Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Devotionals for the Heart: When God meets your needs and answers prayer

Saying Yes to The Opportunities That Move God's Heart
A devotional by Sarah Cole

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.”­—Ephesians 1:3-6 (NIV)

As I picked up the phone, my client Pam sounded upset.

“Sarah, do you have a minute? I’ve had a rough week. Frank is a handful, and I can't care for him anymore. I want to find him a good home but can't stand the thought of putting him in a shelter, so I wondered if you would take him. He loves you so much. I feel like such a failure, but knowing he'll go to a good home would be an enormous relief.”

For a moment, I pondered this life-changing choice. I loved Frank from day one and would give him a good life, but I couldn't deny the sacrifice of owning a second dog. Yet, God knew I wanted to adopt a Dachshund, and this was His appointed time so I accepted Pam’s offer. When I hung up the phone I was over the moon and a few days later I welcomed him home and handed Pam a care package to show my support, knowing how hard it was to say goodbye to him.

When we're at a crossroads, we can be confident when our hearts say yes to what moves the heart of God. But doing something out of obligation when our hearts aren't fully invested causes us to miss God’s best, leading to a lifetime of regret. Love is the core from which God acts, and we glorify Him when we enthusiastically accept the opportunities that He places in our path to do His work on this Earth until He returns to take His faithful followers home to Heaven.

Perfect love motivated our gracious and merciful God to say yes to humankind's original dilemma by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins on the cross at Calvary. God’s unchanging love saves us from living forever in a dark and lonely place (Matthew 13:49-50). When we accept God’s gift of salvation (John 3:16), He adopts us into His forever family so we can spend eternity in His heavenly home.

Fellow traveler, God isn’t surprised by what you're facing today. If you feel weary or defeated, keep your chin up because He already has a plan to deliver you (Psalm 50:15). Don’t be surprised if He places someone in your path today who is ready to say yes to Him by meeting your need (Philippians 4:19). Christ’s “yes” to you at the cross means He’s available now at a moment's notice. So, go to Jesus today and lay your burdens at His feet. He’s waiting to shower His extravagant love on you.

Let’s Pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for adopting me into Your forever family by rescuing me from a dark future without you. When the trials of this life test my faith and I’m too weary to take another step, help me remember that when Jesus came to save me, His “yes” at the cross means everything else I face will work out according to His plan. In Jesus’s Name, I pray, Amen.

Song of Reflection: “No Longer Slaves” by Zach Williams. Listen to it here.

Author Bio:

Sarah Cole’s interest in writing began in grade school when her poem was published in the local paper. As she got older, her mother’s chronic illness inspired her to design a line of greeting cards. Since then, she has written for her college newspaper and two community newspapers where she wrote restaurant reviews and articles for their “Best of” spread. 

Her experience as an administrator in the marketing field gave her the opportunity to write ads for a local business journal.

After a 20-year detour and a three-year season of adversity, God reignited her passion to write. Two divine appointments later, the short story she wrote about her father appeared in the St. Paul Almanac, and a short story about Gigi (her Cocker Spaniel) was published in Guideposts (magazine) Mysterious Ways. She believes her adversity was worth the lessons God taught her.

Since 2022, Sarah’s devotionals have been published in The Secret Place by Judson Press, as well as David C. Cook’s Devotions and The Quiet Hour. To this day, she smiles, pinches herself and gives God all the glory.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watching cooking shows, designing cards and mugs, and taking day trips.

Connect with Sarah:

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