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An excerpt from God Works All Things Together for Your Good

By Robert J. Morgan

Think of the problems, burdens, heartaches, and disappointments of your life. Is any one of them beyond the reach of Romans 8:28? Can there possibly be a trial that isn’t covered by those three wonderful letters: a–l–l?

No, not one. For we know that every last detail of our lives works together for good to those who love the Lord and who are called according to His purpose. That’s God’s guarantee for you and me and for all who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Our own experiences teach us to face life as tough–minded optimists, leaning fully on the promise of Romans 8:28.

Notice the first two words of this verse: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God …”

The words “we know” are not necessary to the promise, and the verse makes perfect sense without them. If it simply read, “All things work together for the good of those who love God,” we would never have been the wiser, and it still would have been a great truth. In fact, if the verse were worded like that, the primary subject and verb would be the promise itself: (all) things work!


It Starts With Our Attitude

But the Holy Spirit, who doesn’t waste words in the Bible, began the sentence not with an emphasis on what God is going to do but with an emphasis on what our attitude should be about it. The primary subject is the pronoun “we,” and the primary verb is “know.” Romans 8:28 thus begins with a statement of certitude, underscoring how important it is to God that we claim His promise with total confidence.

We don’t hope, hypothesize, or hallucinate. We don’t postulate, speculate, or fabricate. We don’t toss and turn in anxiety. We simply know. We know God; therefore we know His power, understand something of His providence, and can trust His provision. It’s certain. For sure. Positive. Fail–safe. Inevitable. It’s God’s guarantee, and it can never be otherwise.

This is an attitude we see throughout Scripture. The word “know” occurs 1,098 times from Genesis to Revelation, and we’re instructed to approach life with total trust in the realities of Christ.

  • “I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth” (Job 19:25, NIV).
  • “I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13).
  • Know that the Lord is God” (Psalm 100:3, NIV).
  • Know, then, that not a word the Lord spoke … will fail, for the Lord has done what He promised” (2 Kings 10:10).
  • Know that the Lord has set apart the faithful for Himself” (Psalm 4:3).
  • Know that Yahweh your God is God, the faithful God who keeps His gracious covenant” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
  • “We have come to believe and know that You are the Holy One of God!” (John 6:69).
  • “We know that when He appears, we will be like Him” (1 John 3:2).
  • “You know that He was revealed so that He might take away sins” (1 John 3:5).
  • “You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ: Though He was rich, for your sake He became poor, so that by His poverty you might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9).
  • “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
  • “One thing I do know: I was blind, and now I can see!” (John 9:25).

Tackling Life With Confidence

Faith is the ability to tackle life with confidence, come what may, knowing that the trustworthy promises of God are precisely as real as the transient circumstances around us. Faith is believing that God will do exactly as He has said. Living by faith isn’t a matter of sticking our heads in the sand and hoping for the best. It’s confronting the realities of life from the perspective of God’s immutable, unbreakable, unfailing Word. Those who live by faith don’t have a “hope so” optimism. They live in the society of the certain.

Yes, the Bible does use the word “hope.” But in the Bible, “hope” is not synonymous with “maybe.” Biblical hope refers to sure and certain expectations, which, because they’re still in the future, create in us a sense of anticipation.

…At the outset of every crisis or problem, we have to choose our attitude. Either we’ll collapse in despair and say, “All these things are against me.” Or we’ll decide to view them through the prism of Romans 8:28 and say, “All these things may appear to be against me, but according to God’s Word, all these things will work themselves out for my good in God’s timing and providence.”


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Your response has been received, and we will be praying for you.

Look for answers to some of the most common questions in the weeks ahead.

Samson was betrayed by a beautiful woman. David was hunted by Saul and eventually by his own son. Job lost his family and fortune. All but one of the disciples were martyred.

It’s no secret: God’s people experience pain and hardship.

How can we be at peace when our world is crashing in around us? The Bible offers wisdom that has the power to steady us in any storm. When we hold fast to the truth of God’s promises, external circumstances cannot shake our personal peace.


Peace With God

The first step in experiencing peace with God is knowing where we stand with Him and where we stand in our faith. Did you know that it is impossible to please God without faith (Hebrews 11:6)? Faith in Jesus Christ is the key to being at peace with God.

