Category Archives: Strength

Overcoming Fear

TODAY’S VERSE
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
II Timothy 1:7 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We often think of fear as the reaction to scary events, like the screams in a horror movie. But some of our most fearful behavior is often hidden from us. Many people who are living daily in fear aren’t even aware of it. In “Surrender To Love” Dr. Benner writes, “One of the things that block us from gaining freedom from fear is that most fearful people don’t think of themselves as afraid. Unless their fears are focused on something external (such as snakes, heights or crowds), most people in bondage to fear, fail to recognize the true nature of their inner distress. – Although the object of one’s fears may seem to be external, the real source of the fear is internal. The danger is within. The enemy is one’s own self or at least some aspect of their self.” This is what Paul was trying to get across. We are so focused on our behavior we don’t see the motivation behind it. Paul called it a “spirit of fear”. It is this internal pervasive fear that controls what we do. It is spiritual and emotional. Satan is a liar and accuser so he fills our head with fear. Our own experience and belief systems do the rest. If we take most of the fear we have, we will see that it is a fear because of what we think and believe. But today’s passage says that we do not have to live in that kind of fear. Why? Because God has given us something else. He has given us power, love and a sound mind. What an alternative to anything we would dread. Every spirit of fear can be defeated either by God’s power, love or the sound mind He has given us. So today, when you are tempted to act out of fear, remember, there are other options. Give the power, love and the sound mind that God has given you a chance.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, I thank You for not giving me a spirit of fear. Today, I want to live in Your power, love and sound mind that You have given me.
AMEN

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Rest For Your Soul

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
How many times have we qualified for this passage of scripture? Difficulties in life can get us all down. Relationships, finances, worries about the future, guilt over the past. There are so many contributors to the stress we find ourselves under. Jesus knew what it was to be under duress. He felt the fatigue from endless ministry. He grew exasperated over the religious controversy surrounding His ministry. And yet with all the pressures and temptations, He was under, the Bible made it clear that He did not sin. Who better to come to for rest when we are weary? Today Jesus offers you relief. He knows you are weary and often carry heavy burdens. He says, “Come and I will give you rest.”

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, You know how often I am weary and heavy burdened. You promised if I came to You that You would give me rest. I come, Lord Jesus, I come to You with all my burdens. Please give me peace and rest to my soul today.
AMEN

Pursuing You

TODAY’S VERSE
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.
Psalms 23:6 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Psalms 23 is perhaps the most popular passage in the Bible. Parts like, “Though I walk through the shadow of death I will fear no evil” make it a favorite at funerals. At the end of the chapter, there is a glorious verse. Usually, it reads, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” It sounds so poetic but do we really understand the meaning? Today’s passage says it in a slightly different way, a way that really brings out the true meaning. It reads, “Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life.” See the difference? It is not some passive “following”. It is not a result of any good we have done. Instead, it says that God “pursues” us with His unfailing love and goodness. Not just temporarily, but all the days of our lives! He pursues you. If you ignore Him, He pursues. If you take Him for granted, He pursues. Even if you turn your back on Him, His unfailing love and goodness pursue you. Today, live in the joy that God is pursuing you with His love.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Oh Father, thank You for Your pursuing me with Your unfailing love and goodness. Today, help me live in the joy of that reality.
AMEN

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You Are Valuable

TODAY’S VERSE
So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Matthew 10:31 (NLT)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We are valuable to God! Why is it that I wrestle with that so much? Why can’t I accept the fact that God’s love defines my value, not my performance, material belongings or status? I have value because God says I do! It is the lack of believing in our value that causes us to create a false self. In “The Deeper Journey”, M. Robert Mulholland Jr. writes, “As our false self manages our life, we fear that we might not be valued. If our false self’s identity is rooted in our performance, then our value must be rooted in how well we perform. – To the extent our false self guides our life, we fear others. Life with others is a constant threat to our false self. – Others are constant threats to that fragile structure we have created to provide ourselves with identity, meaning, value and purpose.” Jesus came to declare how valuable we are. He would not have wasted His life and died the horrible death He did for something of little value. No, He came to redeem the most valuable thing to Him in the whole universe, the human race. Today, know that you are loved by God. Know that you are valued by Him.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, thank You that You love me and created me with value. Might the thought that I am valuable to You change my life today and set me free from the fear and bondage of trying to earn Your love. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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Self-Compassion

