Listen: Chris Witts presents Morning Devotions.
By Chris WittsWednesday 10 Mar 2021Morning Devotions with Chris WittsDevotionsReading Time: 3 minutes
It was Napoleon Bonaparte who once said, “Courage isn’t having strength to go on—it’s going on when you don’t have strength.”
There are all kinds of things that can drive you to desperation—financial problems, a marriage that has gone sour, a physical illness that lingers on and on, the despair of low self-esteem, embarrassment and a combination of these plus a thousand other factors.
So what do people do when they are desperate? Some do nothing at all, sinking deeper and deeper into the pit of despair. At the point of your desperation, you can find God. He is never indifferent to those who cry out from the pit of desperation. He cares!
That’s another way of saying, When you get to the end of your rope, you stop playing games with God and cry out in desperation, Jesus will hear your cry and gently say, ‘Hold on; I’ll show you the way out. I came back from the darkness of a tomb. Take My hand and walk with Me.’
Renewing Your Mind in God’s Word
Remember that God has a master plan for your life. You can be confident of this: he will complete his good work in you (Philippians 1:6). Often people are searching and trying to find God’s will. Trust his leadership in your life, and be faithful in the small things. Daily faithfulness is important to God. Faithfulness in little things leads to greatness. Don’t listen to what the world tells you greatness is. It will lead you down a dead-end road. You are God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10).
It’s time to take charge of negative thinking. You do have power to cast down all thoughts of despair and hopelessness. You do not have to be a captive to negative thoughts that lead to despair. You can renew your mind in God’s Word. It’s not by trying harder to change, but by seeing more clearly how God evaluates you.
Learn to meditate on Scriptures like Psalm 139 until it sinks deeply into your spirit. And read Scriptures like Philippians 4:19 (NIV): “My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Psalm 27:13-14 (NASB) says: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait on the Lord.”
Saved by Jesus in Myanmar
Let me briefly tell you about Myanmar’s church minister Rev Hlaing Win Aung. He grew up in north Myanmar and owned a lumber mill, making wooden altars for Buddhist idols. He was very successful, started drinking heavily, and had no time for religion. The economics of Myanmar were unstable with communist rebels causing terror in the outskirts not far from where he lived. It was a dangerous place.
But one terrible day armed rebels stormed his house, taking him into a jungle tying him up. They threatened to kill him with a machete, at 10 pm one night. They believed him to be a government spy, which he wasn’t. It was a harrowing and terrible ordeal. He felt alone, abandoned and in total despair. At 1 pm a group of three rebels came on horseback and heard his screams for help.
Strangely enough, one of them said, “Ask Jesus for help. He always helps”. It was all he could do. And about three hours later, another rebel came and asked more questions. At 7 pm, they realised he was not their man, and they released him—three hours before his planned execution. He believed it was a miracle, and he returned home that night.
In February 1982 he was baptised and accepted Jesus as Saviour. He started a new life as a committed Christian and was ordained into the church. He started an orphanage to help many young people left homeless. An amazing true story—breaking through despair into hope with God’s help.
Hlaing Win Aung believes in this Bible’s verse: “His mercy endures forever– I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord” (Psalm 118:4;17 – NKJV). It is literally true his life was spared to serve God.