Times Of Refreshing

Acts 3:19-20a – Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (NRSV)

Tragic events that have occurred over the past few weeks have had an emotional impact upon us. Hurricanes and floods, mass murder and terrorism, and even the deaths of music icons like Tom Petty, have severely dented the well-being and joy of our spirits. As we wake up each day, we wonder what sort of world we will encounter and what new crisis may be just around the corner. It seems that life has lost some of its sparkle and we are all living in some sort of global Shakespearean tragedy from which there is no escape or happy ending.

God doesn't want us to be depressed by events beyond our control or to be fearful of what could happen. He wants us to turn away from the darkness and despair in the world in order to be welcomed into His light and love, so that our weary souls may be refreshed and our sorrowful spirits may be uplifted. Because God cares for who we are and what we experience, His presence is with us every day, no matter what occurs, where we are, or what we do. In times like these, it's very easy to withdraw from the world and isolate ourselves, but God does not want us to emotionally hibernate from all the people, places, and things around us. We were created by Him to enjoy what He has made and to be reassured that we are not on our own.

Perhaps you are feeling down and discouraged. Maybe you are anxious about the future and don't understand why bad things happen. Perhaps you are really tired and in a rut simply because you are carrying burdens or responsibilities that are heavy to bear. I've been there, too, and know how easy it is to slide back into despondency. But I've also known the refreshing experience of turning to God like a child to be comforted and consoled by His love, compassion, and care. I hope and pray that you will seek these blessings, too.

Points to ponder: What scares and saddens me about the world? Am I willing to turn to God for guidance, hope, and strength?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You personally suffered a great tragedy and terrifying pain. You perfectly understand how we feel when we are faced with sorrowful circumstances and emotional despair. Allow Your Spirit to come to us when we turn back to You. Refresh our weary spirits and renew our personal faith. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Thanks John for a timely reminder.


    Hi John. Thank you for today’s devotional.


    Thank you, John, for sharing this encouraging devotional with us. Blessings.


    John, Very timely peace and great reflections.
    (CA)


    Your timely and encouraging message, as always, is a blessing.
    Thank you. May you, too, be blessed.


    Thank you. Words of encouragement and hope are very much needed today. You have expressed them beautifully.


    You always write such encouraging devotions, which are much needed during these trying times. Of course, God is our strength, but sometimes, when we are in the midst of such troubles, we forget. THANK YOU for your faithfulness. It is inspiring.


    Hi John,
    There are indeed so many things happening and we do wonder every day what is new. We keep hopin and praying that God will speak to the hearts of those who have the ability to change things.
    Thank you for writing.


    When I am a my lowest point (often these days because I have lost my mobility) I have learned to affirm: God is greater than my problems. He is the God of the Universe. I am His. His Spirit is in me and with me and this will not ever change. He is able. Not to make every nasty thing go away, but to bring us through it with grace and joy to a glorious end and a glorious new beginning. Blessings on your day!


    Hi John
    Yes the world has certainly turned around and not just in a 24 hour stretch but in terrorists attacking innocent people. Though we cannot see — God has a hand in it all.
    Let us be patient!
    God bless.


    Hi John,
    Thank you kindly for this morning’s devotional. Right on for all that we are experiencing happening in this world right now. Thankfully we have our Lord and Saviour to turn to and know He will be there to help us through these fearful times. His presence is truly reassuring and refreshing.
    Blessings,
    (B.C.)


    Very good timing, for I am indeed getting very down as I listen and watch what is going on in the world. It is very discouraging. I try to focus on what my own granddaughters are doing to try to make this a better world.
    They have graduated from university and are involved in justice and world peace, climate and environmental issues. It gives me hope seeing their dedication, physical energy and optimism. I continue to pray and do what I can for those in my community who I can maybe make a difference.


    Good Morning, John and Blessings in the name of our Creator God!

    Perhaps we are going through a time of Divine testing? Is God testing His people and those who may become His people to find out who they truly trust, in times of trouble? Do we truly hope and pray and trust in Him, or try to solve our own problems? No human being is capable of discerning how or why these things have come to pass, except to believe they have come from the “prince of darkness, the Devil. However, Jesus has defeated Satan!
    Lord God Jehovah, you know all the “whys” and the “how’s” of both good evil. We pray that you will deal with both, and return your world to what you wish it to be. We trust in you in complete faith and love. Amen.


    Hi John, Yes, there sure are strange things happening in the world, things we can do nothing about and I/we ask for God’s guidance every day. A prayer to give us the ability to cope.
    Blessings.


    One of the things people need to do is not watch the news before bedtime. Then we don’t go to bed with negative images in our heads. I find reading something inspirational and positive instead helps a lot.
    Thanks for your always wise words John


    Happy Thanksgiving (Canada) John
    Thank you for your uplifting and encouraging Meditation, Times of Refreshing. I appreciated it very much.


    Thanks for writing your devotional.
    And my prayer: Dear Lord, Cause us to pray, pray, and pray again to you and trust you in the times when our world seems to have so many sad things happening.
    Thank you that you are in control.
    Thank you Lord for all the persons in the world who are giving their lives to the work of making yourself known, to making your Word, the Bible, known and believed in. We pray that many many persons in all the world will come to trust your Son Jesus Christ who gives persons new lives of love and peace, not hatred and cruelty. And gives the sure hope of heaven. Amen.