The God Who Knows

God is Omniscient–all knowing. Nothing that happens in our lives comes as a surprise to Him. Did you know that God is aware of every trial and sorrow that we will face [present and future]? He also knows how we will react to each challenge. It is by faith that we can grasp His promise to never leave or forsake us. And it by faith, that we can have the reassurance that He will bring us through as victorious overcomers.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Prayer: God, we thank you for loving us. We are overwhelmed by the hardships that we are going through and ask you to give us peace while we endure suffering. God, our confidence is in you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

©2021 Sonya Johnson

Biblical Truths and Fake News

My testimony is that I have lived through many life-changing events. Not only did 2020 and 2021 bring a ruthless pathogen to humanity, at 62 y/o, my status changed from married to single. And in January of this year, God told me to move to a city in Florida where I have no friends or family. Did God forsake me? No!

The events that happened in my life resulted in a much closer relationship with God. The peace that God gives is priceless. I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:24. God always answers our prayers. And His answer will always be above and beyond our expectations.

“Lord, I want my faith in you to increase” was my prayer. Not only can I enjoy my new life, but I also have time to have an in-depth study of the Bible every day. I am truly amazed by the treasure map that God has given to us. If you desire a complete understanding of who God is and how we can transform into becoming holy and acceptable to God, pray for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and diligently study the Word of God.

Fact: Through consistent prayer and studying, Satan is defeated. We also gain the confidence of knowing who we are [children of God], and learn to completely depend on God. Our Heavenly Father has promised to never forsake us. Even when we fall deep into sin, all we have to do is confess, repent, and ask for forgiveness. God’s grace and mercies provide us with new beginnings.

Truth: We have the hope and assurance that God will always be faithful. It is up to us to obey. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

Truth: God forgives all of our sins and throws them into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:19

Fake News: Satan will be forgiven if he only asks God for forgiveness. Revelation 20:9

Truth: God can heal you from all past emotional, mental, and physical abuse. Jeremiah 32:27, Psalm 147:3

Fake News: You will need therapy for the rest of your life. Mark 9:29, Psalm 147:3, Luke 17:11-19

Truth: Satan easily deceives us when we do not pray and study the Bible.

Truth: A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. Ephesians 6:10-11

Bible Study: Ephesians 6:10-18

God, we thank you for giving us the Bible. Please forgive our sins and fill us with your Holy Spirit. We desire to know who you are and to live righteously. Thank you for hearing and answering our prayer that we ask in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Running in Times of Distress?

Living Victoriously!

So all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah. They said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow your ways; now appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have. 1 Samuel 8:4-5

Samuel presented the demands of the people to God and prayed for guidance. In verses 10-18, God spoke through Samuel to tell the Nation of Israel the consequences of having a king. They still insisted on doing things their way. But the people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” 1 Samuel 8:19-20

We know how the story ends. Saul was a ruthless, disobedient, and jealous king. He desired to kill David even after God used him to kill Goliath, their worst enemy.

As the troops were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out of all the cities of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs, and with tambourines and other instruments. And as the women danced, they sang out: “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” And Saul was furious and resented this song. “They have ascribed tens of thousands to David,” he said, “but only thousands to me. What more can he have but the kingdom?”…1 Samuel 18:6-8

Then David got up and ran that day from Saul. 1 Samuel 21:10. David, the young shepherd boy that God gave strength to kill lions and bears to protect his sheep and kill Goliath, forgot that God was powerful enough to save him from King Saul.

In times of distress, due to disobedience, trials, or facing our enemies, where or who do we run to? God is our only Deliverer! We easily forget when we face our worst situations that God says, “I am the Lord, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed.” Malachi 3:6. Our gratitude for God’s infinite grace and mercies is not expressed enough through our prayers, praise, and worship. Run to God!

For the choir director: A psalm of David, the servant of the Lord. He sang this song to the Lord on the day the Lord rescued him from all his enemies and Saul. He sang: I love you, Lord; you are my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3

Having complete faith and trust in God enables us to run to God. Never run from the enemy! Have you been confronted by a person who is ready to argue? Are you being victimized in a seemingly hopeless situation? Begin to pray out loud and ask God to reign down His mighty power and take care of your problems. “The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14. Stop running from your enemies, and start running to God!

Bible Study: Psalm 18

God, we ask forgiveness for not running to you. We realize that you are the only ones who can fight our battles. Please rescue us from our enemies who desire to harm us. Thank you for fighting for us. We ask this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission. 

The Challenge

We are 15 months into the pandemic that has impacted our lives like a passing storm or a devastating tsunami. Yet, God has always been here. He never left us alone nor did we have to guess or figure out how to move forward.

If you do not feel that God was there for you, then it’s time to give Him more of you. Studying the Bible provides us with a complete bio of God. We learn of His love, character, and most importantly, God reveals his promises to humanity.

