Category Archives: Prayer

A Prayer for Hope When Life Seems Hopeless

By: Emily Rose Massey

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:24-26, ESV).

My husband and I recently celebrated twelve years of marriage. Although I enjoy reflecting and focusing on all the wonderful and joyous memories together over these last twelve years, it can be said that our faith has been tested under waves of chaos and storms and under the weight and pressures of life.

It would be amazing to have a life full of happy times only, but it’s in the fire, the trials, and the storms of life that we are truly strengthened. We can choose to rise above the chaos or allow hopelessness and despair to overtake us. 

Our faith in Jesus Christ has given us hope to remain steadfast because we know He is faithful. 
This hope is what has been our anchor through all. 

This anchor is what holds you to your trust and faith in the Lord. Hope isn’t something that can be created or conjured up. Sure, we can give ourselves a pep-talk when we are feeling downcast or be encouraged by a friend to keep putting one foot in front of the other, but true hope is given to us by the Holy Spirit. He endows us with the faith that God’s promises are true; He is not a liar- He can be trusted completely and that ultimately, His sovereign hand is working in our life; we will not be put to shame.

Having an eternal perspective lifts your eyes from the cares of this life and helps you move forward when you are going through a storm to remind you that ultimately, this place is not our home; Being heavenly-minded during earthly trials is what fuels your hope in God. Romans 8 speaks of this kind of hope:

“For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise, the Spirit helps us in our weakness” (Romans 8:24-26, ESV).

Romans 8:24-25

We eagerly wait for the return of Christ and the day we will abide with God forever in our heavenly home. No matter how dark things may become around us in our world or in our personal lives, we must ask the Holy Spirit to fill us with hope. We must renew our minds with God’s Word so we will be able to seek and understand God’s perfect will in our lives more clearly. He has a purpose for us to fulfill here on earth and that is to share with others His glorious Gospel so that they may also find the hope that is available to God’s children.

As a child of God, we may feel a hopelessness in our hearts, but we must move beyond our feelings and remind our hearts of the great hope we have in Christ. The Holy Spirit can help us in our weaknesses. Let us ask Him for help when hopelessness tries to overwhelm us, moving beyond what we see and connecting ourselves to the hope that is attached to our trust in God’s promise of eternal life in Christ.

Father God, 

I am experiencing a heaviness, a weariness in my soul. Our world is in a constant state of chaos it seems, and my own soul is in turmoil from the weight of the cares of this life. But I refuse to live by what I feel for I know You are faithful and will not let me drown in the waves of the storms of life. Holy Spirit, fill my heart with a hope that can only come from heaven. 

Help me fix my eyes on eternity and give me the boldness to share the Gospel with others so they would know of this hope that heaven awaits those who repent of their sin and put their full trust in Christ alone. Thank You for never leaving me in my weakness and for strengthening me with Your grace each day.

In Jesus’ name, Amen.

A Prayer for When You are Battle-Weary

By Bobbie Schaeperkoetter

Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you. – 2 Chronicles 20:17

Do you feel the tension that seems to permeate the air of this world lately? Things just feel heavy. Hearts are hurting. People are discouraged and dissatisfied. It seems as if this whole world is worn down from struggles and it would be so very easy to just give in to the pull of weariness and discontent.

In the middle of the strife and struggles, we can start to feel overwhelmed, worn, and just plain weary. When these feelings come, and they linger far past their welcome, what can we do to keep our heads up? How do we remain hopeful when things just seem so difficult?

Maybe a good place to start is to look at someone else who was weary in the battle and see how they overcame it. In 2 Chronicles 20Jehoshaphat is facing a multitude that has come against him. He’s going to have to fight his enemies. However, when he seeks God’s battle plan, he sees that it is a little different than the one he might have been considering.

Maybe like Jehoshaphat, God’s plan to overcome our battles looks a little different than ours.

Battle weary friend, we do not need to be overcome by the strife and the difficulties that surround us. Let’s give up our battle plan with all of the fear, worry, discouragement, wobbliness, and struggling that it brings and follow God’s plan instead. We can embrace the peace, hope, and assurance He offers. After all, His record for victory is pretty solid.

