Conclusion: Our True Destiny

With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation. (Psalm 91:16)

We have spent the last few months discovering how The Most High is a shelter which forms a protective fortress from the numerous perils of life on this planet. The Almighty’s guiding hand secures us from pestilence, violence, terrors of Satan and other calamities. And if need be, the Mighty Warrior will command His angels to intercede on our behalf.  The Lord’s help is just a prayer away for the devoted child who calls out to Him.

It is tempting to focus on the temporal or earthly benefits of our security, when instead the Lord provides us with spiritual, eternal benefits of His promises. Hopefully, Psalm 91 has opened your eyes to the eternal lens of the magnificent vision of The Almighty. His lens focuses beyond this life and reveals our existence with Him—a long, fulfilled life in the completed work of salvation. (1 Thessalonians 5:8-9; Revelation 21:3). This is the Lord’s refuge and dwelling place and our final resting place–Heaven (2 Timothy 2:10-13).

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.  In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls. (1 Peter 1:3-9)

When this world passes away and we arrive in our Heavenly Home, we experience the completed promises of securely dwelling with the Most High for eternity.

Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3-4).

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:16

Reflect: Do you anticipate Heaven or does it seem like a far off fantasy?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to fix my eyes on the hope and promise of an eternal life with you. Amen.

As we conclude our time together in Psalm 91, I am sharing a musical serenade from an American musician. This talented vocalists sings all four parts of an acapella group. His song, “When I go home” will soothe your soul and invite you to seek with anticipation our eternal home.

Lyrics and music by G.M. Eldridge © 2019 by Acapeldridge

NCFI Cares: Part II NCFI Heroes: Spiritual Support through Provisions–People

In the previous NCFI Cares we began a series exploring how you, an NCFI Hero, can provide prayer support to the leadership team and global work of NCFI. For Part II, we will focus on how NCFI Heroes can support spiritual leaders through 2 types of provisions. The first provision the NCFI leadership team needs is people.

The most pressing people deficit is our continued need for both a Manager and a Director for the IICN (International Institute of Christian Nursing). The IICN was created to “advance a Christian worldview in nursing practice, education, leadership, and research.” Thus, it is essential that IICN have leaders with a passion and purpose in strategizing how NCFI can be the voice of Christian nursing across the globe. More information about these position can be found at http://iicn.ncfi.org/about-iicn/institute-leadership/

A new round of International Board nominations is currently occurring for the 2020-2024 term. As regional committees are nominating board members from the national fellowships, each region and national fellowship needs volunteers to fill key leadership positions.

NCFI also has two ministry outreach projects needing people:  NG or Next Generation Nurses which targets students and early career nurses to globally connect and support them in their emerging careers; and an Alumni Ministry which aims to connect retired nurses, especially those previously involved with NCFI.  To learn more about these ministries, connect with your national fellowship or your regional chair. https://ncfi.org/ncfi-regions/

It is difficult to move a ministry forward and reach more nurses for Christ, when we lack people. So, pray and ponder how you may be a NCFI Hero who volunteers their time for the global work of NCFI (Matthew 9:37-38)

NCFI Cares: A Song in Your Heart

I have a granddaughter who is constantly singing. When we are driving in the car, hanging out at home, or walking to the park, she is singing a song. Many times, she repeats the chorus or refrain to a recent pop song over and over. I enjoy listening to her sing even when it is annoying to her older brother. At times I do have to have her tone it down, especially if her singing borders on the edge of screaming. The beautiful thing about her singing is it comes out naturally; in fact, she was born with a song-in-her-heart. When she was just a few days old, I remember holding her and she was humming along. Since she had just left the Lord presence, I asked her softly, “Are you singing the songs of angels?”

I share this with you, not just to brag as a loving grandmother, but also to remind us that we can all have a song in our heart. The natural song or verse in our heart overflows from a heart and spirit filled with the goodness of God. We sing praises of his wonderfulness and out of gratefulness to Him and all his provisions.

There are many verses which speak of having a song in heart:

“singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord always giving thanks to God the Father for all things” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

“Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises” James 5:13

“The Lord strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude.” Psalm 28:7

Take some time this week and put a song in your heart. If you are naturally musically, invent your own melody of praise; otherwise find a favorite hymn, song, or refrain to fill your heart with the Lord’s praises.