  • And [Jesus] said to her, “Daughter, be of good cheer; your faith has made you well. Go in peace.” Luke 8:48
  • Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:1
  • For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and broken down the middle wall of separation. Ephesians 2:14
  • For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross. And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight. Colossians 1:19–22

We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Personal Peace

After we have established peace with our Father, we will, in turn, experience personal peace. God does not promise freedom from stress—He promises to strengthen us with rejuvenation and refreshment during those difficult times.

Let not your heart be troubled.

God is the source of our peace.

  • The Lord will give strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace. Psalm 29:11
  • Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:27
  • For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints. 1 Corinthians 14:33

Personal peace is possible for those of us who love and obey the Lord.

  • Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble. Psalm 119:165
  • When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverbs 16:7
  • Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:28–30
  • But the fruit of the Spirit is… peace. Galatians 5:22

Be anxious for nothing.

Personal peace is possible when we trust that God, in His infinite love and wisdom, always provides for our needs.

  • I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
  • The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1–3
  • Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6–7

Personal peace is possible when we trust in God’s ultimate victory over evil.

  • But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Psalm 37:11
  • In His days the righteous shall flourish, and abundance of peace, until the moon is no more. Psalm 72:7
  • For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. Isaiah 9:6–7
  • The work of righteousness will be peace, and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance forever. My people will dwell in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. Isaiah 32:17–18
  • All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13
  • I will make a covenant of peace with [My people], and cause wild beasts to cease from the land; and they will dwell safely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods. I will make them and the places all around My hill a blessing; and I will cause showers to come down in their season; there shall be showers of blessing. Ezekiel 34:25–26
  • Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. Ezekiel 37:26
  • Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the Lord of hosts has spoken. Micah 4:2–4
  • These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

Personal peace is our responsibility.

  • Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. Hebrews 12:14
  • Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18
  • For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.” 1 Peter 3:10–11
  • Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless. 2 Peter 3:14

Personal peace is possible when we abandon destructive thoughts and habits and, instead, focus our thoughts on the things of God.

  • You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
  • The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:9
  • Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22
  • But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. James 3:17

Personal peace is possible when we abandon destructive thoughts and habits.

God’s Word is full of “exceedingly great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4), including the promise of peace. Jesus’ death on the cross made it possible for us to be reconciled to God and enjoy His friendship. If we want to experience the peace of God, our part is simple:

  1. Place our faith in Jesus Christ.

  2. Recognize God as the source of peace.

  3. Love and obey Him.

  4. Trust God’s love, wisdom, and provision.

  5. Know that, one day, God will expunge evil from the world and reign in righteousness.

  6. Choose to live at peace with other people.

  7. Focus our thoughts on the things of God.


What would we do without the variety of containers we use every day? Plastic milk and water jugs, glass jars, plastic containers of all sorts, cotton and canvas bags, wooden and cardboard boxes, large and small. We don’t think twice about what a benefit they are. But think about biblical days, especially in the Old Testament. They had one kind of container that served a multitude of purposes: clay jars. If you had a variety of different needs, you simply made or purchased a different sized clay jar or pot. Everything was clay! Whether decorative or common, they were all made of the same stuff—dirt (clay) and water.

It’s no wonder the image of a potter and clay shows up so frequently in Scripture—beginning in Genesis 2:7 where “God formed man of the dust of the ground.” Molded out of clay, we are, in a literal sense, pottery. God physically shaped Adam from the clay of the earth and breathed life into him. We are all humans, a word that is akin to humus, meaning “earth” or “clay.” The apostle Paul referred to our bodies as “jars of clay” (2 Corinthians 4:7, NIV).


To say that we are clay in the hands of the Potter acknowledges God’s handiwork as the Master Potter, or Creator, of our physical body. It also recognizes God’s authority to shape us inwardly, to spiritually fashion us into a vessel fit for His use, molded as an image of our Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul says God wants to form us into “a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” (2 Timothy 2:21). This gives us a biblical basis for thinking of the events and influences of our lives as His hands and fingers, shaping us like a potter shaping clay.

