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Happy Sailing - A Devotion

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I John 4:17-18 (NLT)
And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.

Did you know that there is a rare genetic disorder with physical and neurological side effects that causes a fear processing defect in patients? As the disease progresses, people with Urbach-Wiethe disease unable to properly assess danger by associated fear. Fear is an emotional response, but for those who do not have fear it is difficult to interpret the present danger. There is another disorder called congenital insensitivity to pain. Again, another dangerous disorder in instances when pain is associated with danger. If I touch a hot surface, the pain response in my brain initiates the immediate removal of my hand. If there is no pain, I would be at risk for significant harm. These both are considered unnatural as it is not how the human body is designed. Fear and pain can be beneficial to human beings keeping us safe. We are to fear the Lord. Healthy fear is called respect. As we learn to know and understand that God’s Way of Life is the best way to live it immediately improves the outcomes in our life. This is positive fear. But most people do not live in such a place, but rather shudder in the darkness of this world in fear. Love has no fear. Perfect love expels, cast outs, banishes all fear from our life. What is your greatest fear? Everyone might agree that death is our biggest fear. We do not want to experience pain, rejection or loss as it causes distress. As we learn to live in God’s Will for our life, our love grows more perfect. His Grace covers our sin completely so we have nothing to fear any longer. We will not die, but live forever. The grave is not our final resting place but the Presence of God. Where is the comfort in these truths, when it comes to the cares, worries and fears of life? We must develop confident hope in our future by exercising our faith today to expel fear and worry from our life. The more we learn to trust the Lord – the quieter our resting place in Him.

Psalm 107:28-30 (NLT)
“LORD, help!” they cried in their trouble and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor!”

Years ago, my husband and I were blessed with a cruise to the Caribbean. My husband experienced some motion sickness with the rocking to and fro of the giant ship. One night on exceptionally rough waters the boat was bobbing up and down like a buoy so much so walking down the hallway would thrust you into the corridor walls. When we got to our room and I climbed into the big comfy bed, the motion around me seemed to still. The ship provided mattresses and bedding that seemed to swallow you as it formed around you. I believe now it was for nights like that one when everything was rocking and rolling. Once in bed, it seemed to still. However, my husband could not get that far due to sea sickness. He asked, “How can you lay there with all this motion?” Those were the last words I heard before drifting off to sleep. I believe that storms and struggles are a part of this life. I have found purpose in such trials as I learn more and more the importance of walking God’s Way and finding peaceful rest in the Refuge of His Love. Discovering the Refuge of God’s Love does not always calm the storm or steady the boat. It calms and steadies you. I know that there is danger all around us. Today and tomorrow the doctors will go to great lengths to be completely confident that not only is our son physically ready for his bone marrow transplant but that he is completely aware of the risks associated with this treatment. When your risk is equal to or greater than the possible benefit, it is their primary concern that we are well-informed. I must stay in the Sanctuary of Peace provided by faith and confident hope in God and His Word to not be cast down, in distressed or fear full as we begin this process. The days ahead are dark and no amount of preparation ever gets us ready to see our children endure pain and suffering at any level even when we know it is necessary. I mean really I cried during their vaccinations. I know that the Lord will heal our son and has been turning every detail of this battle for our good. I really do. But I must learn to remain in His Power and Strength to make it to the finish line. When we cry to the Lord for help, we hope that He will deliver us from the storm but most often Jesus delivers us from distress until His Plan is carried out. We must know the Love of God to understand that nothing He does is contrary to our future and hope that He has promised us. We will find blessing in the stillness of our soul and the Lord escorts us fully into His Presence and Safe Harbor of His Unfailing and Overwhelming Love.

I Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

When you are tired of fighting you will give up, concede or surrender to the greater force. Fear of the Lord means that you believe He is the greatest power and authority in your life. However, when we allow our heart and mind to empower fear and worry it is a declaration that we do not believe in the Power of God or Authority of Christ. We are indicating that His Blood was insufficient payment for our sin and that God will continue to punish us because of it. “My grace is all you need” seldom bears any weight in our life until His Grace is all that we have left to rely on. It is human nature to rely on self and our own strength first. The storm must stay until we surrender our heart and mind to Jesus Christ. It is at that moment we surrender our life to His Will (Power and Authority) to discover just how great His Grace and Love for us really are and just how necessary they must be. When I am weak, He becomes my strength and I will allow Him to guide me into peace rather than thrashing around trying to escape. Perfect love casts out fear because we have confidence in God’s Love.

