Sunday, June 18, 2017

Strength of Soul

June 18 (Psalm 138:3)


On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased.  (ESV)


Strength of soul…what a great phrase!  It suggests something far more than physical strength.  Yet it is also more than mental strength or emotional strength.  Strength of soul is something much deeper.  It is strength at the fundamental level of who you are.

Recall a time when you just had to get something done.  It may have been pulling an all-nighter to make sure you were ready for the exam.  It may have been settling down to the weeks and months ahead of dealing with the aftermath of loss or tragedy.  Whatever it was, you had this sense of needing to dig down deep into a reserve of strength not usually tapped.  You needed strength of soul.

The beautiful, wonderful, amazing thing is that this deepest source of strength is yours for the asking.  David says that on the day he called to God, He answered him, and his strength of soul increased.  No one sits on the couch wondering why he does not get physically stronger.  It takes work.  It is simple work, but there is something a person must do to build muscles.  The same is true with strength of soul, and it is just as simple.  You call out to God in prayer.  You let Him speak to you through sustained, quiet time with Him.  You give yourself over to His word in the Bible.  I can testify along with David that your strength of soul will indeed increase.

Lord, I need the strength of soul that You gave David.  Whether I am facing a particular challenge or going through the daily tasks of life, I need more than my natural resources of brain power and physical might can accomplish.  Grant me that deep strength that I may meet victoriously all that lies before me.  In the name of Jesus, my Savior, I pray.  Amen.


Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, June 11, 2017

We Need A Mediator

June 11 (Job 9:33)


If only there were someone to mediate between us, someone to bring us together.  (ESV)


Job’s story is the classic example of a man who does not understand why his life is falling apart.  You may not suffer boils all over your body or the loss of all your livestock and children, but there are things in your life that you do not like, nor do you understand why they are the way they are.  Welcome!  You are a card-carrying member in the Society of Job.

Just as Job did, many people cry out to a deity when trouble hits, even if it is only to proclaim to God that this is the reason they do not believe in Him.  Yet in the midst of his grief, Job realizes something.  If only there were a mediator between God and man, someone who could act as a go-between….  Have you ever asked a friend in school to speak to the teacher on your behalf or asked a co-worker to go to the boss with you?  We all want someone who knows our situation, who has our best interests at heart, AND who has the connections to help us.

Enter Jesus.  He is the very mediator that Job longed for.  He sits at the right hand of our Father and, by His own words, He is with us always (Matthew 28:20).  So cry to Him.  Share your anger with Him.  Pour out your hurts to Him.  He knows the depths of your heart already, but He wants to hear from you, and He will take your deepest concerns to His Father and yours.

Oh, Jesus.  I hardly know where to begin.  Still the storm within my heart so that I may lay my worries and concerns before You.  I need somebody to help me, and although everything else is in turmoil, I do trust in You.  Hear my cares that I may move past them in victory and in You.  Amen.



Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Waiting In Faithfulness

June 4 (Habakkuk 2:3-4)


For the revelation awaits an appointed time;

     it speaks of the end

     and will not prove false.

Though it linger, wait for it;

     it will certainly come

     and will not delay.

See, the enemy is puffed up;
    his desires are not upright—    

 but the righteous person will live by his faithfulness.  (ESV)


“Are we there yet?”  It is a question every child asks when going on a trip, and it is a question we all ask of God.  We want something.  We pray about it and are convinced that God wants it, too, or at least is not opposed to it.  And then we wait.  Only the problem is that we do not wait.  If we have prayed at breakfast, by our midmorning coffee break we are upset that God has not come through for us.

A child who repeatedly asks how much longer the trip will be is focused solely on the destination.  He does not consider what else his parents have in store along the way and is incapable of understanding all that they know about making such a journey.  As adults, we think we know it all and can somehow discern the ways of God, but the problem remains the same.  We focus on the gift and not the Giver.

There is no word of God that will not come to pass.  Keep waiting in faith, which is easier to do if you keep your eyes on Him and not how you imagine His word will be fulfilled.  And truly, if your eyes are filled with Him, you will be filled with more joy than anything your own mind could conjure.


Lord, You know the desires of my heart.  I pray first that they are in line with Your desires.  If they are not, help me to abandon them.  As I wait for the fulfillment of Your good and perfect will, fill the eyes of my heart with Jesus.  May He be all I see.  Amen.


Copyright © 2017 by Steven R. Perkins