August 6 - Help me, God!

By Sylvia Stewart

Today's Scripture: Psalm 28:6–7

Central Thought: Courage comes from God when we ask Him for it.

    Mary Tyler Moore in McCall said, 'You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.” Few of us live such a rarified life that we have no discouragements.

    When rebuilding the temple, opposition to God's plans escalated (Ezra 3 & 4). The enemies of God:

1) Wanted to join the Israelites in rebuilding the temple (Ezra 4:2). Be cautious when God's enemies want to join you in your work for God.
2) Tried to discourage the Israelites (Ezra 4:4). 'Courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to carry on with dignity in spite of it” (in The Burden of Proof by Scott Turow). Ask God for courage to carry on when the burden seems so great.
3) Broke over into active opposition. 'They hired counselors to . . . frustrate their plans” (Ezra 4:5); wrote lies to the king (Ezra 4:11–16); and compelled the Israelites to stop building (Ezra 4:23). However, the Israelites had no intention to stop permanently–only until they found favor again with King Darius (Ezra 4:24).

    David knew where to find his help. It was in joyous praise to the Lord. In spite of his enemies' opposition, he encouraged himself in the Lord.

Devotional Prayer: Thank you, Father, that You are my fortress of courage. Help me to fix my eyes on You and Your purpose for my life.

Today's Bible Reading: Ezra 3:1-4:24; I Corinthians 2:6-3:4; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 20:24-25