Tag Archives: devotionals

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.


The Bow & The Arrowby Shawn McEvoy

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Wisdom, suggests the book of Proverbs, is prized above all things. And wisdom begins with the fear of the Lord. Therefore, the wisest thing one can do is to trust and honor God.

And trusting and honoring God, according to Proverbs 3:1-12, “not only delivers one from evil, but promises certain rewards,” according to my Ryrie Study Bible notes. Among those rewards are:

  • Longevity and peace (vv. 1-2)
  • Favor with God and man (vv. 3-4)
  • Health (vv. 7-8)
  • Prosperity (vv. 9-10)

Pretty good stuff. Stuff we all like, and seek hard after. Barns filled with plenty, length of days, refreshment to your bones. And yet…

The section of Proverbs 3 that we know, love, cherish, cling to, and quote most often is the part that promises not peace, not health, not abundance. It is the part that promises guidance. “In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.”

Let’s not miss that. In this promise-rich portion of Scripture, the part we people recite more often than the others is the part about trusting God more than ourselves so that in our “ways” and “paths,” we will know which way to go. We will know what to do. We will get there directly. We will be able to read the signposts planted by the Almighty. The child of God receives many additional gifts when he or she receives wisdom. Is it possible that the most highly prized among them is a highly-tuned sense of spiritual direction?

If you’ve ever listened to peers ponder or authors write about the subject of seeking / finding / learning / doing “God’s will,” then I think you might agree that the answer could just be yes. We long to serve, to offer ourselves worshipfully. To walk so closely with God that “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28). Symbolically, what might this sense of direction, guidance, straight paths, and complete trust look like?

Perhaps… an arrow? Consider:

  • Arrows point the way to other destinations
  • Arrows indicate which way it is okay to turn
  • Arrows are straight and narrow
  • Arrows are colorful, sleek and efficient
  • Arrows attempt to hit the target, but sometimes “miss the mark”
  • Arrows can not be projected forward well by anything but the bow, they were made to fit into it (“Trust in the Lord with all your heart“)
  • Arrows are completely dependent upon the bow, and they were made to go out from it (“lean not on your own understanding“)
  • Arrows discussing how they got somewhere without crediting the bow would sound ridiculous (“In all your ways acknowledge him“)
  • Arrows, if properly knocked, fly true (“he will make your paths straight“)
Image by Paul Barlow from Pixabay

Today’s verse appeared on the program for our wedding, because it has always been one of my wife’s life verses. It is even more meaningful to me as I re-study it today because of something else I had written for Valerie long before she became my wife. I wrote the following thoughts about arrows for her after we had been dating for two months, just before she moved several states away from me:

I used to teach archery at camp in Texas. It’s the kind of sport where it’s not hard to find a few life metaphors – hitting the target, nailing the bull’s-eye, missing the mark… But in the arrow itself, I found a wealth of lessons. It’s such a simple, effective, and elegant weapon, with its sleek shaft and colorful feathers, but it can’t function without help. It needs the bow in order to reach its potential, to drive it forward, or it is worthless.

The arrow also has been prevalent in my doodles for as long as I can remember, probably due to its symbolic significance in direction and guidance. But take another look at the feathers – do you notice how one, the one facing outward, is a different color? That’s called the cock feather. It’s unique in that it must face away from the bow, or outward, in order to fly straight when shot. As Christians, too often we cover up what’s different about ourselves, and we wind up missing the mark, or sinning. But when our unique side faces outward for the world to see, we fly straight and true, exploding towards the target in a glorious burst of color.

 What is unique and different about you? Your faith, poise, depth, and grace, to name a few. Keep those true colors facing boldly outward; trust the Lord’s aim as He pulls back the string; fly straight. Let Him choose the targets, and you can’t miss.

