Category Archives: Hope

True Happiness

TODAY’S VERSE
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
Psalms 1:1-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We spend so much of our time looking for happiness. We are searching for that one thing that will solve all our problems and bring us into a constant state of contentment. How many times have we thought, “If I just win the Lotto?”; “If I had a certain job”; “If I just looked different”. Fill in your own blank. We seem to look everywhere for lasting joy and yet it is right in front of us. In the very first chapter of Psalms, David writes about the secret to joy. He says it’s not found in the counsel of the ungodly, but rather real joy comes when we delight in God’s word and meditate on what He says. David Benner, in his book, “The Gift Of Being Yourself” writes, “Everything that is false about us arises from our belief that our deepest happiness will come from living life our way, not God’s way. Although we may say we want to trust God and surrender to his will, deep down we doubt that God is really capable of securing our happiness.” Is that how you feel? What is your reaction when you read, “But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do?” Do you believe God will bless you and give you deep joy by living according to His word or do you doubt that God is really capable of securing your happiness? You can’t believe both. Today, choose to follow God’s word and begin to meditate on it and apply it to your life. As you do, you will find joy.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your word. I ask that you teach me and guide me through reading and meditating on what Your Holy Word has to say. Help me find happiness, joy and true meaning in You.
AMEN

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God’s Presence

TODAY’S VERSE
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple.
Psalms 27:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
It is easy to get in a rut and seek second best. It can be that way in our Christian experience. We get trapped seeking the “results” of knowing “about” God instead of joy and peace of “knowing” God. We turn our Christian walk into ritual, behaviors, and experiences that bring us some sort of security that all is well, instead of knowing Him and the peace that He can give. Larry Crabb in his book “The Pressure’s Off” writes, “You, therefore, live with uncertainty and pressure, and you demand to know the way to live that will make your life work as you want. You maneuver; you do not trust. You negotiate; you do not worship. You analyze and interpret to gain control over what happens; you do not depend. You seek the better life of God’s blessings over the better hope of God’s presence.” Today might we seek to know and enjoy God’s presence over anything else.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I have sought Your blessings more than Your presence. I have sought what I can gain from knowing about You instead of knowing You. Help me, Father, Your presence is the blessing I seek.
AMEN

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Emotional Healing

TODAY’S VERSE
Save me, O God, for the floodwaters are up to my neck. Deeper and deeper I sink into the mire; I can’t find a foothold. I am in deep water, and the floods overwhelm me. I am exhausted from crying for help; my throat is parched. My eyes are swollen with weeping, waiting for my God to help me.” – “Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged. For the LORD hears the cries of the needy.
Psalms 69: 1-3, 32-33 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all go through struggles and hard times. Life is not fair. There are times of sadness, despair, and regret. The Psalmist paints a picture of someone trapped in an emotional downward spiral. Everything seems overwhelming and yet, in the end, they were able to say that there is an encouragement in seeking God’s help. Why? Because God hears us. There are two types of trauma that bring the kind of despair that we read in today’s passage. There is the trauma of “not getting what we need” and then there is the trauma of “getting something that we should have never received.” The first is the result of neglect and abandonment, the second from abuse. But the good news is that God hears us in our despair. The better news is that He can help us. The authors of Living From the Heart Jesus Gave You, write, “Life brings each of us inescapable traumas that block maturity. God’s redemptive activity comes to us in two ways: He brings healing to our traumas and adopts us into His family. Both ways boost us through our blocks to maturity, along the way to wholeness. With these boosts, we will be able to live from the hearts He gave us, our true identities will emerge, and our relationships with family and community will be characterized by joy.” Today, praise God for He hears your cries. Rejoice He can heal your emotions!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for hearing my cries. Thank You for Your desire to heal me from my traumas. Thank You for making me part of Your family where I can experience the love and fellowship that will bring me into maturity. I commit myself to You for my complete healing. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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He Will Answer

