40 Days of Refreshment
We live in a busy, hectic world. Everywhere we turn, voices shout, battling for our attention. As a result, it is easy to “run dry” in our spiritual lives as believers. I know this to be true because I have experienced this drought at times in my own Christian life.
Where can we turn when we find ourselves running dry spiritually? Where can we go to find renewal and refreshment for our souls? We can return to only one place to find this spiritual refreshment – the Word of God. In the Bible we find refreshment that will enable us to live the life that Jesus desires for us.
I have written this simple forty-day devotional to help you in your walk with Jesus. The number 40 is a special number in the Bible. Some believe that the number 40 speaks only of a terrible time of trial or intense testing. No doubt, as we read about Moses and his forty years on the backside of the Palestinian desert or the Israelite’s 40 years of wandering in the wilderness or even the forty days and forty nights of rain that God sent when he destroyed the earth with the first flood and Jesus’ forty days and nights in the wilderness where he was tempted by the devil, that is an understandable view.
I think, however, that the number 40 not only represents a time of trial or testing, but of teaching. Moses learned a great deal about what it meant to walk with God during those forty lonely years of herding sheep in the desert. These were lessons that would be vital when He stood later before Pharaoh to speak for the “I AM.” The Israelites not only learned some important life lessons in their forty years of wilderness wanderings – they had time to learn them over and over again.
Think about Noah, do you suspect that after those forty days and nights of water pouring from the heavens or gushing from the depths of the earth that he ever again doubted the promise, protection or provision of God? Even Christ’s forty days in the desert with the devil set the stage for the greatest ministry that the world has ever known. That’s why I believe that if you’ll consciously and conscientiously and consistently spend time alone with God and His Word over these next forty days you will develop a discipline that will be an eternal blessing to your life. And, my prayer is that these forty devotional thoughts will encourage and enhance your time alone with God.
These devotions were first published on my personal blog at bradwhitt.com. Many were later acknowledged by the administrators at SBCToday.com as being among the top devotional blog posts of the week. They felt that these devotions were not only biblically accurate, but practically applicable to everyday life.
My prayer is that these verses and thoughts will help turn your attention to God’s Word and turn your heart more toward Him. As you spend more time with God and His Word, I trust that you will be refreshed and renewed and find the strength and encouragement to live the life He died for you to have.
Here are some of the benefits you can look forward to as you become rooted in Christ:
Stability. People who are deeply rooted will withstand the storms of life. They are like the wise man that built his house on a rock. They are not shaken by the storms of life. They are not “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Ephesians 4:14).
Continual nourishment. Rooted people have a deep source of spiritual nourishment which continually feeds them. They are like a tree, planted by the streams of water which bears its fruit in season (Psalm 1).
Joy. Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full”( John 15:10–11). The happiest people on the planet are people who are rooted in Christ.
Fruitfulness. Rooted plants are fruit-bearing plants. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Jesus didn’t say we would be even more fruitful if we abide in Christ. He said that without Christ we can do nothing. Rooted in Christ, we will bear much fruit. It is an all or nothing deal.
Peace. There is peace in knowing that your roots go down deep. There is peace in knowing you can withstand every drought and storm. “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). The Bible describes it as a peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4.6, 7).
Assurance of our salvation. God’s will for every believer is that you have absolute confidence in your salvation. God wants you to know that you will go to Heaven when you die. Rooted people know. They don’t just hope; they know.
Spiritual growth. You can’t grow up unless your roots go down. Only rooted people grow. “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:17–19).
Purpose. When our roots go down deep, we discover why God put us here. We discover that “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). We discover what good works God has prepared in advance for us to do. There is nothing like living life on purpose. Only rooted people know this joy.
Being rooted has many benefits: stability, continual nourishment, joy, fruitfulness, peace, assurance of salvation, and purpose. How do we become rooted?