Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24
1. REMEMBER YOU WERE RESCUED. The Bible describes the pre-salvation position as “having no hope and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But the emptiness of a fallen world has forever changed because of Jesus. He left the splendor of heaven and came on a rescue mission for us. He died to forgive our sins and heal our diseases (1 Peter 2:24).
Continue reading “Three Ways to Get Tenacious in Hope”
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
1. TRUST GOD’S PROMISES. The prophet Jeremiah wrote these words almost 500 years before Jesus came to earth; yet we still have a right to this promise of hope. The same God who declared a future and a hope to an exiled people is our God today. He never changes (Hebrews 13:8). And because Jesus died for the sins of all humanity, we have a new covenant “inaugurated under better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). How much more are we now called to hope.
Continue reading “Three Steps to Renew Your Hope”
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds. Hebrews 10:23-24
1. BE PERSISTENT. In your pursuit of Jesus be persistent. If you are going to be stubborn about anything, then get adamant about your love for God. A lot of lesser things will vie for your attention. But lift up your eyes—the only place where you will get refreshing is in the presence of the Lord. Resolve to overcome drifting, and become really passionate about returning to your first love of Jesus (Revelation 2:1-5).
Continue reading “Hold Fast!”
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
1. KNOW YOUR HOPE. Our beliefs fuel our destiny. Sometimes discouragement can settle in when we feel that life isn’t what it’s supposed to be. But when you shift your focus to Jesus and what He has done, you can get back to biblical hope. We fix our hope on the living God.
Continue reading “Breakthrough in Hope”
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13
1. REDEMPTIVE HOPE. When something we are hoping for is delayed, our hearts can get discouraged (Proverbs 13:12). But even then, “the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). We base our hope not on the shifting sands of man but on the eternal Word of God. And we know that what He promises, He will do.
Continue reading “Abounding in Hope”
For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4
1. ANCHORING TRUTH. Hearing the Word produces the ability to face the future with hope. What does the Bible say? Its anchoring thoughts are why we keep going back to the amazing stories of the Old and New Testaments. It builds in us an unshakeable confidence in God so that we can face off with the world’s challenges.
Continue reading “Hope for the New Year”
And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity. 2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP
1. SOW TO THE SPIRIT. Grace is God’s willingness to work on our behalf even though we don’t deserve it. The Bible says: “Where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Romans 5:20b). But that’s not an excuse to sin. Instead we can fight the devil, crucify our flesh, and not conform to the world. How? By meditating on and investing in the things of God (Galatians 6:8).
Continue reading “Growing in God’s Abundant Grace”
1. CONSTANT JOY. “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). God told us that the joy of the Lord is our strength, and it comes from a place so deep that it’s not contingent on what’s going on around us.
Continue reading “Seven Promises of God’s Provision”
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Psalm 100:1-2
1. HE IS YOUR RESCUER. In the cool of the evening Adam and Eve would connect with God unhindered, but then sin broke in. There had to be substitution and sacrifice and that’s where the promise of Jesus came in. Humanity could’ve been permanently locked in some bizarre fallen state, but God sent a Rescuer to save us.
Continue reading “Three Benefits of Knowing Jesus”
The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, he will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green. Psalm 92:12-14
1. ASK FOR WISDOM. Wisdom “is a tree of life to those who take hold of her” (Proverbs 3:18). You can ask God and He will give you the wisdom you need for all the complexities of life: how to raise your kids, how to deal and cope with the fast-paced nature of change, and how to excel in your job.
Continue reading “Four Ways to Bring Life This Christmas”
1. ASCERTAIN GOD’S WILL. God’s will and nature are all about abundance. He delights in our prosperity (Psalm 35:27). God “supplies seed to the sower and bread for food” (2 Corinthians 9:10), which means He will meet your needs and enable you to help meet the needs of others.
Continue reading “The Assurance of God’s Abundance”
He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:29, 31
1. GET IN THE WORD. How amazing is it that from weakness we can be made strong? As realistically as push-ups help your physical body, starting the day in the Bible will give you an advantage. It will strengthen your spirit. It will light your path (Psalm 119:105). It will help you overcome bad habits and not be led by the flesh. You will become strengthened with all power in your inner person (Ephesians 3:16).
Continue reading “Steps to Strengthening”
As He [Jesus] entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. Luke 17:12-16a
1. THANK GOD FOR WHAT HE’S DONE. Ten men were healed, but only one turned back to give thanks while the others were so excited they took off to re-enter society. We don’t want to be part of the group that forgets to be thankful. This season is a great time for us to pause, recognize any ungrateful habits, and start to celebrate and count our blessings instead.
Continue reading “The Value of Gratitude”
In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
WRITE DOWN THREE THINGS YOU’RE THANKFUL FOR. Thank God for everything you can think of. The atmosphere of gratitude can foster amazing things. For starters, it breaks us out of selfish moodiness and prepares the way for us to enter into praise. As we accumulate things to be thankful for, we will get an increased awareness of God’s grace.