NCFI Cares: The Cross-Cultural Mission Field at our Workplace

Throughout scripture we see the Apostles bringing the love of God and grace of Christ to various cultures and religions. The most dramatic is Philip, who was led by the Holy Spirit to travel to a specific road in Gaza to meet with the Ethiopian court official (Acts 8:27-39). He explains the passage of Isaiah and then proceeds to lead the official to salvation and baptism. Earlier in Samaria Philip had provided physical and spiritual healing to Simon, a magician who practiced in the dark arts (Acts 8:9-13).

Reaching out cross-culturally to bring the love and grace of Christ to others, doesn’t have to be a call to the mission field. We can bring the love of God and grace of Christ cross culturally to those within our sphere of influence. We can connect one-on-one with people around us and explore their religion, country of origin or ethnicity. Here are some ideas to get started:

–Take extra time to talk with a patient or their family exploring their home life.

–Have lunch with a coworker and learn about their religious practices

–Connect with a student and discover their cultural traditions.

As Christians we have the tendency to spend time with only Christians and like-minded individuals. Instead, with the influx of immigrants in most nations and the diversity of global travelers, we have an opportunity to learn about various cultures and religions right within our work environment. As we take time to pray for our coworkers, our patients and/or our students, we can spread the love God has for all his children through our conversations and professional relationships.  

Also, don’t be afraid to talk with those who practice in the evil arts. Get to know these religion/practices, seek prayer support from your pastor, and then hold on to God’s promises, “He that is in me and you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). How else can those from various religions ever learn about the love of God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

CARES: Reflections for Nurses–English Only

CARES English Cover Only

I think the best way to share the good news is tstart with an insightful story.

Recently, I was in Taiwan and gave the CARES: Reflections for Nurses to a Taiwanese nursing student. He received his gift with joy and thanks. The next day, he approached me and said, “I can’t read this book, it is in Spanish.” This is when I explained how the book is bilingual–English on one side with Spanish on the other side. With the simple explanation, he went away happy excited to enjoy his gift.  A few days later, he confirmed his enjoyment of the English reflections.

This incidence solidified a thought I had been contemplating, to publish an English only edition. So here it is with a bonus feature. Instead of just removing the Spanish translations, I went one step further to add a note page for each reflection. This provides space for meditations, insights, and/or prayers.

page view

The book is available through Amazon Book Store

Hopefully soon, it will be available on the NCFI webpage as a free pdf.

Christian Nursing 101: Intercessory Prayer: Differentiating the Source

When I first thought about writing this article, I wanted the title to be “Take Back Prayer in Nursing”. That is because I feel we have let prayer, communication between God and man, become a buzzword for anything spiritual. Once a reverent privilege to enter the throne room of God to speak praises, confession, or petitions to our holy Creator. Prayer has been relegated to an existential experience of sending positive thoughts, connecting with the universe, or random words to the unknown. My concern is not with non-Christian and their spiritual journey.  Instead it is with  Christians who espouse their prayers and petitions to a random receiver, or worse to evil spirits.

Thus, the article guides Christian nurses back to the tenets of our faith and Bible teaching on prayer. Since not all prayers are the same, Christians should be cautious when asked to pray for at least two reasons: who we pray to does matter and prayer is more than just reading a few lines.

Finally, we should strongly resist a compulsion to communicate with other gods, energy force or entities by patients, families, or staff. The Bible clearly teaches the \reality of evil spirits or demon world; which is in contradiction to God and Christ.

I would enjoy hearing more about your experience with non-Christian prayer in nursing.

NCFI Cares: CALM by Guest Contributor

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanks giving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.(Philippians 4: 4-8)

These verses and meaning of CALM, I got them from one of my best friends during our hospital crises. I already shared in our NCF-I committee meeting and it was encouraged me a lot. I hope you also will get benefit from those verses.

She observed me sometimes but I didn’t aware about it. One day I invited her for dinner with me. When she came she just ask me are you okay Bulbuli, then again in the middle of dinner ask me are you okay Bulbuli and I thought she ask me more than 3times. I always answer yes I am okay. When she was asking me few times then I told her yes, I am okay with my husband, my both daughters are okay, my mom is okay, everything is okay but I am worried about my hospital. She told me yes, I knew that you are so sad and upset about the hospital. Then finish our dinner, before she go home, she gave me a card and explain why she was asking me how you are. She realized I am worried about something but she wanted to listen from me. She gave me lots of example, she told me about the CALM and how it is helpful etc etc. It was gave me comfort, peace inside when she shared with me. Here is the meaning of CALM:

Celebrate God’s goodness (verse 4)

Ask God for help (verse 6)

Leave your concerns with God (verse 7)

Meditate on good things (verse 8)

So we have celebrate about good thing first because every day we have many good things beside the bad things, so thankful to HIM. If we are worried about anything, he is always ready to help us so we have to ask him for help. If we worried or heavy loaded then give them to God’s hands and he promised us to release from that. Finally we have to meditate and give focus on good things. If we can do this our heavenly father will give his comfort and give his supports all the time.