In the midst of his suffering, Job reminded God, “Your hands shaped me and made me. Will you now turn and destroy me? Remember that you molded me like clay. Will you now turn me to dust again?” (Job 10:8–9, NIV) Isaiah rebuked Israel for thinking that she, the clay, knew more than God, the Potter (Isaiah 29:16; 45:9). Jeremiah lamented that Israel, “once worth their weight in gold,” had reduced themselves to mere “pots of clay” (Lamentations 4:2, NIV).

Scripture’s dominant theme is a simple one: God is the Divine Potter, and humanity is the clay. It is another way to express God’s sovereignty over all people; a way to express our need to yield to His divine plan; a way to encourage us to find the purpose for which we have been made; a way to accept the divine purpose for all of God’s handiwork.

God’s Hands Form Our Life

Our life rests in God’s hands. Like a skilled potter, He knows how to apply precise pressure, when to relax His grip, how to score our life with His fingernail, how to squeeze and nudge—all of which increases our fitness as a vessel for His use. At times the Master Potter places us in the kiln where the fires of life turn us into stronger vessels.

At times the Master Potter places us in the kiln where the fires of life turn us into stronger vessels.

In her book Why? Anne Graham Lotz describes a phone call that launched her into “the wild blue yonder of faith.” The call was from her son, Jonathan, who said, “Mom, the doctor thinks I have cancer.” Anne instinctively prayed with Jonathan over the phone, and she later wrote this:

I was able to praise God for His divine purpose for Jonathan’s life, which apparently included cancer. Although we had been caught by surprise, I knew God had known about it since before Jonathan was born…. Therefore I had absolute confidence that this suffering would be for Jonathan’s good and God’s glory. We knew God had a plan, apparently cancer was part of it!1

God permitted this trial in Jonathan’s life as a tool in the skillful hands of the Master Potter to mature, develop, and conform him into the image of Christ. Romans 8:28 says, “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” And the next verse specifies His purpose: “to be conformed to the image of His Son” (Romans 8:29).

Our heavenly Father wants to use the events we encounter each day as tools with which to shape and sculpt us into the image of Christ. He wants to deepen our faith, to develop within us the quality of perseverance, and to make us watertight containers of His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithful, gentleness, and self–control (Galatians 5:22–23).

When we experience pressure, we can visualize the divine Potter’s skillful hands using it for good in our life. Trusting Him, we can echo the prayer of Isaiah: “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand” (Isaiah 64:8).

God’s Hands Re–Form Our Life

Sometimes we think we’re unusable and even unredeemable. We’ve done something for which we feel shame and guilt, and we begin to believe God can no longer use us. Our problems are occasionally of our own making, and our pain may arise from our own stupidity. But when we bring our sin to the Lord, confess it earnestly, nail it to the cross of Christ, and surrender it to the power of His shed blood, God can take our sin and shame from us and then mold us into a vessel that glorifies Him.

God can take our sin and shame from us and then mold us into a vessel that glorifies Him.

In 1902, a 42–year–old woman sat in a prayer meeting with a broken heart. She had served the Lord faithfully all her adult life in various capacities, all the time dreaming of her heart’s desire—to take the Gospel to Africa as a missionary. When her plans finally seemed to be moving forward, a lack of financial support brought her dream to a standstill. Heartbroken, she attended a prayer meeting at church.

Hardly able to focus on what was going on around her, she was struck by the words of an elderly woman who prayed, “It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives.” She couldn’t get that idea out of her mind as, later that evening, she sat meditating on Jeremiah 18:1–3, the story of the potter shaping the clay. Before retiring that night, Adelaide Pollard wrote out all four stanzas to the now–beloved hymn, “Have Thine Own Way, Lord,” published in 1907. You may know the words to this beautiful hymn by heart, the first verse of which says,

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
While I am waiting, yielded and still.

In Jeremiah’s image of the divine Potter and the clay, one particular thing caught Adelaide Pollard’s eye: The Potter saw a blemish in the clay He was using, so He shaped the pot again. Had God delayed Adelaide’s trip to Africa in order to shape her differently, to refine her for His service? She didn’t know, but she was willing to yield herself to the Potter’s hands. And she did eventually get to Africa as a missionary, all in God’s time.