Continue reading “Daily Thankfulness”
I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. I sought the Lord, and He answered me, and delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, and their faces will never be ashamed. Psalm 34:1, 4-5
1. DELIVERANCE FROM FEAR. Both fear and faith are planted as seeds of thought. The Hebrew word for fear is also translated as a “storehouse,” which gives a good visual of how you can fill a whole barn with all your fears. Praise breaks that cycle. When you constantly speak out praises reminding yourself of Who God is and what His Word promises, God will deliver you from a whole silo full of freak-out!
Continue reading “Three Benefits Of Praising God Continually”
“Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.’” Matthew 6:9-13
1. START WITH FOCUSING ON GOD, and then make it personal. These patterns we’ve been studying for praise, prayer, and provision get us out of the “me, me, me” mentality. When we follow the prayer pattern Jesus set out in Matthew, and shift our focus to who God is, that fleshly side gets adjusted and we get free from too much introspection.
Continue reading “Prayer Patterns”
Thus says the Lord to you, “Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15b
1. LET GOD FIGHT YOUR BATTLES. When Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah, learned that his enemy was about to attack him on three fronts, he sought God. Instead of dwelling on all the problems, he deliberately began to praise God and remember how powerful God is (2 Chronicles 20:6). When there is an alarming situation or a terrible circumstance, our minds want to fixate on it instead of turning our attention to seek the Lord. But it’s when we get our hearts fixed on God that breakthrough happens.
Continue reading “Praise & Breakthrough”
“Is this not the fast which I choose, to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to undo the bands of the yoke, and to let the oppressed go free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6
I’m dedicating this week, October 21-25, to prayer and fasting for our church and for our country. We’ll be praying together in the Worship Center every night this week: Sunday-Thursday 6:30-8 p.m.
Continue reading “Prayer & Fasting”
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. Hebrews 10:23 (NLT)
1. FAITH BELIEVES GOD’S WORD. In the Bible, the Israelites sent 12 spies to check out the land God promised them. When they came back and reported, ten men were freaked out by the fortified cities and the giant warriors, while only two, Caleb and Joshua, believed they could take the land. Caleb said, “We should by all means go up and take possession of it, for we will surely overcome it” (Numbers 13:30).
Continue reading “The Attitude of Faith”
Sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. Psalm 96:1-4
1. ADORE THE PERSON OF OUR WORSHIP. Many things try to distract and divide our attention, but Jesus deserves our whole heart. We worship Him as the supreme King and giver of life and eternal life. We worship God as our savior. We praise Him for all He has done. We celebrate, we contemplate, and we thank Him.
Continue reading “It’s So Good to Worship God”
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits. Psalm 103:2
1. DON’T FRET. It’s easy to get agitated and freaked out about life, but God wants to lead us by quiet waters and restore our souls (Psalm 23:2). Anxiety in a heart weighs it down, but a good word makes it glad (Proverbs 12:25). Find the good word you need in the Bible. Its pages reveal God’s consistent provision through the ages. That faithful, stabilizing, abundant God is your God and you can trust Him to sustain you all through your life.
Continue reading “Patterns of Provision”
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed. 2 Corinthians 9:8
1. UNDERSTAND GOD’S WILL & HIS NATURE. God is a giver. Parents know how to bless their kids. How much more will your Heavenly Father give what is good to those who ask (Matthew 7:11). God loves you, and that fact translates into spiritual and practical blessings. His will is to save you, heal you, bless you, fill you with the Holy Spirit, answer your prayers, deliver you, and protect you.
Continue reading “How to Be Occupied With God’s Provision”
When he [Jehoshaphat] had consulted with the people, he appointed those who sang to the Lord and those who praised Him in holy attire, as they went out before the army and said, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” When they began singing and praising, the Lord set ambushes against the sons of Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; so they were routed. 2 Chronicles 20:21-22
1. START WITH PRAISE. Praise brings breakthrough. When armies came to attack Judah, King Jehoshaphat immediately directed his people to seek God and he began praising God.
Continue reading “Patterns of Breakthrough”
Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. Revelation 4:11
1. IT CONNECTS US TO GOD. We are actually designed to praise God, and He alone is worthy of it. God has requested that we come before Him in praise and worship, and He is searching for the ones who will connect with Him and worship Him (John 4:23-24).
Continue reading “The Benefits of Praising God”
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners will be converted to You. Psalm 51:10-13
1. REPENTANCE. In the Bible, King David is the only person called “a man after God’s own heart.” But so many times we read about David sinning against God. Yet, after every blunder, David repented and learned from his mistakes. When he got in trouble, he didn’t run away from God. Instead, he humbled himself and ran toward God.
Continue reading “A Clean Heart”