Amen.

by Bulbuli Mollick, International Board Member, Bangladesh

CALM best

 

NCFI Cares: Christmas Angels

This is a republish of an NCFI Cares for Christmas from December, 2015. Enjoy!

One of the amazements of the Nativity story is the angels’ announcement to the shepherds in Luke 2:9-15. I have taken creative license in imagining how the scene unfolded:

Heaven is buzzing with excitement. It is about to occur. Jesus will become human. Even though the angels are informed of this great mystery and the significance of salvation, they are filled with wonder and anticipation.

“How long does it take for a little human to be born?” one angel asks. “Why can’t God just make one, like Adam and Eve?”

“I can’t wait” says another. “There hasn’t been this much heavenly excitement since the creation of the Heavens and Earth and the miracles in Egypt.”

“Wait!” says a third angel. “What if the humans miss it? The wise men are on their way, but what if they are the only ones who come to see this miraculous event?”

“I am sure there will be other people who will come and worship the Son,” responds another angel.  “After all, God has given them many signs of what to look for”

A shout arises from the angels, “It is time! Mary is giving birth!”  An overzealous angel, unable to contain his excitement, bolts to earth. The angel finds himself hovering over shepherds in the field and at a loss of what to say or do. Uh, oh! The angel thinks, I have messed up!

Looking for a clue of what to do next, the angel notices the fear on the shepherds face.

“Don’t be afraid!” the angel nervously says. Trying his best to reassure the terrified shepherds. “Listen carefully” says the angel. His confidence is building and the words are flowing. Thank you God, I know what to say! So with renewed confidence, the angel continues.  “For I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord.”

“This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” The angel notices the sky is suddenly filled with other angels and together they rejoice:  “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!”

The angel returns to heaven feeling assured knowing that all of earth, throughout eternity will know the significance of the Son’s birth!

Merry Christmas!

The Angel Appearing to the Shepherds, by Thomas Cole, c. 1833-34. Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, United States

Week #12 “When you call, I will answer”

The Lord says, “When he calls to Me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him. (Psalm 91:15)

I think we take for granted the most amazing miracle in the Bible. The Creator of the Universe listens to each individual prayer. And, if that is not mind boggling, that same Creator,  speaks directly to you, to me, and to everyone. He is not absent, nor does He require us to perform some great display of pleading.

One my favorite incidences in the Bible that reveals God’s awesome power and communication is found in the encounter between the prophet Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Elijah confronts the Israelites with their disobedience and idolatry by saying, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him.” (1 Kings 18:21). The Israelites are quiet and do not respond. So Elijah invites all the people to witness a show-down between Yahweh and Baal.

“Then they [prophets of Baal] took the ox which was given them and they prepared it and called on the name of Baal from morning until noon saying, “O Baal, answer us.” But there was no voice and no one answered. And they leaped about the altar which they made. It came about at noon, that Elijah mocked them and said, ‘Call out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied or gone aside, or is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and needs to be awakened.’ So they cried with a loud voice and cut themselves according to their custom with swords and lances until the blood gushed out on them. When midday was past, they raved until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice; but there was no voice, no one answered, and no one paid attention.” (1 Kings 18:26-29)

I have to admit, I think the antics the prophets of Baal perform to get Baal’s attention is quite entertaining. Until one realizes that there are still religions that require sacrifices, asceticism, and various displays to communicate with their god(s). Yahweh hears and speaks to all people. It is His Spirit that calls the unsaved and wicked inviting them into his love and grace. As a Christian we have the promise that the Lord will hear us, answer us, and draw us closer to Himself (John 15:7). Combine our open access to communication with our devotion and we confidently abide in the shadow of the Almighty as a devoted servant of the Most High.

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:15

Reflect: Rewrite the passage Psalm 91:15 inserting your name. For example, When Carrie calls to Me…. Then, write out specific ways the Lord is rescuing and honoring you.

Prayer/Praise: Write out a specific prayer of praise, thanking the Lord for how he has rescued and honored you.