Make this verse from Adelaide’s hymn your prayer as you think of the forming and re–forming work the Master Potter does in your life. With His skilled hands, He is crafting you into a vessel of honor fit for His use. Visualize your life as a studio of the Divine Potter and know that His hands are on your heart. Ask God to have His own way in your life as He forms—and re–forms—you into His wonderful image.


1Anne Graham Lotz, Why?: Trusting God When You Don’t Understand (Nashville, TN: W Publishing, 2004), 22.


The Bible is packed with powerful, life–transforming promises. God has given us this vault of infinite riches to be an instruction book for life. Why, then, do we often feel drained and powerless?

Imagine a house on a pretty lot, surrounded by shrubs and flowers. A state–of–the–art power plant stands next door. That plant can produce enough energy to power the entire city, but the family inside the house will live in darkness until their home is connected to the plant by electrical wires. Before power can be transmitted to the house, a connection must be made between the power station and the house.


God’s promises are the electrical wires that conduct His power into our lives. Through His promises, we receive the power we need to stand against sin and live abundantly. Second Peter 1:2–4 says,

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Are God’s promises powering your life? Or are you living off the grid?

One of the most practical ways to be powered by God’s promises is to pray them. When we pray God’s promises, we are telling Him we trust Him to keep His word. The book of Psalms records many sermons King David preached to himself during difficult times; these sermons focused his thoughts on truth and positioned him to experience God’s power. Like David, we remind ourselves of the truths that power our lives by committing to pray God’s promises. Here are ten prayers of promise:

  1. Lord, You promise never to leave me alone nor to abandon me in my time of need. Even when I can’t feel Your presence, I know you are near. Your promises are true. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Lord, teach my heart to rest in Your presence and not to be afraid or anxious. I will trust in You. (Deuteronomy 31:6; Hebrews 13:5)
  2. Lord, You promise to work all things together for the good of those who love You. I know that You are at work in my life. No matter how I feel or what troubles I face, You are working things out for my good. Thank You for being a sovereign God who sees the end from the beginning and uses even painful things to bring about good. (Romans 8:28)
  3. Lord, You have promised to prepare an eternal home for me in heaven where sin and sickness and sorrow don’t exist. I can’t wait to be there, Lord! Thank You for my future hope. Thank You that I can rejoice despite the circumstances in this world. Because I know it is just the beginning, I can look beyond this life. Thank You for trusting me with these momentary afflictions on earth, which are preparing for me an eternal weight of glory. Thank You for the hope I have in Jesus. (Revelation 21:4; 2 Corinthians 4:17–18)
  4. Lord, You promise to forgive me and to cleanse me from unrighteousness if I confess my sins to You. You are always faithful to forgive—no matter what I’ve done. Thank You for accepting my repentance. I confess my sins, and I trust You to forgive them. Thank You for allowing me to walk in the freedom of Your forgiveness. (John 1:12; Psalm 51:17)
  5. Lord, You promise to fight for me. I stand still before you, acknowledging that You are God, You are in control, and You are all–powerful. Thank You for Your protection. Thank You for Your peace that guards my heart and mind as I trust in You. Thank You for upholding Your promises. (Exodus 14:14; Philippians 4:7)
  6. Lord, You promise to supply wisdom.

