Hope for the future

Jeremiah 28:11 “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” 

I awoke this morning thinking about how challenging life can be sometimes.  I have also discovered that many of the challenges we face, especially in our personal lives, are because of our own thinking.  When we have”stinking thinking” we are not going to see the good in life, people, or, let’s be honest, anywhere.

When all we do is focus on the negative, pain, and heartache that is what we will see.  If you want to see positive changes in your relationships, workplace, or in yourself, stop and recognize your negative thinking.   If you are facing a challenges, know that you are not the first person to ever face that challenge, even though it feels like it, and you will not be the last.  God has a plan for our lives.  He wants us to be happy, loved, and prosperous.  So, today pay attention to your self talk.  it may help to write down then negative thoughts so you can bring them to God in specific prayer.

Abba Father, I come to you broken and in need of your comforting peace.  This life is hard and I know that I allow negativity to influence the things I do and say.  Father please forgive me.  I come seeking hope for my future.  Bring healing to the areas of my life that are a hindrance in my growth with You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen

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Tempted and alone?

The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure. (1 Corinthians 10:13, NLT)

It’s easy to believe the lie that we struggle alone.  When we walk through the valleys of life, these are often the darkest times in our lives, we often feel lost, alone, directionless, and sometimes even feel as if there is no point to life.  These are the lies Satan would have us believe.  There is no struggle that we face when God is absent.  Feelings are anything but static.  How can we trust and rely on something that seems to change with the wind?

I want to encourage and remind you that in the midst of our failure, hurt, brokenness, and heartache, we can draw closer to our Father.  In reality, He wants us to curl up in His lap and snuggle with Him.  He is not a distant, standoffish, or waiting for you at the end of your struggles cheering for you.  He is walking with you so, lean into Him and you will come out on the other side able to look back at your time in the valley as a time of growth and redefining.  God is shaping and preparing you trust Him.

Abba Father, thank You for Your strength to walk through this life.  You tell us in Your word that we will have troubles in this life but, you also assure us that we are never alone.  Help me to recognize the lies Satan is telling me, especially the one that I am alone in my struggles.  When I am tempted to believe the lies open my eyes to Your way out.  Strengthen me as I move forward today and give me the strength to be the change You want me to be in this world.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Come To Me

Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

“Come to me…” God is clear when he gives this command. He does not say, “get your act together, change your ways, or you must be perfect.” No, it is simple, “Come to Me” no matter where you are emotionally, physically, with all your hurts, anger, pain, confusion,  or whatever you are dealing with. Raise your hands in prayer and God is there ready and waiting to show you how to pick up the broken pieces.  He will turn your brokenness into a beautiful story. Don’t wait until you have everything “figured out” God will help you figure it out. Trust him for “He is gentle and kind,” His rest is better than anything you can imagine.

Father, thank you that I can come to You in the middle of  my mess knowing that You will accept me, love me, and guide me no matter what. Cleanse me today and draw me ever closer to You. Remind me throughout the day that You are with me to guide me, free me, heal me, and help me. Remind me that it is ok to mess up but, to also seek forgiveness.  Thank you that I don’t have to be perfect to come to you, that you love me and are waiting for me.  Draw me to you.  In Jesus Name, AMEN

Love Beyond Measure

Ephesians 3:17-19 “…And I pray that your, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” 

No one can know us as well as the Savior and yet He is so in love with us that he died to save us.  This is a love that is so difficult to understand.

It is really hard to believe that no matter what we have done or will do that Christ came to this earth to forgive our sins.  Our doubt, our choices, our sins, all of this and we are still loved.  It is so difficult to wrap my head around this because when we make a mistake there is usually someone there to point it out and tell us that we are wrong, incomplete, or a failure.  Not Christ, He is standing with open arms ready to hold us and tell us that everything will be okay.  Don’t put God in a box and limit His ability to love you.

