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

The Light of the World

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
– ‭‭John‬ ‭8:12‬‬ NIV

Sometimes during a bad storm, the power goes out. There’s a storm going on, and we’re surrounded by the darkness. What is the first thing we do?

We want to find our way to a source of light! A cell phone, a flashlight, a candle…
And even though a storm is raging all around us, we feel a little bit of relief when we have that source of light in our hand. Eventually the storm will pass, and the sun will shine again.

Jesus is that source of light for all the storms we face in the world. When we feel surrounded by the darkness of our problems, our worries, and our mistakes, He can bring us back into the light and restore peace where there was turmoil. If we continue to follow Him, we never have to feel alone in the dark again.

When I feel the darkness closing in, I will pray…

Dear God, thank You for bringing hope when I am in despair. You light up the darkness in my life. You turn my pain into contentment, peace, and even joy! Please shine your light on the choices that I make today. I want to reflect Your light for others to see, so that You may also chase their darkness away. 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

Wherever You Go

No matter how isolated we feel sometimes, we are never alone.
At times, we focus on the obstacles that we see before us, and we think that we don’t have the strength to overcome them. But some of the biggest obstacles that we face are our own fears and doubts.
God wants us to be confident and lean into HIS strength at these times.

“This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
‭‭Joshua‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Joshua had a job to do, and God was telling him not to let his fear get in the way of that – just as we ALL have a purpose in life that God is leading us into if we are courageous enough to follow.
Be confident that He will be with you every step you take.

Faith Over Fear

Because of a famine in Canaan, Abram took things into his own hands instead of asking God for direction. He decided to go to Egypt and live for a little while.
His decision put him and his wife in danger. Because Sarai was such a beautiful woman, Abram feared that the Egyptians would kill him. Abram made another decision without consulting God – he lied.
At this point, Abram’s fear was stronger than his faith. His fear of starvation was greater than his faith that God would provide, and his fear of being killed by the Egyptians was greater than his faith that God would protect him. Abram convinced Sarai to say that she was his sister, so that he would be treated well and his life would be spared.
Apparently Sarai’s safety wasn’t a part of Abram’s plan. Although Abram was treated well with gifts of livestock and servants, Sarai was taken by the Pharoah as his wife. Sometimes when we stray from the path that God has set for us or when our faith is weak, we are not directly affected. We may even benefit from our poor choices. But those same choices could be hurting those close to us.
Fortunately, God did not allow Abram’s poor choices to keep Him from the plans He had for Abram. God handled the Pharoah, and Abram was able to leave with Sarai and everything he had gained while in Egypt.
If Abram had stayed in Canaan, where God had led him, his faith would have grown stronger as God provided for him. Instead he allowed fear to take control, leading him away from God, and even leading to sin.
How often do you allow fear to steer you off course?
You start out on the right path, with the best intentions in your heart, and then things get hard and you are afraid of what may happen, so you start looking for an easier path to take – without asking God what direction you should be heading…
But God doesn’t give up on us when we make mistakes. God shows grace in our weakness and He still has plans in store for us, even after we’ve made choices that lead us away from Him.
If you are trying to follow God’s plan for your life, you have to stop allowing fear to trigger a change of plans. Use your fears to trigger your faith instead.

Dear Lord,
Please help me to remember to seek your direction when I’m faced with a problem or when I have a big decision to make. I want to always stay on the path that You have set for me, but sometimes I lose sight of what is important, and I worry too much. Sometimes I feel like I’m alone in the struggle and I try to find my own way out. Please help me to remember that even when I’ve made mistakes and end up feeling so far from You, that You will still open Your arms and pull me back to where You want me to be. Thank You for showing Your grace and not giving up on me in my weakness.
Amen


Today’s scripture

Genesis 12:10-20 NIV
10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”
14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman. 15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.
17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.