Finding Real Fulfillment in Turbulent Times

For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined . . . we went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment.
PSALM 66:10–12 NKJV

Everywhere we turn, or so it seems, the world promises fulfillment, contentment, and happiness. But the contentment that the world offers is fleeting and incomplete. Thankfully, the fulfillment that God offers is all encompassing and everlasting.

Sometimes, amid the inevitable hustle and bustle of life-here-on-earth, we can forfeit—albeit temporarily—the joy of Christ as we wrestle with the challenges of daily living. Yet God’s Word is clear: fulfillment through Christ is available to all who seek it and claim it. Count yourself among that number. Seek first a personal, transforming relationship with Jesus, and then claim the joy, the fulfillment, and the spiritual abundance that the Shepherd offers His sheep.

We are made for God, and nothing less will really satisfy us.   ~Brennan Manning

Find satisfaction in Him who made you, and only then find satisfaction in yourself as part of His creation.   ~St. Augustine

We are never more fulfilled than when our longing for God is met by His presence in our lives.   ~Billy Graham

Our sense of joy, satisfaction, and fulfillment in life increases, no matter what the circumstances, if we are in the center of God’s will.   ~Billy Graham

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, when I turn my thoughts and prayers to You,  I feel peace and fulfillment. But sometimes, when I am distracted by the busyness of the day, fulfillment seems far away. Today, let me trust Your will, let me follow Your commands, and let me accept Your peace. Amen

Infinite Possibilities

Is anything too hard for the LORD?
GENESIS 18:14 KJV

Are you afraid to ask God to do big things 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.

God is the silent partner in all great enterprises.   ~Abraham Lincoln

If we take God’s program, we can have God’s power—not otherwise.   ~E. Stanley Jones

You can believe in the Holy Spirit not because you see Him, but because you see what He does in people’s lives when they are surrendered to Christ and possess His power.   ~Billy Graham

The task ahead of us is never as great as the Power behind us.    ~Anonymous

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear God, nothing is impossible for You—keep me always mindful of Your strength. When I lose hope, give me faith; when others lose hope, let me tell them of Your glory and Your works. Today, Lord, let me expect the miraculous, and let me trust in You. Amen

Facing Fears

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for  I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.
ISAIAH 41:10 NLT

We live in a world that is, at times, a frightening place. We live in a world that is, at times, a discouraging place. We live in a world where life-changing losses can be so painful and so profound that it seems we will never recover. But, with God’s help, and with the help of encouraging family members and friends, we can recover.

During the darker days of life, we are wise to remember the words of Jesus, who reassured His disciples, saying, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (Matthew 14:27 NIV). Then, with God’s comfort and His love in our hearts, we can offer encouragement to others. And by helping them face their fears, we can, in turn, tackle our own problems with courage, determination, and faith.

God knows that the strength that comes from wrestling with our fear will give us wings to fly.   ~Paula Rinehart

His hand on me is a father’s hand, gently guiding and encouraging. His hand lets me know He is with me, so I am not afraid. ~Mary Morrison Suggs

Adversity is always unexpected and unwelcomed. It is an intruder and a thief, and yet in the hands of God, adversity becomes the means through which His supernatural power is demonstrated. Charles Stanley

Facing our deepest fears means making peace with our seen self and with our unseen self.   ~Sheila Walsh

TODAY’S PRAYER
Father, even when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me. Thank You, Lord, for Your perfect love, a love that casts out fear and gives me strength and courage to meet the challenges  of this world. Amen

Too Busy?

Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.
PROVERBS 21:5 MSG

Has the hectic pace of life robbed you of the peace that might otherwise be yours through Jesus Christ? Are you one of those people who is simply too busy for your own good? If so, you’re doing everybody a disservice by heaping needless stresses upon yourself and your loved ones.

God offers you a peace that passes human understanding, but He won’t force His peace upon you; in order to experience it, you must slow down long enough to sense His presence and His love.