Father, thank you for loving me and never giving up on me.  Thank you for being there to help me pick up the pieces after I make a mess of things.  Help me Father to come to you and seek your wisdom and when I stumble and fall.  Help me find my feet again when doubt, fear, and failure come into my life.  Rid me of offenses and open my eyes to love.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen

Tomorrow may not Come

Proverb 27:1 “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

We have all been there…We have our day planned and we are going to accomplish so much.  We have a plan.  Then we start and for some reason we become paralyzed or we stand in the middle of the mess and really don’t know where to begin.  So, we make the big mistake of turning on the tv, look a social media, talk on the phone, and before we know it the time we set aside to complete the task is gone and we are left wondering where the time went. Ever asked yourself, “What are you afraid of?”  We avoid tasks for several reasons like indecision, can decide where to start.  Perfectionism, if you are waiting for the perfect time to start you will never start.  Fear, this one emotion robs us of so much joy and peace.  Anger, I don’t like what someone is asking me to do, I want to be incontrol.  Laziness, if it is easy we get it done.  We are more likely to put off things that are difficult because we like easy.  The next time you find yourself avoiding, ask yourself “What am I afraid of, or what is truly behind my procrastination?”  We have today so, don’t put off until tomorrow what you can accomplish today.

Father, I come before you overwhelmed with things in my life.  Help me to release the “stuff” that is taking away my joy.  Help me to accomplish what you have planned for me today.  You have giving me today.  I ask that You help me keep my eyes on You and accomplish the goals laid before me this day.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Use Me LORD

Colossians 3:13 “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone.  Forgive as the LORD forgave you.”

Life brings with it so many opportunities to be hurt.  We live in a world that is not only at war in the physical realm  but also in the spiritual realm. Because of this the opportunity for people to sin against us and hurt is something we face daily.  How we deal with this will depend on the sin and how we perceive it.  It seems that the closer the person is to us the more difficult it is to understand why they would hurt us.

When someone we love sins against us and causes pain and heartache in order to forgive them we start by grieving.  When we grieve over our wounds we go through stages just like when someone dies.  The relationship has been marred.  If we think about it in terms of something physical that has been broken, such as a plate.  The sin is the breaking of the plate causing it to shatter into pieces.  When we begin to grieve and seek to forgive,  we begin to pick up the pieces and put them back together.  The plate will never be the same, marks are left behind.  Putting the plate back together one piece at a time brings healing and restoration.  The scars make us stronger not only in our faith but in relationships as well.  The important thing is to pick up the pieces, take them to God, and pray for restoration.  If we don’t our hearts can become hardened and we can make forgiveness all the more difficult.  Remember, that Christ died to forgive you and if you don’t forgive, Christ can not forgive you.  There is nothing you have done or will do that Christ’s blood will not cover.

Father, thank you for your forgiveness.  I know that there are areas in my life where I have not dealt with my anger, resentment, and hurt.  Father, you sent your son to die, not only to cover my sins but to allow me to forgive others for their sins against me.  Remind me that my battle, on this earth, is not against flesh and blood but against the dark rulers in the spiritual realm.  You alone can bring healing to a broken soul.  I ask that you be with me this day; open my eyes to areas where I have unforgiveness.  Help me to release the chains of unforgiveness, freeing me to be used by you.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Light My Path

2 Samuel 22:29 “You, LORD are my lamp; the LORD turns my darkness into light.”

Just the other day I needed an herb from my garden.  I walked out to get what I needed and realized that I could not see where I was going, due to the darkness.  So, I walked back inside to get a light.  Any light would do, the light became my guided to keep me away from anything that might cause me harm.  God is the same way with our life. When we allow God to shine into our lives he sheds light on things that will harm us.  Just as I had to look for a light to guide me, we need to seek God every moment of every day so He can shed light on the path that lays before us.

