Category: <span>thoughts by Donna Mitchell</span>


Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the LORD their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them – He remains faithful forever.
Psalm 146:5-6

Psalm 146 is rich with promises of hope for today and your future. It begins by praising the LORD and then offers reasons for such praise and urges us to hope in the LORD and ask Him for help.

Do you know what it feels like to be without hope, stuck in behaviors you can’t seem to change, or in circumstances that leave you powerless, where you look ahead and see only darkness?  When people are without help and hope in life, they can fall prey to anxiety and depression, seek relief in addiction, or live with the heavy weight of oppression and bondage.

There is help and reassuring hope for those who trust in the LORD.  Psalm 146, beginning in verse 7, outlines His promises and the reason we should hope: “He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The LORD sets prisoners free, the LORD gives sight to the blind, the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down, the LORD loves the righteous. The LORD watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow…

Reread the verses. Hear Him promise to help you and give you hope. Cry to Him for the help you need. Bow down before Him. Look to Him for hope. He has ultimate power and authority. He hears your cry and answers you in the midst of your valley. He gives you what you need, regardless of your life circumstances. Yes, He is your ever-present reassuring hope – past, present, and future.

LORD we bow before You. Thank You for urging us to put our hope and trust in YOU for deliverance and help. Thank You for revealing your heart to us through your promises and you keep your promises based on your character and ability. LORD be our hope. Hear our cry for Your help, amen.

By Donna Mitchell
Used by permission

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Further Reading

•  Did You Know that You are Someone Special?
•  Reasons to be Thankful
•  Salvation Explained

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May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.Romans 15:13

This morning, I met with two friends who expressed that they are learning to trust Jesus at deeper levels. He has been faithful through many valleys and twists and turns in their journey. Now, one friend has to trust Him through the journey of failing health — not knowing what is around the corner. We affirmed that we would choose to trust the Lord through challenges and storms and that we needed deeper levels of joy and peace.

Paul reminds us that God is our hope. He is perfect, able, almighty, and greater than anything. He does not change, He is faithful, He keeps His word, and His flawless character assures His promises. He is able to fill us completely with joy and peace if we trust Him. To trust Him is to believe in His steadfast strength.

Paul says that in the power of the Holy Spirit, our peace and joy overflows — and will be more than enough. Is the LORD your source of confident hope? Will you choose to trust Him and rest in Him so you can find overflowing joy and peace?

We need the Holy Spirit to calm our hearts and give us the joy and peace we seek. It takes discipline to keep our eyes on Jesus and to look to Him as our source of hope. This involves staying in His word, surrendering afresh, and asking for the power to trust Him and experience overflowing joy and peace daily, and sometimes, even moment by moment!

LORD, as an act of our will we set our eyes on You today and look again to You as our source of hope. Thank You that You are greater than whatever set of circumstances we find ourselves in. Fill us by Your Spirit till we overflow with joy and peace. Calm our hearts and help us receive from You everything we need as we trust You. Amen.

By Donna Mitchell
Used by Permission


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Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.Psalm 20:7  (Read all of Psalm 20.)

My friend moved to palliative care. She was dying. The Psalms comforted her as she prepared to meet Jesus and grieved leaving her family.

Often, we turn to the Psalms when our souls are hungry, thirsty, and needing comfort. They provide words to express what is going on inside of us. When I want to bow down in worship, I turn to Psalm 100.  When I feel afflicted and need protection I turn to
Psalm 27. When I want to remind myself of God’s presence, I read Psalm 139.  When I am in distress, I read Psalm 18. Do you have a favorite Psalm?

When I want to send a blessing, I offer Psalm 20. So today, I offer you Psalm 20. “Times of trouble” come to everyone — during those times, may the LORD answer your cry. May His name protect you. May He send you the help you need. May He strengthen your whole psabeing. May He tell you that He knows your name and remembers everything you have sacrificed for Him.

May He answer you and bless you with your heart’s desires. May He grant you success as you strive to follow Him. He alone has the power to rescue you. Some people trust many things to save them, but let us boast in the LORD our God. May we rise up and stand firm.

O LORD, answer our cry for help! Hear the desires of our heart. Thank You that you have all the power and strength we need. We deliberately put our trust in You to act on our behalf. Help us rise up and stand firm in You. Amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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•  Eternal Love – a Poem
•  God, Our Source of Life

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“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through rivers, they will not sweep over you. You will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze… For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior…. Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you….”  Isaiah 43:2a, 3a, 4a

When troubles hit — not if. Life is like that.

