O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips praise you.
Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts. And see if there be any grievous way in me, and if there be any, return me to your path, and lead me in the way everlasting. All glory and praise be your now, and forever,
"I will go before you and make the crooked places straight…"(Isaiah 45:2, NKJV)
Are you going through a season where you feel like every time you try to move forward, you hit a roadblock? Something happens that throws you off course. Be encouraged today because when you submit your life to the Lord, He promises to go before you. He is preparing a way for you. He is making your crooked places straight and your rough places smooth. You may be going through a difficult time right now, but it’s not the end. It’s only the beginning, and God has equipped you for this journey.
Today, if you feel like you’re in a dry season, don’t look at your circumstances. Look at the promise of God! If you’ll keep speaking words of faith, God promises that He’ll anoint your head with oil and your cup will run over. That means you’ll be refreshed and anointed to do what He’s called you to do. God is preparing your path and equipping you for the journey.
What do you need in order to keep moving forward? Start by checking your attitude. Don’t go around complaining or focused on the negative side of things. Put on an attitude of praise and thanksgiving. Thank Him for making your crooked places straight! Keep your eyes on Him and follow Him forward into the path of victory!
A Prayer for Today
"Lord in heaven, thank You for Your goodness in my life. Thank You for preparing the path for my life and making my crooked places straight. Thank You for restoring my soul and life and guiding me in everything I do. I submit every area of my life to You in Jesus’ name. Amen."
Take a look at the HAPPIEST people you know and you will notice something.
They haven't had the EASIEST lives!
Happy people have usually suffered and struggled MORE than most.
But in the process, they have learned to look for GOOD THINGS in life.
And have you noticed this ...
When we look for good things in situations - or people - we FIND them.
When we look for bad things, we FIND them.
So it's not changing your situation that makes you happier.
It's changing your THINKING!
If you go looking for faults in your job or your boyfriend or your wife, you will find plenty.
Some people spend their life looking for faults - and then they tell you, "I'm just being REALISTIC!"
It is not realistic.
It is NEGATIVE!
Happy people continually ask themselves, "What is good about this situation?"
You are stuck in traffic. You ask yourself, "What's GOOD about it?"
You have time to listen to your favorite music.
You can plan your day.
It's better than walking!
You are short of money. You ask, "What's GOOD about having no cash?"
You learn to appreciate things that money can't buy.
You become more determined to succeed.
You find out who your friends are!
You might say, "That's nuts! It's kidding myself."
Looking for good things is a key to happiness.
So your mission for the next 24 hours?
In every situation, look for GOOD THINGS.
It may be hard at first, but it becomes automatic. As "looking for positives" becomes a habit, you will become happier and happier.
Oh Father God who made me, open my eyes that I may see your hand in all of your works this day and most especially in those you have made in your image. Oh Lord Christ, open my heart that I may see your holy presence surrounding me; blanket me in an impenetrable luminous cloud of godly love. Oh Holy Spirit, let me hear your voice like the uninterrupted roar of a great waterfall that cannot be silenced and cannot be stopped and cannot be overcome by any temptation of flesh.
Draw my heart back to your love the instant I begin to hate. If I am proud, drown my pride in your glory. Teach me to be careful in nothing when it comes to you, Holy God, and let me know and shine forth the truth: that all things are possible in Your Son, Our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
"…take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."(2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)
Everyone has days when they feel like life is out of control. Oftentimes, this happens when we allow our circumstances to dictate our thoughts and attitudes. You might say, “Well, the economy is wreaking havoc on my business,” or “This relationship is just too far gone.” But I say, today is the day to take your life back!
You take your life back by choosing to take your thoughts back. Even though we live in this natural realm, as believers, we are not limited by this natural realm. We can tap into God’s power by making every thought line up with the Word of God. We don’t have to let circumstances control us. Instead, meditate on His Word and let His truth set you free!
Today, as you take captive every thought and boldly declare His promises over your life, you are setting yourself up for victory. You are positioning yourself to partake of His blessing. You are taking your life back and positioning yourself to embrace the abundant life He has prepared for you!
A Prayer for Today
"Heavenly Father, thank You for empowering me to live in victory today. I choose to take my life back by taking captive every thought and submitting it to You. Help me live a life that is pleasing to You, Jesus, today and every day in Jesus’ name. Amen."
"Then Jesus said, 'Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.'"(Matthew 11:28, NLT)
God wants to give you rest. He wants to refresh and restore your soul—your mind, will and emotions. It’s so easy to get caught up in the “busyness” of life, and before long, your mind, will and emotions are so “spun up” that you can barely think straight! But even in the hustle of life, you can find rest, ease and relaxation. God wants you to enjoy your life. That’s why He tells us to come to Him. God wants to take care of everything that concerns you so that you can find rest in your innermost being.