Week #11 Devoted To God

The Lord says, “Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him; I will protect him because he is loyal to me.” (Psalm 91:14)

Here in this final conversation of the Psalm, we hear what the Lord wants from us. “Because he is devoted…” Some translations explain the word or phrase “devote” using “hold fast to me” or “love me.” The original Hebrew word used is “chashaq” a verb meaning “join together as one” or “cleave” (Lexicon #2836).

The Lord wants our dedication, our undivided attention. “You shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.” (Exodus 34:14). An earthly relationship most closely related to “devotion” is the union found in marriage (Mark 10:6-9). Where a husband and wife love, provide, and are faithful to one another through the blessings and the sufferings of life. Another relationship is found in parenting, where parents devote themselves to their children. Careers, vacations, and personal pleasures take second place to raising children to adulthood following Biblical guidelines.

Devotion can also describe our commitment to nursing and the care of patients. We finance our schooling, work long hours, and at times sacrifice our own health to serve the sick.

These are all examples of devotion in our life, yet the verb “chashaq” to God is unique. “What does the Lord our God require of us: worship him, obey all his commandments, love him and serve him with entire mind and being.” (Deuteronomy 10:12-13).  Our devotion to God is comprehensive and unlimited. There is no other relationship that takes priority—then our commitment to God. Nothing less is accepted than the hundredfold devotional love given to us, reciprocated to our Heavenly Father.

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:14

Reflect: Is your relationship with God one of devotion and love; or is it more along the lines of obedience and service?

Prayer: Father God, open my heart to be more and more devoted to you. Keep me from growing lukewarm and abandoning my first love, you faithful Son. Amen. (Revelation 2:4; 3:16).

Week #10 My Red-letter Moment

The Lord says, . . . (Psalm 91:14)

In previous sections of Psalm 91 the teacher or psalmist instructed and encouraged us using his teaching points. Our lesson plan included comparing the protection of the Lord to a mother bird and the Lord’s security to a fortress. We were recently reminded that, if needed, the Lord will even send his angels to our aid. Now at verse 14, we see a change in the narration with the use of “I” or the phrase “Lord says”. It is as if our teacher has stepped aside to invite the Lord to continue our lesson. And like a classroom filled with restless students that suddenly quiet when the principal walks in, the reader is beckoned to pay attention.

The Master and Scholar has personally come to emphasize our lesson. Like the red-letter print in the New Testament used to signify the words of Jesus, these are personal words of Yahweh. The lesson has changed from a group discourse to an intimate moment from the Almighty. He is reaching out to us individually, in love and patience, to emphasize his truth needed for our lives. A quick reader can miss this interruption. So let’s take time and wait to see what our Master has to say.

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:14

Reflect:­ What red letter words is the Lord saying to you specifically today? If recent life events has quieted the Lord’s voice, then turn to the book of John and start reading Jesus personal words.

Prayer: Jesus, you promise as your precious children we can hear your voice as you speak to us. Open our hearts and minds to hear your voice amidst the noisiness of our world. Amen. (Luke 24:45; John 10:27)

Week #9: Strengthened by Angels

For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up. lest you strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

(Psalm 91:11-13)

We have explored the many dangers we can experience and the Lord’s promise of protection and strength. One way the Lord miraculously can choose to intervene with us is through angels. The foremost witness of the work of the angels is seen in the life and ministry of Jesus. From conception, through childhood, emerging during his temptation and then reappearing during his suffering and resurrection, we see angels appearing in Jesus’ life to assist in the unfolding plan of God. The Lord also sent angels to assist Peter in prison in Acts 12:7-10, protect Paul during his shipwreck in Acts 27:23 and to guide Cornelius to salvation in Acts 10:7.

As believers, the Lord can send angels to protect, strengthen and guide us (Hebrews 1:14). Our faith rests securely in the Lord God Almighty who governs all created beings in heaven and earth. And intimately sends heavenly beings to encourage our journey.

At times we may be tempted to inquire about “Did angels do this?” or “Was that a miracle?” Our response to the Lord’s hand in our lives is to praise and thank him while leaving the details up to him (Revelation 22:7-8).

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:11-13

Reflect: Read Acts 12:7-10 and reflect on how you would think and feel if you were Peter? How does the prospect of God sending angels for guidance and protection encourage your faith?

