Category Archives: Anxiety

No Shame

TODAY’S VERSE
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
Psalms 3:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Shame. You know the drill. You drop your head and roll it down and away. As your shoulders slump, you let out a deep sigh. You talk, but it is without eye contact, constantly fighting looking down and away again. It is worse than a feeling of guilt. With guilt, you can confess your wrongdoing. Shame is deeper. It isn’t about “doing,” it’s about “being.” How do you repent of being something you are so ashamed of? How can you renew something so broken, so damaged, so worthless? Shame, more than an emotion, is a deeply worn brain map, a trait, a feeling that you are totally unworthy. But then there is God. God, who comes and lifts your head and whispers deep into your soul, “Don’t call what I have created, worthless.” God, whose love for you can soften the calloused skin around your heart and begin to birth new life. God who bestows glory on you. Our Lord God is the shame slayer. Today, let Him lift your head. And when He does, gaze into His face. Feel the glory He has given you. Let it radiate deep into your soul and believe. Believe you are loved. Believe that you were created for His glory and that your shame is a lie, a false belief, a shame given to you by others. Let Him tenderly lift your head and take away your shame.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I have felt such a deep sense of shame. I bring it to you today and ask You to banish it. Lift my head and let me see Your face. Let Your deep love penetrate my heart and set me free. Today, let me see myself the way You do. In Jesus’ Name.
AMEN

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Never Abandoned

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD will not abandon his people – for it has pleased the LORD to make you his very own people.
I Samuel 12:22 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I don’t know how it could be any clearer, yet if you struggle, as I have, with issues of shame and abandonment, this verse will seem like some vague concept you can’t quite get your thoughts around. However, I have come to believe that even in the most fearful of us, the Lord can meet us, open our eyes to the truth, and give us hope and peace. “The Lord will not abandon His people.” Don’t just read these words, feel them. Drop your guard, relax your shoulders, take a deep breath, and as you exhale slowly, let the emotion of this tremendous promise sink deep into your chest: “God, our Father, will not abandon you.” And if that is not enough, hear the author say, “It has pleased the Lord to make you His very own people.” And that you are! Today, know deep in your heart, “You are God’s child, and He will never, never, never abandon you.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, forgive me for my fear that you will abandon me and a lack of trust in Your love. I renounce this, Lord. Today, I accept the fact that it pleased You to make me Your child and that you will never leave me. I praise You, Lord, for this.
AMEN

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Unforgiveness

TODAY’S VERSE
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
Proverbs 28:13 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a price to pay for concealing our sins. A guilty conscious can lead to a downward spiral of fear, anger, or shame. Unforgiveness can result in a bitter and hardened heart toward God. Soon we find ourselves ignoring the tug of the Holy Spirit calling us to repentance. But for many of us, the thought of our sins is terrifying. Fear of abandonment; the need to please others; a deep sense of shame keeps us in denial. We rationalize our behavior; we minimize its significance; we blame others. We call it everything we can but sin. So we slowly die, day by day, our sins are hidden. At least from ourselves. Is the person that is in denial about their behavior fooling anyone? Is the one that is acting out in anger in danger of being mistaken for a saint? There is a way out. We need to lean on the love of God. We need to know that He will never leave us or turn His back on us. When we really know the love of God, then we trust Him and can ask Him to point out our sins. He will bring about a conviction. His Spirit will lead us to confess our sins to God and turn from them. Why, because we will know we will receive His mercy. Today, talk to God. Ask Him to point out any sin in Your life. When He does, confess it to God and receive His mercy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, show me my sins. I give You my fear and shame. I trust in Your love for me and do not want to be in any more denial. Show me my hidden sins so I can confess them in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Your Deepest Cares

