Daily Streams

The Breaking of the Storm

And there arose a great storm – Mark 4:37

Some of the storms of life come suddenly: a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat. Some come slowly. They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon no larger than a man’s hand, but, trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.

Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service. When God wants an oak He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it, and it is in the midnight battle with elements that the oak wins its rugged fibre and becomes the king of the forest.

When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm. The history of manhood is always rough and rugged. No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm and found the sublime fulfillment of the prayer: “O God, take me, break me, make me.”

A Frenchman has painted a picture of universal genius. There stand orators, philosophers and martyrs, all who have achieved pre-eminence in any phase of life; the remarkable fact about the picture is this: Every man who is pre-eminent for his ability was first pre-eminent for suffering. In the foreground stands that figure of the man who was denied the promised land, Moses. Beside him is another, feeling his way—blind Homer. Milton is there, blind and heart-broken. Now comes the form of one who towers above them all. What is His characteristic? His Face is marred more than any man’s. The artist might have written under that great picture, “The Storm.”

The beauties of nature come after the storm. The rugged beauty of the mountain is born in a storm, and the heroes of life are the storm-swept and the battle-scarred.

You have been in the storms and swept by the blasts. Have they left you broken, weary, beaten in the valley, or have they lifted you to the sunlit summits of a richer, deeper, more abiding manhood and womanhood? Have they left you with more sympathy with the storm-swept and the battle-scarred? —Selected

The wind that blows can never kill

The tree God plants;

It bloweth east, it bloweth west,

The tender leaves have little rest,

But any wind that blows is best.

The tree that God plants

Strikes deeper root, grows higher still,

Spreads greater boughs, for God’s good will

Meets all its wants.

There is no storm hath power to blast

The tree God knows;

No thunderbolt, nor beating rain,

Nor lightning flash, nor hurricane;

When they are spent, it doth remain,

The tree God knows,

Through every tempest standeth fast,

And from its first day to its last

Still fairer grows. —Selected

Jesus Calling

IT IS VITAL TO PLACE your hope ultimately in Me. Circumstances change all the time, but I am the same yesterday, today, and forever. Moreover, I love you with perfect, life-giving Love.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

—HEBREWS 13:8 NKJV

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

—PSALM 33:22

Also read: PSALM 62:5–6; DEUTERONOMY 33:12

Before You Turn Out the Light:

Make plans to nurture your hope, which comes from Me.

Streams in the Desert

The Breaking of the Storm
Now a great windstorm developed and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was nearly swamped.—Mark 4:37 NET

Some of the storms of life come suddenly: a great sorrow, a bitter disappointment, a crushing defeat. Some come slowly. They appear upon the ragged edges of the horizon no larger than a man’s hand, but, trouble that seems so insignificant spreads until it covers the sky and overwhelms us.

Yet it is in the storm that God equips us for service. When God wants an oak He plants it on the moor where the storms will shake it and the rains will beat down upon it, and it is in the midnight battle with elements that the oak wins its rugged fibre and becomes the king of the forest.

When God wants to make a man He puts him into some storm. The history of manhood is always rough and rugged. No man is made until he has been out into the surge of the storm and found the sublime fulfillment of the prayer: “O God, take me, break me, make me.”

A Frenchman has painted a picture of universal genius. There stand orators, philosophers and martyrs, all who have achieved pre-eminence in any phase of life; the remarkable fact about the picture is this: Every man who is pre-eminent for his ability was first pre-eminent for suffering. In the foreground stands that figure of the man who was denied the promised land, Moses. Beside him is another, feeling his way—blind Homer. Milton is there, blind and heart-broken. Now comes the form of one who towers above them all. What is His characteristic? His Face is marred more than any man’s. The artist might have written under that great picture, “The Storm.”

The beauties of nature come after the storm. The rugged beauty of the mountain is born in a storm, and the heroes of life are the storm-swept and the battle-scarred.

You have been in the storms and swept by the blasts. Have they left you broken, weary, beaten in the valley, or have they lifted you to the sunlit summits of a richer, deeper, more abiding manhood and womanhood? Have they left you with more sympathy with the storm-swept and the battle-scarred? —Selected

The wind that blows can never kill
The tree God plants;
It bloweth east, it bloweth west,
The tender leaves have little rest,
But any wind that blows is best.
The tree that God plants
Strikes deeper root, grows higher still,
Spreads greater boughs, for God’s good will
Meets all its wants.