At times we feel like we are in deep waters and over our heads in problems.

Sometimes difficulties come like rushing river waters. We feel like horrific events or a deep sorrow over unexpected loss and grief will drown us. However, for every “when,” God provides precious promises.

A friend of mine, who is a mother and senior missionary, spoke these verses as a public blessing for her daughter. She told her not to be afraid even though she was following in her mother’s footsteps to go overseas to a closed country. Her mother knew what might lie ahead, but she also knew God went with her daughter. Those present listened intently to every promise.

God promises

“I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

“I will be with you” when trouble or hardship comes. You won’t drown when difficulties and problems come at you like a relentless river rolling waves over your head. You will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze when you are oppressed and it feels like you won’t survive.

Ponder God’s precious promises. Hear him whisper, “Remember… I am with you. Don’t be afraid. I am committed to you. I will not let life consume you. I am your Savior. You are precious and honored because I love you.”

Father, thank you that no matter what we go through in life, no matter how deep the waters or difficult the storm, you are our Saviour and we can trust in you to save us! Lord, please help us keep our eyes fixed on the truth of who you are in the midst of our challenges and look to you to be our Saviour and not some other hope of deliverance. You walk us through and you are there in the midst. Thank you! Amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”  2 Corinthians 1:8b-9

Why did Paul think it was so important that his churches needed to stop relying on themselves and start relying only upon God? Why is it for us? Ponder these questions for a moment.

We may not have ever endured the kind of pressure that Paul referred to in the above verses. His life was literally threatened. However, when circumstances are overwhelming and we do not feel like we have enough strength, or that we “are enough” to handle all that is coming at us, deep feelings of despair can surface.

None of us like to be “needy”. It makes us feel weak and dependent. Strength, independence, and self-reliance are celebrated in today’s Western culture. This Scripture tells us that as Christ followers, we should rely on God and not “self”.

My need for God has led to my experiencing him on a new level. If I never needed strength, how would I have known he could strengthen me through difficult circumstances? If I had all the wisdom I needed within myself, how could I ever understand the depth of God’s wisdom and his willingness to give wisdom to those who ask him?

Our need for God helps us know him intimately — not just about him — in the depths of our hearts where his sufficiency meets our needs.

Go ahead. Express your need for God. May you learn more and more to not rely on yourself but on our Lord, who is the only One who can raise the dead and bring life.

Father, please help me to renounce self-reliance and to express my deepest needs to you. Thank you that you promise to provide my needs regardless of circumstances. Help me learn, like Paul, to rely only on you rather than on myself. Amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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“And when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’”
Mark 1:37-38

Behind the declaration “Everyone is looking for you!” is a host of expectations. It can feel like the demands are coming from every direction with more expectations than we can fulfill.

How did Jesus respond with such clear purpose and direction to all the demands and expectations people had of him? How did he not get flustered? The verses just prior share his secret. Jesus had risen early that morning and found a solitary place where he could be alone with his Father and pray. Jesus didn’t disclose the intimate and private conversation he had with his Father, but the result was he knew his purpose and he knew it was time to move to nearby villages.

We, too, have many demands made of us. Our boundaries are constantly challenged. We also need to know our purpose and receive direction from our Father. We will often have more placed on us than we can handle without disappointing others or even ourselves. Jesus knew the secret — find a solitary place to pray in private. Seek the face of the Father and ask for his will and direction.

Like Jesus, you will not meet all of the needs and expectations from people around you but you can be sure the Father will lead and guide your life and your actions when you seek his will in prayer. It is an open invitation to pray. Emotional bondage can come through the constant demands and expectations of others. God calls us to please only him!

Heavenly Father, thank you for the freedom of following you wholeheartedly. We seek your will and direction for each day of our lives. Help us respond to your invitation to get alone with you and pray and seek your face. Direct us in your purpose and your plans for our lives. Lead and guide us moment by moment through your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20,21

Hebrews is a rich book that elevates Jesus as the One who is superior over all, who is to be trusted wholeheartedly and followed faithfully. His once and for all sacrifice is a permanent, gracious offer of forgiveness. He will never abandon us, and he is worthy of our full allegiance. He is the ultimate revelation of God’s love.