Today, as a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your world, invite Christ to preside over every aspect of your life. It’s the best way to live and the surest path to peace . . . today and forever.

Often our lives are strangled by things that don’t ultimately matter.   ~Grady Nutt

This is a day when we are so busy doing everything that we have no time to be anything. Even religiously we are so occupied with activities that we have no time to know God.   ~Vance Havner

Being busy, in and of itself, is not a sin. But being busy in an endless pursuit of things that leave us empty and hollow and broken inside—that cannot be pleasing to God.   ~Max Lucado

We often become mentally and spiritually barren because we’re so busy.   ~Franklin Graham


TODAY’S PRAYER

Dear Lord, when the quickening pace of life leaves me  with little time for worship or for praise, help me to reorder  my priorities, and let me turn to Jesus for the peace that only He can give.  Amen

Finding Peace

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.
JOHN 16:33 NKJV

Oftentimes, our outer struggles are simply manifestations of the inner conflict that we feel when we stray from God’s path. Jesus offers us peace, not as the world gives, but as He alone gives. Our challenge is to accept Christ’s peace into our hearts and then, as best we can, to share His peace with our neighbors. When we accept Jesus as our personal Savior, we are transformed by His grace. We are then free to accept the spiritual abundance and peace that can be ours through the power of the risen Christ.

Have you found the genuine peace that can be yours through Jesus Christ? Or are you still rushing after the illusion of “peace and happiness” that the world promises but cannot deliver? Today, as a gift to yourself, to your family, and to your friends, claim the inner peace that is your spiritual birthright: the peace of Jesus Christ. It is offered freely; it has been paid for in full; it is yours for the asking. So ask. And then share.

Prayer guards hearts and minds and causes God to bring peace out of chaos.   ~Beth Moore

Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts.   ~Warren Wiersbe

When we do what is right, we have contentment, peace, and happiness.   ~Beverly Lahaye

Peace with God is where all peace begins.   ~Jim Gallery

To know God as He really is—in His essential nature and character—is to arrive at a citadel of peace that circumstances may storm, but can never capture.   ~Catherine Marshall

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, let me accept the peace and abundance that You offer through Your Son Jesus. You are the Giver of all things good, Father, and You give me peace when I draw close to You.
Help me to trust Your will, to follow Your commands, and to accept Your peace, today and forever. Amen

Managing Money in Turbulent Times

Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have.
HEBREWS 13:5 NCV

Are you one of those people who has, at one time or another, made a mess of your financial affairs? If so, welcome to a very large club! Almost everyone experiences financial pressures from time to time, and so, perhaps, will you.

Winston Churchill once observed, “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” What was good for Churchill is also good for you, too. As you live and learn about life, you should expect to make mistakes—and a few financial blunders, too—but you should not allow those missteps to rob you of the enthusiasm you need to fulfill God’s plan for your life.

We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world; mistakes are simply part of the price we pay for being here. But, even though mistakes are an inevitable part of life’s journey, repeated mistakes should not be. When we commit the inevitable missteps of life, we must correct them, learn from them, and pray for the wisdom not to repeat them. When we do, our mistakes become lessons, and our lives become adventures in growth, not stagnation.

Have you made a financial foul-up or two? You probably have. But here’s the big question: Have you used your mistakes as stumbling blocks or stepping stones? The answer to that question will determine how quickly you gain financial security and peace of mind.

Here’s a recipe for handling money wisely: Take a heaping helping of common sense, add a sizeable portion of self-discipline, and mix with prayer. ~Marie T. Freeman

Discipline understands that the best way to get rich quick is to get rich slow. ~Dave Ramsey

If you work hard and maintain an attitude of gratitude, you’ll find it easier to manage your finances every day.   ~John Maxwell

TODAY’S PRAYER
Lord, there are many things I desire, and many things I may never have. But I can have peace. I will trust You to care for my needs, Father, today, tomorrow, and forever. Amen

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