  7. Lord, You promise to supply wisdom—all I must do is ask. So now, Lord, I ask for Your wisdom, knowing that You will provide it. Thank You for giving out of Your abundance, and not according to what I deserve. Thank You, Lord, for Your unfailing promises! (James 1:5; John 14:13–14)
  8. Lord, You promise to accomplish Your purposes through the Bible. As I pray for [a specific person or circumstance], I trust that Your Word will perform its renewing work. Your Word is powerful! It teaches what is true and exposes errors. Lord, help me to understand Your truth and equip me for every good work. (Isaiah 55:11; 2 Timothy 3:16–17)
  9. Lord, You promise to enact justice. One day, Your truth will be proclaimed throughout the world. When the time is right, You will destroy evil forever. I cry out to You as the great Judge who upholds justice and mercy. God, I trust You to avenge the evil that has touched my life. Thank You that final justice is not my responsibility. I will strive to live at peace with everyone, knowing vengeance is Yours. Lord, I trust Your timing, Your power, and Your promises. (Psalm 37:8–9; Romans 12:19)
  10. Lord, You promise to know me intimately. You know the number of hairs on my head. You hold each of my tears in a jar. You know my secrets. You know me better than anyone—better than I know myself! I trust You with all that I am. Lord, will You help me to understand truth? Guide me. Remind me who I am. Give me rest in the knowledge that I am Your child. (Matthew 10:30; Psalm 56:8; Psalm 44:21)
  11. Lord, You promise never to grow weary. You supply limitless power to the weak, and You increase the strength of those who need it. Thank You for renewing my strength each day as I trust in You. Lord, teach me to wait on You. Lift me up on the wings of eagles so that I can soar above my circumstances. My to–do list is long, and my trials are great. But You give me strength. You have no rival, no equal. You are the Creator of heaven and earth. Nothing is too much for You! (Isaiah 40:28–31)

God will keep every promise He has ever made. His Word cannot be broken. The Bible says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). May we live each day of our lives in the power of His promises! Amen.


For nearly three minutes on every space flight reentry, heat and disruption cause a communication blackout. But because of in–flight damage, Apollo 13’s famed re–entry extended to more than four minutes. As the three–minute mark came and went, NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston began trying to reestablish radio contact, fearing the worst:

“Odyssey, this is Houston. Do you read?” (Silence)
“Odyssey, this is Houston. Do you read me?” (Silence)
“Odyssey, this is Houston. Do you read?” (No reply)
“Odyssey, this is Houston. Do you read?” (Still no answer)
“Odyssey, this is Houston. Do you read me? (Nothing)
“Odyssey, this is Houston. Do you read?” (Still nothing)


What If God Weren’t There?

What if you called out to the heavens in prayer, uncertain if God was there? “God, do You hear me? Lord, are you there?” When Mission Control attempted to reach the Apollo 13 crew, they didn’t know whether the men had survived re–entry. Hope dwindled as the seconds ticked by. Finally, Apollo 13’s reply came: “Hello, Houston. This is Odyssey. It’s good to see you again!”

It’s one thing to call out to someone you know is there but who doesn’t answer. There’s obviously a reason for their silence. It’s an altogether different matter not to know if anyone is there. Imagine how you would feel if you had no guarantee that God was there when you needed Him. The assurance that God is always present in our life is the Christian’s deepest source of security. Even if He delays (Daniel 10:1–14) or His answer is “No” (2 Corinthians 12:7–10), that’s okay. What isn’t okay is a lack of assurance that God is always present in our lives.

Fortunately, that is not something about which we have to wonder. We will never have to wonder whether God is listening when we speak into the dark: “God, it’s me. Are You there?”

The assurance that God is always present in our life is the Christian’s deepest source of security.

When Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, he demonstrated complete faith in God’s presence. For hours, Baal’s prophets begged him to consume a sacrifice on the altar by sending fire from heaven. They danced, yelled, prayed, cut themselves—but the heavens were silent. Elijah taunted them. “You’ll have to shout louder,” he scoffed, “for surely he is a god! Perhaps he is daydreaming, or is relieving himself. Or maybe he is away on a trip, or is asleep and needs to be wakened!” (1 Kings 18:27, NLT). But Baal never answered because he wasn’t there—then or now.

God never gets distracted, forgets, oversleeps, or goes on vacation.

As soon as Elijah called out to the God of Israel, Almighty God responded with fire that consumed the sacrifice. Elijah never doubted God’s presence in his life because he understood that God was always there. God never gets distracted, forgets, oversleeps, or goes on vacation.

Even if we try to avoid God’s presence—something I don’t recommend—we find He meets us around every corner. That’s what Jonah discovered when he attempted to flee from God and met Him in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea. And King David found the same thing: “You have hedged me behind and before, … Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?” (Psalm 139:5, 7) David may have written this as he thought about his sins of adultery and murder that he tried to conceal. Far better, he concluded, to know that God is always there, even when we wish He weren’t, than to wonder if He is there when we truly need Him.

What If God Is There?