There is no storm hath power to blast
The tree God knows;
No thunderbolt, nor beating rain,
Nor lightning flash, nor hurricane;
When they are spent, it doth remain,
The tree God knows,
Through every tempest standeth fast,
And from its first day to its last
Still fairer grows. —Selected

Live Loved

Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. [COLOSSIANS 3:16 NLT]

“Your Servant Is Listening” Has any other book ever been described in this fashion: “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 NIV)?

“Living and active.” The words of the Bible have life! Nouns with pulse rates. Muscular adjectives. Verbs darting back and forth across the page. God works though these words. The Bible is to God what a surgical glove is to the surgeon. He reaches through them to touch deep within you.

Haven’t you felt his touch?

In a late, lonely hour, you read the words “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5 NLT). The sentences comfort like a hand on your shoulder.

When anxiety termites away at your peace, someone shares this passage: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6 NIV). The words stir a sigh from your soul.

Put them to use. “Let the words of Christ, in all their richness, live in your hearts and make you wise. Use his words to teach and counsel each other” (Colossians 3:16 NLT). Don’t make a decision, whether large or small, without sitting before God with open Bible, open heart, open ears, imitating the prayer of Samuel: “Your servant is listening” (1 Samuel 3:10 NLT).

—FACING YOUR GIANTS

Precious Lord, your Word is an awesome treasure. It is filled with words to guide, to instruct, and to comfort us. Your holy Word is powerful and as true today as when it was written. Thank you for this truly amazing gift. May we never let one day pass without reading the Bible. Please open our hearts and minds to hear what you want to say through your Word. We are listening, Lord, amen.

He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.

~ PROVERBS 16:20 Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.

~ PSALM 119:165

Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.

~ PSALM 119:73

Daily Prayer Guide

He brought me out into a wide open place; he delivered me because he was pleased with me. — Ps 18:19 NET

The sun withholds his generous beam;
Athwart my soul the shadows stream;
The weird winds boisterously blow,
And drift the melancholy snow.

When I, in sorrow and despair,
Expect the storm, with tender care
He rends the clouds and through the blue
The glorious sun breaks forth anew.
— M.B.S.

So with the wan waste grasses on my spear,
I ride forever seeking after God.
My hair grows whiter than my thistle plume
And all my limbs are loose; but in my eyes
The star of an unconquerable praise;
For in my soul one hope forever sings,
That at the next white corner of the road
My eyes may look on Him.
— G.K. Chesterton

Loving Father, if I may be discouraged to-day, strengthen my faith. May I not weary of waiting for thee, but trust in thy promises. Amen.

Daily Light

The measure of faith. – Rom 12:3

O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?—Great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt.

Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord … According to your faith be it unto you.

Lord, increase our faith.—Building up yourselves on your most holy faith.—Rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith.—He which stablisheth us with you in Christ, … is God.—The God of all grace … after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

We … that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.—Let us not … judge one another … but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

Rom 14:1, Rom 4:20, Matt 14:31, Matt 15:28, Matt 9:28-29, Luke 17:5, Jude 1:20, Col 2:7, 2 Cor 1:21, 1 Pet 5:10, Rom 15:1, Rom 14:13

Jesus Lives

Do not worry about tomorrow. This is simple, straightforward teaching, but My followers rarely make it through even one day without breaking this command. It’s good that you recognize your inability to live according to this instruction. Your ongoing struggle protects you from self-righteous striving: trying to be good enough to deserve My Love. Nonetheless, I do want to help you with your tendency to worry.

Because your mind is in a fallen condition, it will sometimes wander across the timeline into tomorrow’s trouble. However, early intervention can minimize the damage. As soon as you realize you’re worrying about tomorrow, take action: Simply leave those thoughts where they are (in the unreality of the future), and come quickly back to the present. Since the future has such a strong pull on your mind, it’s helpful to direct your thoughts to something that appeals to you in the present—an interesting activity, beautiful weather, a dear friend or family member. At times when nothing about the present day seems appealing, My Presence lovingly awaits your attention. I am always near, so turning your thoughts to Me is an excellent option at all times. Come into My joyous Presence, and I will delight you with unmerited Love.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
~ Matthew 6:34

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 
Ephesians 2:4–5

Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess.
~ Hebrews 3:1 

Then will I go to the altar of God, to God, my joy and my delight. I will praise you with the harp, O God, my God.
~ Psalm 43:4