Thistlebend Quiet eMoment

by Laurie Aker

Focus Scripture: Luke 8:1-3 ESV

1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages,
proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God.
And the twelve were with him,  
2 and also some women who had been healed  
of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene,  
from whom seven demons had gone out,  
3 and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s household manager,
and Susanna, and many others,  
who provided for them out of their means.

Jesus came proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God to all.

He came to the brokenhearted,
to the downcast, to the demon possessed,
to those society overlooked or looked down upon.
No one was too lowly for Jesus.

Are you downcast?
Are you discouraged?
Are you depressed?

Take heart.
We have hope because of Him!
Preach and proclaim this beautiful good news to yourself.


Jesus has brought good news–
you no longer need to live in poverty of spirit.
Proclaim the good news to your soul!
Jesus will continue to bind up your broken heart —

He is your beloved.
When your heart is breaking,
proclaim the good news to your soul!Jesus has released you from captivity and opened the prison —
you no longer have to live bound in sin under condemnation.
When you are under the accusation of the enemy
and the criticism of the world,
proclaim the good news to your soul!
He will comfort you whenever you mourn–
He has given you “a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that [you] may be called [an oak] of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified”
(Isaiah 61:3).

You no longer need to walk in despair or discouragement.
Proclaim the good news to your soul!

Remember that He is your salvation.

Psalm 147:3
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Luke 19:10
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.

Matthew 11:28
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden,  
and I will give you rest.

Confess your sin of not remembering the Good News.


Write out the following verse from Luke 8 and recite it 3 times.
Take it with you throughout the day.

1 Soon afterward he went on through cities and villages,
proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God.


Father, I confess my sin of not remembering the Good News.
Please help me see your love for me and your great forgiveness
so that I might proclaim to all the Good News
of the kingdom of God in all that I do.

In His hands for His glory,


by Scott Kaczorowski

One of my favorite parts of eating chocolate is the milk. Now don’t get me wrong– I am not a great milk fan. You won’t find me rushing into the refrigerator on a hot day (or any other day) to chug a chug of milk. In fact, as far as beverage preferences go, it is more towards the bottom of my list. I would much rather have water, soda, juice, coffee, or tea (not necessarily in that order!). I’ll have it in cereal, but I just about never drink the stuff straight up. Unless I’m eating chocolate. For whatever reason, there is something in chocolate that creates a deep desire in me for milk. Craving might even be the right word to describe it. That moment comes when half-eaten brownie in hand my palate starts to scream that otherwise unusual statement, “I want milk!” And I love that moment when the milk hits my mouth and I am refreshed and satisfied. The other night it made me think of David’s words: “My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food…” (Psalm 63:5). How wonderful to be satisfied in God the way we are satisfied in good food.

As far as my relationship with milk goes, it is an interesting experience to have something that does not usually appeal at all become so desired and so satisfying. But maybe you feel about God the way that I usually feel about milk. You know that it’s good for you. You know that is has lots of vitamin D. You may even have rattling around in your head what the commercials have been telling you for years it does for your body–good. Similarly, you know that God is great and all glorious and completely and totally satisfying. But if you were honest with yourself, you really would rather have soda.

Of course the analogy breaks down because in the case of milk I genuinely believe that the problem is not with me. I am sure that many would beg to differ, but according to my taste buds, milk really is quite inferior as a straight up drink. But not so with God! If we are not satisfied in God it’s not because of any problem with God. It’s because in our natural selves our spiritual taste buds are too dead to relish what is really satisfying.1 We are spiritually like the guy who would rather eat roach infested dirt out of a garbage can than enjoy the most succulent steak dinner.

But there is hope. Just like chocolate produces a craving for milk, so the Lord is able to stir up in us a deep desire for Himself. That He then satisfies.  In a similar (though not identical) vein, Jonathan Edwards wrote:

The sanctifying influence of the Spirit of God rectifies the taste of the soul, whereby it savors those things that are of God, and naturally relishes and delights in those things that are holy and agreeable to God’s mind, and like one of a distinguishing taste, chooses those things that are good and wholesome, and rejects those things that are evil; for the sanctified ear tries words, and the sanctified heart tries actions, as the mouth tastes meat.2

May we be satisfied in Him as with fat and rich food. May He produce in us a craving for Himself and then satiate it. Like that glass of milk. Only better.

“Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Peter 2:2-3).

1I probably owe the concept of appreciating what is really satisfying to another writer and/or speaker (most likely John Piper) but the taste buds analogy is my own.
2Jonathan Edwards, The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume 4: The Great Awakening, ed. C. C. Goen (New Have: Yale University Press, 1972), 437.

by Steve Fuller

Where To Find Comfort

Two weeks ago I had a small stroke, which affected some of my peripheral vision.

This trial is small compared to what many people experience.  But it’s big to me, because  it now takes a bit more effort to read and write and do other everyday tasks.

As a result, I’ve been feeling some grief over this loss.  So where can I find comfort?

It Could Have Been Worse

At times like this, we often seek comfort by saying “it could have been worse.”  And in my case, it certainly could have been worse.

Strokes can destroy thinking, speaking, walking, and life itself.  But I’m still alive.  I can think, speak, and walk.  All I’ve lost is a bit of my peripheral vision.

So a few days ago,  when I was feeling low, I thought about how my stroke could have been much worse than it was.

This did bring me some comfort.  When I compared my loss to the losses many experience — I felt a little better.

But at the same time, I started to see some problems with this approach.

But It’s Right To Thank God

Not that I should be ungrateful that God spared me worse losses.  I am deeply grateful.

I thank God that I can still think, write, speak, and walk.  I thank God for another day to live for his glory here on earth.

But even though I thank God that it was not worse, I no longer seek comfort in the fact that it was not worse.

Here are four reasons why –

First — The “It Could Have Been Worse” Approach Is Not In God’s Word

I might be wrong, but I can’t think of any place where Scripture comforts us in our trials by telling us they could have been worse.

Scripture does comfort us in our trials by reminding us that they increase our hope in God (Romans 5:3-4), bring us a greater experience of Christ’s power (2 Corinthians 12:9-10),  purify us to receive more praise and glory in heaven (1 Peter 1:6-7),and produce more joy in Christ’s glory forever (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

So why not focus on the way Scripture gives us comfort?

Second — The “It Could Have Been Worse” Approach Does Not Give Lasting Comfort

I want a source of comfort that will always be there; that I can always rely upon.

But if my comfort today rests in how I can still think and talk and walk, then what happens if one day I can’t do these activities?  On that day I’ll have no comfort.

That’s why, again and again, Scripture urges us to find our comfort in the solid rock of Christ himself.  Every trial is a gift of more of Christ’s presence (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).  So the comfort he promises me in himself today, will also be the comfort I can experience in him tomorrow — no matter what the trial.

As the hymn says, “On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.”

And here’s another problem –

Third — The “It Could Have Been Worse” Approach Will Not Help Everyone

Imagine a church small group comforting a stroke victim with the fact that it could have been worse, because he can still walk.

But what if another person in the group had a stroke that took away his ability to walk.  Where will he find comfort?

That’s why it’s best if the group urges each other to find comfort for every trial in beholding Christ’s glory — because then everyone will be comforted in every trial.

Fourth — The “It Could Have Been Worse” Approach Distracts Us From Christ

I wrote a post about why we should bless God if he takes things from us.  I said that God only takes something like my peripheral vision in order to give me the infinitely more satisfying joy of beholding Christ now and forever.

I said it was like someone taking 100 dollars from you in order to give you a million.  You would definitely bless their name.

So if someone took 100 dollars from you and gave you a million in exchange, where would you seek your comfort?  Would you seek it in the fact that it could have been worse — and they could have taken 200 or 300 dollars?

Not a chance.  You’d seek all your comfort in enjoying the million dollars he gave you.

So don’t seek comfort in how your trials it could have been worse.  Seek your comfort in seeing and feeling the all-satisfying joy of beholding Christ’s glory — now and forever.

Enjoy the million dollars.


This article has been reposted from the Living by Faith Blog.  The original article may be accessed here.