God told the prophet Jeremiah that He “[fills] heaven and earth” (Jeremiah 23:24). And the apostle Paul told the skeptics in Athens that God “is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27–28). That means God is as close to you, right now, as the air you breathe—even closer. Regardless of where you are, what you are doing, or how you feel, God is present with you.

One of the most amazing stories in the Bible about God’s presence is when Joseph was sold into slavery in Egypt by his own brothers. Despite this ordeal, the Bible says that God was with him. The official who bought Joseph, Potiphar, eventually put Joseph in charge of all his affairs: “The LORD was with Joseph,” even as a slave (Genesis 39:2). Even when Joseph was wrongly accused and thrown into prison, “the LORD was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor” with the prison officials (Genesis 39:21).

Interestingly, the Bible tells us what happened as a result of God’s presence in Joseph’s life. First, Potiphar was introduced to Joseph’s God: “And [Potiphar] saw that the LORD was with [Joseph] and that the LORD made all he did to prosper in his hand” (Genesis 39:3). For the first time in his life, an Egyptian ruler observed the influence of Joseph’s God—and was impressed.

Second, because God was with Joseph in prison, Joseph was eventually brought before Pharaoh, king of Egypt, to interpret his dreams. Pharaoh was so impressed with the power of Joseph’s God, he said, “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom is the Spirit of God?” (Genesis 41:38) As a result of God’s presence in Joseph’s life, Pharaoh made Joseph second in command over Egypt.

God wants to make His presence known to others through us.

Egypt’s royalty welcomed God’s presence in the royal court because they had witnessed God’s involvement in Joseph’s life. As Joseph submitted to God’s plan for his life, God granted him favor. And therein lies a significant reason for God being with you and me wherever we are, regardless of the situation: God wants to make His presence known to others through us.

Yes, God is with us for our benefit. He teaches us, comforts us, guides us, corrects us, encourages us, and celebrates with us. But if we walk hand in hand with Him, by His Spirit, others will recognize the hope we have, and God will reveal Himself to them through us (1 Peter 3:15). We experience His blessing as we bring others into His presence.

Like Joseph, we may be hard–pressed, perplexed, persecuted, and struck down for a time. That does not mean we have reason to feel crushed, despair, forsaken, or destroyed. God is here. He is working all things together for our good. Trust me: someone is going to notice. And they are going to want to know why.

Then you will have the opportunity to tell someone who thinks God is far off that He is as close to them as they are to you—because God is always present with you by His Spirit. Instead of that person speaking into the darkness and hearing silence in return, it will be your privilege to show them what it means to talk to the God who is always near.

Never forget: God is always present with you. And through you, He can become personally present to others.


Attitude can mean the difference between victory and defeat in whatever struggle we’re facing. Morale is half the battle, as historian Robert Mackay writes in his book by that title: Half the Battle: Civilian Morale in Britain During the Second World War. According to Mackay, from the outset of World War II, the British Ministry of Information and its partnering agencies “attached great importance to people’s states of mind, measuring the fluctuations in cheerfulness, how much people were interested in the war news and whether they were optimistic about victory or the future more generally.”1

At first, there was very little optimism about victory. Looking back from the perspective of history, it’s easy to miss the hopelessness of the times. England’s prospects were bleak, and some in the government wanted to seek terms of peace with Hitler. One aristocrat said, “It’s madness to suppose we can beat Hitler.” Another person on the opposite end of the social spectrum said, “I think they’re going to beat us, don’t you?” Another man wrote in his journal, “My reason tells me it will now be almost impossible to beat the Germans.” A young pilot in the Royal Air Force wrote home saying, “I don’t give much for our chances.” Even Winston Churchill himself said to a military assistant during a particularly grim moment, “You and I will be dead in three months’ time.”2


Yet somehow the British Isles found the courage, cheerfulness, and resolution to press through to victory. The improved morale was due in part to a trio of posters created by the Ministry of Information. Mr. A. P. Waterfield, the Deputy Secretary of the MOI, composed the poster that said: YOUR COURAGE, YOUR CHEERFULNESS, YOUR RESOLUTION WILL BRING US VICTORY. Critics lambasted this slogan as being overly simplistic and condescending, especially because of its mixed use of the pronouns YOUR and US. Many felt their leaders were “talking down” to the public. Yet the message rang true, for people instinctively understood that only the triple–braided rope of courage, cheerfulness, and resolution could pull them through.

