Category Archives: happiness

God’s Plans

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.
Psalms 138:8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
One of the all-time favorite passages in the scriptures was written by Jeremiah. It has brought comfort to millions upon millions of people over the centuries. Jeremiah wrote, ‘“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”’ We love to think of God taking a personal interest in our life and directing us along a plan that He has for us. Today’s verse is a reminder of that truth. David wrote that the Lord would work the plans that He had for David’s life. Why? Because God’s plans come out of His great love for us and David had concluded that God’s faithful love toward him, would never cease. God’s has loving plans for you. And His plans will endure any calamity, any seemingly human mistakes, and any personal hardships. God’s love for you will endure forever. Today, put your trust in God. He has plans for you now on this earth and forever in the next.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for your faithful love for me. I trust You to work Your Your plans for my life. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Thankfulness

TODAY’S VERSE
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6

TODAY’S THOUGHT
There is a difference between appreciation and thankfulness. When we appreciate something, it gives us a good feeling. Whereas appreciation is an inward expression of gratitude, thankfulness is an outward expression. It is relational. You show gratitude and give thanks to what has caused your appreciation. Giving thanks opens your heart toward a deeper relationship. It is that way with God. Paul wrote that we shouldn’t worry about anything but let worry be a cue to pray about everything instead. We do this by telling God what we need and expressing thankfulness to Him for all He has done. Paul writes that the result of this gratitude toward God is the ability to experience God’s peace in ways we cannot even imagine. This peace guards our emotions and our thinking as we live out our relationship with Him. So today, show God gratitude. Be thankful and delight in Him. Make it a habit, and it will change your life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for all You have done for me. I am deeply grateful and full of appreciation for Your wondrous love for me. Fill me with Your peace and protect my heart and my mind. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Perfect Love

TODAY’S VERSE
I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel.
Psalm 73:22-24 NIV

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We tend to have a bias that causes us to see ourselves better than we are. We think we are more intelligent and better than reality will attest. We are always the exception. We’re the one that won’t suffer the consequences of our behavior. No wonder Paul told us, “Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves.” Why all this pretense? Why can’t we be honest with ourselves? Fear plays a huge part. We are afraid to be our real self. We know nothing of unconditional love. But Asaph, the person that wrote today’s verse, knew. He was able to admit to God how horrible he had been acting and at the same time experience the deep love that God had for Him. The Apostle John said it best when he wrote,’ Perfect love casts out all fear!” Today, open your eyes. You can go ahead and see yourself with all your flaws, all your needs, all your humanness. God does, and He still sent Christ to die for you. Accept and embrace His love for the real you today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, thank You for Your unconditional love for me. Thank You that You accept me for who I am. Help me to see myself the way You do. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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ENcouragement

TODAY’S VERSE
But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us.
II Corinthians 7:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to become discouraged. Finances, health, relationships, career, family all of them can present us with tremendous challenges and ample opportunity for discouragement. The good news is that there is someone bigger than our situation. Paul knew it. He writes, “When we arrived in Macedonia, there was no rest for us. We faced conflict from every direction, with battles on the outside and fear on the inside.” And then he adds the phrase that changes everything. He writes, “But God.” It doesn’t get any better than that. He writes, “But God who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us.” In this case, God did it through the arrival of Titus to minister with Paul. I don’t know how God will do it for you, but today you have the God who encourages the discouraged. Watch for it; let Him encourage you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, You are the great encourager. I pray that in Your own marvelous way, You would encourage my heart today. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

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Our Deepest Longings

TODAY’S VERSE
His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.
Acts 17:27-28 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
God’s purpose has always been that we fellowship with Him. He has built us with what Anne Halley calls our “Core longings for love, security, understanding, purpose, significance, and belonging.” We all need to have these fulfilled. And we can when we fellowship with God. The people of Athens were searching for truth. They had a temple filled with a multitude of gods, and yet they asked Paul to come and share about Jesus. Paul’s message cut to the heart and exposed their deepest longings. He shared that in God we, “live and move and exist.” It is coming to God, fellowshipping in His presence, feeling safe enough to be vulnerable, and expose our lack of fulfillment that He can fill the deep core longings of our heart. We must come to God and move toward Him. When we do, He hears and meets our need for love, security, understanding, purpose, significance, and belonging. Today, come to Him, fellowship with Him. As Paul said, “He is not far from any one of us.” Bring Him the deep longings of your heart and find your place in Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, I come today and lay before You my deepest longings for love, security, understanding, purpose, significance, and belonging. Thank You that in Jesus Christ, all my longings are met. Come fill my heart and help me live, move and exist in You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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No Condemnation