TODAY’S VERSE
The Lord does not ignore me or belittle me when I come to Him suffering and am needy. He never turns His back on me. Instead, He listens to my cry for help!
Psalm 22:24

TODAY’S THOUGHT
We need to rebuild our concept of ourselves. Because God is compassionate toward us, we also need to learn to be compassionate toward ourselves. But beware—self-compassion is not easy for someone who is shame-based. It is difficult to grasp the concept, but it can be done. It takes practice. It takes self-awareness, intentional correction of our negative thinking, and consistent intake of affirmations to keep us in the practice of thinking about ourselves in completely new ways. We can’t just say it. We must drive it deeply into our psyches so that we feel it. Our body and emotions need to become believers. We need to come against the lies about ourselves; we need to resist the emotional triggers that will cause us to slip back into shame, thinking about what we should have done and self-loathing. It takes the power of the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, and fellowship with other believers to truly grasp and practice the new reality. Today, love yourself the way God loves you. Walk in that freedom.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father God, thank you for your love and compassion toward me. Help me be compassionate toward myself the way You are. Help me love myself so I, in turn, can love You and others from a truly joyful heart. In Jesus’ name.
Amen

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Fear No More

TODAY’S VERSE
I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Fear comes in different shapes and sizes. To be sure, there are full-blown phobias and crippling fears that can interrupt our life; but for most of us, fear is more insidious. Fears of rejection, insignificance, and abandonment may not interrupt our life but they can sure influence the way we think and act. You see, our thoughts, motives, and behaviors are constantly shaped by either faith or fear. The Psalmist found the secret. He said that if we seek the Lord, He will deliver us from all our fears. Turn on the light of faith and the darkness of fear will dissipate. Decide to seek God today. Move away from fear, toward faith.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, I want to trade my fears for faith. Today, when fear comes to my attention, I will seek You. I will seek You with all of my heart. Thank You that You promise to deliver me.
AMEN

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I Am Slipping

TODAY’S VERSE
When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.
Psalms 94:18-19

TODAY’S THOUGHT
Have you ever lost your footing? My son Nathan did. I went rock climbing a small rock with my two oldest boys. Nathan was climbing above me. He was almost to the top of our little climb when his foot slipped. I was below on a ledge and as he came sliding down the face, I was able to catch him. We hugged and I helped him back up where he completed the climb. I went with him the whole way. I don’t know who was more scared, Nathan or me. I love my son and did everything I could to stop him from getting hurt. Our feet slip, don’t they? Everyday anxiety, pressure, and the complexities of life assault us and knock us off balance. The good news is that we have a Father waiting to catch us and help us back up the trail.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, when my feet slip, I am so thankful for Your help and support. When I am troubled today, I ask that You would make me conscious of Your presence and bring a deep joy to my soul.
AMEN

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Don’t Fool Yourself

TODAY’S VERSE
So get rid of all immoral behavior and all the wicked things you do. Humbly accept the word that God has placed in you. This word can save you. Do what God’s word says. Don’t merely listen to it, or you will fool yourselves.
James 1:21-22 (GW)

TODAY’S THOUGHT
With today’s multitasking world it is hard to focus on anything for more than five minutes. Interruptions have become a fact of life. There are emergencies, just-in-time deadlines, and we make judgments on the fly and hope that they stick. Well, if we are going to make it spiritually, we have to be intentional. It isn’t good enough to hear the Bible, a verse here, a sermon there. We need to know the Word of God. And then, most importantly, we need to do it. Start today; make a commitment to study the Bible and apply it to your life.

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Holy Spirit, I know that it is Your joy to help me learn the Word of God and apply it to my life. I invite You to be my teacher, guide and mentor. Please help me start today to make the Bible a priority in my life. In Jesus’ name.
AMEN

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