Father, Thank you for being my light.  On days when nothing seems to go right and I just want to crawl back into bed, You are there to be my strength and my guide.  You Heavenly Father light my path.  Come this day Holy Spirit and light a fire in my heart for you.  Be my guide and walk with me and keep me from stumbling.  Father, be my lamp and keep me from darkness.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Selfishness

Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.

As we go through life we become wounded.  When we are wounded it is difficult to see beyond our own pain.  When we live from this place of pain it becomes difficult to see another persons perspective.  We see the world through the lens of our pain and frustration.  When this happens we either withdraw and become isolated and angry saying that nothing really matters or we blaze forward unable to see the others persons needs or desires.  Either way we are not doing what God has called us to do when He says to put others interests before our own.

Life is difficult and often we allow the world view to cloud our judgement and control our emotions.  When we do this we allow the evil one a foothold into our lives and our relationships.  The foothold then leads to a stronghold in our lives.  A foothold is a position where the evil one can make progress in destroying relationships, your belief in yourself, everything that is good.  Satan does not what you to be happy.  A stronghold is a place in our lives where a belief is strongly defended, ‘This person does not really care about me, they don’t care about my needs and desires.’ These are the things we say to ourselves to feed the stronghold of the evil one.  If we allow footholds to grow we slowly begin to allow selfish ambition and vain conceit take control of our lives.  Take time to pray and seek God’s wisdom as to where you are allowing the evil one to separate you from the truth.

Gracious and loving Father,  I come seeking your kingdom to come over my life. Give me what I need to stay strong and defend against attacks.  Help me to be humble in spirit and not give into the temptations of this world by becoming selfish and conceited.   I know I am under constant  attack from the evil one.  I long to do what is right but at times I am unable to see beyond my own desires and needs.  Strengthen me to walk with you in spirit and truth.  In Jesus Name, Amen

 

A blink of an Eye

Psalm 90:3-6 “You turn people back to dust, saying, ‘Return to dust, you mortals.’  A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.”

Life seems so crazy sometimes.  We often rush from on thing to the next, never really taking time to look around and spend quality time with loved ones.  We rush here and there, why has life become about what we can cram into one day rather than enjoying family and friends?

Life really is short.  How many of us will live to be 1,000 years old?  The closest we can come is about 100. That according to scripture is not even a blink for God.  We spend so much time running around like chickens rather than enjoying the time we have been given here on Earth.  Live is too short to worry about things we have no business trying to control in the first place.  Enjoy you time with family and friends and don’t let the little things you find irritating pull you away form the love, peace, joy, and blessings God wants for you life.

Father, as we approach the coming Christmas season help me remember the reason You came.  You don’t want me to run here and there You call me to sit with You and remember that You put me where You want me when You want me there.  Help me to relax and enjoy family knowing that one day they will not be with me on this earth, but the time spent with them will become blessings beyond measure.  In Jesus Name, Amen

Satisfied In Him

Psalm 107:8-9 “Let us give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”

It is amazing to me how quickly we forget our answered prayers.  Things we pray for over and over, then God finally answers and we just keep moving on as if our requests were not heard.  Sure we say praise God, then what?  Do we continue to praise Him or do we move to the next thing that troubles us?  In this season of thanksgiving I find myself thinking of all the answered prayers.  God is so good.  Check the attitude of your heart, is it one of gradititude or is it filled with anger and frustration?  When we focus on the negative, or unanswered prayers, our heart is no longer reflecting the love of Christ instead, we are reflecting an attitude of selfishness.

Come to Christ and be filled daily with His love.  When you do this you will no longer focus on what you don’t have instead He will change your heart and fill it with His good things.

Father, thank you for all the prayers you have answered over the years.  When I get stud I in my negative thinking fill me with Your living water that reminds me of all that You have done for me.  Father, change my attitude and let me reflect the love that You have for me and for all Your children.  I hunger for Your wisdom, grace, love, and joy.  Fill this dry soul and bring it alive in You.  In Jesus Name, Amen