Let’s Pray:

Lord, I admit, I am weary. Life is going a million miles an hour and I am just trying to hang on. I am tired and I am afraid when I look to the future and think about all that is coming. Lord, I know You want me to trust You through this. I know You want me to surrender this weariness to You. I surrender now. Fill me with Your strength. Fill me with Your presence. Help me find moments today of rest and rejuvenation. Thank You that You never abandon us in the midst of the battle. Thank you for your everlasting faithfulness.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Prayer for Each New MorningBy Tiffany Thibault

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8

There are some mornings, such as today, when I wake while it is still dark outside. I grab a cup of coffee and sit in a chair before an eastern-facing window. Far up in the vast black sky, I can see the planet Venus and several other surrounding constellations. I am in awe once again of how the intricacies of creation. I marvel at the placement of each planet and star in the galaxy. I am humbled when I remember what it says in Psalm 147:4 about the stars: He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.

As I watch the sun slowly rise over the mountain and the stars begin to fade away from the light, I pray for this new day. I pray for the opportunities that will cross my path today. I pray for each family member that I will be doing life with today. I pray for those in my family who live far away. I pray for our country and our leaders. I pray for those I know who are hurting.

As I sit there in the early morning quiet, I am reminded of several truths. There has never been a morning, whether I see it or not, that the stars haven’t always seemed to fade away. There has never been a morning that the sun has not risen in the eastern sky. Since the God of creation has never failed the earth in this, then I don’t have to wonder or worry if tomorrow morning the sun will once again rise. It will, because God determined it to do so.

Each new day is an opportunity for our faith to grow. If you woke up today, then it is because this very day God has a plan, a purpose for you being alive! He loves you with an unfailing love, every single day.

Psalm 145:8, inspirational image

Even though life sometimes has a way of overwhelming us with its difficulties and each new day can seem so hard, look up to the heavens and be reminded that God is always at work in every part of your life. He can be trusted with your life, your dreams and your heart. If you look to Him for guidance for each new day, relationship and situation, He will help you.

Just because it may be a cloudy or a stormy day and I cannot see the stars in the night sky or the sun rising above the mountain ridge, it does not mean that they aren’t there. The sun and stars continue because God determined it to be so.

Just because life is hard today and tomorrow and even the day after that, it does not mean that God is not at work in your life, or that He has even stopped loving you. He says this to you: “For I the Lord do not change” (Malachi 3:6).

You can be confident in His unfailing, never-ending love for you. Just look up to the sky and be reminded. Those stars and planets, and that sunrise or sunset are continual reminders that His love for you is unfailing. He has determined the planet’s path and they will not crash. He can show you the way to go each and every day of your life. He can most certainly be trusted with your life. His love for you is unfailing.

Dear Lord,

Each and every morning as I begin to wake, I pray that the first thought of each new day would be of You and of your unfailing love for me. I pray that You would give me wisdom for every single situation I will be facing today. Show me what I should do and where I should go. I trust my life to you.


 A Prayer for Deeper Conversations with the Lord

By: Victoria Riollano

Now he was in a certain place praying, and when he stopped, one of his disciples said to him: “Lord, teach us how to pray, just as John also taught his disciples.” – Luke 11:1

Every day is the same. 

Before bed, my children, my husband and I gather together and pray. Most days, I can almost predict what my younger children will say. It typically starts like this:

“Thank you, Jesus, for this day and all your blessings. Help us to be good and not have bad dreams. Amen.”

Day after day, the same thoughtless, repetitive prayers echo from their hearts. The truth is, this phrase, “Thank you Jesus, for this day and all your blessings,” was not one they had learned on television or the church. Their own father had started every prayer this way since he was a child. It was only natural, then, that they would think every prayer must begin in this manner.

After noticing this pattern one day, I paused in the middle of prayer and asked them if they could try praying for themselves, a friend, or the world around them. It seemed that prayer had become just another ritual, like brushing their teeth or taking a bath. It was simply what they had to do. I realized more and more that it was our job as parents to push the envelope, break free from the routine, and teach them how to pray!

We see the importance of prayer throughout the Bible. So much so, that Jesus’s disciples asked him personally how to pray. What I love about this passage is that the disciples recognized prayer was so essential to their mission that they had to know the process. 

So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us each day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us. And lead us not into temptation.’ Luke 11:2-4

Luke 11:1, inspirational image

So much happens at this moment!  Jesus teaches the disciples to honor the Lord, to pray His will, to seek His provision, and to ask for forgiveness. Without a doubt, Jesus encourages the disciples that they could seek their Father for every need.

Today, I wonder how our lives would be changed if we prayed this same prayer. Lord, teach us how to pray when we feel overwhelmed. Lord, teach us to pray when we are waiting for test results. Teach us to pray when we don’t have the words to say. Even more so, teach us how to teach those you’ve entrusted us, whether our child or a fellow Christian! 

