NCFI Cares: Be the Blessing at Your Workplace

Now his master saw that the Lord was with him and how the Lord caused all that he did to prosper in his hand… (Genesis 39:3)

After having lofty dreams of leadership and sold by his older brothers into slavery, Joseph becomes an overseer in Egypt. The Lord blesses Joseph and makes him successful.

 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal servant; and he made him overseer over his house, and all that he owned he put in his charge. It came about that from the time he made him overseer in his house and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house on account of Joseph; thus the Lord’s blessing was upon all that he owned, in the house and in the field (Genesis 39:4-5)

Notice how the Lord’s blessing was not only to Joseph but to the entire household.  All did not go well for Joseph. He was falsely accused of sexual assault and attempted rape by the overseer’s wife and subsequently sent to prison. Once again, the hand of the Lord is upon Joseph and he is placed in a leadership position as overseer of the jail.

But the Lord was with Joseph and extended kindness to him, and gave him favor in the sight of the chief jailer. (Genesis 39:21)

In prison Joseph used his spiritual gift of dream interpretation to assist the cupbearer and baker with their dreams. Two years later, with the help of God, Joseph is the only one who can interpret the dream by the Pharoah of Egypt. Joseph becomes 2nd in command of Egypt and follows God’s plan to save Egypt and surrounding countries from a severe famine.

Joseph understood, through God’s blessing and mighty hand, he had been an instrument in God’s plan.

God sent me ahead of you to preserve you on the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. (Genesis 45:7-8)

Like Joseph, we can be a blessing to our own workplace, whether it is a clinical facility, academic institution, or organization. Joseph demonstrates for us key reminders in living out our blessing to others:

  • be humble with how God will use your specific knowledge and talents;
  • be the voice of hope and peace instead of adding to the negativity;
  • persevere amidst the trials to stay faithful no matter your circumstances; and
  • wait for God to transform our workplace as part of His eternal plan.

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

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