Intersecting Faith & Life: Wisdom is often called the greatest gift, and no wonder, because it brings with it so many other gifts, not least among them the sense of guidance and direction that flying forth from God’s Great Bow brings. What gift of wisdom do you prize above others? Remember the example of the arrow when you wonder what it looks like to trust in the Lord with all your heart, and to acknowledge him in all your ways. A true straight arrow can do no other! It is nothing but ineffective flash apart from the bow!

Who Do You Look to for Help?By Keneesha Saunders-Liddie

I lift up my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? – Psalm 121:1

Late one evening, after I arrived home from a long day of work, I started folding a huge pile of laundry. I know what you’re thinking. From work to work huh? Yes, that is the life of a working mom. My daughter, who just a few months ago started walking; was busy exercising her legs around my bedroom. She was just looking for something interesting to do.

So she decided to go into a tight little space between her crib and dressing table. Everything was fine while she was standing there. I guessed she felt safe being wedged between a folding chair that leaned against her crib and the dressing table. That was until she decided to sit down. I stood there and looked at her, she looked at me and smiled as I shook my head no. It didn’t turn out well at all. She soon realized that she couldn’t get back up on her feet and she was stuck. The only thing left for her to do after she had tried to get up was to look up at me and cry.

She realized that the only way she was going to get out of the pickle was to get my attention and request help. I am her mom, and even though she had disobeyed me, I wasn’t going to stand by and hear her wails and turn a blind eye. No. I lovingly drew her out from under the chair and comforted her.

In our key scripture today David recognized where his help comes from. He looked upward. His faith was so firm and unshakeable he could look in the direction of the hills and have faith that the Creator God was his helper.

Sometimes, we wait until we are in a bind to ask God to help us. We allow the situation to reach to a point where we are so tangled and caught up that the only way out is to cry out to God for help. But God will hear and rescue us because he is Good and loving and merciful.

You might be in despair or you may be going through a tough situation where you feel ashamed and don’t even want to cry out for help. Remember that God isn’t like humans.

Where do you turn to for help?

Are you depending on yourself, your husband, your job, or your children? All of those choices have one thing in common. They can all fail you, but Jesus will never fail you. As a matter of fact, he never slumbers or sleeps, and he is always there ready to help and rescue you. No matter what.

Even though we may stray away from the plans God has laid out for us, he still wants us to draw close to him again. It’s why he wants us to pray and seek his face. The parable in the New Testament about the shepherd and his 100 sheep is relevant for you today.

God is displayed as the shepherd who left the fold to rescue the one. He didn’t have to, but he did. He left the fold and went looking for the sheep that went astray.

In the same way, he left the 99 in the fold and came and found you.

My daughter knew that her mom would come to the rescue, she knew that her cry would hurt my heart and I would rescue her from her distress. Do you believe that God is able to rescue you?

When we end up in situations that causes us to stray from the presence of God; instead of trying to help yourself out of the situation, pray to God.

Sometimes, while trying to help ourselves we end up digging our pit deeper and deeper. Allow God to help you in every situation because in every area of life he was tempted as we are.

If you have strayed away from God and you’re in need of help cry out to God. Look up to the hills because that’s where your help is coming from.

 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.

A More Excellent Way

by: Marilyn Pagán-Banks

1 Corinthians 12:12-26

12 Christ is just like the human body—a body is a unit and has many parts; and all the parts of the body are one body, even though there are many. 13 We were all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jew or Greek, or slave or free, and we all were given one Spirit to drink. 14 Certainly the body isn’t one part but many. 15 If the foot says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not a hand,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 16 If the ear says, “I’m not part of the body because I’m not an eye,” does that mean it’s not part of the body? 17 If the whole body were an eye, what would happen to the hearing? And if the whole body were an ear, what would happen to the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God has placed each one of the parts in the body just like he wanted. 19 If all were one and the same body part, what would happen to the body? 20 But as it is, there are many parts but one body. 21 So the eye can’t say to the hand, “I don’t need you,” or in turn, the head can’t say to the feet, “I don’t need you.” 22 Instead, the parts of the body that people think are the weakest are the most necessary. 23 The parts of the body that we think are less honorable are the ones we honor the most. The private parts of our body that aren’t presentable are the ones that are given the most dignity. 24 The parts of our body that are presentable don’t need this. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the part with less honor 25 so that there won’t be division in the body and so the parts might have mutual concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it; if one part gets the glory, all the parts celebrate with it.