Prayer is the foundation of every Christian’s life. Prayer is not just a routine part of our day but our way to communicate with a God who shifts situations, who brings life from death, and who forgives. May we always see prayer as an opportunity to commune with a sovereign God, and not just a thoughtless routine. There is still power and life change when it comes to prayer! 

My prayer today is this: teach us, Lord, how to pray.

Dear Lord,

Help me to never take prayer for granted. Often, prayer can become an afterthought or just the reciting of meaningless words. Lord, instead teach us how to pray when we aren’t sure what to say. Teach us how to pray when the world around us is falling apart and when things are going great. Show us the value of being in a deep relationship with you. 

Let us run to you for every situation and not away. Lord, if there are opportunities to teach others to pray, show us. Give us the wisdom to encourage others to fall more deeply in love with you Lord. We thank you, Lord, for the gift of prayer. 

In Jesus Name, Amen.


January 10th, 2022 By Adam Hamilton

In Luke 11, one of Jesus’s disciples approaches and makes a simple request: “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John [the Baptist] taught his disciples” (v. 1). In response, Jesus teaches the disciples what has become known as the Our Father or the Lord’s Prayer. No other prayer is more important to Christians than this prayer. It is the Lord’s prayer—the prayer he taught us to pray. There are a host of other prayers we overhear Jesus praying in the Gospels, and I’ll mention them below. But only with this prayer does Jesus say, “Pray like this.”

Each word is saturated with meaning, a meaning that we often miss when we pray it by rote as we gather in our churches for worship. Each of its six petitions (five given by the Lord, one added by the early church) reflects the major themes from Jesus’s life and ministry. The prayer is meant by Jesus to shape our lives and, through us, to shape and change the world.

Multiple Versions of the Lord’s Prayer?

There are three versions of the Lord’s Prayer that came to us from the earliest period of Christianity. We are most familiar with Matthew’s account, found in the middle of the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:9-13). The English version of that prayer was influenced by William Tyndale’s 1525 translation, which in turn shaped the form of the prayer as it appeared in the sixteenth-century Book of Common Prayer and finally the King James Version of 1611. Tyndale’s version was modified slightly into the version most English-speaking Protestants and Catholics pray today. Let’s look at the King James Version side by side with a modern translation of Matthew’s version of the Lord’s Prayer. Modern versions, in this case, the Common English Bible, are based upon more reliable Greek versions of Matthew’s Gospel than were available in 1611:

In addition to different versions of the Lord’s Prayer rendered by various English translations, we have a different version found in Luke’s account of the prayer. Here it is from the Common English Bible’s translation of Luke 11:2-4:

Father, uphold the holiness of your name. 
Bring in your kingdom. 
Give us the bread we need for today. 
Forgive us our sins, 
 for we also forgive everyone who has wronged us. 
And don’t lead us into temptation.

Notice that neither of these New Testament versions of the prayer, Matthew’s or Luke’s, includes the traditional closing doxology, “For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.” 

There is a third version of the Lord’s Prayer that comes to us from the early church, in a document called The Didache or The Lord’s Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Gentiles. This is a fascinating document describing the practices of the early church that some scholars believe was written in the first century, and others the second century, offering guidance in the Christian life. In chapter 8 of The Didache we find Matthew’s version of the prayer quoted. 

Do not pray as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in his Gospel, pray thus: “Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be thy Name, thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, as in Heaven so also upon earth; give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debt as we forgive our debtors, and lead us not into trial, but deliver us from the Evil One, for thine is the power and the glory for ever.” Pray thus three times a day.

Note that this version included the doxology. Note, too, the closing words that are in bold, “Pray thus three times a day.” This is a remarkable testimony to the importance of the Lord’s Prayer for early Christians. 

Over the years this prayer has come to mean a great deal to me. I pray it with my church family every weekend in worship. I pray it and meditate upon its words in my morning walks. I pray it together with my seven-year-old granddaughter at bedtime when she spends the night. I’ve prayed it with broken people sitting in my office. I’ve prayed it at every wedding I’ve officiated. I pray it at every hospital call I make. I pray it with the dying, and with their friends and family at each funeral or memorial service.