TODAY’S VERSE
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
I Peter 5:7 (AMP)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Why is it we feel we need to minimize our pain? Where did we get the idea that we would become a burden to God? How did we come to believe that it is unspiritual to admit that we have been a victim of something awful? Abuse, violence, the death of a loved one, divorce, an unfortunate accident, incarceration, war. God cares when we have suffered as a result of something being done to us. And God cares when we have suffered from trauma as the result of something not happening. When love, safety, and security from those we trust are missing, we get trauma in the form of abandonment, unfaithfulness, embezzlement, betrayal, gossip, or neglect. And to pretend that we are not affected, and everything is okay is to only add to the damage that is already left in trauma’s wake. It is not spiritual to “tough it out.” It is spiritual to be healed. Peter is pleading with us to cast all of our cares onto Jesus. His whole book speaks about the suffering of Jesus and how He understands our suffering. And here, Peter assures us that Jesus “cares for you.” He cares for you with deep affection. Today, bring your pain to Jesus. Tell Him about your trauma. Ask Him to give you strength, forgiveness, peace, and a deep understanding of love. Ask Him to heal your broken heart; heal your deep wounds of grief and anger. Bring all of your cares. Cast them on Him and leave them there.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You. I come to You with all my burden, all my cares. You know my pain. You know my suffering. I bring it all to You. Heal my hurts. Heal my heart. Return me to joy, I pray.
AMEN

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Bring It To God

TODAY’S VERSE
After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, he went up to the LORD’s Temple and spread it out before the LORD. And Hezekiah prayed.
II Kings 19:14-15 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
When you get bad news, what do you do? King Hezekiah was the King of Judah. The King of Assyria was mounting a campaign against the Jews, and God told Hezekiah not to worry, that He would take care of the nation. But with the same ploy that Satan used against Adam and Eve, the King of Assyria’s messenger told King Hezekiah, “Don’t let your God, in whom you trust, deceive you.” Satan’s strategy is to get us to doubt God. God loves you, don’t believe it. God will provide your needs; don’t believe it. God cares, don’t believe it. But I love Hezekiah’s response. After Hezekiah received the letter from the messengers and read it, “he went up to the LORD’s Temple and spread it out before the LORD and prayed.” There is no better plan. There is nothing I could ever say that would be better than to take all your burdens, take all your cares, take all of your worries, and spread them out before God. Today, find a quiet place and meet with Him. Lay everything out before Him and pray. Talk to Him. Share your pain with Him. Listen to Him; let Him share with you His love and the truth about your situation. Take comfort in this; you are not deceived; you can trust God.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You with all my worries and cares. I lay them before You. I trust You, dear Lord. Comfort me. Guide me. Protect me, I pray. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Faith Not Fear

TODAY’S VERSE
“If only we had died in Egypt, or even here in the wilderness!” they complained. “Why is the LORD taking us to this country only to have us die in battle? Our wives and our little ones will be carried off as plunder! Wouldn’t it be better for us to return to Egypt?”
Numbers 14:2-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Faith is not easy. Here is a classic struggle where the children of God expected one thing and ended up with something else. They left Egypt, where they were slaves, hoping for a land of their own. And now, because of the report of “giants in the land,” they were afraid for their lives. All they could think of was returning to slavery! Isn’t that just like fear? All we can see is negativity. But not faith. Faith sees God; fear sees giants. Faith sees freedom; fear sees slavery. Faith sees the promised land; fear sees a wilderness. While the other spies saw giants in the land, Joshua and Caleb said, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the LORD is pleased with us, he will bring us safely into that land and give it to us. It is a rich land flowing with milk and honey.” The people reacted in fear; Joshua and Caleb reacted in faith. Today, no matter what your circumstances, choose faith.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to see through the eyes of faith. Help me to trust You and not fear. Give me courage and strength, I pray.
AMEN

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What’s The Use?

