Category Archives: Hope

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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His Grace Is Enough

TODAY’S VERSE
Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.
II Corinthians 12:9 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Sometimes it is hard to hang on. Tragic news, delayed answers, unfulfilled dreams, disappointing outcomes; it is easy to get discouraged. But God knows what we are going through. He invites us to share our cares with Him. We can call upon God’s great love, goodness, and mercy to sustain us. Even Jesus knew what it was to throw Himself at the mercy of God. When facing His eminent torturous death, He cried out to His father, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” And though He died, God’s grace never left Him. The Father took the cup of death from Him when He rose from the dead. What is it you need relief from? What has you down and discouraged? What is it that seems so overwhelming? Bring it to Jesus. Lay your burden at the foot of the cross and hear Jesus say to you, what He said to Paul, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” Might you find His grace enough for you today.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that no matter what my circumstances, You promise that Your grace will be sufficient for me. Your wisdom will guide me. Your love will embrace me and draw me to Your side. I choose to live my life today in that reality. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Give Away Your Hope

TODAY’S VERSE
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
I Peter 3:15 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Hope is a precious commodity. You can live without a lot of things but it is hard to live this life without hope. Solomon wrote, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick!” How true that is. The opposite is true too. Hope makes the heart peaceful. Hope, in the resurrection power of Christ, enables us to overcome obstacles that hinder us. With hope in God’s love and faithfulness, we can look beyond adversity. But with hope, comes responsibility. It would be wrong to have a warehouse full of food and not let those that are starving have some. Likewise, to have hope and not show others how to have the same hope, would be unconscionable. For that reason, Peter tells us to, “be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.” So where is your hope today? Is it in the living God? Are you feeling secure even when the pressure is on? If so, ask God to bring people to you that will ask about your hope. And when He does, ask God to help you present to them the reason you have hope in Christ.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You for the hope that I find in You. You are my hope and I want to tell others about You. Give me the courage and strength to give an answer to every person that asks me where my hope comes from.
AMEN

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Holding On

TODAY’S VERSE
Since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Holding on. Have you ever felt like that’s all you can do? Things are out of control. You are not sure what to do? The question is, “What do you hang on to?” The author of Hebrews says that we should “hold firmly to the faith we profess.” But this is not some “blind” faith. Instead, we hold on to a faith that is in a God who cares and empathizes with our situation. Jesus knows what it is to be human, to suffer, to be tempted, to be abandoned, beaten, and killed. He also knows how to love unconditionally, to forgive every imaginable sin, to be tempted and not give in, and to rise from the dead. Is it no wonder that the author gives one of the most incredible pieces of advice ever given? He writes, “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence.” He is suggesting that you can come boldly right into the presence of God without the worry of repercussion. And what will you get when you enter right into the very presence of God? He promises that you will receive mercy and find grace to help you in your time of need. So today, when you feel anxious or worried, hold on! If you find yourself alone and depressed, hold on! If everything you hear is negative and panic sets in, hold on! If you become angry and bitterness starts to fester, hold on! Hold on to His mercy and grace; they will never fail.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I come to You and hold on today. I thank You that You are the great High Priest that never sinned but became the perfect sacrifice for my sin. I place my faith in You, dear Father, and come to Your throne of grace with confidence. Thank You for Your mercy and grace that is always there in my time of need.
AMEN

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Forgive Yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! — Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Romans 7:24-25, 8:1

TODAY’S THOUGHT
No condemnation. That was something hard for me to understand. For whatever reason, I wrestled with God’s love and acceptance. It was easier to condemn myself than to feel forgiven. Just recently I was leading a group in a “forgiveness” exercise. As we were making a list of those who have offended us, I mentioned that one person we may need to forgive is ourselves. During the meditation time, I reflected on things I have regretted. Things I had done or not done. Things I had sought forgiveness for from those I offended. There I sat, still feeling a sense of guilt and shame. But at that moment, the Holy Spirit prompted me to “forgive myself”. With deep conviction, I told God how sorry I was for each offense and then began the process of “forgiving myself”. One by one, I decided to take myself off the hook, to let go of the guilt and shame and accept the forgiveness, not that I deserved, but that is offered freely to those in Christ Jesus. How about you? Are there things that you need to forgive yourself for? Things that you have long since asked forgiveness for, but still plague you? Today let yourself off the hook. Quit defining yourself by things God has already forgotten. Forgive yourself the way Christ does. “There is now no condemnation”. Christ believes that about you. Will you?

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for Your amazing love, mercy, and grace. I thank You that there is no condemnation to those that know You as Savior.
I thank You for the forgiveness that You have extended to me. Help me to extend the same forgiveness to myself. In Jesus Name’.
AMEN

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Which Way Do I Go?

TODAY’S VERSE
Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
Psalms 77:19-20 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Life’s pathways are not always smooth. There are many times when the terrain is rough at best. What do we do then? Thank God He is the one who promised to get us through to the other side. In today’s passage, we see that God was able to lead the Israelites through what seemed to be an impossible pathway. The Jews had left Egypt and were heading to the promised land when they ran smack into the Red Sea. I am sure that many of the people wondered what kind of path God had led them on. But the scriptures are clear; God had led them on a road that went through the Red Sea, a path that ran through the mighty waters. It was a road no one but God knew was there. He offers the same to us. He is the great shepherd. He is the one who can make our crooked paths straight. He is the one who turned the Red Sea into dry ground. So, what terrain are you on? What is your path like? Is it steep, full of sharp rocks, high cliffs, and loose footing? Does it take you through dark forests and thorny underbrush? There was a song we sung as little children that you can take comfort in. It said, “My God knows the way through the wilderness. All I have to do is follow.” Today, choose to trust God. Follow Him. He has a path you know nothing about. He is the Great Shepherd; He will get you home.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know the journey I am on. You know the path I am following. Please guide me, Lord. Help me know which way to go. You are the Great Shepherd, be my shepherd today I pray.
AMEN

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Say, “No” To Anxiety

TODAY’S VERSE
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Anxiety can ruin a day. Most of our anxiety centers around something terrible we think will happen. Of course, this would make anyone anxious; but the truth is that most of the time the terrible things we think will happen, don’t! That is the dilemma. We believe so many lies. No wonder Jesus said that the truth would set us free. So what is our definition of terrible? Basically, it is something that we think will be more than we could ever endure. It is a frightful dread. It is beyond human endurance, worst than anything we can imagine. According to William Backus in his book, “Telling Yourself the Truth,” there are four areas of anxiety. They are Fear of losing someone’s love. Fear of making someone angry or upset. Fear of public embarrassment. Fear of pain and death. Now Jesus comes along and says, “Don’t let your heart be troubled.” Paul writes, “Do not be anxious about ANYTHING!” Backus suggests that you can minimize your fears until you see them for what they are, lies, and do not be anxious. So, today realize that you have a choice and choose not to be anxious. Today believe the truth that you can trust God and choose not to be anxious. Today when anxiety comes, know that the terrible dread that it conjures up is a lie and follow Paul’s instruction, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I give You my anxious heart. Forgive me for believing so many lies. Help me change my core beliefs and bring them in line with Your word. Today I choose faith and bring all my anxieties to You.
AMEN

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