Love is a Decision

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.”
– ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4-8‬‬

Love is a decision.
Sometimes, it’s a really hard one.
Sometimes it is a gut-wrenching, sick-to-your-stomach kind of hurt.
Sometimes we feel betrayed and we just want to cry out.

We wonder how someone can make the choices they make and use the words that tear our hearts to pieces, when we are giving them everything we can give. When we are always there with love, support, direction… Why is it not enough???
But it’s true. Love is a decision. We have to keep loving through the pain sometimes. We have to keep standing strong even when they try to push us away.

When I am struggling in a relationship with a loved one, I will pray:
Dear Heavenly Father, help me choose love! I’m tired of hurting, but I’m trying to be patient. My loved one has had cruel words to say, but I want to be kind. Help me choose to respect them and to try to understand their point of view. Calm my temper so I don’t react in anger. And when I forgive, help me to truly let go of the issue, and not throw it in their face at a later date. I want to protect their heart fiercely – like a mama bear protecting her cub. Help me trust that they will receive my love, and learn to better demonstrate their love for me. I have hope that as we each grow closer to you and learn more about your grace and love, our relationship with each other will grow stronger, as well. Be close to us through this rough patch so that our relationship may heal. Thank you, Lord! Amen.

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Stay on God’s Path

“For I have stayed on God’s paths; I have followed his ways and not turned aside.”
– ‭‭Job‬ ‭23:11‬‬ NLT

Life is a journey, and along the way, we will run into detours, construction, or we may miss our exit. But that doesn’t mean that we should turn around and go home, or stop where we are and never move forward. At times like these, we must take a look around and figure out where to go from here.

With God as your navigation, you will never be lost.

When I feel like I can use some direction, I will pray:
Dear God, I am determined to make it to the destination that you have chosen for me. Please show me the way! Amen

He is the God Who Makes Me Strong

“He is the God who makes me strong, who makes my pathway safe.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:32‬ ‭GNT‬‬

Our paths won’t always be free of obstacles, but He will guide us through safely.
Our lives will never be completely trouble-free, but He will arm us with the strength to prevail.
Our journey may seem littered with potholes and roadblocks, and we may even begin to question if this is really the road that God intended us to travel.

This verse reminds us of three key things:
He is God. This is all under His control. And He wants the best for us, who love Him.
He gives us strength. And power. And victory. We can overcome any obstacle with the strength that He provides.
He makes our pathways safe. He guides us and delivers us. He helps us navigate through the trials and tribulations. Even when it looks like there’s no way – He MAKES a way.

When I think that I’m not strong enough, and I’m tempted to stop moving forward on my journey, I will pray:

Thank you, Lord, for arming me with Your strength and then aiming me in the right direction. I love you, Lord, and I will follow Your path for all the days of my life! ❤️ Amen

All My Troubles

“In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.”
– ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭34:6‬‬

God doesn’t promise us that we won’t have problems, but when we turn to him and lay those problems at his feet, he will be there every time. This verse says, “He saved me from ALL my troubles.“
No matter how many times we cry out to him, God doesn’t give up on us.
No matter how tight of a spot we get ourselves into this time, he doesn’t turn his back on us.

When you are desperate,
When you are in too deep,
When you feel hopeless, anxious, and overwhelmed…
Pray.
He is listening.

Oh Lord, hear my cry! I am hopeless and defeated, and I need You! Please save me from my troubles! I will find hope in You, Lord. I know that even in this, You are working to bring good into my life. Amen

Be Still.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
– ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭46:10‬‬ NIV

Be still.
Wait.
Listen.
Stop the frenzy.
Calm the chaos inside of you.
Breathe.
Be still.
And know that He is God.
And He is bigger than all of your problems.

Lord, when I feel the weight of all my problems and I’m feeling overwhelmed, please remind me to slow down. Please remove my fears and fill my heart with Your peace. Amen

 

When Everything Falls Apart

“When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?” The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne. He observes everyone on earth; his eyes examine them.
– ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭11:3-4‬‬

The question David asks in verse 3 is one that we have all had at times. When everything good is falling apart and we are looking around at the wreckage that we call life, what can we do? Where can we go? Who can we turn to for help?
The answer in verse 4 is simply that God is sitting on His throne.