Prayer: Father God, know you can command an entire army of angels to guide and protect me, your child. Help me to always look to you for strength and security. Amen

Angels Watching Over Me by Amy Grant

Week #8: My Shelter, Sovereign One

Because you have made the Lord your dwelling place—the Most High, who is my refuge— no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. (Psalm 91:9-10)

Our testimony is more than a way to bring the lost into the saving grace of Christ. It is also more than our “salvation” story. It is a constantly changing expression of how the Lord is working in our lives. Our testimony is a continuous narrative of our faith journey filled with valleys of sadness and peaks of joys. These times can be Godly intercessions for us personally and professionally, and may also include family, colleagues and/or patients. Whether our family is protected from an accident, our patients are healed from an illness and/or a colleague finds cancer in the early stages. The Lord’s will intersecting in our day-to-day events is opportunities to share. When we tell others the mighty deeds of the Almighty we build up their faith and encourage their spiritual growth (Psalm 145:4; 1 Corinthians 1:4).

I encourage you to take time and reflect on these most recent events and how the Lord has strengthened and/or encouraged you as a Christian nurse. Next, pray for the opportunity to share with a colleague how “my Shelter, the Sovereign One” has worked in your nursing practice. Like the writer of the 91st Psalm, we can use our life journey of living in the refuge of the Lord as a teaching tool for our patients and colleagues.     

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:9-10

Reflect: Who will you shared your experience with this week?

Prayer: Oh, Lord, I will praise You for all your wonderous deeds and tell others of Your great salvation and mighty works for those who love You! Amen

Praise You in this Storm by Casting Crowns You Tube Video

Week #7 Protecting Our Redemption

A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. (Psalm 91:7-8)

The Psalmist continues his description of the immeasurable protection our Magnificent Lord provides. The use of “thousand, ten thousand or multitude” implies an infinite number of ways the Lord intercedes for us. Our greatest danger is from Satan, who prowls around seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Our salvation and faithfulness is of supreme importance to the Lord. In Luke 22:31-32, Jesus prays specifically for Peter to return to his faith after being sifted like wheat. Also, in John 17:15, Jesus prays to the Father to keep the disciples and us from the evil one.

Working in tandem with the evil of Satan is the Lord’s judgment. How this occurs is more than we can fathom; for God’s judgments and conduct is beyond our understanding (Romans 11:33-34/Isaiah 55:9). It also is part of the redemptive plan (Revelation).

W.A. VanGermeren, Professor of Old Testament writes, “Seeing God’s salvation with the eye of faith will further encourage the godly, whom the Lord has promised his protection and blessing. The godly will witness the righteousness, justice, and fidelity of the Lord as well as the punishment of the wicked. No power in heaven or earth is greater than that of Yahweh, the Divine Warrior!” 

So, in the middle of a song of praise and protection, we are encouraged that redemption from the Lord is faithful to secure us while condemning the wicked.

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:7-8

Reflect: Can you recall a time when the Lord kept you faithful to Him when your confidence was wavering?

Prayer: Father God, you have secured my redemption through your Son, Jesus Christ. Protect me from the evil one; keep me faithful to your truth and will when I waiver in fear and doubt. Amen.

Week #6: 24/7 Protection

Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. (Psalm 91:5-6)

The previous devotions we have explored how the Lord demonstrates security as a fortress, rescuer and as our wise guardian. We even discussed how our faith walk can be disrupted by doubts, fears, insecurities, and disturb your sleep.

In the next section of verses, the psalmist used symbolic language to define the vastness of dread and destruction that can come into our lives. The writer understood that we live on a planet with chaos and death. We are helpless against dangerous volcanoes, vicious earthquakes, and damaging tsunamis and share communities with evil men and women who purposefully cause pain and suffering. And these are just a few of the terrors and dread that encompasses our life.

When we read all that the Lord protects us from, we may be tempted to assume nothing bad will happen to us.  Instead, we are assured that nothing is beyond the reach of God (Psalm 139:7-12). No sin or evil will prevent the faithful hand of our Lord guiding us through the calamities. There may come a time in each of our lives when we quake in fear, run in panic, and hide in terror. The Most High and Almighty will be there with us. We have a 24/7 security system.  The Lord ensures international and eternal coverage through the “terrors at night”,  the “arrows in the day” and amidst the “disasters at midday.” This coverage is mediated and delivered through the promises of our glorious Savior, ensuring that even death should not cause us to worry (1 Corinthians 15:26, 55; Romans 6:8).

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:6

Reflect: What causes you the most fear? How can the passage in Romans be an antidote for your personal fear(s)?

