We all go through seasons of sadness, depression, fear and doubt. Many great men of God in the Bible, like Moses, Job, Elijah went through overwhelming valleys of doubts and fears. Elijah wanted God to take his life. Moses ran away in fear, Job cursed the day he was born. King David cried out in sadness many times through the psalms. Paul wrote, “God, who comforts the depressed, comforted us by the coming of Titus” (2 Corinthians 7:6), certainly knew seasons of darkness and despair. So if you find yourself under the heavy weight of depression today, you’re not alone in your struggle. God knows your suffering. Your dark circumstances are not beyond His power to heal, restore and redeem. God will give you a garment of praise instead of a spirit of heaviness. Isaiah 61:3
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives.” Colossians 1:9 The Lord is the One who will lead and guide you through this New Year. He wants to gives us the ‘knowledge of His will’ through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. When we don’t know what to do we can call on Him and ask Him to give us wisdom. You are not meant to walk this year alone, He is with you and He will lead you. PRAYER: Lord, As I begin this year, I pray that You will come and give me the knowledge of what Your will is for my life. I pray that You will give me the wisdom and understanding I need to make the right decisions and the right moves. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
It is when we stumble or fail, that we value and appreciate the grace of God. We fall face down and confess our sins and receive His grace with a grateful heart. But as time passes and we have been walking faithfully in the path of righteousness for some time, it is then we get familiar with grace. We take our success for granted often forgetting where we started. We become judgmental and look upon others with contempt. In 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul said, “I am what I am by the grace of God” attributing his success to the grace of God. He is careful to mention that he was the worst of sinners- a persecutor of the church. Let us never in the best of days forget the grace of God as we did in our worst
Joseph and Mary like any of us must have prayed for a room in the inn. And the answer to their prayer was a “No.” Only a manger became available, and they had to take it.
The implications are deep. Just because I pray for something doesn’t mean I am going to receive it—any more than Joseph and Mary received a room in the inn. I’m sure they prayed for God to do the impossible and find them a place to stay. God answered their prayer in an odd way. This evidently did not shake Joseph and Mary’s faith that God let them be left out in the cold… Prayers of righteous people are always effective (James 5:16) but not always in the way we expect. How do we respond when God answers differently? Is our faith shaken?
Philippians 1:6 I am certain that God, Who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished.’ We are all a work in progress! The Lord is not finished with you yet and He will continue to work in your life. The work He does in our lives is always a ‘good’ work with the prospect of wonderful things. The good work that He is doing within you is an ongoing process, but it will be completed.
PRAYER: Lord, thank You that You are at work in my life. You are doing a wonderful and a good work in line with Your purposes and plans for my life. I embrace Your work in my life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
At some time in life all of us feel the loneliness of sorrow. Mary and Martha were saddened by the death of their brother, Lazarus, and Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” They were sorrowful because of a loss. Jesus wept with them. Jesus is with us in our sorrows. When we come to Jesus Christ, He does not promise to exempt us from trouble or sorrow. Tears will come, but we have a hope that our sorrows will turn into joy. In the midst of trials and agony and tears which come to us all, we do not grieve as one who is hopeless. Jesus turns our ash heaps into beauty, our mourning into dancing, clothes us with garments of praise and oh the joy we can experience by the power of the Holy Spirit!
In the ancient Olympic Games, a winning athlete was crowned with an olive wreath. To wear such a crown was a great honour. But this crown would wither. Paul wrote about a crown which would never fade- the crown of righteousness, God’s reward to those who would run the Christian race and finish well. (2 Timothy 4:8) As his life nears its end, Paul looks ahead with confidence and certainty. He had fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. He reminds each one of us, that, this crown awaits not only him, but all those who trust, serve and live for Christ. As you and I run the race set before us, let’s take time to reflect on our running, realizing that only with the Lord will we be able to run the race to the very best of our ability, and only with the Lord will we be able to finish strong.
‘I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you!’ The Lord brings different people into our lives and we should appreciate them. As you look back over your life can you recall people who have been a blessing? Let us be thankful to the Lord for those He brings into our lives. Let our lives also be a blessing, so that others will remember us with thankfulness.
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the people I have in my life and those who You have brought across my path. I pray for those people in my sphere of influence and pray that I will be a source of blessing in their lives because You are alive in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Hebrews 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one He loves. God is gracious and merciful, but He is also holy and just. This requires Him to confront sin, which destroys the people He loves. Unless He can turn the hearts of His people from their wicked ways, they will not only harm themselves but also miss out on an intimate relationship with Him. If you are being disciplined for sin, remember that it is because God loves you and wants to turn your heart back toward Him. Be grateful that God cares enough about you to want the very best for you, even if it means temporary pain, but it can bring permanent blessing.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. Why are you so fearful and worried, dear one? Let go of your trials and let God hold you. He knows the plan for your life. He wrote your story from beginning to end. Your future is a memory to Him. He’s already there. You have to let go and let God lead you through life, trusting Him to get you to the other side.