Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There Devotional Hardcover – Dec 1 2009
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About the Author
Ruth Graham, founder and president of Ruth Graham and Friends, ministers God's grace and comfort to those who are hurting and works to equip those who desire to help the broken. Author of multiple books including the bestseller In Every Pew Sits a Broken Heart and the 2008 Gold Medallion Award winner, Step into the Bible, she travels widely as a conference speaker and has appeared on a variety of radio and television shows, including Good Morning America, The Hour of Power, Focus on the Family, and Moody Broadcasting. A cum laude graduate of Mary Baldwin College, Ruth worked in publishing for thirteen years. Daughter or the beloved evangelist Dr. Billy Graham, Ruth has three grown children and six grandchildren. She lives in Virginia.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Those ancient words bring comfort in a world full of uncertainty. We live in uncertain times. It's scary out there. We need only turn on the news, check the balances on our retirement accounts, or look at the brokenness within our own families to be reminded that nothing seems certain. Nothing. But still we long for certainty. We long for something that we can count on. Something to be sure of.
King David, who wrote the above words, lived in an uncertain world. His life was riddled with uncertainty and danger. Family jealousy. Political intrigue. War. Betrayal. Depression. Ridicule. Yet David was secure in the certain knowledge that God was faithful and God's truth eternal. How did he cling to that certain knowledge? Practice. He practiced citing the truth of God's character.
There are certain truths we can take hold of and count on. The verse above tells us that God's word is settled -- it is a sure thing. Everything else may seem unsettled, precarious, and uncertain, but God's word is sure.
Through His eternal word we can know His character. We can know He is present with us, will lead us, and will hold us securely; that He has a plan for us and it is good. Such truth cannot only chase away the fears that plague us, but can build courage and strength into our lives. To see such certainties, we have to be looking in the right place. We need to turn our eyes toward the Source of Truth: Absolute Truth.
In theory, that sounds so easy. A pat spiritual answer -- just focus on God's truth, found in His word, and our fears will just melt away. So why do I worry and fret? Why is it so hard to trust God during times of uncertainty? Personal experience has shown me a few uncomfortable realities about myself. I have a short memory for truth when the trials of life pile in on me. I suspect you are the same way. So what, then, is the answer? What will help us remember and apply truth to life when we need it? What will help us conquer our fears?
We need to practice God's certain truths over and over again as we meet each new uncomfortable challenge in our lives. Like King David did. Growing in faith is a process -- an ongoing lifelong process. It is a choice. A decision we make to take God's truths and apply them to our own life. When fear, worry, and anxiety invade your thoughts and feelings, rather than beating yourself up, recognize that such moments are simply the evidence that God is about to build new faith and strength into your life if only you turn to Him for the wisdom He promises to give to all who ask for it. This is the purpose of this book -- to help us consider, focus upon, and practice the certain truths of God.
As I write this, I have just completed the book Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There, in which I explore how to trust God in uncertain times. This devotional, which can be used as a companion or follow-up to that book or as a stand-alone book, has provided me with a way to practice and apply God's certain truths in my own life uncertainties. My hope and prayer is that it does the same for you.
I invite you to focus on God's certain truths in your uncertain times.
© 2009 Ruth Graham
What's in a name? Plenty! We greet one another by name. We introduce people by name. We offer our own names to others when we want to strike up a connection or initiate a conversation. Let's face it. Names matter.
When we read through the Scriptures, we run across whole lists of names. I often wondered why -- it makes for rough reading. But God is meticulous about His records and keeping track of names. Names are important to Him. Your name is important to Him.
In Bible times names were significant. They had meaning and were given for a purpose such as a declaration of the parents' desire for a child or as an expression of the parents' convictions or as recognition of divine assistance.
