks. The people who dwelled in the land were still strong, the cities were still fortified, and there were still giants in the land. Why were Joshua and the people of Israel ready to go forward into the land that God had promised? They had seen God go before them for 40 years. They had experienced God with them; He did not leave them or forsake them, even when they made mistakes. God was faithful and they could trust Him.

We may not face challenges like the people of Israel as they entered the Promised Land, but like them, we may still be afraid and apprehensive. Like the people of Israel, we have God’s promises to rest on. He will not forsake us or leave us, and He goes before us. As Paul wrote in Romans 8:31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Thought for the day: What about you? Do you have challenges ahead and you know you should move forward but are afraid? Today’s verse says, “Do not fear or be dismayed.” Why? Because He has promised to be with us and to never leave us or forsake us. In whatever problems we face, we can trust God.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to trust You. Help me to remember Your promises when I face trials and I am afraid. I know that You are with me and that You will never leave me. Thank You for your promises. Amen.

Be Still

Exodus 14:14
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

Be still. For some of us, that can be difficult and scary so we fight it.

This scripture was written long before Jesus came on the scene in the flesh and blood. Moses was talking to the people of Israel while standing at the edge of the Red Sea and being chased down by the Egyptians. He was facing a seemingly impossible situation to be still in.

In today’s terms, Moses was telling the Israelites to chill out, God’s got a plan. I don’t know about you but if I was standing at the edge of the impossible and fleeing from captivity, I hardly think I would be able to be still. I would freak. I do sometimes freak.

The truth is that God knew they were going to be free and that being free did not mean an absence of difficulties or challenges. He designed those steps and He knew that He was about to do the seemingly impossible and part the Red Sea so that His people would walk through it unscathed.

How is this relevant today? Some of us have this idea that following Jesus means we won’t run into challenges. Spoiler alert: following Jesus is not the absence of Red Sea moments where we want to freak out when we feel trapped or out of options.

Perhaps your own personal freak out moment looks like anxiety, attempts to control, moments of doubt, and feeling like God has abandoned you. Maybe you wrestle and fight against God’s plan and will for your life like a two-year-old wrestles nap time.

Like a parent who pushes for what is best for their two-year-old, He can see what we cannot see and knows what is best because He loves us. We forget all of the battles He has already fought and won on our behalf. When we choose to believe His word, we see that no battle or circumstance is too big for Him. Moses goes on to remind the Israelites of how God has already provided a way by recapping their history and the insurmountable giants that they have already faced… and won.


Allowing the what-ifs of anxiety, doubt, and a false sense of control to steal our faith only leaves us feeling defeated and maybe even hopeless. The Bible says that if our trust is in Jesus, the challenges and troubles we face today still serve to build endurance, character, and hope. Read Romans 5:3-4. The Bible is full of not just advice, but truth.

Thought for the day: On a scale of 1 to 10, what’s your level of chill and be still when it comes to trusting Jesus in all things? Have you forgotten about the ways that God has already provided a way out of the most seemingly hopeless situations?

Prayer: Father God, thank You that You truly make a way for us each and every day. Thanks that You do not leave us or abandon us in a place of no way out. You are the way out. You are the still in the midst of the storms. Remind me of that today and every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Take Heart

John 16:33
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.

Look around you for a minute. Does everything feel 100% safe? This life is full of risk. There’s risk that we’ll fall, risk that we’ll get sick, and risk that we might lose something or someone we care about.

In this verse, Jesus states this truth: “In this world you will have trouble.” There it is. By living our life, we must accept that bad stuff is going to happen from time to time. That’s the way it is.

Aren’t you glad that he didn’t end his point there and walk away? Thankfully, he keeps going. He says: “Take heart.” Don’t lose faith or be discouraged. “I have overcome the world.” Jesus is saying, things have to be the way they are right now but listen close… this is all going to change. I’m going to fix it all.

The Book of Revelation tells the end of our earthly story and the beginning of eternity with God. It talks about how, in the end, God comes back and makes everything right and good.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 2:3-4)

Thought for the day: Do you have trouble? Are you in pain? Have you lost something or someone important? Do you have fears and anxieties? Jesus is saying to you today: “Take heart. I have overcome the world.” Someday, Jesus is going to wipe every tear from our eyes and the old order of things is going to pass away.

Rejoice! Take courage as you walk through this life. This world is not our home. Our hope is in Heaven and in the great day of our Lord Jesus when all will be made new. And even better than that, Jesus promises to be with us through our lives. One of the last things Jesus said to his disciples was: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20).

Take courage. Take heart. Jesus has our back and he’s not letting go. Won’t you lean on him as we look towards heaven?

Peace-Devo-9.21Prayer: Jesus, sometimes this life is so hard. Be my strength when life doesn’t go my way. Please help me to have hope in the future You will one day create. Please lead and guide my life and give me courage to face life’s challenges and honor You. Thank You for being with us and for Your plan to make everything new. Thank You for holding me when I feel lost and alone. Amen!

No Practice, No Peace

Philippians 4:9
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

Have you ever gone to a seminar or class to learn something new (maybe to lose weight or make money buying real estate, as examples), and then not put anything you learned into practice? Information alone without putting into practice what you learn, receive, or hear will not lead to changed behavior. That is the focus of today’s teaching by the Apostle Paul.

