Has this new year already taken a toll on you? Are you feeling stressed? Maybe you get easily frustrated and you’re not sure why?
I have one question for you – are you reading God’s Word regularly?
When we intentionally spend time reading the Bible that is where we find direction, rest, and strength. It becomes easier for us to discern God’s voice and enables us to live more at peace, no matter what our circumstance may be.
If the new year brought more stress into your life, go to God with it! He will take the weight of your stress off of you and give you peace. 1 Peter 5:7 says, “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (NLT) God cares for you and He is a safe place to cast all of your worries, frustration, and fears.
When we do this, though, it is important that we listen to the guidance God gives us. Often when we go to God with worry or a problem He will tell us what needs to be done on our part to resolve that issue. At that moment we have a choice because we may not like the action we need to take, even though it is the right one.
Reading the Word during times of unease in our lives is also helpful because we find verses like 1 Peter 5:7 that we can stand upon to trust God. If we don’t know what is in the Bible we can’t act on it, and that means we will be stuck feeling stressed and worn out.
Your heavenly Father is inviting you today into His rest, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT) Spend time in God’s Word today, hear from Him, receive His peace and direction.
Don’t let anxiety or exhaustion keep you from God’s plans for you this year. Seek him, read the Bible, and immerse yourself in the rest He freely gives to us all.
God has a good plan for each one of our lives (Jeremiah 29:11) and it’s not a plan of mediocrity.
You may be okay having a certain illness or living paycheck to paycheck but God isn’t! He desires for His children to live a life of abundance. Jesus died on the cross for our salvation and with that comes healing, authority, and provision.
Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV) says, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above what we could ask or think!
God is able. God is willing. Let’s not let this year pass living a life miles under what we could have through Him.
We are new creatures in Christ, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV) therefore we do not have to fall prey to the struggles of this world. No, our lives will never be perfect, we will have trials, but with God we can be victorious through them all.
I want to encourage you today that God is your healer, God is your source, God is your comforter, God is your redeemer, anything you need to live a better, more abundant life, God has for you.
If there are areas of your life that you feel like you are just getting by in, bring that situation to God!
Today is the last day of the decade… wow!
You may be excited, or anxious, about this new beginning.
The unknown aspect of a new year, especially a new decade, can generate many questions that leave us feeling unprepared or anxious.
But I have good news for you!
God already knows where you will be in the next year, even the next 10 years, and He has good plans for you. He has plans to prosper you, plans to make your heart’s desires come to pass, even plans of redemption when we inevitably mess up or make the wrong choices.
Take a moment to encourage yourself with these verses from God’s Word:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ ” ~ Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
“In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” ~ Psalm 94:19 NKJV
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” ~ Philippians 4:6 NKJV
God’s got you in 2020. Cast your anxious thoughts on Him and let His peace wash over you.
The unknown can tempt us to be anxious or fearful but focus on God’s good plans for you and the scriptures written above. You are precious to God and He has wonderful things in store for you in the 52 weeks that are ahead.
Merry Christmas Eve!
Can you think back to the anticipation you felt as a child right before Christmas day? You could hardly handle your excitement before ripping into the gifts that had your name on them; gifts you had specifically asked for and had great expectation as you sat around the tree that you would receive.
This is how it should be when we pray and ask God for something. Whether it be healing, financial provision, peace, or joy, we ought to have the same anticipation, expectation, and excitement that our heavenly Father has heard us and that we will receive what we’ve asked for.
We serve a good God, a God that hears our prayers and answers them. But do we always believe that?
I hope so!
If not, I encourage you to dive deeper into the Word to purposefully develop an unbreakable trust and expectation on the Lord. Meditate on the following scriptures:
Jeremiah 29:11-13 NKJV “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.”
Matthew 6:31-33 NKJV “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
Ephesians 3:20 NKJV “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”.
Have you ever thought to yourself in doubt, “I could never do anything for God, I am just one person”?
I want to encourage you today that there is power in one; one man or one woman who is obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 5:19 says, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
Adam, just one man, made a decision that impacted humanity for the rest of time. Jesus, came down from heaven to become one man, that would sacrifice His life for our eternal redemption and right standing with God. There is power in the actions of only one person.
There is a limitless impact that can be made in the world through just one believer’s obedience. You could lead someone to Christ that would, in turn, lead 10 million people to Christ. You never know the end result of how you, just one person, listening to God could influence the world.
In Luke 15:10 we see that heaven is not only moved when 100 or 1,000 people come to Christ but by one! Heaven celebrates the one because the angels know that through one so much can be done, “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (NKJV)
As the Body of Christ, yes, we are called to work together in unity but that starts with each individual deciding to be obedient and follow God and His plan.
Have you ever done something wrong and didn’t want to tell anyone about it? Maybe it was when you were a child and you were terrified of your parents finding out what mistake you had made. You thought they might even kick you out!
Then when you finally told them or they found out they didn’t react at all how you expected them to. Instead, they forgave you and gave you a big hug to reassure you that they love you.
Are we like this with God?
When we mess up do we try to run and hide like Adam and Eve in the garden? Do we fear what the Lord is going to do to us as if He is sitting up in heaven contemplating our destruction? Maybe we even think about Him banishing us from heaven?
That may seem silly but many people view God this way and ultimately choose to hide rather than to repent.
The truth is, when we mess up God wants us to run as fast as we can to Him to make it right. He welcomes us with open arms because He never wants any distance in our relationship. We can’t hide from God because He is all-knowing, we may as well repent as quickly as possible so we aren’t overloaded with guilt and shame like the devil wants us to be.
Our heavenly Father is love, He is generous, and He wants us to live an abundant life. That’s why He didn’t just kill Adam and Eve in the garden and start over with creation. We so often try to hide and cover up our own mistakes like they did but that’s not what God wants.
Just like as a parent you want your kids to be honest and tell you when they’ve messed up, so does God. Why? So He can rightfully punish us? No. So He can forgive us and rid us of our shame and be in loving fellowship with us.
If you have anything that you would like to confess before God then I encourage you to pray this prayer, “Dear God, I am coming to you now to repent of my sins. I want to be rid of all guilt and shame and be in intimate fellowship with you. Thank you that when I repent you are always faithful to forgive me and cleanse me. In Jesus’ name, amen.”
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NKJV