Imagine how you would feel if someone came up to you today and said, “Give me all of your monthly bills; I’m going to pay them.” You’d get pretty excited, wouldn’t you? But it wouldn’t happen until you did your part to actually hand that person your bills. They can’t pay them for you if you never release them. In the same way, when we release our cares and concerns to God, He promises to take care of them.
Today, choose to release your cares to the Lord. Let Him fill you with His peace and joy. Receive the rest that He promises and enjoy the fulfillment and blessing He has for you!
A Prayer for Today
"Father in heaven, today I humbly come to You. I choose to cast my cares on You so that I can live in Your rest. Thank You for Your goodness to me. Help me find ways to share Your goodness with those around me today in Jesus’ name. Amen."
I bind myself to you this day, oh Christ, in your truth and in your sacrifice. I give to you my anxiety and my fear, my depression and my doubt, for you have promised to take them if we only ask; and I take upon myself your burden, for it is light and your way is gentle. May I keep this in my heart and mind all this day.
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me..."(Psalm 23:4, NKJV)
Do you ever feel like you are walking through the valley of the shadow of death? During the tough times, it’s easy to get discouraged. I love what it says in the verse, “though I walk through…”
No matter what you are facing today, know this: you are not alone, and you are just walking through. You don’t have to stop and live in the tough times. They are only temporary. I encourage you today; don’t allow fear to paralyze you in the middle of “the valley of the shadow of death.”
Remember, God is with you. He is walking beside you. He is strengthening you. He is making a way of escape for you. He is lining up people and situations to bring you out of that tough place into a place of strength and victory.
Don’t give up! Press on and walk through! Begin to get a vision of your life on the other side. See yourself more loving, more faithful, stronger and more blessed than ever before. As you keep moving forward and walking through, you will get to the other side and experience the victory God has in store for you!
A Prayer for Today
"Heavenly Father, thank You for Your faithfulness in my life. Thank You for walking with me even in the hard times. I trust that You are taking me through my circumstances to a place of victory and strength in Jesus’ name. Amen."
O Heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open my eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, I may learn to serve you with gladness, faithfully managing your bounty; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
"Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you…"(2 Timothy 1:6, NKJV)
Do you need some freshness in your life today?
It’s probably time to stir up what God has placed on the inside of you. It’s time to stir up those gifts, stir up those dreams, stir up those talents inside. Start stretching yourself.
This doesn’t just mean making New Year’s resolutions; this means tapping into the destiny God has placed in your heart.
Scripture tells us that without vision, people perish. If you don’t have a dream, you’re not really living the way God intends; you’re merely existing.
Maybe at one time you had a dream, but you went through some disappointments or setbacks. Things didn’t turn out the way you planned.
But here’s a key: when one dream dies, dream another dream. Just because it didn’t work out the way you had it planned doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have another plan. You cannot allow one disappointment or even a series of disappointments to convince you that your dream is over.
It’s time to dig your heels in and hold on to the promises in your heart. As you stir up those God-given dreams and desires, He’ll pour out His favor and blessings and fulfill every desire in your heart!
A Prayer for Today
"Father, I come humbly to You. I give You my past, my disappointments, my brokenness. I choose forgiveness and peace. Fill me with Your hope and expectation as You fulfill the dreams and desires that You have placed within me in Jesus’ name. Amen."
Then, when life doesn't obey your rules, get angry!
That's what miserable people do!
Let's say you expect that:
People SHOULD appreciate you.
Planes SHOULD arrive on time.
Your husband SHOULD remember your birthday.
Sounds reasonable ... but often, these things won't happen!
So you end up frustrated.
Happy people make fewer DEMANDS on life.
Instead, they have PREFERENCES!
"I would prefer "A", but if "B" happens, it's OK too!"
I PREFER the neighbours to be quiet - but if they make a noise, I can handle it.
I PREFER people to see my point of view - but when they disagree, it is OK.
You have preferences about the outcome of your plans, but you accept WHATEVER happens.
So your mission today?
Instead of making DEMANDS on life and people, have PREFERENCES.
There are two ways to become happier:
a) change the world, or
b) change your thinking.
Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day, I commit myself Your care. Mold me in your image. In everything I say and do, let my mind be on the eternal goodness of heaven rather than the vanities of earth, meaningless pride, or the anger and envy that tear apart my precious soul.