TODAY’S VERSE
What’s the use of serving God? What have we gained by obeying his commands or by trying to show the LORD of Heaven’s Armies that we are sorry for our sins?
Malachi 3:14 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever been disappointed? Has it ever seemed like everything was going wrong, and God seemed nowhere in sight? Sure it has. We all go through these “dark nights of the soul.” The question arises, “What’s the use of serving God?” “What good is living the life He wants me to?” It is in these times that we reflect and pray for perspective. We come to God and ask for wisdom and mercy as we work through our faith. The Israelites didn’t. Instead, the questions they were asking were rhetorical. They were really saying, “It is no use in following God. We haven’t gained anything from serving Him.” They were bitter and cynical about life. And that is where we will be if we don’t remember all that we have gained from knowing Christ. What have we gained? We have gained forgiveness, unconditional love, freedom from our sins, forgiveness, direction, provision, meaning, purpose, a relationship with Him, the filling of the Holy Spirit, everything good in our life. What have we gained? How about a second, third, and hundredth chance, a do-over, a new life, a new Father, a new eternal home? Today, don’t let cynicism get the best of you. Answer the question, “What’s the use of serving God” by considering all the ways you have been blessed.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, how I praise You for Your love and mercy. How I thank You for your provision. Help me today to remember all You have done for me.
AMEN

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Protect My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily.
Hebrews 3:12-13 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is so easy for our hearts to wander. Temptation, disappointment, deferred hope, loss, heartache, lust, greed, anger, jealousy, Spiritual apathy, and isolation are just some of the ways that our hearts can become sinful and unbelieving. We must do all we can in order not to be deceived and lose heart. Paul shares three ways to protect our hearts. He writes, “Fix your thoughts on Jesus.” Fixing our thoughts on Jesus will keep us from “heart” failure. He will help keep our hearts at peace and joy. In Philippians, Paul writes, “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Here we see that the protection of our heart starts with our head. We need to fix our thoughts on Jesus and those things that build us up. In today’s verse, Paul gives another way to protect our hearts. He writes, “Encourage one another daily.” Isolation can be a “kiss of death” to our hearts. We get alone in our pity party, and soon we find ourselves self-feeling hopeless, alone, and unbelieving. Instead, we need to fellowship with others. Today, find a friend and share your thoughts. Let them encourage you, pray for you, and help you with your burden. You can then do the same for someone else. Whatever else you do today, protect your heart!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for the times I allow my heart to become sinful and unbelieving. Help me to fix my thoughts on Jesus and those things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Help me to seek the fellowship of others that can, in turn, help me and encourage me. Lord, protect my heart, I pray. In Jesus Name.
AMEN

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Fear Not

TODAY’S VERSE
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:1-2

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get overwhelmed by life’s struggles. We begin to worry and lose our focus. We become overwhelmed and reach out in inappropriate ways to relieve the stress we have built up in our minds. Anxiety and worry are like that. Even though the majority of what we worry about will never happen, we obsess on the negative and soon are out of control with fear. But God has a better way. Instead of worry and fear, we can choose to trust Him. Isaiah tells us to “fear not” because God has redeemed us and summoned us by name. We do not need to fear because God offers us a deep personal relationship with Him. He promises us that when we “pass through the waters,” He will be with us. God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us! So today when you start to worry, when you start to feel things are out of control, remember that God has not left you. He has not forsaken you. When you feel the pressures of the day build up stress and you are tempted to give up, remember He knows you by name, you are His. He has promised that when you go through difficulties, He will be with you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me not to fear. Help me not to worry. Instead, help me to remember that You will never leave me or forsake me. Thank You that You know me by name and that no matter what I go through today, You will be with me.
AMEN
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Strength Of My Heart

TODAY’S VERSE
My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.
Psalms 73:26 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Asaph, the author of this Psalm, was a bitter man. He was envious of the wealthy and upset at his demise. He was consumed at what he thought was unfair about life. But then he came to his senses. He writes, “Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant”. How many have we times have we felt the same way? But who says life is fair?” Where in the Bible does it say everything in life is going to be grand? Where does it say that we will be spared from pain and heartache? Fortunately, Asaph awoke from his bitterness with the realization of what really mattered. He wrote, “Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.” Asaph realized what was the most important thing in life. He said it all in today’s passage, “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” It is the strength of the heart that comes from knowing God that matters. Paul said it this way, “Nothing can separate us from the love of God.” Our circumstances may crumble, our bodies fail, our enthusiasm all but gone, yet God will never, never, never leave us or forsake us. The strength of our heart from His abiding presence will remain with us forever.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to truly understand what it is to have You as the strength of my heart. Help me treasure Your relationship above all else. Thank You for loving me and being my strength forever.
AMEN

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