The revelation and the challenges of Hebrews culminate in this blessing from the writer. He asks that this God of peace — this One who made an eternal covenant of commitment and promise through Jesus’ death and resurrection and who is the supreme Shepherd of all who follow him — equip us with everything needed to do his will.

This God who is supreme over all, who paid the ultimate price, who sealed the covenant with his own blood, is now alive and able to shepherd us. He is the One who is able and willing to equip us with everything good for doing his will. He aligns our lives with his and works within our character to shape us. All this is done through Jesus Christ.

Will you ask him to equip you with everything good for doing his will? Will you invite him to work within you what is pleasing to him? Will you rely on Jesus Christ and remain faithful to him?

May all glory for our lives point to him for ever and ever. Amen.

Jesus, you are supreme over all. You are the One deserving of my wholehearted devotion and I want all glory for my life to be given to you. Please equip me with everything good for doing your will. Align my heart with yours. I invite you to work within me whatever is pleasing to you. I rely on your power to change me. For your glory and honor! Amen!

By Donna Mitchell
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Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4

When our circumstances quickly turn into the perfect storm and life has dealt us a severe blow, it’s easy to think that some of us experience more trials than others or we seem to have more than our fair share of struggles.

James levels the playing field. He explains that all of us — without exception — will face trials of many kinds in this life. The trials are needed for our faith to be tested and proven true. The things that test our patience and endurance, like weights to a body builder’s muscles, develop our faith so that we learn to be resilient. Our need to persevere in trials, even suffering, is crucial. James explains that perseverance must finish the work it is doing. Perseverance must be fully experienced so that we will grow to be mature and complete. The Lord doesn’t want any of us lacking in any area of our lives.

We need a paradigm shift. Our Father loves us enough to not release us prematurely from our struggles, even if we beg. He knows they are needed to grow us. He will use them to do a work within us. He has a completely different perspective.

James invites us to alter our viewpoint when it comes to facing trials. Consider or think carefully about, contemplate, give thought to, reflect on all of the trials in your life. Ultimately trials are a gift — so much so, that we are encouraged to consider them “pure joy”!

We need to ponder that!

Father, thank you that you love me and you know that I need to persevere in order to grow to full maturity. You love me and are wise. No matter what I face today, would you give me the grace to see my struggles from your perspective? Would you strengthen and help me to persevere? Build my faith and character. Lord, help me ponder and consider my trials as pure joy. In the powerful name of Jesus, amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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“When the turn came for Esther (the girl Mordecai had adopted, the daughter of his uncle Abihail) to go the king, she asked for nothing other than what Hegai, the king’s eunuch who was in charge of the harem, suggested. And Esther won the favor of everyone who saw her.” Esther 2:15

One of Esther’s characteristics stands out to me — humility. The above verse reflects the posture of her character. Esther was willing to take and heed her cousin Mordecai’s advice. She assumed that those in authority, and those given charge over her, had wisdom to share. Esther accepted the beauty treatments and the invitation extended to go to the king but she didn’t strive to manipulate the situation so that she would be above the rest and be chosen first.

Esther asked for nothing — nothing special, nothing she felt entitled to, no demands — just a humble acceptance of what the king’s eunuch suggested. Though Esther had obvious outward beauty, there was something beautiful and winsome about the posture of her heart. She won the favor of everyone around her, including the king.

Esther had no idea that what she would be called to do in a crisis would change the trajectory of a nation. Her beauty was stunning but the posture of her own heart and her internal character was possibly why she was chosen by God to save her people.

What can we learn from Esther’s posture? We live in a world of entitlement, demand, striving, and competition to be the best and get ahead — sometimes at the expense of others. As we age, our physical posture needs adjustment. Life happens and the posture of our hearts can also get out of alignment. Ponder Esther’s posture of humility.

Father God, thank you that you are able to adjust the posture of our hearts. We come before you in humility. We open our hearts before you and ask that you would deliver us from any sense of entitlement, striving, or trying to make things happen. We want to humbly trust you. May the posture of our hearts before you and others be pleasing to you. Have your way in our hearts. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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Do not fear [anything], for I am with you; Do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, be assured I will help you; I will certainly take hold of you with My righteous right hand [a hand of justice, of power, of victory, of salvation].”  Isaiah 41:10 (AMP)

Isaiah 41:10 is my favorite verse because I have experienced it. I have been afraid more times than I would like to admit. The Lord has reassured me that he is with me — in every sense of that word. He lives within us. He is “for” us. He will never leave. Nothing that others do nor any circumstance can separate us from him.

