Devotionals by Dr. Stephen Davey

Choosing Your Response

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. - James 1:2–4
 
Speaking from his experience as a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, Dr. Viktor Frankl made the profound statement, “Everything can be taken from a human being but one thing: the freedom to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstance.” 
 
James would agree. In fact, he unapologetically challenges our attitude during difficult days and makes the rather startling announcement that we actually choose the perspective of joy. The word for joy refers to a settled acceptance. It isn’t the joy of happy times, balloons, and butterflies.  It’s deeper—faith-anchored . . . spirit-surrendered acceptance of trials.
 
Put another way: you can’t choose your crosses . . . but you can choose your responses.
 
I can’t think of a better illustration than Old Testament patriarch Joseph. By the world’s reckoning, he had every reason to grow bitter and angry, living with a constant grudge because of the  injustice of his brothers. They had taken him away from his father and sold him into slavery; he was falsely accused of rape and thrown into prison. 
 
But when he was finally released from prison two years later, he wasn’t glaring at the guards or cursing God. Instead, we see him in Genesis 41 emerge with greater faith and humility. How? He believed that God had orchestrated everything according to His plan. He wasn’t able to choose his cross, but he could choose his response.  
 
Howard Hendricks illustrated this in a story of his losing a game of checkers to a veteran champion:
 
The game started out well for him. After a few moves, his opponent put one of his checkers in the line of fire and said, “Jump me.” Hendricks did, scooping the piece triumphantly off the board. A few moves later, the same thing happened again. Hendricks happily took another piece from his opponent. But then the table was turned. The old man picked up one of his checkers and skipped down the board, jumping four of Hendricks’ pieces at one time, and said, “Crown me!” That was the beginning of the end for Hendricks.
 
After telling this story, Dr. Hendricks went on to say that no good checker player minds losing an occasional piece—and he can do it with joy—so long as he knows he’s heading for a crown.
 
Likewise, we can choose the perspective of joy as we lose earthly things, clinging to the promise of our future which will include glorious things. No matter what you’re going through today, will you choose to respond with joy, acceptance, and trust? 
 
Trials are here on purpose for a purpose . . . and there’s a crown just ahead.
 
Prayer Point: In what way are you suffering today? Remember that Christ understands what it is to suffer, as well. He knows the pain of rejection, persecution, misunderstanding, injustice and, even, death. So as you cast your cares upon Him today, remember to thank Him for being able and willing to bear your burdens as He shepherds you along His chosen path.
 
Extra Refreshment: Read the reminder in 1 Peter 2 how Christ set the ultimate example for us in His own time of trial.

Holiday or Holy Day?

Every week we join with our local congregations to sing songs, hear sermons, and serve in diverse ministries, but why do we meet on Sunday instead of the Sabbath? More importantly, why do we even need to meet at all? In this message, Stephen takes us all the way back to Exodus 19 to give us the answer.

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About Wisdom for the Heart

Wisdom for the Heart is an international Bible-teaching ministry based on the sermons of Dr. Stephen Davey. The broadcast Wisdom for the Heart is heard on more than 300 radio stations throughout the United States, as well as transmitted to the Middle East (Arabic), Europe (English), Latin America (Spanish), and Africa (Swahili).

 

About Dr. Stephen Davey

Stephen Davey is the son of missionary parents and was raised to love Christ, His Church, and His Word. In his last year of high school, Stephen committed his life to serving Christ and prepared for a life of servant-leadership at Liberty University, Tennessee Temple University, Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary, and Dallas Theological Seminary.

Following graduation from Dallas Seminary in 1986, Stephen and Marsha trusted Christ for His provision and moved with their infant twin sons to Cary, NC, to plant Colonial Baptist Church. From the beginning, Stephen preached verse-by-verse, while Marsha created the nursery and children’s programs. In those early days, word of this new church’s commitment to Bible exposition spread rapidly around town, and the fellowship was soon overflowing with attendees.

After worshipping in a school for six years, Colonial moved into its first building, located on seven acres. Within a year, the church not only outgrew its first building but the entire master plan. Nine years later Colonial moved to its present location on forty acres, where several buildings have been designed to maximize outreach, discipleship, community, and worship. The church family currently engages in more than 100 ministries carried out by several thousand volunteers and led by an excellent, Christ-honoring administrative support team and pastoral staff. Their united global vision remains front and center as the Word of God continues to be expounded — and applied.

Stephen also serves as the president of Shepherds Theological Seminary, a young and exciting seminary which has already earned accreditation with TRACS and associate membership status with ATS. With an outstanding faculty and growing student body, Shepherds currently meets on the beautiful campus of Colonial. Stephen enjoys interacting with the students, as well as teaching Pastoral Theology and Creative Bible Teaching.

As the Bible teacher of Wisdom for the Heart, Stephen takes the message of the Gospel around the world. Spanish programming is currently broadcast on 90 radio stations and can be heard throughout Central and South America, reaching an estimated 70 million people. The people have responded hungrily to the teaching of God’s Word.

The Arabic translations are being aired on stations located throughout the Middle East, covering much of Iraq, Kurdistan, Jerusalem, Jordan, and Palestine, reaching an estimated 10 million listeners daily in their own language. In the Middle East, there are 300 million Muslims who need to hear the Gospel.

Swahili is now reaching a potential African audience of more than 50 million listeners. Like the Arab world, spiritual darkness encompasses daily life. Most of the 180 million who use Swahili daily are Muslim; life is governed by Islamic tradition and the teachings of the Koran.

Print and audio resources are available in book and transcript form, CDs, MP3s, and podcasts. Everything Stephen has preached throughout his ministry is now available at no charge in transcript and audio formats at wisdomonline.org. We are praising God for the things He has done—and the things He is doing!

Stephen and Marsha have been married 31 years and have been blessed with twin sons Benjamin [wife Caroline], and Seth; daughters Candace and Charity.

Contact Wisdom for the Heart with Dr. Stephen Davey

Mailing Address
Wisdom for the Heart
PO Box 5729
Cary, NC 27512
 
Toll-free Phone
1-866-48-BIBLE
(1-866-482-4253)