God’s Word Provides Wisdom in Troubled Times

In a sense, the Bible is God’s “Ministry of Information,” His ministry of providing the wisdom we need for abundant living. In Scripture, we see that courage, cheerfulness, and resolution are three valued qualities needed for the battles we’re waging against the world, the flesh, and the devil. As soldiers in God’s army, we’re fighting principalities, powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age, and spiritual hosts of wickedness (Ephesians 6:12). The apostle Paul talked about the internal war raging inside each of us in our flesh— “But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind” (Romans 7:23). Peter talked about “fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).

In all our daily battles, we need the courage, cheerfulness, and resolution described in God’s Word.

In all our daily battles, we need the courage, cheerfulness, and resolution described in God’s Word so we can experience the reality of 1 John 5:4: “And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.”

Which of these elements do you need the most right now: Courage—the “fear–not” attitude of the Bible based on God’s protective care? Cheerfulness—the joy of heart and mind based on God’s Holy Spirit? Resolution—the determination to keep your eyes on Jesus until the battle is over and the victory is won?

God’s Word Provides Guidance for Today

Let me give you some passages to read, to pray, and to claim in each category. Don’t skip over these verses; look at them carefully. Perhaps one of them will jump off the page and land in the middle of your mind just as you need it.


Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid… for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)

Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God—my God—will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord. (1 Chronicles 28:20)

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. (Psalm 27:14)


A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance. (Proverbs 15:13)

Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you. (Matthew 9:2)

Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well. (Matthew 9:22)

In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)


Daniel resolved that he would not defile himself. (Daniel 1:8, ESV)

To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His calling and may fulfill every resolve for good and every work of faith by His power. (2 Thessalonians 1:11, ESV)

When he arrived and witnessed the grace of God, he rejoiced and began to encourage them all with resolute heart to remain true to the Lord. (Acts 11:23, NASB)

I am resolved to obey Your statutes to the very end. (Psalm 119:112, HCSB)

If the Lord of Glory is our hope and confidence, there is no reason to be fearful or sad.

To the very end, we can be more than conquerors through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 8:37). Every struggle we face relates to the cosmic battle He waged on the cross. And every victory is won through the triumph of the empty tomb and our resurrected Savior. Hebrews 1:3 records: “When He had by Himself purged our sins, [He] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.” Colossians 2:15 adds: “Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” The cross and the resurrection of Jesus ratify every verse in the Bible. If the Lord of Glory is our hope and confidence, there is no reason to be fearful or sad. Instead, we can be courageous, cheerful, and resolute.

God’s Word Provides the Perspective of Victory

In her book On the Home Front: Growing Up in Wartime England, children’s writer Ann Stalcup describes her first memories as a preschooler. At the outset of World War II, she was handed a gas mask that looked like a pig’s snout and smelled foul. She was terrified to try it on. Day after day, her family gathered around the wireless for hours at a time, straining to hear and understand every word. “Everyone was anxious to know exactly what was happening,” she said, “and whether the danger was getting closer.”

Ann was ten when the war ended. She was sitting at her desk in school when her class was told Germany had surrendered. “And no sooner did we hear the news,” she wrote, “than the church bells began to peal. They had been silent for six long years. During the war, church bells were to ring only to signal an invasion. We were given the rest of the day off and told that the next day, May 8, would be a national holiday. We couldn’t believe our luck. The wireless was calling it ‘V. E. Day—Victory in Europe Day.’

“I walked home from school that morning, alone. I found that I had a lot to think about. I passed a big poster that had been on the same brick wall for almost six years. I read it again, just as I’d read it every day since I’d learned to read: YOUR COURAGE, YOUR CHEERFULNESS, YOUR RESOLUTION WILL BRING US VICTORY.”