I once visited a woman in hospice care. Helen hadn’t been responsive in hours. Her eyes were closed, her breathing had become more labored, and the hospice nurse said that the end was imminent. She had not spoken since the previous day. I pulled up a chair to the bed, gently took her hand in mine, spoke to her, and also to her family sitting around the room. I reminded her of Christ’s love and his promises. I read Scripture to her. And I told her how grateful I was to have been her pastor. I then took anointing oil and, with my thumb, made the sign of the cross upon her forehead, a reminder that she belonged to Christ. Finally, with each of her loved ones touching her, we prayed, giving thanks to God for Helen’s life and entrusting her to God’s care. At the end of this prayer, I said words I had spoken thousands of times before. “Now, let us join together in the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray saying,

Our Father, who art in heaven, 
   hallowed be thy name. 
Thy kingdom come, 
   thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our trespasses, 
   as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us, not into temptation, 
   but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.

As we concluded, one of her children spoke up and said, “Did you all see that?” Another replied, “Yes, I was watching her. She moved her lips, speaking the Lord’s Prayer with us.” It was a holy and beautiful moment. These were the last words Helen would attempt to speak before she passed a few minutes later. I’ve seen this happen again and again. (I’ll share another similar story later in the book.) Each time it happens, it reminds me of just how important this prayer is to so many. It is deeply embedded in the hearts and minds of most Christians.

A Prayer for When the Rogue Waves of Life Hit

By Meg Bucher

“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” – Luke 1:50 NIV

After a beautiful day out on the water, we headed to the island for dinner. On the way, our Great Lake threw us a surprise, as it has been known to do. Though the water was flat and calm, my daughters, niece, and I were suddenly staring straight at a big wave! The set of three rogue waves caught all of us off guard, and the water spilled over the bow and down through the rest of the boat.

Soaked, shocked, and a little scared, three young faces looked at me to gauge my reaction.

In situations like that, we don’t always have time to compose ourselves. The natural state of our soul bleeds right out of our facial expressions. However, God granted me supernatural calm, enough to allow me to comfort my youngest daughter’s fears, and return her to her seat in the front of the boat.

grounded in truth, inspirational image

“His mercy flows in wave after wave on those who are in awe before him.” Luke 1:50 MSG

Rogue waves can change our life in an instant, no matter how prepared we think we are to face the day ahead of us. We can know the weather report, see out on the horizon, and feel the wind, but it won’t stop every rogue wave from splashing into our lives. No matter how much we would like to think we are in control, God is the only one whose hand is on all. The only thing we can do is seek His perspective each day through His living Word. When we do that, he prepares our souls for what we cannot see coming our way.

Let’s pray today for God’s perspective for when the rogue waves of life hit:


Help us to stay grounded in the truth of Your Word, and Your Word, alone. Let us not look to news reports and weather forecasts and the final word, but always leave room for You to move in our lives. We pray to see life from Your perspective.

Just like waves often come in sets of three, Your grace falls on us, wave after wave. When we are shocked by what the day has given us, help us to embrace the grace Jesus died to grant us. No matter what we encounter, He is with us. Nothing can snatch us from His hand.

Some days, we are left drenched and stunned, but there is always an abundance of grace by which our Savior embraces us. Each time, we get back up by His strength. Not just to get by another day, but to live it to the full. Father, thank You for protecting us, saving us, and defending us. In ways we will never know or realize, You go before us to prepare the way.

Thank you for the way you faithfully care for us, encouraging us in times of trial and calming our very souls in a way we could not. Today, we re-submit the state of our souls to You. In any way in which we have attempted to take control of different areas of our lives, forgive us. May our lives bring honor and glory to your name, even when our lives are soaked and pummeled from rogue waves. Bless and protect us, Father, from what only You can see coming this day… and every day.

In Jesus Name, 


A Prayer for Those Who Grieve at Christmas

By: Dena Johnson

“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” – John 10:10 NASB

I’ve spent the last eight months doing everything I can to keep my faith strong, to trust God. But this week, I am losing the battle. I am collapsing under the weight of this year.


The last few days, I find myself simply falling apart. I can’t hold back the tears for another moment. I can’t put a smile on my face and pretend I am doing just fine. I can’t hold in the grief that is filling every inch of my being.

Perhaps you understand. Perhaps you too feel as if this year has been a nightmare, destroying your peace and security. Perhaps you feel as if your very life is crumbling, collapsing. Perhaps you can no longer hold in the tears, no longer pretend everything is just fine.

If you are consumed by grief this Christmas, you are not alone. Can we just take a moment to pray?

Lord Jesus,

I am so overwhelmed. My heart is heavy, burdened. The losses this year are crushing me, overcoming my peace and joy. I know you tell us you are close to the brokenhearted, but I don’t feel you. I feel lost, hopeless, abandoned.

