“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
— John 1:5
Sometimes it takes a little bit of darkness to make us appreciate the light.
Driving through your neighborhood to see Christmas lights isn’t quite as dazzling in the morning, and it’s not nearly as breathtaking to gaze at a beautiful, star-filled sky during your lunch break.
God shines His light in so many beautiful ways throughout our lives, but sometimes we miss it. We can overlook it when we are completely surrounded and constantly stimulated by bright, sunny days.
So when we are suddenly plunged into a time of darkness, this is the time to look to that light.
Appreciate the light.
Embrace the light.
Focus on the light.
It’s there. It’s always there.
Take the time to pause and take in the magnificence and glory of the Light of the World.
That darkness that is trying to overwhelm you is no match for His Light.
Thank You, Lord, for shining Your light into the darkness around me. When I turn to You, You chase the shadows away. Amen
“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
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.“
– Hebrews 6:19a NIV
Life is full of uncertainties. It is impossible to know exactly what the future holds or what struggles tomorrow will bring. Our faith in God gives us a confident expectation that He has a plan for us. This hope holds us steady, like an anchor connecting us to God. It prevents us from unknowingly drifting when we are enjoying the calm waters of a beautiful day, and it stands strong when the waves are crashing down around us through the stormy nights.
When I am in the midst of the storm, I will pray:
Father, although I struggle sometimes, I have hope in You. This unbreakable connection to You gives me the strength to go on, knowing that You will see me through every tidal wave. Amen
“When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.”
– Psalms 94:19 NLT
Stress, worries, doubts, fears… it’s easy to allow these things to fill your mind to the point of feeling hopeless. But allowing yourself to suffer isn’t going to solve your problems.
Turn to His comfort and make room in your head and in your heart for hope, cheer, and even joy!! Deal with the problems that are causing your anxiety and doubts…but do so with the right mindset, knowing that God’s promises are true.
When my head is full of worries and doubts, I will pray:
Lord, please renew my hope.
Comfort me in my distress.
Bring me joy in my sadness.
Help me to push the stress out of my head and remind me to hold on to my hope in You, Lord. Amen
But Jesus took her by the hand and called out, “Get up, child!” – Luke 8:54 GNT
Although this verse is just one verse in the story of one of Jesus’ many beautiful miracles, this verse stands out to me in a powerful way. The image that comes to mind is me at my lowest, huddled on the ground with my head down, thinking there is no way out, when I hear him call out to me…
I look up to see His hand reaching out to me.
“Get up, child!”
He pursues us. Even when we are too lost in our circumstances to reach for Him, He is reaching out to us. To lift us up from our lowest places. It isn’t over. This isn’t the end. He has blessings in store, even when we think we can’t go on.
In our day-to-day lives, this may not look like the image in my mind. But it is just as real. He reaches out through those around us.
Through that verse of the day that grabbed your attention.
Through that Facebook post that touched your heart.
Through that friend who took the time to listen.
Through that stranger’s act of kindness.
Through that loved one’s hug.
Through that co-worker’s kind words, that soothed your soul.
His love can reach out to others through us, as well. We can be His hands that lift others to their feet again. We can be His voice when someone needs the encouragement to get up and go on.
When you feel like you are not in a season of joy, remember – you are in a season of hope.
Lord, thank You so much for taking me by the hand and pulling me out of the pain of my circumstances so many times. I want to stay on my feet no matter what I’m facing, and remember that I’m never alone and that there is always hope. Please open my eyes so that I may see every opportunity for You to reach out to others through me when they need help getting up again. Amen
“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…
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
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
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
Stop the frenzy.
Calm the chaos inside of you.
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
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
– Jeremiah 29:11 NLT
No matter where we are or what we are going through, it is important to realize that God has a beautiful plan for our future. He promises that His plans will enrich our lives. That we will flourish. Through our faith in Him, we have hope.
But how do I know what this big plan for my life is? How do I know if I’m doing what God has planned for me?
– Start by praying. Ask God to reveal his plan for your life.
– Open your eyes to what is going on around you. God has placed you there for a reason.
– Continue praying. You may not be immediately enlightened after one prayer. Keep praying, and ask God to help you follow His plan.
– Spend time with God every day. Go to church. Join a Bible study group. Read the Bible. Follow a reading plan. Pray. Make it a habit to bring him into your day.
– Try to live your life like Christ every minute of every day. Look for opportunities to share His love with every step you take. Even if you can’t see the “Big Picture” of His plan for you, you know that you are on the right path if you think this way.
– Hope. It’s a part of His plan. Wherever you find yourself, let this hope anchor you and keep you holding onto Him.
Lord, I know that you created me for a purpose. Please help me discover your plan for me.
“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