Worried?

Give your worries to the Lord, and he will take care of you.
He will never let good people down
.
PSALM 55:22 NCV

Because life is sometimes difficult, and because we have understandable fears about the uncertainty of the future, we worry. At times, we may find ourselves fretting over the countless details of everyday life. We may worry about our relationships, our finances, our health, or any number of potential problems, some large and some small.

If you’re a “worrier” by nature, it’s probably time to rethink the way that you think! Perhaps you’ve formed the unfortunate habit of focusing too intently on negative aspects of life while spending too little time counting your blessings. If so, take your worries to God . . . and leave them there. When you do, you’ll learn to worry a little less and to trust God a little more—and that’s as it should be because God is trustworthy, you are protected, and your future can be intensely bright.

Worry is the senseless process of cluttering up tomorrow’s opportunities with leftover problems from today. ~Barbara Johnson

This life of faith, then, consists in just this—being a child in the Father’s house. Let the ways of childish confidence and freedom from care, which so please you and win your heart when you observe your own little ones, teach you what you should be in your attitude toward God. ~Hannah Whitall Smith

Things can be very difficult for us, but nothing is too hard for Him. ~Charles Stanley

Today is mine. Tomorrow is none of my business. If I peer anxiously into the fog of the future, I will strain my spiritual eyes so that I will not see clearly what is required of me now.   ~Elisabeth Elliott

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, You sent Your Son to live as a man on this earth, and You know what it means to be completely human. You understand my worries and my fears, Lord, and You forgive me when I am weak. When my faith begins to wane, help me, Lord, to trust You more. Then, with Your Holy Word on my lips and with the love of Your Son in my heart, let me live courageously, faithfully, prayerfully, and thankfully today and every day. Amen

Out Of Balance?

Grow a wise heart—you’ll do yourself a favor; keep a clear head—you’ll find a good life.
PROVERBS 19:8 MSG

Face facts: life is a delicate balancing act, a tightrope walk with over-commitment on one side and under-commitment on the other. And it’s up to each of us to walk carefully on that rope, not falling prey to pride (which causes us to attempt too much) or to fear (which causes us to attempt too little).

God’s Word promises us the possibility of abundance (John 10:10). And we are far more likely to experience that abundance when we lead balanced lives.

Are you doing too much—or too little? If so, it’s time to have a little chat with God. And if you listen carefully to His instructions, you will strive to achieve a more balanced life, a life that’s right for you and your loved ones. When you do, everybody wins.

We are all created differently. We share a common need to balance the different parts of our lives.   ~Dr. Walt Larimore

It is important that we take time out for ourselves—for relaxation, for refreshment.   ~Ruth Bell Graham

Always remember that we can learn to control our weaknesses through the power of the Holy Spirit and in doing so become well-balanced individuals who cannot be controlled by Satan. ~Joyce Meyer

Does God care about all the responsibilities we have to juggle in our daily lives? Of course. But He cares more that our lives demonstrate balance, the ability to discern what is essential and give ourselves fully to it. ~Penelope  Stokes

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, let me find contentment and balance. Let Your priorities be my priorities, and when I have done my best, give me  the wisdom to place my faith and my trust in You. Amen

In His Hands

Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow;
you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow
.
PROVERBS 27:1 MSG

Because we are saved by a risen Christ, we can have hope for the future, no matter how troublesome our present circumstances may seem. After all, God has promised that we are His throughout eternity. And, He has told us that we must place our hopes in Him.

Of course, we will face disappointments and failures while we are here on earth, but these are only temporary defeats. Of course, this world can be a place of stresses, trials, and tribulations, but when we place our trust in the Giver of all things good, we are secure. God has promised us peace, joy, and eternal life. And God keeps His promises today, tomorrow, and forever.

Are you willing to place your future in the hands of a loving and all-knowing God? Do you trust in the ultimate goodness of His plan for your life? Will you face today’s challenges with optimism and hope? You should. After all, God created you for a very important purpose: His purpose. And you still have important work to do: His work.