I know this is a season, a season that has a beginning and an end. But right now it feels like it will never end. I need hope, hope to believe you will truly restore me, strengthen me. I need hope to believe you will one day have me put together and on my feet for good. I need a vision of the future you have for me, a future of hope and blessings from you.

It’s so easy to become distracted, to focus on the many losses I have experienced. Forgive me. Help me to put my thoughts, my attention on you. Help me cling to you, to your word, to your promises. Help me be fixed on you because I know it’s the only way to enjoy your perfect peace.

As I walk through this holiday season, give me a fresh glimpse of who You are. Help me remember the suffering You experienced as You watched your Son on the cross, a gift given just for me. Help me remember with joy and wonder the amazing gifts we have simply because you gave, a precious baby born that Christmas morning. Help me focus my heart and mind on Immanuel, God with me.

You are my hope, my only hope, for Christmas and every day on this earth. May I always carry your hope with me.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

A Prayer for When you feel Empty

Prayer for When You Feel Empty
By: Kristine Brown

“Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.” – Psalm 16:5 HCSB

A dry, parched land stretched out before them. Hagar and her son Ishmael had used up the last of the water given to them by Abraham before he sent them away (Genesis 21:14). Discouragement saw opportunity and came calling. With no water in sight, Hagar knew they couldn’t survive. So she set Ishmael under a tree and walked away.

She couldn’t watch her only son suffer this way. No water, no future, no hope. The emptiness of the water skin reflected the emptiness of her spirit.

Uncertainty and emptiness often walk hand-in-hand. Our concern for the unknown causes us to try and fill our questioning hearts with answers. Find solutions. Because we long to fill the void with something that will satisfy. And the more we try in our own strength to fill the void, the emptier we become.

Only one thing will fill the emptiness when life’s battles leave us depleted.

“Lord, You are my portion and my cup of blessing; You hold my future.” Psalm 16:5 HCSB


Hagar had forgotten God’s promise to fill her cup with abundant blessings. Ishmael would have a future, greater than anything Hagar herself could’ve planned. But she needed to trust God to be the portion to fill the emptiness with the fullness of His presence. “Then God opened her eyes and she saw a well full of water. So she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.” (Genesis 21:19)

When we remember to turn our focus to our everlasting Father and seek Him as our portion, He supernaturally becomes whatever we need to fill that void. It may be strength to face another day, joy in a time of loss, or peace instead of panic. Whatever we need, God is the sustaining portion.

If you’ve forgotten to ask God to be your portion lately, take heart. Then take your uncertainty to Him. Let’s begin with this prayer, and find satisfaction as God fills our cup with blessings today.

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your precious Word. Thank you for the encouragement it brings me in difficult times. Lord, I’ve been sensing a void lately that I can’t quite explain. It seems like I’m facing one thing after another, and when I look at my struggles I feel empty. Hopelessness and discouragement threaten me. Help me to remember that You are my portion. You fill my cup and are the only One who will satisfy my parched soul.

Help me hold onto this truth. Your Word says in Psalm 16:5, You hold my future. I can rest in knowing even in my uncertainty that You are in control, and You have good plans for me.

Psalm 73:26 assures me that You are “the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” When I’m tempted to search for temporary things to fill the void in my heart, help me recall this verse. You are my portion. Not only today, not only tomorrow. Forever.

I pray as You fill my cup to overflowing, I will discover the strength, joy, and peace that comes from You alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Prayer for the Day

Prayer for Our Minds
By: Kristine Brown

“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

While tucking my young son into bed, he would sometimes tell me he couldn’t go to sleep because of scary thoughts. I always reassured him with lots of mom cuddles and this kid-friendly advice.

“Think about good things,” I’d say. Then we’d spend a few moments listing all the good things that came to mind. Our impromptu gratitude list would turn into a nighttime prayer, and I’d hope that the bad thoughts would stay away long enough for him to drift off to sleep.

As an adult, I can have the same struggle with thinking about good things.

If I let my guard down, my mind automatically wanders to the worries and frustrations of the day.

I begin listing all the things on my to-do list instead of the blessings from my heavenly Father. It takes intentional effort for me to redirect my mind.

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to keep your mind focused on good things? Paul instructed believers with these words of hope. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2 NIV) He knew how forceful the pull of worldly things could be. He wanted to equip Jesus’ followers with the truth. We need to daily set our minds on things above.