TODAY’S VERSE
I am praying to you because I know you will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray. Show me your unfailing love in wonderful ways.
Psalms 17:6-8 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Some things only God can do. That is why we need to come to Him. When we do, we need to put our faith in His ability to answer our prayer. In his book, “Living From The Heart”, Dr. James Wilder elaborates, “God is the only one who can ultimately save us, sanctify us and deliver us from evil. – When we let God do His work, things happen rather perfectly. But when we presumptuously take over His territory, things tend to crumble all so quickly.” Today, like David, may we pray to God because we know He will answer. If we do, He will show us “His unfailing love in wonderful ways.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for Your unfailing love. You have shown me it in so many ways. Today, I bring you my needs and all my cares. I come to You because I know You will answer. Your grace is amazing, Your love never-ending, Your power all-sufficient.
AMEN

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Contentment

TODAY’S VERSE
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.
Philippians 4:12 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
These have always been hard verses for me to live. Paul was able to write them with confidence because he poured out his life as a sacrifice for Christ. I look at my life and see so much to improve on. Today, I met someone who exemplified these words in a powerful way. Her name is Onix. She is in her mid-forties and has been in a wheelchair for most of her life. She did not let that stop her from graduating from Moody Bible Institute and becoming a youth leader instructor and gifted Sunday School teacher. She has always been a vibrant witness for Christ. For the last five years, she has needed the help of a ventilator and has been bed-bound with only partial use of her hands. She taught herself how to talk so she could continue to witness for Christ. A few years ago, she started to paint using her mouth to hold the brush. She glows as she talks about what she has learned about God through this and the opportunities she has to share her faith. Her faith is contagious. Her attitude is amazing. I pray that I will be able to pattern my life after her faith. Today, let us thank God for our circumstances. Let us live out the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for complaining. Forgive me for my lack of faith. Help me live content in the fact that I am Your child and You know all about me and my circumstances. Help me to see life through your eyes and trust Your never-ending love for me.
AMEN

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It’s All About Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
What happens? When we first become a Christian, we revel in His forgiveness. We knew that it was only His grace that could ever clean and forgive us from our past sins. And yet as time goes by we get sucked into believing we somehow “earned” His forgiveness. We live as if God’s love was conditional and we were good enough to earn it. Then we begin to feel the pressure to keep us in this “earned salvation” position. So, we begin to play a game of hiding our sins, pretending to be “perfect” instead of perfectly forgiven. The authors in the book, “TrueFaced” write, “As we try to hide the sins we can’t control, we are unwittingly inviting blame, shame, denial, fear, and anger to become our constant companions. A theology of more right, less wrong behavior creates an environment that gives people permission to wear dozens of disguises and masks. It triggers and complicates the chain reaction of unresolved sin, causing us to lose hope.” This thinking leads to us trying to “please” God by trying to be something we aren’t. We play the role of “perfect pleasing Christian” instead of being grateful and trusting God for our full forgiveness. It is our trust in His sacrifice and forgiveness that pleases God, not some sanctimonious pretense of being righteous. It is our trust that in this world God has us in a process of being changed more and more into His likeness. Today, quit performing and trust the love that God has for you. Rejoice that your name is written in the “Lambs Book of Life.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, if you were to judge me according to my sins, I would never be able to sit here, praying in Your presence. Instead, You have lavished Your unconditional love upon me. I am forgiven! I am a new creature. I am loved. Thank You for Your grace. Thank You for my new identity in You. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Trust In God’s Love

TODAY’S VERSE
We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love.
I John 4:16 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Trust is a beautiful word. According to Merriam-Webster, it means, “Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.” Now put the word “trust” with the word “love” and you really have a concept. John did just that. He wrote, “We have put our trust in his love.” When is the last time you put your assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of God’s love? John could have suggested putting trust in God’s strength or His power. How about His wisdom? The truth is, when we get God’s love, we get everything else. We get all of God wrapped in His amazing unconditional love. So today when you are tempted to go to no ends to try to solve everything your own way, when you are slipping into anxious thinking or fearful apprehension, stop and trust in His love. Simply trust in all that He is, loving all that you are.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me today to really put my trust in Your love.
AMEN

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