James, Jesus’ half-brother, also taught about the importance of putting into practice the teachings from God’s word. James 1:22-25 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man that looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.”

The blessing mentioned in today’s verse is experiencing God’s peace, which is available to you 24/7.  Too often, we expect or wait for God’s blessings without being obedient. We must trust Him completely with our life by putting into practice what He asks us to do.

Peace-Devo-9.20Thought for the day: It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The same is true for spiritual growth. Information without application does not lead to transformation, which is a big word for a changed mind and changed behavior. The Apostle Paul in Romans 12:2 says, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  

Are you experiencing God’s peace? Are you renewing your mind and changing your actions through putting God’s word into practice on a daily basis? As you reflect on your life and today’s verse, if you are not experiencing His peace, today would be a great time to spend time in prayer with God and to commit to following Him and trusting Him completely.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank You for loving me just as I am, and not as I should be. I desire to experience Your peace. Help me to trust You completely with my life and to put into practice what You ask me to do. Amen.

Think About These Things

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

We live in an increasingly busy and loud world. There are so many things competing for our attention, affection, and finances. Advertisements, the comparison game of social media, and our own hopes and dreams constantly remind us of who we should become, what we need to have, and the praise we deserve from others.

With all of the noise, it’s hard to focus—but focus is vital in determining where we ultimately end up. Track athletes are trained to keep their eyes straight ahead, otherwise, they’ll go off course. The same is true while driving. When we’re distracted, we begin drifting into the other lane or the rumble strips on the side of the road. The simple reality is this: what we focus on is what we move towards.

In this passage, Paul encourages his friends to focus on things of value. He knew the culture at the time would default to its old ways of religion as performance-ism, and that following Jesus would be difficult based on traditions and the ruling government.

With all of the noise that’s around us, following Jesus is something that we can be easily distracted from. The distraction could be a hard situation that surprises us, like a lost job, tough diagnosis, or relational strain. It could be something that demands a lot of attention, like planning a wedding or preparing for the birth of a child. Maybe it’s just the pace of life as we juggle work, family, and everything else that fills in the gaps. It’s perfectly normal to be distracted, but if we don’t fight to fix our focus on the things that matter, we’ll find ourselves off course.

Peace-Devo-9.19Thought for the day: What are the things, good or bad, that are fighting for your focus, attention, and affection? What are some practical ways you can ask God to provide the things you’re seeking? Is it peace, comfort, provision, healing, or contentment? How can God show Himself to be the main thing that satisfies you in the midst of all the distractions?

Prayer: God, thank You for loving me in spite of the times I give my affection and attention to things around me. Thank You for never giving up on me. Help me to see You as the place I should focus, and the provider of everything good that I need. Amen.

It Surpasses Understanding

Philippians 4:6-7
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

The type of peace Paul is talking about here transcends circumstances. It’s something we can’t understand just by thinking about it. It truly is a supernatural peace that is a gift from God. While God freely gives this peace away, we must have a relationship with Jesus to receive it.

When we say “yes” to Jesus by asking Him to save us from our sins and be the leader of our lives, we put our faith and trust in Him. Our priorities change to His priorities and we can see things differently. When Jesus is in charge of our lives, we can put our trust in Him and follow Him, wherever He leads us. Jesus doesn’t promise that we won’t have troubles, but He does promise that He will be with us through our troubles.

When things are good, we should keep our eyes on Jesus and experience His peace. When things are bad, we should keep our eyes on Jesus and experience His peace. When we do this, our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus will be guarded by the supernatural peace of God; whether we understand how it works or not. Our peace is tied to who Jesus is, not to our circumstances.

Peace-Devo-9.18Prayer: God, please help keep my eyes on Jesus when things are good and when things are bad. Please help me to remember that Jesus has promised to be with me in the middle of my troubles. Please help me gain your perspective on my circumstances and to experience Your supernatural peace. Amen.

We Will Not Be Shaken

Isaiah 54:10

For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you, and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you.

The daily news is filled with stories of people facing difficult challenges. It’s a continuous cycle of car accidents, financial loss, injuries, home fires, loved ones missing, or worse. It is almost too much to watch. Followers of Jesus are not immune to these challenges. Jesus even told us in John 16, “In the world you will have tribulation.”

The words are almost a guarantee that we will face difficulties. So, what do we do when the “mountains depart and the hills are removed” in our lives? We must trust in the promises of God.

In the second half of this verse, God tells us that He loves us even in our trials. In Romans 8:38-39, Paul wrote “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This comes from a man who had experienced several tribulations. He was fully convinced that God loved him through it all.

The final section of this verse talks about peace. Jesus explains the kind of peace He will give to those who trust in Him in John 14:27: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” He’s talking about an inner peace that can calm the storm inside us, even when the world around us in turmoil.

Peace-Devo-9.17Thought for the day: Are you walking through challenges in your life? Maybe someone close to you is going through hard times. The Bible is filled with stories of people who walked through difficulties but stood on the promises of God. What do you need today? Is it peace? Read the book of John and see the love Jesus has for you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I thank You for the Bible and the promises it holds for me. Please help me to seek You and believe what You have told us in Your word. Help me not to be shaken by the things in this world, but to trust You through it all. Amen.