Prayer: Oh, LORD Most High, what then shall we say to these devastations we encounter? If You are for us, who is against us? Will anyone or anything, seen or unseen, separate me from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”But in all these things I am an overwhelmingly conqueror through Christ who love me. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nordepth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen (Romans 8:31,35-39).

*Excerpts were taken from the devotion with the same name 24/7 Protection in CARES: Reflections for Nurses.

Week #5 Night Time RX for Sleep

You need not fear the terrors of the night, the arrow that flies by day (Psalm 91:5)

In our previous devotions, we explored the security found in God of the Most High. How his refuge and shelter provide a strong secure dwelling place. Beginning in verse 5, the psalmist shares various scenarios, which builds our confidence in security of dwelling of the Almighty.

When I read the verse: You need not fear the terrors of the night, the arrow that flies by day, I thought of Satan and the different terrors he can inflict.

Imagine the following scenario:

Your day has been one of love and trust for God. No matter what concerns may have arisen; you have stayed faithful and strong. Let us take our current pandemic. Yes, you have worries—economic worries for your job as your hours have been cut; concern for your family’s health as your relative begins to cough and run a fever; emotional concerns as you notice an increase in anxiety and depression. Yet, through each one of the worries and throughout the day, your faith has not wavered. You have stayed connected with the Lord through prayer, worship and fellowship. The Lord’s shield protected you and you feel comforted under his wings. Until nighttime–You wake up in the middle-of-the night and your anxious mind has taken over. You begin thinking about all the worries you have and they are suddenly insurmountable. Your daytime calmness and resolve, has somehow changed to doubts and panic. Questions run through your mind: What if my wife has the virus, will I get the virus? My boss says my cut in hours in only temporary, but what if I lose my job? How will I feed my children? The security of the day is gone and your nighttime has become a terror. Satan has not only thrown arrows at your faith, he is also terrorizing your nighttime.

Thankfully, the psalmist reminds us that the Lord’s protection is 24/7. We can be reminded of this protection through prayer and scripture. Just like we combat the enemy during the day, we can combat him during the night (Ephesians 6:16). If you are disturbed by doubts, fears, insecurities, or your past haunts you during the night—pray against this. Your nighttime (RX) or prescription includes the following:

Every night at HS or ½ hour before bed do the following:

  • Read a passage of scripture
  • Listen to soothing worship song
  • Pray to the Lord to provide a protective covering over your mind while you sleep. 
  • Mediate on Psalm 91:1-2 or comforting verse as you doze off to sleep.

May the Lord’s peace and comfort bring you rest.

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:5

Reflect: What worries/stresses can disturb your nighttime rest? Write them out and then use the RX for Sleep to invite the Lord’s peace into your night.

Prayer: O Lord, my protector at night, may I rest under your strong wings of protection secure against the terrors of night and the arrows of the evil one. Amen

Week #4: Secured In Faithfulness

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

(Psalm 91:4)

            Have you ever seen an adult bird tuck a baby bird under their wings? The adult bird has the strength of being larger and more mature; has acquired life-learning wisdom; and is alert to the surrounding dangers. The baby chick rests securely, for it is weak and vulnerable dependent on its parent for sustenance. The chick possesses no knowledge of anything beyond the warmth and security of the parent. I always think that is true protection and reliance

            In the simple, yet intimate life of a bird, we are given another source of God’s protection—his faithfulness. Some Bibles use “truth” meaning stability, firmness and reliability.  At first we may be confused to think that the word “truth” is interchangeable with the word “faithfulness.” Yet, isn’t that where the strength and security of our Lord comes from? His truth. The divine instruction of the Bible and the authenticity of Jesus Christ are truth and define the faithfulness of God.

            Romans 3:3 reminds us of the indescribable law at work with God’s faithfulness—it isn’t dependent upon the believer. For whether we believe or not, God’s faithfulness does not change. We are to be the baby bird. The difference for us is how we rest…are we secure and content like a baby bird under its mother’s wings? Or are we panicking constantly peeking between the feathers to make sure all is okay?

Write out and memorize: Psalm 91:4

Reflect: Reflect on this past week and how you have been like a baby bird—tucked comfortably under the refuge of God. Or, have you been filled with doubt and worry peeking through the comforting wings of our loving Father in Heaven.

Prayer: Oh, Lord You are my guardian and stronghold caring for me as a helpless chick. Help me to live out Your faithful promise that not even a hair on my head goes beyond your notice or caring hand (Matthew 10:29-31) Amen.

Worship Song: Promises Never Fail by Bethel Music & Emmy Rose