I dedicate myself to your holiness, Oh sweet and innocent Christ, and pray that you may be with me, to check my tongue before it can speak evil and to stop my hand when it seeks to sin. I come to you as a child. I will look to you for guidance and wisdom. Let me know the joyful feeling of having done something that pleased you; let me never feel the pain of knowing I have disappointed you. And let me live without fear, without confusion, always steady in the certainty of your forgiveness and ultimate victory, I pray,
O Lord, who has mercy upon all, take away from me my sins, and mercifully kindle in me the fire of your Holy Spirit. Take away from me the heart of stone, and give me a heart of flesh, a heart to love and adore you, a heart to delight in you, to follow and to enjoy you, for Christ's sake.
"Since we have the same spirit of faith…we also believe, and so we also speak."(2 Corinthians 4:13, ESV)
Scripture says, “The spirit of faith is in our words.” My question today is, “What’s coming out of your mouth?” Are you talking about how big your problems are, or are you talking about how big your God is?
As believers, our attitude should always be an attitude of praise—“Father, business may be slow, but I want to thank You that You’re supplying all of my needs.” “My circumstance may seem impossible, but thank You, God, that all things are possible with You!” We should always find a reason to give thanks!
This is what Jonah did. After complaining for eight verses, he had a change of heart in verse nine. He said, “God, in spite of my difficulties, I’m going to offer unto You the sacrifice of praise with a voice of thanksgiving.” While sitting in the belly of the whale, instead of complaining, he began to worship. The next verse says that the whale spit him out onto dry ground, and he went on to fulfill his destiny.
If you feel like you’re in the belly of a whale, if you feel trapped, if things seem dark, remember, praise always precedes the victory! Open your mouth and declare His praises! Say what the Word says and watch the breakthrough come to pass!
A Prayer for Today
"Father God, I humbly come to You in the precious name of Jesus Christ. I commit my words and thoughts to You. I choose to say what the Word says. I choose to speak the truth and trust that You are working for my good in Jesus’ name. Amen."
I thank You for the temporal blessings of this world — the refreshing air, the light of the sun, the food that renews strength, the raiment that clothes, the dwelling that shelters, the sleep that gives rest, the starry canopy of night, the summer breeze, the flowers' sweetness, the music of flowing streams, the happy endearments of family, kindred, and friends. Things animate, things inanimate, minister to my comfort. My cup runs over.
Do not allow me to be insensible to these daily mercies. Your hand bestows blessings; Your power averts evil. I bring my tribute of thanks for spiritual graces, the full warmth of faith, the cheering presence of our Spirit, the strength of Your restraining will, Your spiking of hell's artillery. Blessed be my sovereign Lord!
Almighty God, whose loving hand has given me all that I possess; Grant me grace that I may honor you with my substance, and remembering the account which I must one day give, may be a faithful steward of your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
"Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name."(Hebrews 13:15, NKJV)
Have you ever thought about what it means to continually offer up a sacrifice of praise? That word “sacrifice” means that it cost you something. It means doing something when you don’t feel like it. It’s when you say, “God, I’m hurting, but I give You praise.” “God, I’m lonely, but I give You praise.” “God, it wasn’t fair. They did me wrong, but I give You praise.”
When you praise God beyond your feelings, that’s when praise becomes your faith at work. That’s when praise becomes a weapon. Nothing gets God’s attention any more than when you call on Him in your time of trouble. When most people would become negative and bitter, you have a song of praise. You’re thanking God for who He is and what He will do in your life. You’re not talking about how big your problems are; you’re talking about how big your God is!
Today, understand that praise activates God’s power. He commands us to praise because it opens the door to His victory and blessing. No matter what is happening around you, worship Him! Declare His goodness and see His restoration in every area of your life!
A Prayer for Today
"Father, today I choose to praise You. I choose to give You glory no matter what’s happening in the world around me. I know that You are good and faithful, so I give You all the praise in Jesus’ name! Amen."
Let all who take refuge in you rejoice, O Lord. Let us ever sing for joy. Let those who confess your name raise up their voice, filling the air with glorious noise. Spread your protection over us, mighty God, that we who love your name may exalt you before all the people of the earth. Let the quiet and the shy find their courage so that they may sing and shout to the sky, “There is one great God who rules over us all, and Jesus Christ of Nazareth is His only Son”.
May I be blessed to help the blind see your glory and the deaf hear your praise, lest they surely die. For they must be told: Every heart will find righteousness and eternal life in the holy name of Christ, and nowhere else. Make me your trumpet, make me your lighthouse; let me proclaim to the very end of the earth, that Christ is King,
"When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, 'Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?' But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor."(Matthew 27:12-14, NIV)
One time, a reporter asked me what I thought about two men he named, but I hadn’t ever heard of them. I just replied, “I’m sorry. I don’t know them.” He began to laugh and thought that was so funny. I asked, “Well, who are they?”