I have experienced weakness and I have cried out for help in desperate situations. I have needed to be told over and over again by the Lord to not be afraid. I have needed his reassurance. He is our God. He is Sovereign. He has ultimate power and authority.

When we need the Lord’s strength and help, he promises to not just stand by and let us falter but to strengthen and help us. The Lord reiterates, “be assured I will help you.” We can count on his help — it is a promise!

His righteous right hand is a symbol of his justice, power, victory and salvation. That is the hand that holds us. The God of the universe, the Creator and sustainer of all is our Lord. Our Father is the One who holds us.

No wonder he tells us not to fear anything. Honestly, there is no need to!

I often share this verse with others. I hope you will think about doing the same. It may be the promise or reassurance someone needs today.

Lord, thank you for promising to be with us, to strengthen us, to help us in our weaknesses. We need you and thank you for your promise and reassurance. May the depth of this truth touch our hearts and not just our heads. Bring to mind who we could share this verse with today. In Jesus name.

By Donna Mitchell
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But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” Genesis 50:19-21

Have you ever waited for a promise of God to be fulfilled? When I began following Jesus through Scripture and growing, I became convinced the Lord was calling me to a significant leadership position. But it took years to come to pass.

Joseph had a similar experience. As Jacob’s favored son, he grew up experiencing dreams of greatness and superiority over his siblings, which he loved to remind them about. His brothers hated him for it and sold him into slavery in Egypt.

Joseph’s leadership ability developed. His owner appointed Joseph over his household but after being wrongly accused, Joseph ended up in prison. In prison, authorities appointed Joseph as a leader. When he thought there was a real chance of release — he remained in prison indefinitely.

He was finally released from prison and miraculously appointed as second in command over an entire empire. His chance for revenge arrived. Now in charge of an empire, Joseph’s father was dead and he could treat his brothers however he desired.

Today’s passage testifies of God’s transformation. Joseph assured his brothers they had nothing to fear. He did not abuse his power but deferred to God as his leader and their leader. He admitted that they meant to harm him, but he now perceived the circumstances as being used by God to accomplish good — for him and others.

Amidst this supreme test of his character — Joseph did not retaliate but spoke kindly with reassurance to brothers he now loved.

Lord, thank You for Your call on each of our lives and the transformation You are bringing about while we await the fulfillment of Your plans and purposes. Help us be teachable and learn from the experiences and circumstances we are called to endure. May our character and love develop at the pace of our leadership ability. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

By Donna Mitchell

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He (God) upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow…Psalm 146:7-9

The Lord acts. His words and actions reveal His heart, especially for the oppressed, the prisoners, strangers in the land, and those who find themselves without fathers or spouses. He upholds, gives food, sets free, gives sight, lifts up, and loves. He watches over and sustain. He acts.

As Jesus’ followers, we’re His hands and feet in a hurting world. He expects us to act. We can ponder the hopelessness of sitting in an institution or we can visit those in long term care or in prisons. We can philosophize over the plight of addicts or we can help them find freedom. We can watch the news and pray for those moving around the globe after a devastation they have witnessed or we can welcome them to their new home and help them belong in a new community. We can wonder about the pain widows find themselves in or we can help create healing communities.

The needs of others are sometimes overwhelming, and we can feel that our small efforts are a waste of time. However, ultimately the Lord is the One who acts through us. If we are attentive, and then act on His invitation to join Him in reaching out to those in distress, then our actions can actually transform lives. Our efforts can express His love, and be an invitation to others to consider a relationship with Him.

Ask the Lord to send you. He knows what actions are yours to take.

Father God, thank you for all the action you take. Thank you for answering prayer, for how you comfort, lift burdens, help and deliver. Lead us, Holy Spirit, to want to act according to your good pleasure. May our actions reflect you and bring glory to your name. Amen.

By Donna Mitchell
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For the LORD, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and my native land, solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants. He will send his angel ahead of you, and he will see to it that you find a wife there for my son.” Genesis 24:7 (NLT)

God keeps every promise. He does what He says He will do. He never lies or deceives. As Psalm 138:2 says,

“…I praise your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness; for your promises are backed by all the honor of your name.”

However, we’re human so it takes time and experience to learn to trust God’s faithfulness.

