About Sandra Bivens Smith

Christian Writer. Speaker. Small Group Leader/Teacher

The Secret of the Quiet Heart

“Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalms 46:10)

Let us seek the quiet heart in our prayers. Prayer must arise within us as a fountain from unknown depths. But we must leave it to God to answer in His own wisest way. We are so impatient, and think that God does not answer. A child asked God for fine weather on her birthday, and it rained! Some one said, “God didn’t answer your prayer.” “Oh yes,” she replied, “He did, God always answers, but He said No!” God always answers! He never fails! Be still! If we abide in Him, and He abides in us, we ask what we will, and it is done. As a sound may dislodge an avalanche, so the prayer of faith sets in motion the power of God.

In times of difficulty—be still! Your enemies are plotting your overthrow! They laugh at your strong confidence! But have you not heard His voice saying: “This is the way, walk in it”? Then leave Him to deal with your foes from whatever quarter they come. He is your Rock, and rocks do not shake. He is your High Tower, and a high tower cannot be flooded. You need mercy, and to Him belongs mercy. Do not run here and there in panic! Just quietly wait, hushing your soul, as He did the fears of His friends on the eve of Gethsemane and Calvary. “Rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him.” “Be still, for He will not rest, until He has finished the thing this day.”

Adapted from F.B. Myer’s “Our Daily Walk” devotional.


Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,
Philippians 1:27

The word “conversation” does not merely mean our talk and converse with one another, but the whole course of our life and behaviour in the world. The Greek word signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: and thus we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be such as becomes the gospel of Christ.

What sort of conversation is this? In the first place, the gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behaviour, that simplicity which is the very soul of beauty.

The gospel is pre-eminently true, it is gold without dross; and the Christian’s life will be lustreless and valueless without the jewel of truth. The gospel is a very fearless gospel, it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not: we must be equally faithful and unflinching.

Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts.

But the gospel is also very gentle. Mark this spirit in its Founder: “a bruised reed he will not break.” Some professors are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and acts. The gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ’s last command to his disciples was, “Love one another.” O for more real, hearty union and love to all the saints; for more tender compassion towards the souls of the worst and vilest of men!

We must not forget that the gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: it pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the gospel, we must shun, not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ.

For his sake, for our own sakes, and for the sakes of others, we must strive day by day to let our conversation be more in accordance with his gospel.

Adapted from “Morning and Evening” devotional by C.H. Spurgeon

God’s Triumph

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. -Matthew 6:13

IN THE midst of this babel of varying voices there has never been wanting the cry of the Church: “‘Thine is the Kingdom!” The rule of men is Christ’s by right, but as Absalom made himself king in opposition to David, so has Satan made himself the prince of this world in opposition to Christ. Our earth is the scene of a great revolt under the leadership of Satan, but Christ is the rightful King of men for all that. His Kingdom is spreading from heart to heart, and ere long the prince of this world shall be cast out, and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Christ is Lord. Everyone will then say: “Thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the glory!” But it is our privilege to say it now—when appearances seem all against it; now, when the usurper’s power is so strong!

It is not enough, however, to say it in general, we must say it in particular. We must say to Christ our Lord, as the men of Israel said to Gideon: “Rule Thou over us, for Thou hast delivered us.”

But after a time wealth vanishes, the tongue is paralyzed, the mind decays, and so we learn that we have no inherent power.

“Thine is the power.” The millionaire says: “Mine is the power of money”; the orator, mine is the power of moving crowds by speech; the author, mine is the power of written words and songs; the scientist claims, mine is the power of extracting the secrets of nature. But after a time wealth vanishes, the tongue is paralyzed, the mind decays, and so we learn that we have no inherent power. Visions of what is good, and the desire to do it, come to us, but how to perform, that is the difficulty, and we cry: “Give me power for service, over myself, power to live righteously, soberly, and godly in this present world.” And in answer there comes this word of the ascended Lord: “All power is given unto Me in heaven and on earth”; and as we catch the words, we answer thus: “Thine is the power.” It is Thine that it may be mine!

“Thine is the glory.” Let us live out the spirit of this prayer. When anyone praises us for some excellence or achievement in life or character, let us never forget to look up to Him and say: “Thine is the glory.” Let us so live that men may be arrested by the radiance of our characters, that they may say: “How glorious must the Christ be who has made these so fair,” and be constrained to follow Him.


Help us, O God, to enthrone Christ in our hearts, that having glorified Him, we may receive His Spirit as rivers of living water. AMEN.

From“Our Daily Walk” by F.B. Meyer. A series of devotions on The Lord’s Prayer.

God’s Deliverance

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” — Matthew 6:13

OUR LORD couples His own prayer with ours when He says, pray: “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” We remember that He was led into the wilderness by the Spirit, that He might be tempted, and that “in all points” He was tempted like as we are, though in His case there was no sin. It is wonderful to know that by some marvellous oneness of nature the Son of God Himself pursued the dreaded track of temptation.

And while we have this moral nature which links us, upon the one hand, to the eternal Christ, our Captain, who has gone through the same ordeal, we are also linked to every other man, woman, and child the world over. For, though we might suppose that there were such diversities of life that some might be secure of an immunity from temptation, yet a closer inspection of our common lot reveals the fact that it is inevitable to us all.