Today, as you live in the present and look to the future, remember that God has a plan for you. Act—and believe—accordingly.

That we may not complain of what is, let us see God’s hand in all events; and, that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let us see all events in God’s hand.   ~Matthew Henry

Hoping for a good future without investing in today is like a farmer waiting for a crop without ever planting any seed.   ~John Maxwell

Tomorrow’s history has already been written—at the name of Jesus every knee must bow.   ~Paul E. Kauffman

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, as I look to the future, I will place my trust in You.  If I become discouraged, I will turn to You. If I am weak, I will seek strength in You. You are my Father, and I will place my hope, my trust, and my faith in You. Amen

Saying “Yes” to God

Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you:
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken
.
PSALM 55:22 NASB

Your decision to seek a deeper relationship with God will not remove all problems from your life; to the contrary, it will bring about a series of personal crises as you constantly seek to say “yes” to God although the world encourages you to do otherwise. You live in a world that seeks to snare your attention and lead you away from God. Each time you are tempted to distance yourself from the Creator, you will face a spiritual crisis. A few of these crises may be monumental in scope, but most will be the small, everyday decisions of life. In fact, life here on earth can be seen as one test after another—and with each crisis comes yet another opportunity to grow closer to God . . . or to distance yourself from His plan for your life.

Today, you will face many opportunities to say “yes” to your Creator—and you will also encounter many opportunities to say “no” to Him. Your answers will determine the quality of your day and the direction of your life, so answer carefully . . . very carefully.

Often the trials we mourn are really gateways into the good things we long for.   ~Hannah Whitall Smith

We all go through pain and sorrow, but the presence of God, like a warm, comforting blanket, can shield us and protect us, and allow the deep inner joy to surface, even in the most devastating circumstances.   ~Barbara Johnson

The only way to learn a strong faith is to endure great trials. I have learned my faith by standing firm amid the most severe of tests.   ~George Mueller

Recently I’ve been learning that life comes down to this: God is in everything. Regardless of what difficulties I am experiencing at the moment, or what things aren’t as I would like them to be, I look at the circumstances and say, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?” ~Catherine Marshall

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, when life seems chaotic, remind me of Your love and protection. Difficult times provide opportunities for me to grow closer to You. Thank You for all that this day has to offer. Amen

The Right Priorities

We can’t afford to waste a minute, must not squander these precious daylight hours in frivolity and indulgence, in sleeping around and dissipation, in bickering and grabbing everything in sight. Get out of bed and get dressed!

Don’t loiter and linger, waiting until the very last minute. Dress yourselves in Christ, and be up and about!
ROMANS 13:13-14 MSG

Have you fervently asked God to help prioritize Your life? Have you asked Him for guidance and for the courage to do the things that you know need to be done? If so, then you’re continually inviting your Creator to reveal Himself in a variety of ways. As a follower of Christ, you must do no less.
When you make God’s priorities your priorities, you will receive God’s abundance and His peace. When you make God a full partner in every aspect of your life, He will lead you along the proper path: His path. When you allow God to reign over your heart, He will honor you with spiritual blessings that are simply too numerous to count. So, as you plan for the day ahead, make God’s will your ultimate priority. When you do, every other priority will have a tendency to fall neatly into place.

There were endless demands on Jesus’ time. Still He was able to make that amazing claim of “completing the work you gave me to do. (John 17:4 NIV)   ~Elisabeth Elliot

Getting things accomplished isn’t nearly as important as taking time for love.   ~Janette Oke

Have you prayed about your resources lately? Find out how God wants you to use your time and your money. No matter what it costs, forsake all that is not of God.   ~Kay Arthur

Forgetting your mission leads, inevitably, to getting tangled up in details—details that can take you completely off your path.   ~Laurie Beth Jone

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, make me a person of unwavering commitment to You. Guide me away from the temptations and distractions of this world, so that I might honor You with my thoughts,  my actions, and my prayers. Amen

Beating Stress One Day at a Time

This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
PSALM 118:24 NKJV

Face facts: just getting by in these turbulent times can be stressful . . . very stressful. You live in a world that is brimming with demands, distractions, and deadlines (not to mention temptations, timetables, requirements, and responsibilities). Whew! No wonder you may be stressed.