TODAY’S VERSE
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Romans 8:1 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It seems that we all have an “inner critic.” If we slowed down our thoughts, we would hear a constant flow of negative chatter berating us, feeding our low self-esteem, causing us to fear and doubt the unconditional love of God. Where does this cynical, ruthless and disrespectful voice come from? It comes from a variety of places. It could be a strict and legalistic upbringing. It could result from an inner belief that we are no good, someone who should constantly live in shame. Perhaps it is the result of false guilt that cannot accept that we are forgiven. It could come from the demonic forces that constantly accuse and challenge our spirituality. No one knew more about the inner critic than the Apostle Paul. Having just written, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” Paul knew what it was to feel condemnation. He knew the depravity of his situation, and yet he could say unequivocally that it would be “Jesus Christ our Lord!” that would free him from his sense of sin and shame. Paul would then finish this chapter with this affirmation, “Indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Today, don’t believe something about yourself that God doesn’t. Don’t wallow in the negative ranting of an inner critic. Instead, renounce the lie that you are no good and condemned and pronounce the truth, “There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, how I thank You that I am forgiven and accepted by You. Help me to know deep in my heart that there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
AMEN

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Accepting his love

TODAY’S VERSE
But I am trusting you, O LORD, saying, “You are my God!” – In your unfailing love, rescue me.
Psalms 31:14, 16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Accepting salvation is an act of faith. It is the result of repenting and receiving Christ’s sacrifice for us. We accept His sacrifice for us, but that doesn’t mean we have totally accepted His love. It is possible for you to cry out to God for mercy and forgiveness of sins and yet never fully experience deep in your heart that you are unconditionally loved. You believe He loves you in your head, but you just can’t grasp it with your heart. Perhaps it is a low feeling of self-worth that cannot sense the supernatural love that Christ has for you. In the book “True Faced” the authors write, “When we on the basis of trust receive God’s perfect love for us, it pushes away our fear and teaches us to embrace the love that heals our wounds. – Trusting God frees our hearts to experience his safe, constant, intimate sufficiency. – When we receive love, when we are loved, we feel fulfilled. Love completely satisfies our longings, ambitions, and potential. God, the ultimate fulfiller, invites us to trust Him.” Today stop and trust God. Put your complete faith in the fact that when He says He loves you, He truly loves you! Let His unconditional love sink deep into your heart.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your salvation. Help me go deeper. Help me trust You and accept deep in my heart the true love You have for me.
AMEN

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sing

TODAY’S VERSE
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.
Psalms 40:3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We can tell people about God, or we can share with them about the God that has made a difference in our life! As we experience the love and power of Christ, the more a song will well up inside our hearts! A song we cannot help but sing. A chorus, like the Psalmist, says, that will cause people to see what God has done in our life and amaze them. More than that, they, too, will trust in God for their own needs. This is what happened to the small town where the “woman at the well” lived. After her encounter with Jesus, her heart was so filled with hope that she ran home and told everyone. She said, “Come and listen, all you who fear God; let me tell you what he has done for me.” The Bible records that many of the people came from the town to meet Jesus. Many trusted in Him as their Savior. People today are dying for lack of a genuine song, a song that will meet the deepest needs of their soul. God has put you and me here on earth to sing about our experience with our King of Glory. When we do, other people, just like us, will put their trust in the Lord.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for the song You have put in my heart. Help me share with others all the wonderful things You have done for me.
AMEN

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No Burden

TODAY’S VERSE
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”
Matthew 11:28 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
I love this passage. The Lord bids us come and rest. How different is that? It is the complete opposite of striving. You know, striving to “earn” God’s love, or worst, “keep it” as if God is some fickle tyrant. Nothing could be farther from the heart of God. Jesus knew we would be weary and carry heavy burdens. It is part of living in this world. But He never meant that living for God would be the cause of the burden. No, He said if we would take His teachings and live them, we would find rest for our soul. In “Desiring God’s Will” Dr. David Benner writes, “Hearing the invitation, everything within me wants to draw near and receive the gift of love that Jesus represents – not out of obligation but out of a soul-aching desire. And each time I do, my heart is slowly but progressively more aligned with the heart of God – God’s desires becoming my desires and God’s will becoming my will.” So today, quit trying to earn His love. You already have it. Don’t strive to please Him so He won’t abandon You; he will never leave you. Today, rest in His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for not believing You. Forgive me for making a mockery out of Your unconditional love for me. Thank You that your love for me is real, I don’t have to earn it, it is not a burden. Help me rest in your love today.
AMEN

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What Do You See?

TODAY’S VERSE
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What do you see? A lot of it depends on what you are looking through. Each of us comes to the Scriptures with different lenses. We see through our experiences, beliefs, senses, and personality. So although scripture is true, we may have a skewed view of it. For example, in today’s verse, what do you believe? When you close your eyes, do you see God as a mighty one who will save you? Or do you have some doubts as to His ability or desire? Do you see God as rejoicing over you with gladness? Is He exulting over you with loud singing? Is He ecstatic in His love for you? Or do you have a hard time feeling like a recipient of that kind of attention from God? Finally, can you picture God quieting you with His love? Does the very thought of God bring peace to your heart? God’s word is true, but unless you read it and challenge your emotional thinking, you will not align your real beliefs with God’s. Today, ask God to help make His word clear to you and start to see what He has for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, as I read Your word, help me to see what You really want me to see and to believe it with all of my heart. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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