Matthew 8:26-27 (NLT)
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. The disciples were amazed. “Who is this man?” they asked. “Even the winds and waves obey him!”

The impasse of mankind when coming face-to-face with the character of Jesus Christ is evident in this conversation. Just before Jesus calmed the storm that threatened their small vessel. He asked them “Why are you afraid?” and then answered it, “You have so little faith.” After the storm, the disciples asked, “Who is this man that even the winds and waves obey Him!” This is where we are in the midst of our storm and the questions to be answered. Why do I fear? Is it because my faith in Jesus Christ is too small? If the answer is yes, then we must ask ourselves the same questions the disciples did and purpose in our heart to know Him more. Jesus Christ has all power and authority in your life given to Him by God the Father. There is nothing that can separate us from the Love of God thanks to Jesus Christ.

Romans 8:38-39 (NLT)
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

We can never be separated from the Love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ. Not our fears for today or our worries about tomorrow can make God love us any less. Fear is today’s worry and worry is tomorrow’s fear. Like a ship with a broken rudder, these two things can keep us from experiencing the freedom that we have in Jesus Christ as we keep going in circles. Perfect Love cast out all fear when we begin to submit our struggles to the Lord one by one until completely convinced that God’s Love for us was perfected in Jesus Christ and that there is now nothing that can stop His Love from surrounding us becoming our refuge and strength in the midst of every storm and situation. God’s Grace is sufficient for you. You will never be on His Bad Side again if you continue in faith to trust the Lord and develop constant hope. You must decide that nothing not even fear or worry will ever separate you from the Love of God!

Psalm 55:4-7 (NLT)
My heart pounds in my chest. The terror of death assaults me. Fear and trembling overwhelm me, and I can’t stop shaking. Oh, that I had wings like a dove; then I would fly away and rest! I would fly far away to the quiet of the wilderness.

Fear and terror are the enemy’s weapons of mass destruction. It is the assault system that he uses to destroy faith and fill that void with more fear. We must battle fear in our life and rebuke it. God did not give you fear. (2 Timothy 1:7) You have the right to refuse it as a believer and add more faith to the voids left behind. It will take some effort. When you are in fear the worst thing to do is “Google” it. Do not spend time researching it or giving it credibility. For example, when our son was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer the first thing the doctor told me was not to “Google” it. Instead she offered online resources that were credible to read about it and familiarize myself with what we were fighting against. This was the truth. When faced with the storms of life, it is important to find the Truth in God’s Word before trying to rationalize it or gain worldly knowledge. What does the Lord say about it? We must guard our heart and mind wrapping it in the Word of God, inviting His Spirit to be our gatekeeper, and depending on our faith rather than the facts of life. When the enemy knocks us down with a bad report, hope seems to be lost, and fear paralyzes us, we must run to our refuge. (Psalm 143:3-6) Get in God’s Word and not on Google. Watch things that inspire and uplift you rather than immersing yourself in television and social media. People will say some pretty dumb things if given an audience especially when they cannot identify with your plight. But Jesus has experienced it all and knows the way out. Ask Him and He will guide you into that safe place of His Refuge and Strength while the storm passes by – you will not be moved but secure in the Strong Hold of His Love.

Psalm 112:4-9 (NLT)
Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous. Good comes to those who lend money generously and conduct their business fairly. Such people will not be overcome by evil. Those who are righteous will be long remembered. They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the LORD to care for them. They are confident and fearless and can face their foes triumphantly. They share freely and give generously to those in need. Their good deeds will be remembered forever. They will have influence and honor.

The Lord has a place for you in the Center of His Love. He must be the center of your world to stop the spinning and quiet the storm. Light shines in the darkness for the godly which means there will be storms, clouds and windy days in life. But those who love the Lord and trust Him need not fear bad news. Confidence in the Lord produces fearlessness as our love is perfected by His Grace and Mercy. We can face the enemy knowing no matter how bad it gets that God’s Power and Authority driven by His Love will always overcome. Fear is not a bad thing when focused on the Lord. Pain is not always a bad thing either if we learn to trust Him more. But to live in fear and worry will rob us of the blessing of the love, joy and peace that He has promised those who will allow Him to lead to safe harbor! God wants to be your refuge and strength today. His Arms are open wide. They ache to hold you close and wipe away your tears. Jesus holds the door open and will never let it go. You have no need to fear today or worry about tomorrow everything is going according to His Plan and nothing can ever separate you from His Great Love! Happy Sailing!

Psalm 46:1-3 (NLT)
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!

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