What can you do in response to the stressors of everyday life? A wonderful place to start is by turning things over to God.

Psalm 118:24 reminds us that this day, like every other, is a glorious gift from the Father. How will you use that gift? Will you celebrate it and use it for His purposes? If so, you’ll discover that when you turn things over to Him—when you allow God to rule over every corner of your life—He will calm your fears and guide your steps.

So today, make sure that you focus on God and upon His will for your life. Then, ask for His help. And remember: No challenge is too great for Him. Not even yours.

Life is strenuous. See that your clock does not run down.   ~Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

There are very few certainties that touch us all in this mortal experience, but one of the absolutes is that we will experience hardship and stress at some point.   ~James Dobson

If you’re willing to repair your life, God is willing to help. If you’re not willing to repair your life, God is willing to wait.   ~Marie T. Freeman

Prescription for a happier and healthier life: resolve to slow down your pace; learn to say no gracefully; resist the temptation to chase after more pleasure, more hobbies, and more social entanglements.   ~James Dobson

TODAY’S PRAYER
Heavenly Father, You never leave or forsake me. Even when I am troubled by the demands of the day, You are always with me, protecting me and encouraging me. Whatever today may bring, I thank You for Your love and Your strength. Let me lean upon You, Father, this day and forever. Amen

The Struggle Against Worldliness

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
ROMANS 12:2 NASB

We live in the world, but we should not worship it—yet at every turn, or so it seems, we are tempted to do otherwise. As Warren Wiersbe correctly observed, “Because the world is deceptive, it is dangerous.”

The 21st-century world we live in is a noisy, stress-filled, distracting place, a place that offers countless temptations and dangers. The world seems to cry, “Worship me with your time, your money, your energy, your thoughts, and your life!” But if we are wise, we won’t fall prey to that temptation.

C. S. Lewis said, “Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in; aim at earth and you will get neither.” That’s good advice. You’re likely to hit what you aim at, so aim high . . . aim at heaven.

The Lord Jesus Christ is still praying for us. He wants us to be in the world but not of it.   ~Charles Stanley

Our fight is not against any physical enemy; it is against organizations and powers that are spiritual. We must struggle against sin all our lives, but we are assured we will win.   Corrie Ten Boom

The more we stuff ourselves with material pleasures, the less we seem to appreciate life.   Barbara Johnson

All those who look to draw their satisfaction from the wells of the world—pleasure, popularity, position, possessions, politics, power, prestige, finances, family, friends, fame, fortune, career, children, church, clubs, sports, sex, success, recognition, reputation, religion, education, entertainment, exercise, honors, health, hobbies—will soon be thirsty again! ~Anne Graham Lotz

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, this world is a crazy place, and I have many opportunities to stray from Your commandments. Help me turn to obey You! Let me keep Christ in my heart, and let me put the devil in his place: far away from me! Amen

A Renewed Sense of Purpose

You will show me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore
.
PSALM 16:11 NKJV

If you’re experiencing tough times, you may be asking yourself, “What does God want me to do next?” Perhaps you’re pondering your future, uncertain of your plans, unsure of your next step. But even if you don’t have a clear plan for the next step of your life’s journey, you may rest assured that God does.

God has a plan for the universe, and He has a plan for you. He understands that plan as thoroughly and completely as He knows you. If you seek God’s will earnestly and prayerfully, He will make His plans known to you in His own time and in His own way.

Perhaps your vision of God’s purpose for your life has been clouded by a wish list that you have expected God to dutifully fulfill. Perhaps, you have fervently hoped that God would create a world that unfolds according to your wishes, not His. If so, you have probably experienced more disappointment than satisfaction and more frustration than peace. A better strategy is to conform your will to God’s (and not to struggle vainly in an attempt to conform His will to yours).

