“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” – Jeremiah 29:11-12 NIV
The Lord has good plans for our lives. He wants us to have a future. He wants us to prosper. He wants to hear our prayers. He does listen.
Things weren’t always going well for God’s people. When they didn’t honor their covenant with the Lord, they were carried off as captives to Babylon. But the Lord didn’t stay angry with them forever. He promised to bring them back.
His love for us transcends that of any parent on Earth. We are lucky to have a gracious and forgiving Heavenly Father.
When things don’t seem to be going well for us, whether it is financially, spiritually, or physically, we know we can always return to our God, and He will listen to us. Amen.
“Your house and your kingdom will endure forever before me; your throne will be established forever.” 2 Samuel 7:16 NIV
It was no coincidence that Jesus was a descendent of King David. God told Nathan, the prophet, to relay to King David an incredible promise: that the Lord would establish David’s throne forever. What an astounding promise! We are incredibly blessed to be able to be included in God’s promises to His people. God’s promises stand. Because He lives, we can hope for a better tomorrow.
As I watched political powers change yesterday, I could sense the tides turn. It all seemed surreal. The first African American woman to become Vice President of the United States, Kamala Harris, was sworn into office on 1/20/21, a historic moment to behold.
We, as a nation, can overcome adversity. As we emerge from a period of strife and division, there is hope, hope for unity and healing.
Just as God keeps His promises to us, we can strive to fulfill our part in peace. Amen.
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. – Isaiah 55:10-11 NIV
God’s plans pan out. When He says something–commands it–it happens.
Our thoughts and plans don’t always match God’s purpose for us, and if we trust Him, He will redirect us back so that we align with the divine purpose He has for us.
The process of relinquishing control of our plans to God is sometimes frustrating. His timing is not our timing. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He can make decisions clearly and confidently. We can trust Him to lead us. Amen.
My heart says of you, “Seek His face!” Your face, Lord, I will seek. – Psalm 27:8 NIV
When we seek Jesus, the things of Earth will grow strangely dim.
What a glorious day it will be when we finally see the radiant face of Jesus!
Instead of a sad end to one way of life, seeing His face at the Second Coming will be a joyful occasion with someone we love and have waited for.
I don’t know when that day will come, and the Bible says that nobody knows the day nor the hour of Jesus’s Second Coming, but by having a daily relationship with our Savior, we don’t have to fear that day. It will be a good day.
Seeking His face on an ordinary day is like a meditative practice. Many things can distract us, but we can gently turn our attention back to Him. We can never go wrong when we turn our eyes upon Jesus. Amen.
For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. – 2 Corinthians 4:17 NIV
I sometimes wonder if God gets tired of hearing about my troubles. I don’t mean to complain, but at times, I ask Him for a lot.
It’s a good thing that our God is patient, and He is capable of solving all our problems. Nothing is impossible for God. No challenge is too difficult for Him. We can trust that He has all the answers.
When we entrust Him with our time, money, and plans, we know that we have invested wisely. God never lets us down. He does, from time to time, show us what we really should want, because it is better than what we had imagined. He can see the big picture. Our God loves us and saved us. Amen.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9 NIV
On the eve of a really big move for God’s people, the Lord encouraged Joshua to lead the Israelites to the promised land. The move was, no doubt, a huge transition for many. They were walking into unknown territory, quite literally. They must have been terrified, but the Lord promised to go with them wherever they went. He reminded them not to be afraid, but to be strong and courageous, and to follow the laws that He had lovingly written down for them.
Sometimes we are afraid of change. Transitions frighten us because we don’t know how things will turn out, and we don’t have a crystal ball to predict the future. God knows our future, and He reassures us every step of the way. Amen.
However, as it is written: “No eye has seen, nor ear heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him” –but God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. – 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 NIV
Sometimes we cannot even begin to fathom what God has prepared for us.
All we can do is pray with a willing spirit and trust that our Lord will always lead us where we need to go. We can trust that wherever the Holy Spirit impresses us to go, it is for a good reason.
God knows what He is doing.
We may not always understand why things happen to us, but the Holy Spirit is never confused. The Holy Spirit can reveal to us which direction our lives need to go. He guides us with a deep understanding. Amen.
Then the Lord came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed His name, the Lord. And He passed in front of Moses proclaiming, “The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion, and sin.” Exodus 34:5-6 NIV
How lucky Moses must have felt to be able to converse with the Lord.
The Lord revealed important traits of Himself: compassion, grace, love, faithfulness, forgiveness, and patience over anger.
If only we could be more like Jesus, what would our lives be like? We would rarely be angry. We would be more loving. We would care more and forgive more. We would find grace during difficult situations. We would have more faith in God’s promises. Amen.
Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – Psalm 105:4 NIV
Especially when our strength fails us, we can look to the Lord and find encouragement.
I sometimes wonder what I did to bring upon myself “Long COVID” fatigue and brain fog, which I still suffer from, almost five months after the original date that I tested positive for COVID-19 on September 1, 2020. Was God testing me?
The one thing I know from having spent far too many days bedridden is that suffering can be humbling.
When we are down, we appreciate even more the good days that God gives us. He teaches us lessons and patience through our periods of illness. He reminds us that we should not take anything for granted. Every moment we have is a gift from God. Amen.
You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. – Isaiah 26:3 NIV
Sometimes our thoughts run wild. We worry about things that we have no control of. This is not a good use of our time or energy; the Lord reminds us to keep our minds steadfastly focused on Him. If we keep our thoughts focused on trusting Him, we can begin to glimpse what perfect peace feels like.
In this world we will have trouble, but Jesus has overcome the world. He can help us to reclaim our thoughts and restore our spirits.
He will take care of our loved ones. He will guide and protect us. If we only would set aside our pride, we would see He can lead us. He knows the solution to every problem. Amen.