Ubuntu—“I am because we are”—is a South African philosophy that speaks to our interconnectedness, interdependence, and interrelatedness as humans. Our humanity is only fully actualized in relationship with others.

In a letter to the church in Corinth, Paul teaches this concept to a people accustomed to hierarchy, a caste system,…

The world today still needs a church that is ready to show up united and in solidarity for collective liberation. Here I am God; use me. Amen.

An Unexpected Quiet PlaceBy: Kristine Brown

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31 NIV)

“Have you ever experienced anxiety in confined spaces?” The imaging technician stood over me, asking the standard questions before wheeling me into the narrow tube for the MRI. The doctor ordered the test for my left hand, so I didn’t realize until then that my entire body would be inside the tube.

I answered no with some hesitation, because I hadn’t really thought about it. I didn’t recall being in a confined space before, other than an elevator. Yet now – as the bed beneath me inched forward toward the hollow tunnel – my heart raced. My face felt flushed. The technician’s final words offered little comfort.

“This will take around 45 minutes to an hour. Hold completely still. You can’t move at all.”

Forty-five minutes to an hour? Those words still lingered in my mind as I called out in desperation to Jesus. In that instant, I knew I couldn’t go through it alone. “I can’t do this without you, Lord. Please come into this tube with me.”

And over the loud hum of the machine, I heard Him whisper, “Focus only on me.” I closed my eyes and envisioned Jesus right beside me in the MRI tube. His own words came back to my mind as I stayed focused on that image. “Peace I give you… Do not let your heart be troubled…” Over and over the words repeated, until my heart rate slowed, and I felt myself settling into a deep sense of peace. https://66aa004e019214de00d4a8d90654df2d.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” (Mark 6:31 NIV)

Mark chapter 6 reveals a time when Jesus equipped the disciples and set them out to minister to many people. They traveled in pairs from one village to another on foot. They preached about repentance and prayed for healing for the sick. After returning and reporting about all they’d done, He knew exactly what they needed. A quiet place to commune with Him.

They had to climb into a boat to get to a quiet place. Maybe not quite what they expected, but with so much going on around them, this was the only way to get a few minutes of alone-time with their Savior. 

Hebrews 3:1 says, “…fix your thoughts on Jesus…” And just like the disciples learned that day, we can be intentional about finding quiet time with our Lord. We don’t have to wait for the perfect circumstances or for things in life to settle down. We can take the unexpected moments and turn them into a conversation with Him. Wherever we are, He will be present with us if we focus solely on His voice.

I can’t help but smile at the thought of enjoying the presence of Jesus during an MRI test. Although the test felt like only 15-20 minutes, I was surprised when the technician informed me, I had actually been in the machine for an hour and a half. Christ’s peaceful presence worked wonders for my anxious heart.

Laying there perfectly still, I felt as if I heard Jesus say, “Wouldn’t it be nice if we had more moments together like this?” And in that instant, I realized it took a total separation from everything else for me to fix my thoughts on Him. 

As we travel through our day today, let’s not wait for the perfect time to commune with the One who loves us most. He wants us to spend focused, undivided time with Him. When we turn our unexpected quiet places into time with Jesus, He will turn our anxiety into peace. Let’s embrace those unexpected places and make time to be alone with Jesus. 

Epiphany Now

The extraordinary season is upon us

by:Diana Butler Bass

On January 5, the eve of Epiphany, I went for a night walk. We’d just had a big snowstorm in Virginia. The trees were still encased and frozen a silvery white, their branches sparkled in the moonlight against a deep blue sky. Everything was silent; the only sound was the cracking crust of hardened snow with each footfall. I wondered: Is this what it is like to dance across the stars?