Sometimes, God’s plans and purposes may seem unmistakably clear to you. If so, push ahead. But other times, He may lead you through the wilderness before He directs you to the Promised Land. So be patient and keep seeking His will for your life. When you do, you’ll be amazed at the marvelous things that an all-powerful, all-knowing God can do.

God will make obstacles serve His purpose.   ~Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

Underneath each trouble there is a faithful purpose.   ~C. H. Spurgeon

God does not discipline us to subdue us, but to condition us for a life of usefulness and blessedness.   ~Billy Graham

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, let Your purposes be my purposes. Let Your priorities be my priorities. Let Your will be my will.  Let Your Word be my guide. And, let me grow in faith and in wisdom today and every day. Amen

When Times Are Tough, Get Busy

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.
COLOSSIANS 3:23 NKJV

It isn’t easy to overcome tough times—it takes hard work and lots of it. So if you’re facing adversity of any kind, you can be sure that God has important work for you to do . . . but He won’t make you do it. Since the days of Adam and Eve, God has allowed His children to make choices for themselves, and so it is with you. You can either dig in and work hard, or you can retreat to the couch, click on the TV, and hope things get better on their own.

The Bible instructs us that we can learn an important lesson of a surprising source: ants. Ants are among nature’s most industrious creatures. They do their work without supervision, rumination, or hesitation. We should do likewise. When times are tough, we must summon the courage and determination to work ourselves out of trouble.

God has created a world in which diligence is rewarded and sloth is not. So whatever you choose to do, do it with commitment, excitement, and vigor. God didn’t create you for a life of mediocrity or pain; He created you for far greater things. Reaching for greater things—and defeating tough times—usually requires work and lots of it, which is perfectly fine with God. After all, He knows that you’re up to the task, and He still has big plans for you.

Let us not be content to wait and see what will happen, but give us the determination to make the right things happen.    ~Peter Marshall

All work, if offered to Him, is transformed. It is not secular but sacred, sanctified in the glad offering.   ~Elisabeth Elliot

God has lots of folks who intend to go to work for Him “some day.” What He needs is more people who are willing to work for Him this day.   ~Marie T. Freeman


TODAY’S PRAYER

Heavenly Father, when I am fearful, keep me mindful that You are my protector and my salvation. Give me strength, Lord, to face the challenges of this day as I gain my courage from You. Amen

In Turbulent Times, Consider the Possibilities

For nothing will be impossible with God.
LUKE 1:37 HCSB

Are you afraid to ask God to do big things—or to make big changes—in your life? Is your faith threadbare and worn? If so, it’s time to abandon your doubts and reclaim your faith in God’s promises.

Ours is a God of infinite possibilities. But sometimes, because of limited faith and limited understanding, we wrongly assume that God cannot or will not intervene in the affairs of mankind. Such assumptions are simply wrong.

God’s Holy Word makes it clear: absolutely nothing is impossible for the Lord. And since the Bible means what it says, you can be comforted in the knowledge that the Creator of the universe can do miraculous things in your own life and in the lives of your loved ones. Your challenge, as a believer, is to take God at His word, and to expect the miraculous.

Man’s adversity is God’s opportunity.   ~Matthew Henry

God specializes in things thought impossible.   ~Catherine Marshall

If all things are possible with God, then all things are possible to him who believes in Him.   ~Corrie Ten Boom

Do we not continually pass by blessings innumerable without notice, and instead fix our eyes on what we feel to be our trials and our losses? And, do we not think and talk about our trials until our whole horizon is filled with them, and we almost begin to think we have no blessings at all?   ~Hannah Whitall Smith

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, give me the courage to dream and the faithfulness to trust in Your perfect plan for my life. When I am worried, give me strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Today, Father, I will trust You and honor You with my thoughts, with my prayers, with my actions, and with my dreams. Amen