He knows. But he is not afraid, he is not stressed out, he is not worrying. Because he is God.

…What? This is not the answer that we want to hear when we are in the midst of our fears, our frustrations, our depression, and our despair. We want the answer to be something that instantly makes everything better at the snap of our fingers. Like, “Whew! Glad THAT’S over! Because that was a disaster!” We want our pain to be gone right now, and our fears to be behind us.
What we really want is peace.
We want to feel peace when we are afraid.
We want to feel peace when our hearts are shattered.
We want to feel peace when the world feels overwhelming.
And David is absolutely right that the answer to that question is that our Lord is sitting on His throne. That is where we will find the peace that we need. Our focus needs to be on Him – not our circumstances. Not on what is tearing us down. Not on what is feeding our fears and anxieties. Turn to Him for peace. Lean into your faith for hope. And do the next right thing.

When I feel that my life is coming apart at the seams, I will pray:

Lord,please calm my fears and bring peace to my soul. My hope is in You, even in my brokenness. Please mend the broken pieces of my life. Amen

More Than Enough

Abram traveled back to where he had previously built an altar and called on the name of The Lord. He was back in the place where he knew God wanted him to be.
Abram and Lot were still traveling together, and they had acquired so many possessions that the land could not support them both. Abram no longer had the same worrying nature that had led him to Egypt. Now his faith was in God, so when faced with this difficulty, he was able to bring peace to the situation by acting with generosity towards Lot.

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He trusted that God would provide for him, so he was willing to allow Lot to choose what part of the land he would like for himself.

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Abram was humble in the situation. He was content, knowing that there was more than enough land for both of them. He showed Lot that his relationship with him was more important to him than the conflict at hand.
Lot chose the best land for himself. After Lot had parted, God spoke to Abram. He reassured him that it was not a loss. It didn’t matter what he had given away. God would be giving it all to him anyway.
When we trust God in all the areas of our lives, we can release our grip on things of this world. Our faith allows us to live without attachment to our possessions.
We can restore relationships that are in conflict by acting out of generosity.
We can resolve tension through compromise and cooperation. We can be content and free of the worries of losing our possessions, because it’s just stuff.
You can trust that if God wants you to have it, he will bring it back to you in His timing. And if it’s not part of His plan for you, then you are free from one more distraction that could be keeping you from seeing what He has in store for you.
What is more important – your relationships or your stuff?

Dear Lord, Thank You for providing for me in so many ways. Thank You for the friends and family in my life, for the roof over my head, and for a job that has always paid me enough so that I am never lacking. I have been through some really hard times in the past, so I find myself holding onto so many things that I don’t really need. Please help me to release my grasp on these possessions and act with generosity at every opportunity. I don’t want to hold back anymore, because I have faith that You will make sure that I always have enough.
Amen


Today’s Scripture:

Genesis 13:1-18
1 So Abram went up from Egypt to the Negev, with his wife and everything he had, and Lot went with him. 2 Abram had become very wealthy in livestock and in silver and gold.
3 From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier 4 and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the Lord.
5 Now Lot, who was moving about with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents. 6 But the land could not support them while they stayed together, for their possessions were so great that they were not able to stay together. 7 And quarreling arose between Abram’s herders and Lot’s. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.
8 So Abram said to Lot, “Let’s not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Let’s part company. If you go to the left, I’ll go to the right; if you go to the right, I’ll go to the left.”
10 Lot looked around and saw that the whole plain of the Jordan toward Zoar was well watered, like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt. (This was before the Lorddestroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.) 11 So Lot chose for himself the whole plain of the Jordan and set out toward the east. The two men parted company: 12 Abram lived in the land of Canaan, while Lot lived among the cities of the plain and pitched his tents near Sodom. 13 Now the people of Sodom were wicked and were sinning greatly against the Lord.
14 The Lord said to Abram after Lot had parted from him, “Look around from where you are, to the north and south, to the east and west. 15 All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. 16 I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. 17 Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.”
18 So Abram went to live near the great trees of Mamre at Hebron, where he pitched his tents. There he built an altar to the Lord.