Psalm 46:1-11 (NIV)

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,  3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. “Selah” 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts.  7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. “Selah” 8 Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. 9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire.  10 “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” 11 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. “Selah”   

Philippians 1:20 (NIV)

20 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.   

DEVOTION – Geoffrey Odette (Nairobi, Kenya)

One night my wife and I were returning home in high spirits after a house fellowship meeting.  We boarded a commuter bus headed to our area.  Suddenly, a man with a gun forced the driver to divert from the route.  At first I thought, He’s a young man; I can take him.  But when I stood to try to overpower him I noticed that he was not alone.  A gang of six armored men was positioned on the bus.  One of the men hit me on the head with the butt of a gun and I fell down.

The men moved from seat to seat as they robbed every passenger of their belongings.  Those who resisted were beaten severely.  Women screamed and men were terrified.  No one came to our rescue.

Eventually, they stopped the bus and disappeared.  We then realized all our possessions were gone:  handbags, wallets, cell phones, laptops, and other items.  I turned to my wife, and to my surprise she was very calm.  I asked her, “How can you remain so composed?”  She smiled and quoted Philippians 1:20 to me.

Since then I’ve learned that we can always find our strength and courage not in ourselves but in God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: God’s word helps us stand against hard times.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, help us to find our strength and courage in you only, for you care for us always.  Amen.