Category Archives: Hope

Realization

TODAY’S VERSE
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you.
John 14:20 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
A realization is different than assuming something. You can think you “know” how difficult something may be and later explain, “I never realized how much work it was really going to be!” Knowing can be academic or theoretical whereas realization is experiential knowledge. True realization is an awakening. It is an “aha” moment. We can “know” all about Christ, but realizing His presence is something totally different. Jesus is explaining that because He rose again from the dead, we should realize that He is equal with God the Father. Jesus is also saying that because we believe He has a special relationship to God the Father, we should likewise realize that He has a special relationship with us. As God the Father is “in” Jesus, Jesus is “in” us. Here is the crux of the matter. When are we going to start living as if the Almighty God of the Universe is living in us? When are we going to realize all that is ours in Christ? It is not too late. Today, meditate on God’s love for you and His desire to live in and through you. Ask Him to help you realize what that should mean to you and the way you live.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank you for your presence in my life. Thank You for making me Your child. I pray that today I may come into a full realization of what it means to have You alive in me.
AMEN

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Inner Strength

TODAY’S VERSE
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. – And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. – Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.
Ephesians 3:16, 18-19 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
How many times a day could you use strength? Pulled in every direction, we live under a lot of stress. Life can be difficult and so many times we feel too weak to do anything about it. Paul knew what weakness was. He knew what struggles and trial were like and so out of this great empathy he prayed for the church in Ephesus to have the same thing that got him through each day. He prayed that God would empower each one of the people with inner strength. Not just any inner strength. Not some false hope build on some slogan or certain steps to follow. No, Paul was encouraging you and me to build our inner-strength on knowing “how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is.” It is experiencing this great love that makes us complete. It is knowing God’s love in a deep and personal way that gives us all the fullness of life and power that He has available for us. Today come to God. Ask Him to reveal to you how truly great His love for you really is. As He does, you will experience all the inner strength you need.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, give me the inner strength that comes from understanding Your great love. Help me draw upon all the power that You have available for me this day. I pray this in Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Patience and Endurance

TODAY’S VERSE
Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.
Colossians 1:11

TODAY’S THOUGHT
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul admonishes the Christians to “live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.” He then tells them how. He says to exercise “great endurance and patience.” Endurance and patience please God. This is a lot easier when there is hope. When things seem to be going our way it is easy to endure. It is during difficult situations where all seems lost, where hope is nowhere to be found, that we must trust God and be strengthened in a way that only He can do. We come to Him, with all His glorious might, and choose to deliberately be patient and endure. It is an act of faith, one that is pleasing to Him. Today, trust God and His power, put your situation into His hands and choose to be patient and endure.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Father, help me trust in Your power and might and exhibit patience and endurance today in all I do.
AMEN

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Really Knowing God

TODAY’S VERSE
I know the greatness of the Lord.
Psalms 135:5 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever tried to describe the Grand Canyon to someone who hasn’t been there? Pictures help. Your descriptions can get them excited. However, nothing can beat being there. Until they stand on one of the rims and look across the grand expanse for themselves, they will not know its majesty. It is the same way with today’s passage. David writes, “I know the greatness of the Lord.” This was a first-hand, observational knowledge. He knew the greatest of the Lord because He had seen the Lord in action. This was experiential knowledge. He knew the greatness of the Lord because he spent quiet time with Him. This was relational knowledge. David knew the Lord! Because of this, he stepped out in faith trusting God for all his needs. Today, don’t just settle for head knowledge about God. Stop and know the greatness of the Lord!

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, help me to know You. Help me know Your greatness. Might Your Holy Spirit lead me into a deeper knowledge of You.
AMEN

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Comfort

TODAY’S VERSE
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.
II Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We all live with stress. There is pressure from all sides. Relationships, finances, health, how do we get any relief? Where can we go to get help? Paul knew. He wrote, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” Paul knew about God’s compassion. He also knew God’s comfort. Often it is hard to find comfort in difficult situations. Will God answer our prayer? Will we find the answer we seek? Will He act supernaturally on our behalf? We don’t know all the variables, we have a limited grasp of the situation and we can’t always explain the way things turn out, but we can count on one thing. God will comfort us! He will, in His great compassion, visit us and bring comfort to our heart that is supernatural. More than that, God will orchestrate many of His followers to comfort us as well. That is His plan. When we are comforted by His grace and mercy, God wants us to go and comfort others that He brings our way. We are to comfort others in the same way we were helped. Today, bring your burdens to the Lord. Let Him comfort you. And when He does, go with the same compassion He had and comfort someone else.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I pray that You, in all Your compassion, would comfort me in my struggles. And as You do, I ask that You bring people into my life that I could comfort in return. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Overwhelmed

Overwhelmed

TODAY’S VERSE
I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed, you alone know the way I should turn.
Psalms 142:1-3 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever felt overwhelmed? I talk to people every day that feel that way. Divorce, hunger, disease, addictions, homelessness, debt, trauma, every day people come to our church for help. And it should be that way. The church is God’s representative on earth. We should be telling everyone that God deeply cares about their personal affairs. David knew this. He was overwhelmed with life and all the challenges it had for him, yet he knew he could turn to the Lord. He cried out to God and pleaded for mercy. And God listened. Jeremiah attests to this. In Lamentations 3:22-24 Jeremiah writes, “The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning.” What an overwhelming truth. God’s faithful love NEVER ends, and His mercies NEVER cease. I can’t even begin to get my brain around that. And the beauty is, every morning I wake up, God is there, with all His love and mercy waiting for me. Today, when you need to, cry out to God. Pour out your complaints to Him. Tell Him all about your troubles. He has a brand-new days’ worth of mercy and love waiting for you.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I am so glad I can come before You and share all my burdens. I am so grateful for Your mercy and faithfulness. Thank You that they never cease but are new every morning. Praise You, Lord.
AMEN

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Oblivious To God’s Grace

TODAY’S VERSE
From his abundance, we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:16-17 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Every time I visit Southern California, I am overwhelmed by the number of people I meet there that seem to be oblivious to the fact that they live in paradise. All around them are the mountains, sun, and surf but they don’t see it. All they see is the everyday struggles of life. It is like that with God’s grace. We can get so bogged down with life that we don’t see all the grace that God has brought into our life. Not so with the Apostle John. Instead, John starts out his Gospel with an overwhelming appreciation for the grace that God has for us. He writes that we have all received grace from God manifested in “one gracious blessing after another.” He introduces this manifesto of grace in contrast to the Law that was given through Moses. Moses gave us the law but Jesus gave us God’s grace. This grace was manifested in God’s unfailing love and faithfulness toward us through the death and resurrection of Christ. What about you? How is your life? Are you experiencing God’s, unfailing love? Are you aware of His many blessings? Do you appreciate His faithfulness toward you? Or have you been like the person walking a few miles from the beach, totally unaware of all its beauty and serenity? Today, stop and take the time to be conscious of God’s many blessings given to you. Rejoice in His wonderful grace and faithfulness.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, forgive me for taking Your love and faithfulness for granted. Thank You for Your unfailing love and grace toward me.
AMEN

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