Abraham learned to trust God’s provision and promises. God called Abraham to leave his father’s land and household not knowing where he was going. God promised Abraham descendants before he had children. Abraham waited, what seemed like eternity, before the promised son, Isaac, was born. A few years later, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son. But Abraham now trusted God at His word, so he obeyed. God, true to his faithfulness and his promise, intervened by providing a ram to sacrifice — sparing Isaac.

Later, Isaac needed a wife so Abraham would have his promised descendants. Abraham knew God would see to it. No wonder Abraham assured his servant that the Lord would “send His angel ahead of you, and He will see to it that you find a wife there for my son.”

We can learn from Abraham’s faith and trust because we serve the same faithful God. He guarantees His promises — by the honor of His name. What concerns you today? What causes you to worry and wonder how things will work out? Remember, Abraham’s story assures us, God will see to it.

Father God, thank you for your faithfulness and love and all of the honor of your Name that backs your every promise. Thank you that we can trust your words and your promises to us. You will work on our behalf when we are in need. We cry to You to help… Lord see to it. Amen.

Thought — Remembering is a great way to build and reaffirm our faith. Think back and remember how God has been faithful to you, how He has answered your prayers for help and strength, how He has solved problems in your life, maybe even before they got to you. Thank God for all you remember, and then trust Him with your current situation(s).

By Donna Mitchell
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The LORD is my shepherd  I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake….” Psalm 23:1-3

Because David refers to the shadow of death in Psalm 23, we often read this psalm at funerals. However, Psalm 23 is really about everyday life.

When we ask the Lord to shepherd us, we have nothing to fear. We don’t lack anything we need. He helps us rest. He restores our souls. He guides us along the right paths in life, if we will let Him. In difficult valleys, we don’t have to be afraid. He corrects, guides, and comforts us. He provides our needs when we face enemies. Blessings overflow in the midst of trouble. We can be sure of His presence.

While I was facilitating a Bible study at a women’s prison, we discussed this psalm as a group. One woman realized that God rescued her the day she was deliberately set on fire. Maybe, through reading Psalm 23, she caught a glimpse of God’s hand on her life in the middle of horrific circumstances. By the end of our time together, she pledged with a smile to share Psalm 23 with a stranger every month!

The Lord is our Shepherd, which means in present tense. I pray for this woman and all of you reading today. May the Lord settle you within. May He lead you to places of rest, restoring your soul. May He lead and guide you in the best paths for your life. May His presence comfort and protect you. May He fight your enemies. May His goodness and love pursue you all the days of your life.

Thank you, Lord, that you are my Shepherd, I shall not be in want. Thank you that you make me lie down in green pastures, you lead me beside quiet waters, you restore my soul. Guide me, Lord, in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. When I walk in dark valleys, please help me to not fear. Thank you that you are with me — you correct and comfort me. Thank you for dealing with my enemies and providing what I need in times of trouble. Thank you that your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever! Amen.

By Donna Mitchell

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…I will not speak with you much longer, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold on me, but he comes so that the world may learn that I love the Father and do exactly what my Father has commanded me…John 14:30-31

The first time I read the word “exactly” in this passage I prayed, “Really Lord, exactly?” No room for doing my own thing now and then or obeying you most of the time? I felt His reply in my heart: nope.

Jesus completely obeyed His Father all the time and modeled what a relationship with His Father is to be like. Wherever Jesus went, what He spoke and taught, and even the miracles He did, came from His Father. In John 5:30, Jesus said, “By myself I can do nothing…I seek, not to please myself but him who sent me.”

Jesus modeled a posture He wants for all of us — complete obedience to the will of the Father motivated by love. In John 14:1-15, Jesus comforts His disciples and explains that they will continue to have a close relationship with Him after he is gone. Jesus declares that if you love me then you will obey me — not as a legalistic requirement of being His disciple but as an act of love.

Jesus revealed that the Holy Spirit “will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:26b, 27). Exact obedience to the Father keeps us closely relying on His power even though we are tempted to wander and demand our own will.

Father God, I love you and with all of my heart want to obey you without compromise or resistance. Draw me close, give me ears to hear your instructions and obey you. I am completely dependent on you for life, power, strength, guidance, and instructions. Above all else, may my desire be to do your will for your glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

By Donna Mitchell
Used by Permission
https://thelife.com/devotionals

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Donna Mitchell Thoughts by Women