Prayer is our most powerful resource!

God always answers our prayers for forgiveness, grace, to love others, and the strength to make it through the day. But most importantly, God listens intently to our prayers for help! Whether the enemy is attacking us or our basic needs are running out, God is alert! His eyes see all, and his ears are especially tuned-in to the cries, “God, I need your help.”  

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! Isaiah 65:24

The Challenge

“Be still (cease striving) and know (recognize, understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

We have to make sure that we understand the true meaning of “To be still.” Love, faith, trust, obedience, knowledge, and wisdom are the requisites to have a strong bond and loving relationship with God.

Bible Study: 1 Kings 17:7-16

God, we are in the struggle of our lives spiritually and financially. We desperately need your help. We ask for your divine intervention and blessings in our lives. We ask this prayer in the Worthy Name of Jesus. Amen.

© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2021, No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted for commercial purposes without the author’s written permission.

Haven’t you Heard?

Recently I watched a movie about a powerful, affluent person who thought more highly of herself than one should. As she spoke to the other individual, with all of the arrogance, superiority, and pride reflected in her demeanor and tone of voice, she stated, “You must not know who I am?”

I have come to the realization that under most circumstances that adversity causes amnesia. When we experience the trials and hardships of life we often forget who God is. Because if we remembered that God is powerful, merciful, and loves us, why would we become discouraged, anxious, and worried?

“To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” asks the Holy One. Isaiah 40:25

The prophet Isaiah reminds us that we serve a loving, merciful, and powerful God. Yet, we respond to our challenges as if we know nothing about our Heavenly Father.

Studying the Bible provides us with the ongoing knowledge of God’s character. We falter and become despondent because our relationship with God is based on yesterday’s Bible study, or last week’s virtual sermon.

Even so, God always rescues us.

Yes, God is aware that we are weak and He takes action. Because of His unconditional love, He used the prophet Isaiah to provide words of comfort to the Nation of Israel, a disobedient people who did not do their part in serving and worshipping God everyday.

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. Isaiah 40:28

We can easily form the habit of daily worship by making the effort to “just do it.” I can remember the first time that I watched someone use their thumbs to text at a warp speed. I asked myself if it was possible for me to give up my one finger approach to texting. Since our internet service is out in our Texas town, I am writing this devotional using my cell phone typing away with two thumbs. You may think, “how else would you text?” But I can assure you that learning to thumb type as a senior was not an easy accomplishment.

With motivation and determination if we can learn new skills, certainly we can show our love and gratitude to God through consistent study and prayer on a daily basis.

Worship is defined as treating someone with the reverence and adoration appropriate to a deity. And there is no other person or object that deserves our worship but God.

Of all the promises in the Bible, this is my favorite: He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Isaiah 40:29

Haven’t you heard, haven’t you read? Our God is the Almighty and He is Awesome!

Bible Study: Isaiah 40

God, thank you for always reminding us of your love, mercies, and power. We ask you for the strength to do your will. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

© 2021 Sonya Johnson Ruiz

The Seasons will Change

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5

Presently, our small town in Texas is crippled by the bitter, icy winds and the chilling temperatures that have frozen our utilities leaving many without water and electricity. Our streets are layered with a thick coat of ice and adorned with a snowy covering that has turned from snowball quality to a highly dangerous road hazard.

For those who endure far worse winters as a routine way of life, please know that we are not equipped to meet the challenges of icy winter storms. Our county does not have plows or dump trucks filled with a sandy/salty mixture for traction. We barely own clothing that would protect us below a temperature of 40 degrees if we dared to venture outdoors. And did I fail to mention that all cable providers have sent apologies for the outages?

Being from the Northeast, I have endured many harsh winters without blinking an eye. But the brutality of this storm has caused the cessation of all activities with the exception of looking out the windows. As I read, study, crochet, or use my cell phone to stay connected, I console myself that this storm will be over in four to five days. In fact, by next week our temps will be in the 60s.

During my solitude, I figured out a secret to staying content during our winter storm, I know that this storm will not last. There is an end to the harshness that has us at a standstill. If only it was that easy to remain content when I face the seasons of my trials and tribulations. If only my faith was stronger and I believed Romans 8:28, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. There is no other way to grow strong spiritually than to go through trials.

God requires continuous growth. We are not where He needs us to be in our relationship with him. Faith and trust must flourish and until it does, God helps us to reach the mark, the level that pleases Him. Unlike the counterproductive storms, our trials produce: And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5 NKJV

God, we thank you for loving us so much that you help us to build the spiritual qualities that are pleasing to you. We pray for the strength to trust you during the process of changing and growing. In Jesus’ Name, we pray. Amen.

© 2021 Sonya Johnson Ruiz