As you constantly switch between your responsibilities and relationships, it often leaves little time for yourself or connecting with Jesus. This lack of Christ can create a feeling of anxiousness in your mind and a hurry in your soul. Your heart desperately longs for calm amid your clamoring duties, stacked schedule, and life’s unexpected circumstances.
The Cambridge English Dictionary defines calm as “peaceful, quiet, and without worry” and “without hurried movement or noise.” To acquire a heart that is indicative of the first definition, we need moments described by the second definition, unhurried, still, and devoid of noise. Our overwhelmed hearts need true calm, a calm that can only come from God Himself. We must pursue a daily connection with God. More than success, time management skills, or people’s praise, our hearts need a refreshing encounter with God each day.
We can learn to carve out time to connect our hearts with God’s heart, time to experience God’s love, grow in His grace, and explore His truth. As we do, we learn to follow and serve God with a sense of purpose and experience the calm we all crave no matter what we’re facing. May these devotions help you find the peace and calm that only Jesus can provide, trusting God in all things.
“And being in anguish, He prayed more earnestly, and His sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” – Luke 22: 44
What has you overwhelmed right now? Is there something that seems too big for you? Stress can feel like an invisible press you’re caught in or a trap that’s slowly squeezing the life out of you. We’ve all felt the overwhelming pressing and pinching of life’s circumstances. However, it may help you to know that even Jesus was overwhelmed.
He felt the suffocating and exhausting effects of stress leading up to His death on the cross. Right before His arrest and betrayal, He withdrew to a place called the Mount of Olives. In the Gethsemane garden, Jesus was overcome with stress, all for us. If we’re not careful, we can add stress on top of our anxiety. We should come back to Jesus and draw near Him in these times, remembering who He is and what He’s done.
“The one who pursues righteousness and faithful love with find life, righteousness, and honor.” – Proverbs 21:21
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, social media has taken over our world. We find ourselves mindlessly scrolling, seeing the accomplishments of our friends and loved ones. We immediately feel the thief of comparison on our backs as we wonder why we aren’t where they are or what we can do to get where they are.
It’s easy to want to emulate others we see who seem so fruitful. After all, they must be doing something right. But is crushing it at home or work what God calls us to strive for most? Should we seek accomplishments and run after success? Or is there something different that God wants us to chase even more? Proverbs 21:21 encourages us to pursue righteousness and faithful love. Instead of trying to “crush it,” focus on looking for those crushed in spirit and do something to cheer them up and encourage them.
“Look and see; there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.” – Psalm 142:4
David felt alone, forsaken, and fearful of his own life. He found refuge in a secluded cave. King Saul tried to kill David at least seven different times. He and his men were intent on destroying him. It’s no wonder that David, anticipating the worst, fled to a remote cave. In that lonely cave, David poured out his loneliness with the only person he knew would never leave him. This verse is David’s cry to the Lord.
Trials can be painful, but they can also be lonely. While some people choose to walk toward us in our pain, many do not. So it’s easy to feel isolated, like David. Even the best of friends have limits. They can only do so much and be so much. They can support us but never fully satisfy or save us as God can. He alone is our refuge, so we need to be grateful for how our friends can love us, not how we wish they would love us.
David not only learns that God is his refuge, but he also discovers that, while even the best of friends have limits, he wasn’t alone after all. So what does that mean for us? Most importantly, it means God alone is our refuge. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Still, it also means that God will surround us with friends who care when we ask Him.
“What do you want me to do for you? – Luke 18:41
What do you need most from God right now? Imagine Jesus asking you what you want Him to do for you. You may ask Him to fix your marriage, give you a job, or keep you healthy. In Luke 18, there’s a man who can see his need though he’s blind. He can also see Jesus clearly. He hears about Jesus before he sees Him. We’re told that as the crowd’s buzz was swirling around him, passing him by, he asks what’s going on.
The crowd tells him it’s Jesus of Nazareth. The blind man knows exactly who Jesus is; He’s the long-awaited Messiah. Jesus is not only powerful, but he’s compassionate. “Have mercy on me,” the blind man begs. At that moment, Jesus turns to him and asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” Imagine Jesus asking you that question right now. He loves you, is for you, and has mercy toward you. Don’t be afraid to answer Jesus. Set your doubts aside and answer Him.
Hopefully, these devotions will get you through whatever trials you’re going through. Always remember that God is with you, and He’ll never leave your side.