God is actively working behind-the-scenes for you right now to meet your needs in ways that you don’t see. You don’t have the answers; God does. You don’t know the next move; God does. You can’t see how it will work out; God does. Everything you really need will really be supplied. Not maybe. Not probably. Definitely. God will provide for every need. Not some of them. Not most of them. All of them, without exception. Right when you need it, not a second too late. Today, do the work that God has said is for you to do, and believe that He is doing the work that is not for you to do.
When we try to make others pay for their sin, we have forgotten that Jesus paid for our sin. As recipients of grace, we are to release our instinct for revenge when others wrong us to let God judge, punish and make all things right in His timing and in His way. Our role is to model His grace, not His judgment. Even when we must seek appropriate justice, it should be motivated by love, not hatred. So, let us overcome evil with good and leave it to God to do the work He means to do. We who have received grace should be quickest to extend it, praying that others will turn to Jesus as we ourselves have done.
God delights to give His children the good things they ask from Him. Why then are there times when we don’t get what we want in life? One reason is simply that we aren’t asking Him for good things. That could mean that we aren’t praying at all, and we don’t get what we ask for because we aren’t asking. That could mean that we are praying, but what we are asking for isn’t good for us to get. Whether it’s the wrong thing, the wrong track, or the wrong time, God loves us too much to say “yes” to all of our requests that we would regret in the end. When He acts differently than we asked, it’s always an upgrade.
Darkness isn’t just the time between dusk and dawn; it’s also any time you are facing the unknown. This is especially true of those seasons of suffering when the light at the end of your tunnel is nowhere to be seen. It is during those times that you must not give up hope. For even on those dark days when you can’t see what is up next, what step to take next or how anything good will come next, hope remains. Jesus is still there and Jesus still cares! Ask Him to give you the faith and inner strength that is needed to endure. And though the outer darkness may yet linger, the Son will rise and shine His light in your heart.
Admit it, some days are a blur. We wake up and it’s a nonstop rush throughout the day to not fall behind. You know what the cure is for being overwhelmed, worried and frustrated about the many things on our schedules? Making the right choice to spend unhurried, undistracted time with Jesus today so He can refresh us, reorient us and ready us for what He knows is coming next. It’s the most important part of our day, and it should have the most intentional part of our schedule, because it’s the most influential part of our lives. We’re not too busy to spend time with Him; we’re too busy not to spend time with Him.
The gospel emboldens us to not draw back when others push back against our countercultural loyalty to God and His ways. Because Jesus has overcome sin, Satan and death, we can have courage; the kind of courage that does not shrink back from saying and doing the right things no matter what people might think of us, what might happen to us, and what it might cost us if we remain faithful to Jesus. Our courage and encouragement are based on this truth: Jesus has overcome all the tribulations, troubles, trials, tests, and temptations of this world! And… He is for us. He is with us. He is coming to get us.
One word that defines every genuine Christian is this: perseverance. That is, those who are heaven-bound keep going until they get there. Grace will make sure that they do! He who has called us is faithful to keep us! So… If you find that serving Jesus feels fruitless or pointless, keep serving. If you find yourself fighting back discouragement and fighting for joy, keep fighting. If you find yourself tempted to give in to the world and its ways, keep resisting. There will be many moments that you fail and fall, but don’t despair. Trust in Jesus and trust in this: He will pick you up and power you on… so you can keep going.
Following Jesus means leaving some places, people, and pursuits behind to go wherever Jesus leads us, to do whatever Jesus says to us when we get there. It also means being faithful in the season, situation and spot He has already led us, to do whatever He brought us here to do. Sometimes this faith journey will require us to go to hard places, have hard conversations, do hard things, endure hard circumstances and deal with hard people. But Jesus will be with us every step of the way to make a way for us to take every step. Be encouraged! He never said it would be easy; He only said it would be worth it.
There are days when our faith falters, but Jesus does not abandon us. There are days when we feel like giving up, but Jesus does not let us. There are days when we are too overwhelmed to carry on, but Jesus does not move on without us. Jesus came from heaven to earth to make a way for sinners like you and me to go from earth to heaven. And every step we take together is...
Crawling comes before walking. Planting comes before harvesting. Starting comes before completing. There is an order to things, and for followers of Jesus… Praying comes before doing. You and I often handle things backwards from how we should handle them by acting and then seeking God when we should seek God and then act. The best thing we can do to handle what we face in life is to seek our Heavenly Father before we do a thing more. We ask. He answers. We act. He assists. This is the only way to live happy, holy lives. Turning to Him shouldn’t be our last resort; it should be our first line of defense.
We were not made to be self-reliant, self-sustaining or self-sovereigns. God created us to be dependent upon His gracious care and provision, turning to Him and trusting in Him, moment by moment for what we need. Our wisdom and willpower are inadequate for handling life, but His is infinite, and it is readily available to those who trust in Jesus. Don’t try to make it on your own. You were never meant to. When there is a mile-high mountain or a mountain of little stuff piled up a mile high that is too big for you to climb, perhaps God put it there as a gracious and loving reminder for you to depend on Him.