And that is what Epiphany is--a season of stars. Magic. 

Of course, in more conventional use, Epiphany is a season in the Christian year — the weeks that follow Christmas until Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent. In the northern hemisphere, it is the deep winter season, a time of starkness, cold, ice, and snow. Madeleine L’Engle once wrote that winter “reveals structure,” that which is behind the riot of leaf and flower of spring. Stripped down to the icy branches, Epiphany manifests a January spirituality helping us see what we cannot otherwise see.

Epiphany is not just a liturgical placeholder between two important Christian holy days. It may well be the most undervalued — and, in many ways, the most contemporarily relevant — season of the Christian year.

The traditional themes of Epiphany are light, glory, sight, revelation, and enlightenment. The seasonal cycle begins with the story of the Magi — three wise mystics — following a star, a journey that takes them to Jesus, God’s promise birthed into the world, wonder embodied as a tiny child. The most ordinary of human moments — birth — becomes extraordinary.

Epiphany is about seeing the extraordinary in the everyday. Some Christians call Epiphany “ordinary time,” but there’s nothing ordinary about it. Week after week, with each story presented in the yearly lectionary, what seems ordinary is revealed as something extraordinary. A baptism turns into a divine announcement; water becomes wine; reading holy words introduces a prophet of the Kingdom; a day’s laborious fishing breaks the nets with a great catch; the poor are blessed; and love, mercy, and forgiveness are offered not to friends but to those who seek to do us harm.

Epiphany is a cracking of the ice underfoot. The frozen world starts giving way to something else — the branches sparkle in the moonlight, a star leads to a barn, the beauty of the deep structure of things is revealed. We begin to wonder: Maybe every baptism announces God’s love. Maybe water always has been wine. Maybe we are all prophets of liberation. Maybe every day’s work holds abundance. The poor and sad and persecuted have always been the blessed. Perhaps we are always dancing on the stars and just don’t notice. Not until an epiphany. It is far more than a day. It isn’t just the “weeks following” Christmas or the Magi visit. This is the season of extraordinary time, the in-breaking of creation’s promise. This Epiphany, this seeing, this glory of the cosmos manifested here and now.

Indeed, Epiphany is best expressed through paint and poetry and imprecise preaching; it is the delight of theologians of imagination and children playing in snow. I suspect that is why it is largely ignored by those who have lost the sense that faith is magical and that miracles are real. But Epiphany is real. And you know it is real because of a single, powerful, and relevant truth: each of its miracles is met by a violent counterforce bent on extinguishing the extraordinary.

The Magi’s visit is followed by Herod’s infanticide. Jesus’ baptism happens in conjunction with John’s arrest. The miracle of water and wine is followed by an angry encounter with religious profiteers. Proclamation of the Kingdom results in a mob attempting to throw the prophet off a cliff. The great catch of fish causes the disciples to abandon their families and jobs. Blessings are followed by woes. And the call for mercy and forgiveness is countered with vicious rumors and the hatching of a plot to do away with Jesus.

This extraordinary season induces awe. It reveals that there is more to the world than what we accept as “ordinary.” And there are powers and principalities that will press against Epiphany with fear and great violence. To see the deep structure, to follow the star, to hear the breaking of the ice encasing the earth is threatening to those who benefit from “normal,” the accepted veneer of “ordinary” injustices and oppressions and indignities that bedevil and deceive the human race.

And thus: Epiphany is the season we need now. We need its clarity, its sharp starkness. Maybe our moment in history is an epiphany — the ordinary is being pulled back to reveal that which has been hidden from view. The mundane is charged with meaning — and epiphanies are everywhere. It is as if the universe has cracked open with truth — and terror. We live in awful and awe-filled times. For some of what we know as ordinary has become the gateway to glory; and some of what we’ve accepted as ordinary is only another guise of vainglory. It takes an epiphany to reveal which is which — to know the deepest love in the world and live in the tailings of the star

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, 


Prayer for When You’ve Lost EverythingBy Jennifer Maggio

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-10

It was 3:30 in the morning when I received the call that changed everything. “Jennifer, you need to get out of the house. Your neighborhood is flooding,” my friend sobbed hysterically. Unsure if I was dreaming, I stumbled from my bed, down the hall, and out my front door. Floodwaters were pouring into my neighborhood, more quickly than I can even describe. Within 20 minutes, we were loaded in the car and fleeing the scene. It took only a matter of hours for the Great Louisiana Flood of 2016 to overtake my home and wash away virtually everything I owned – baby pictures, wedding albums, my children’s first letters, everything.