Keeping our thoughts centered around God’s goodness doesn’t come easily. So we shouldn’t get discouraged if our mind keeps wandering. Let’s pray this prayer for our minds as we say no to negative thoughts and redirect our minds on the good things of God.

mind on things above, inspirational image

Dear God,

I’ll admit that I have a hard time keeping my mind on good things. I start my day with prayer and gratitude, but then those thoughts fade as I face one frustrating situation after another. Forgive me for letting daily worries become a priority over your goodness in my life.

Lord, Your Word says that I “have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” (Colossians 3:10) I understand that my mind is renewed because I have accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. May the Holy Spirit cleanse my mind from anything unrighteous and help me focus on the things of heaven. When I set my mind on you, I find peace, rest, and new hope. I give you praise because “every good and perfect gift comes from you.” (James 1:17) Thank you for touching my mind and giving me good things to think about.

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

How to Choose Joy on the Hard Days

Choosing Joy on the Hard Days
By: Maggie Meadows Cooper

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord!” – Habakkuk 3:17-18 NLT

It is raining. Again. It feels like it’s been raining for ten years straight here in Alabama. And I’m so desperately craving sunshine and blue skies and big puffy white clouds. But that’s not all. There are just so many little things weighing on my heart. Areas where I feel like I’m failing. The little mundane things like my dirty house and piles of dishes and laundry. And “training my children in the way they should go” is just exhausting.

Many of these things aren’t big in the grand scheme of life. But they matter to me. And as I find myself in this place of just being ill and frustrated and blah today, I know that I have to find joy. I have to choose to find joy. Because my babies and others around me are watching.

A long time ago, I decided that I would praise the Lord in the good. And in the bad. As I read in Habakkuk today, I came across this beautiful reminder that he made the same choice long ago:

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord!” 

Habakkuk 3:17-18 NLT

Wow. His list is tough. Really tough. Way more serious than my rainy days and disobedient kids and piles of dirty dishes. And still, in the midst of a situation that could be a matter of life and death, as his list came to an end, he said, “yet, I will rejoice in the Lord!”

Yet. Such power in three little letters. It means “but at the same time,” “nevertheless,” “in spite of that,” or “come what may.”

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, inspirational image

There are people struggling around us every day. Every day. And if they know that we know Jesus, we have to live out “sharing the reason for the hope that we have.” We have to truly find our joy in Him and model that “yet” in our own lives. For them.

We have to show them that because of Jesus, the hard things are not the end. And we can find joy in the middle of the yucky days. So, here are three ways to focus on creating our own “yet” when those tough times come:

1. Put things in perspective.

I am a firm believer in fill-in-the-blanks from the Word, and this is a perfect example. Grab a scrap piece of paper and write this out:

Even though___________________ and _______________________; even though ________________________ and ___________________; even though ___________________________ and _________________________; YET I will rejoice in the Lord!

It’s funny how when things are written out, they take on new meaning. And create new perspective. Somehow when we see things in text, it isn’t near as bad as the lies Satan is whispering in our ears. Those whispers that make our thoughts get out of control and dwelling on wild scenarios and what-ifs that, most likely, would never happen. So, the next time your day is falling apart, try this and then show those around you how to try it too.

2. Remember that the Lord is already there.

I think we forget that God goes before us… and comes behind us… every moment of every day. When we recognize and make a point to acknowledge that everything begins and ends with Him, it’s so much easier to find the joy and peace we long for. Here are two verses I love that remind me that I can praise Him, trust Him, and find joy, “even though” there are hard things because I know He’s already there.

“Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NLT

“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5 NIV

3. Set your eyes on what matters most. 

If you were to visit my kitchen, stuck in the corner of a framed family picture, you would find a wrinkled square of a paper that says, “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things.” Colossians 3:2

I keep it there as a daily reminder that all of my “even though’s” and “and’s” are just temporary. They won’t last, y’all. One of my favorite church signs I passed years ago said, “Trouble don’t last always.” And it doesn’t. It won’t. Because Jesus is coming one day. And all of the hurts and frustrations and annoyances we feel now are just of this earth.

Keep your focus on Jesus and the things that are eternal. And talk about those things… the things of most value… with those around you. Remind them that we can rejoice after bad days at work, health issues, and loss, not because those things aren’t hard. Not because those things don’t hurt. But because our joy doesn’t come from this world.

Put things in perspective.

Remember that you are never alone.

Set your eyes on things above.

And share the reason for the hope that you have.

I pray you all find joy in the hard things today and always.