NIV Developing Your Leadership

Dependence on God – Day 5

Today’s reading is drawn from Jeremiah 17:5-8.

Jeremiah draws a sharp contrast between those who depend on human strength and those who depend on the living God. He makes it clear that we cannot look to both as our supreme basis of trust; we will either put our hope in the promises and power of people, or we will look beyond human capability to the person and promises of God. When we make people the basis of our confidence, we experience rejection and disappointment again and again. But when God becomes the ultimate source of our confidence, we are never let down.

Habakkuk learned that “the righteous person will live by his faithfulness” (Habakkuk 2:4), and he was not talking about faith in others. “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Those who put more confidence in themselves or in other people than in God will find bitterness and disappointment in the end. They may appear to prosper for a season, but the journey will not get them to their desired goals. But those who transfer their trust from themselves or the promises of others to the Lord discover that their lives are deeply rooted in well-watered soil. The Lord declares that “Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained” (1 Samuel 2:30).

In what areas of your life (e.g., business, finances, health, family) are you depending more on yourself and others than on God?

Night Light For Couples

The Sand Man

Sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

It’s easy enough to express our gratitude to God when He graciously blesses us with many good things. But on those days when everything seems to go wrong, a grateful heart is harder to come by.

I’m reminded of a story by Gigi Graham Tchividjian about the time she decided to fix up the large family sandbox for her six energetic children. She called the local sand company, and a truck soon arrived. To Gigi’s dismay, the truck began making deep trenches in the grass. The ground was soft from recent heavy rain. As the driver maneuvered, the truck also broke off several branches from overhanging trees.

Then it happened. The sand truck got stuck. The more the driver accelerated, the deeper he sank, until the truck began sliding down the hill, plowing a gaping hole. An hour later, a tow truck arrived. This driver backed around and hooked up to the first truck, leaving more black trenches. He tugged and pulled, breaking sprinkler pipes, splintering branches, and uprooting small trees in the process. It was no use. Both trucks were stuck. Eventually, truck number three arrived—the cab of an eighteen-wheeler.

That night, after five-and-a-half hours of mass destruction, the three trucks departed. Gigi was left with a yard that looked like a war zone and bills for five tons of sand and two tow trucks. The day had been a disaster. But when she tucked in her eight-year-old for the night, she was astonished at his prayer: “And thank You, Lord, for the exciting day and all the entertainment we had!”

There are times when we feel we could do with a little less “excitement” and “entertainment” in our lives. But the Lord knows best, and He directs us to “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). That’s a godly perspective worth remembering—on the bad days as well as the good.

– Shirley M Dobson

  • From Night Light For Parents, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Illustration adapted from Weatherproof Your Heart by Gigi Graham Tchividjian (Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell Company, 2000).

Bible Gateway

bg-facebook bg-twitter bg-google bg-blog

Many Troubles

“’I hate divorce,’ says the Lord God of Israel.” Malachi 2:16

Who would know better than the architect of marriage that living with another person day in and day out isn’t always easy? God understands what we’re going through, even in our worst circumstances. When Paul stated that “those who marry will face many troubles in this life” (1 Corinthians 7:28), he wasn’t kidding! Fortunately, God has given us a blueprint in Scripture for success and fulfillment in our marriage relationship. The Lord designed marriage for our benefit, and He knows that destroying this partnership is harmful to us in countless ways.

No wonder God hates divorce. He has made it clear that the concept of separating permanently from one’s marriage partner is not only unacceptable, but abhorrent. The only exception He has recorded for us is in the case of adultery, and even in that situation there is room for forgiveness and reconciliation if we follow Christ’s merciful example.

Our encouragement to you as a husband and wife who seek God’s best is a very personal one. As Jim and I have sought out and followed the Word of God, we have found all the stability and fulfillment in our marriage that He has promised! And you will, too. Marriage is His idea, after all, and His principles and values naturally produce harmony between people. It’s sinful behaviors that kill a relationship.

When your time of “many troubles” strikes, Satan will be ready at just the right moment to suggest the “solution” of divorce. Perhaps you’ve already arrived at this place in the past. Surely you know and love couples who have come to this moment, and have chosen to believe Satan’s lie.

My prayer is that you will believe God instead.

– Shirley M Dobson

  • From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson
    Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved.

Bible Gateway