There is someone reading this who is there, right now. You have lost everything; you feel you can’t go on, you are certain no one sees you. I’m writing this for you, today. I’m writing to tell you some important things for you to know when you lose everything.

You haven’t lost everything. It may seem like it, today. It may seem like the dark cloud has followed you way too long. Maybe you’ve lost a great deal in a short period of time. Maybe you’ve lost your job and your health is failing, and your mom just died. I don’t know what your loss looks like today and I wouldn’t dare minimize it. Take your time to grieve the loss. Take your time; let time heal the wounds of the loss. But please know: you haven’t lost everything. God is with you. As a born-again child of the King, your salvation isn’t lost. Your future beyond this earth is secure.

It doesn’t matter how you feel today. It doesn’t matter if you can’t feel God’s presence. Feelings are temporal and fleeting. What is true is that He is with you. Satan would like nothing more than to convince you otherwise. There are thousands of lies that Satan will whisper in your ear. But that’s just it. They are lies – lies from the pit of Hell, designed strategically to hold you down, destroy you, steal you your hope, and kill the joy of your future. Do not stand for it.

You have been given the authority to stand firm against the lies of the enemy. You have the authority to cast down his plans of attack against you. Know that you are God’s beloved. He sees you. He loves you. You are not alone.

A Prayer for When You’ve Lost Everything:

Lord, I’ll just be honest: I feel like everything good has been taken from me. And I feel like You’ve let it happen. Can I admit that to You? Thank you for being big enough to handle all my fears, angers, and uncertainties.

Lord, thank you for this truth: I am afflicted in every way, but not crushed, perplexed but not driven to despair, struck down but not destroyed. 

Lord, help me- give me Your Spirit, help me know Your goodness even in the midst of this pain. Help me out of this pit, Lord, and onto steady ground. 

Thank You, God for never leaving me. Help me only have hope in You. 

In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the Power to Go after Your GoalsBy Rick Warren

“We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it” (Proverbs 16:9 The Message)

Proverbs 16:9 says, “We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it” (The Message).

You get to plan the way you want to live, but only God gives you the power and energy to actually experience transformation. Why? Because God provides the three things you must have to reach your goal and change your life.

1. You need God’s Spirit to empower you.

You need God’s help to make changes you can’t make on your own. It’s not based on willpower. It’s based on God’s power. It’s not based on trying. It’s based on trusting.

Zechariah 4:6 says, “‘You will not succeed by your own strength or by your own power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord All-Powerful” (NCV).

Zechariah 4:6 by My Spirit say the Lord, Bible Postcard | Zazzle.com

2. You need God’s Word to guide you.

The Bible is the owner’s manual for life. The more you read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate on it, the more successful and fulfilled you’re going to be in life.

When Joshua was given the great dream of taking over the Promised Land—a goal that would take him the rest of his life—God spoke these words to him: “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success” (Joshua 1:8 NASB).

3. You need God’s people to support you.

You will not be able to reach your goals on your own. It takes a team to fulfill a dream!

A crowd can’t support you, but a small group can. The people in your small group know when you’re sick, when you’re having a tough time, when you need a break. You can share your goals and successes and failures, and they will rejoice with you and encourage you to keep going. You’re going to need that when you make the right kind of goals and pursue them wholeheartedly.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, “By yourself you’re unprotected. With a friend you can face the worst. Can you round up a third? A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped” (The Message).