God's names, and there are many, reveal His character. In His Word, God introduces Himself to us through many names: Mighty Creator, Everlasting God, Prince of Peace, Good Shepherd, Refuge, and the list goes on. As we come to know His names, we find it easier to put our trust in Him. How can we not trust the One who is the mighty creator, the one who wants the very best for those He made? And what great confidence we can have in One who is everlasting, for though this world and everything in it is temporary, He will never fade away. When we know His names, His character, we want more of Him. We seek Him out. We discover Him.
Did you know that we are told He will not forsake those who seek Him and that while we are seeking, He does not hide? He says, "I love those who love me, and those who diligently seek me will find me" (Proverbs 8.17) He invites us to actively seek Him out. As we do, we will find that we, too, are being sought by the very One we need the most. He will not forsake us -- ever.
Take a moment to focus on one of God's names, The God Who Sees Me. I love that name! Imagine throwing open the door of your heart and locking eyes with the God who made you and loves you! His loving gaze looks deeply into who you are and loves you unconditionally. How does that truth speak into your situation today? Anticipate your growing trust in God as you discover His true identity.
Heavenly Father, Thank You that Your names enable me to know Your character and how You relate to me. I confess that I don't seek You as I should, but on this day, Lord, I seek You out and long to know You more fully. I am grateful that You know my name and seek me out. You will never forsake me. Thank You. Amen.
© 2009 Ruth Graham --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Some of the chapters in this book are titled Trust at My Doorstep, Discover His Trustworthiness, Experience His Presence, Know His Comfort. In each chapter Ruth gives a story from her own life and one from the bible that helps describe yet another aspect of God which helped her grow in His love for her and the plan He has for her life.
I liked how Ruth described fear. "Fear takes the air out of life. When we live with fear, we lose our capacity for fun and spontaneity. We struggle to love others whole heartedly....Sometimes we experience fear as torment. Torment is not God's will for us. God is committed to our peace."
Ruth also says, "When I am willing to be myself, when I am willing to let God work through my insufficiency, incredible things can happen. Through my weaknesses God can work and show His greatness. Paul caught this truth. I liked how Ruth helped us apply scripture to our lives.
In the back of this book God's attributes in ABC order. This can be used as a tool in prayer. It's also a starting point for praising God. I was really encouraged by the message and hope in Ruth's story. It's easy to understand and refreshing. I've received a copy of this book to review and these are my words about how Ruth's book inspired me.
Finding Hope Through Fiction
One of the features that I enjoyed best about this wonderful non-fiction title by the daughter of Billy Graham, was the alphabetical listing of God's attributes designed to aid the reader in remembering Who God is and helping them to put fear aside and engage in praise.
She explains passages in the Bible like when Jesus didn't go rushing to help his friend Lazarus and Lazarus died. She writes, "God is never in a hurry. His goal is not to meet our expectations but to point us to the larger, eternal purpose in what He chooses to do - to shift our focus." (page 61)
The book helps readers trust God, to feel His comfort, peace, power, presence, forgiveness, restoration, affirmation, hope and to anticipate His plans.
After each chapter, she has a "Point of Focus" - a Bible verse pertinent to the chapter's theme. The idea is to mediate on that verse to really understand what it is saying. How do you that? Read it over and over again. Read it out loud. Ask yourself, "What does God what me to know from this passage?" "What is He saying to me?" and "What does He want me to do?"
She also offers a very nice list of God's attributes in an "ABC Praise List" as well as an additional reading list and call to accept Jesus.
"Fear not tomorrow - God is already there! Hallelujah!" (page 255)
This book is special to me personally because, God being God brought this book to my door step one day before a big event. I was stepping out of my comfort zone wondering if God was going to catch me. When I opened the mail and read the title, God spoke directly to me. When I actually opened the book and began reading Fear Not Tomorrow, God Is Already There God reminded me once again how I should not fear the next day or the next day or the years to come because God is in control. In a time of uncertainty, with the economy, job lay offs, families hurting, this book offers an important reminder to us all. I highly recommend this book.