Temptation creeps into the sick-chamber equally as into the heyday of our health. It finds its way into the seclusion of the student even as it dogs the steps of the man of the world doing his business. It comes to the minister, with its tendency to elation or despondency, as well as to the criminal; to the poor as well as to the rich. There is no life, however guarded, that is not exposed to the blast and sirocco of temptation. Therefore we utter this prayer as one—”as.”

But let us take heart! Remember it is the Father to whom this prayer is addressed. He made us, and knows just what we can stand; He loves us, and His tender succour is always by our side. He draws near, saying, “I am with you in this dark valley, and am able to make you stand; I would not have brought you here had I not counted the cost. I am able to be a very present help in this time of trouble. I have carried others through this ordeal, and I can carry you; only keep near my side; look away from the tempter to my face; cease to trust yourself and depend absolutely upon Me, and I, who brought you to this testing-place, will lead you out. Be of good cheer! See, there awaits you the crown which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give to each soldier who has stood true to Him in the hour of trial, and you could not get that if you did not bear this. It is because I want you to win that I am giving you the chance of this hard fight.”


Father, be it so; my heart and my flesh fail, but Thou art the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Forbid that we should be overcome with evil, help us to overcome evil with good. AMEN.

From“Our Daily Walk” by F.B. Meyer. A series of devotions on The Lord’s Prayer.

Sunday Morning Hymn

“Great is Thy Faithfulness”
Thomas Chisholm

Great is thy faithfulness, O God my Father,
there is no shadow of turning with thee.
Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not;
as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be.

Great is thy faithfulness!
Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
all I have needed thy hand hath provided.
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!

Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
join with all nature in manifold witness
to thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love. [Refrain]

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside! [Refrain]

Thomas Chisholm, the author of “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” and 1200 other poems was born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1866, and he lived a pretty unremarkable life: he worked as a school teacher, a newspaper editor, and insurance agent, then he retired and spent his remaining days at the Methodist Home for the Aged in New Jersey. Unlike many hymns that have heart-wrenching stories behind them (for instance “It Is Well With My Soul”), “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is inspired by the simple realization that God is at work in our lives on a daily basis. He wrote, “My income has not been large at any time due to impaired health in the earlier years which has followed me on until now. Although I must not fail to record here the unfailing faithfulness of a covenant-keeping God and that He has given me many wonderful displays of His providing care, for which I am filled with astonishing gratefulness.” The hymn reminds us that God doesn’t only work in dramatic or miraculous ways, but also in simple, everyday ways. It also reminds us that Jesus has never failed us in the past, so we have no reason to doubt his faithfulness in the future.

Saturday Morning Time Out

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:20)

It is well that there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life.

O my soul, set not your affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures, but set your heart upon him who abides forever faithful to you. Build not your house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world, but found your hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure.

Trust all your concerns with Him who never can be taken from you, who will never leave you, and who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever.” “Behold, I am with you always,” is enough for my soul to live upon, though all others forsake me.

Adapted from “Morning and Evening” a devotion by C. H. Spurgeon

God’s Forgiveness

And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. (Luke 11:4)

FORGIVENESS Is the exclusive prerogative of Christianity. The schools of ancient morality had four cardinal virtues—justice in human relations; prudence in the direction of affairs; fortitude in bearing trouble or sorrow; temperance or self-restraint. But they knew nothing of mercy or forgiveness, which is not natural to the human heart. Forgiveness is an exotic, which Christ brought with Him from Heaven. As long as He abode on earth, He forgave, and He left it as an injunction and example that His people were to forgive even as they had been forgiven.

Our Lord does not mean that God’s forgiveness is measured by our own, or that our forgiveness is the cause of God’s. Neither of these is the true rendering of this clause; but that God cannot forgive an unforgiving spirit. The only sure index that our contrition and penitence are genuine is that we forgive those who have wronged us. If we do not forgive, it proves that we have never attained that true position of soul before God in which He is able to forgive.

How is it with you? Do you forgive? Or are there men and women that you obstinately refuse to forgive? If there are, it shows that your own soul is not right before God; your love to God is gauged by your love to men; your relationship to God is indicated by your relationship to your fellows. The man who does not love the brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. Discover where you are to-day. If there is anyone in your life that you refuse to pray for and forgive, know that your heart is wrong with God.

Do the first thing, begin to pray for them, and say: “Forgive us—that one who has hurt me, that man who has wronged me; he needs forgiveness, but I need it equally. We are both in the wrong. I might have made it easier for him to do right than I have done.” Second, ask for the opportunity to meet him. Third, claim that when you meet, there may be in you the royalty of God’s grace, that you may bear yourself with that rare, gracious love which covers the multitude of sins. Be willing that through your lips God’s pitying mercy may pass forth in words of human kindness and tenderness.


Forgive us, we pray Thee; put away our sin, as far as the east is from the west. Remember it no more, cast it behind Thee as into the depths of the sea. May we be kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ has forgiven us. AMEN.

From“Our Daily Walk” by F.B. Meyer. A series of devotions on The Lord’s Prayer.