He said, “Joel, they are your two most outspoken critics. They’re always talking about you.”
He couldn’t believe that I hadn’t ever heard of them. I’ve learned that you can’t waste your time engaging in conflicts that don’t matter. There will always be critics. There will always be naysayers, but we have to follow the example of Jesus. When He was falsely accused, He didn’t try to defend Himself. He gave no reply to the charges against Him.
Remember, the critics cannot keep you from your destiny. They don’t define who you are. They don’t determine your worth and value. You are a child of the Most High God. The Creator of the universe breathed life into you. As a believer in Jesus, you are crowned with favor. Turn away from accusing voices so you can focus on the destiny God has prepared for you!
A Prayer for Today
"Father, today I cling to You because You are my defender! I choose to turn away from accusing voices. I choose to turn away from petty conflicts. I look to You knowing that You are leading and guiding me in paths of victory in Jesus’ name. Amen."
"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."(Jeremiah 29:11, NKJV)
Oftentimes, I hear people say, “I’ve just blown it so many times. I had this major setback. I don’t see how I could ever get to where I’m supposed to be.”
We have to realize—our mistakes aren’t that powerful. Our mistakes aren’t too big for God. He’s not up in the heavens shaking His head saying, “I never dreamed they would do that. They’ve ruined My plan.”
No, God knew every mistake we would ever make. He knew every wrong turn, and He’s already prepared a new route. He already has your detour figured out.
Scripture says that God knows the end from the beginning. If you’ve made some mistakes, the good news is that He has already planned a way to get you back on track! Just come to Him with an open and humble heart. Let Him wash you clean and make you new. Your mistakes aren’t bigger than God. He loves you and has a good plan in store for you!
A Prayer for Today
"Father God, thank You for choosing me and accepting me beyond my mistakes. Thank You that the blood of Jesus cleanses me and makes me new. I invite You to have Your way as I submit every area of my life to You in Jesus’ name. Amen."
Heavenly Father, I have spent my life constantly wanting more. Let me be content. If I am having trouble paying my bills, let me look to those who live in cardboard shacks without clean water; if my vision is poor, let me help the blind; if my mobility is impaired, let me visit a prison filled with those who can walk and run; if I envy the young, let me pray for those who were killed by their mothers in the womb.
I too often look to those who have something I do not, or more of something I want; let me give thanks for the great bounty you have showered upon me, oh Lord, remembering in my envy and pain that all I have is a gift from you. In the name of Christ I pray,
"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
(John 10:10, NIV)
A couple of years ago, I was watching the news when Captain Sullenberger successfully landed a jet airplane in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers survived. It’s known as “The Miracle on the Hudson.” A reporter asked one passenger what he thought about it all. He was soaking wet, freezing cold, a little bit frazzled, but he had this incredible glow about him, an excitement in his voice. I’ll never forget what he told the reporter, “I was alive before, but now I’m really alive.”
My question today is, “Are you really alive?” Are you passionate about the life God has given you? Do you get up every morning with enthusiasm, pursuing your dreams? God doesn’t want you to just “be alive” or just exist or endure. He wants you to be really alive! You have seeds of greatness on the inside. There is something more for you to accomplish. Get excited about what God is doing! Lift up your eyes of faith to Him. Keep hoping, keep believing, keep trusting and keep living because God has a wonderful plan in store for you!
A Prayer for Today
"Father, thank You for making me alive in Christ! I declare that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and because He died for me, I can live the abundant life here on earth. Help me stay focused on You this day and live with the enthusiasm that comes from knowing You in Jesus’ name. Amen."
Compassionate Lord, Your mercies have brought me to the dawn of another day. Vain will be its gift unless I grow in grace, increase in knowledge; ripen for spiritual harvest. Let me this day know You as You are, love You supremely, serve You completely, admire You fully.
Through grace let my will respond to You, knowing that power to obey is not in me, but that Your free love alone enables me to serve You. Here then is my empty heart, overflow it with Your choice gifts; here is my blind understanding, chase away its mists of ignorance.
Lord God, Enlighten what is dark in me,
Strengthen what is weak in me,
Mend what is broken in me,
Bind what is bruised in me,
Heal what is sick in me,
Revive whatever peace and love that has died in me.
Restore me, Father God, as you would have me,
That I may better serve you
And show your Glory to all the world.
In the name of Christ, I pray,