“And it had!” she said.3

Yes, it had. And the same is true for us. Whether we are facing an invasion by foreign powers or a devastating disease, our attitude—our state of mind—is half the battle. If you’re feeling the heat of the battle right now, draw courage, cheer, and resolution from the verses in God’s Word that speak of His overcoming power and overwhelming grace. Claim them today and, as you do so, remember this:


This article was adapted from the May 2013 issue of Turning Points Magazine and Devotional, a ministry of Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah.


1Robert Mackay, Half the Battle: Civilian Morale in Britain During the Second World War (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2002), 1.

2Max Hastings Quotes from “A Gloriously Flawed Hero: How Winston Churchill Saved This Nation from the Brink of Extinction” in The Daily Mail, August 17, 2009.

3Ann Stalcup: On the Home Front: Growing Up in Wartime England (Lincoln, NE: Author’s Choice Press, 1998, 2002), 76–77.


From Living With Confidence in a Chaotic World

By David Jeremiah

There is no doubt we have encountered political unrest and worldwide disease and economic failure in the past, but I would suggest that there’s never been a time in our collective memory like this current moment—the world is in turmoil.

But don’t be discouraged when difficult days seemingly surround us. Just before Jesus Christ returns to earth, keeping the promise He made to His disciples, the Bible says a troubling time will arrive. And, my friends, it’s quite possible that we have entered the early stages of those events.

In Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, we are told: “But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, ‘Peace and safety!’ then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1–3).


As I think about that passage, I find myself observing how that metaphor about labor pains perfectly fits the headlines I’ve been reading. An expectant mother endures quite a trial as she prepares for the birth of her child. She has morning sickness, she goes through all kinds of other drastic bodily changes, and then the labor pains arrive. As that child prepares to enter the world, the mother’s discomfort is amplified—it’s a message that God doesn’t want her to miss. Rejoice! Your child is on the way!

Similarly, our world is in pain even now. We will feel it as the nations quake. Yet we can cry out, “Rejoice! Your redemption is near!” This pain, this confusion, this anxiety is only for a little while longer.

Let’s return to that frightening term catastrophe. It’s an odd four–syllable word, isn’t it? In fact, it represents the union of two Greek words: cata, meaning “over,” and strophe, meaning “to turn.” The full picture is one of overthrow, of everything turning over in sudden and violent change.

You and I have experienced that kind of change, that kind of violence—the world turning over in chaotic spasms. And each time we experience it anew, we are confronted with that same critical question: “Is there any way to live with confidence in a chaotic world?”

It’s a question we need to answer. You see, we no longer have the luxury of sitting back in our recliners, stroking our chins, and examining this spectacle from some distance. Because of our increasingly connected world, we are now all players in global events. When one nation struggles, we all struggle. When yet another catastrophe strikes, we’re all affected.

We need a plan, and we need one as quickly as possible.

Thankfully, we can find that plan within the pages of God’s Word. As I have scoured the books of the New Testament, I discovered ten practical strategies to help us live with confidence in a chaotic world. Each one assures us of Christ’s return and shows us how to live until then. What a blessing it is to know the right way to respond when our challenges exceed our courage!

As we face the uncertainty of our troubled generation, we cannot afford to turn away from the priceless counsel of the Word of God. We need it more than ever because it provides a firm foundation even when the world seems in the grip of quicksand’s undertow.

I feel the anxiety of these times, but I also draw profound peace from the promise that Jesus gave to His disciples—that includes you and me—in the Upper Room. He told them that He would never leave them without comfort: “The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:26–27).

In those words, I can hear Jesus speaking to our generation. He assured us that we do not need to live in fear, no matter what the headlines say. Jobs can be lost, homes can be destroyed, but the love of Christ is forever. Understanding that truth calms our spirits and allows us to begin thinking—really thinking—about the new world around us.

As we work through the ten chapters of this book together, I pray that you will see your own circumstances with new eyes and that you will look within yourself, finding new courage not in your own strength or skills, but in the unlimited resources of Christ, in whom we can do all things.

Then, as we finish these pages, we won’t be tempted by the promise of escape—not even to our own private island in some faraway paradise. No, in the midst of it all we can place our trust in the promises, power, and love of almighty God, and we can live with confidence in an age of chaos.

Living With Confidence in a Chaotic World by Dr. David Jeremiah is published by W Publishing, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved.