From Our Hearts to Yours
We are not promised or guaranteed a life free of suffering, pain, or illness. Jesus wanted His followers—-including you and me—to know this hard truth: “In the world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33)—trouble, trials, suffering, and tears.
When my husband pastored and taught a senior citizens’ Sunday school class some years ago, he heard many of these dear people share one particular verse that comforted them after a spouse or relative or friend died. It was from a description of “the new heaven”:
God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying.
There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
This scripture describes the reality and angst of suffering in life. But also the welcomed delights and promised well-being that await God’s people as they spend eternity in His presence. No matter what comes your way here on earth, no matter what pain or agony you face, set your worries aside and look heavenward! One day, the splendors of heaven will replace the sufferings of this life.
Prayers to Calm Your Heart is a beautifully designed gift book. It is part practical, part inspirational, and altogether essential to keep worry and runaway fear in check. It’s a welcome gift to give at any time on any occasion.
Whenever tough times come our way, trusting God can be difficult. We can find ourselves falling into the trap of thinking that God made a mistake … that He wasn’t there when we needed Him. The Bible, however, describes a God who is perfect in His wisdom, His ways, and His timing. He is with us always. So what can you do to be more sensitive to God’s presence and trusting of Him during your tough times?
Step 1: List the negatives in your life. By negatives I mean the things you don’t like about yourself or your life situation. Your list may include your background, parents (or lack of them), siblings. Also, your appearance, abilities, personality, marital status, children (or lack of them), finances. Whatever challenges you may currently face.
Step 2: Acknowledge God in the “negatives.” God knew, God allowed, and God permitted. And, as Romans 8:28 states, God overrules and causes all things—including what you perceive to be “negatives”—to work together for your good.
Step 3: Thank God for each “negative.” And thank Him for His promise to work for your good and for your spiritual growth in everything in your life. Thank Him even in what you don’t like or don’t have. Remember that God has designed your life (Psalm 139:13-16). He has a plan for your life (2 Timothy 1:9). You can trust that He is actively working out His will through the people, events, and circumstances of your life—past, present, and future, positive and negative.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Finding God’s Path Through Your Trials reminds you that God won’t give you trials without a way of escape. By turning to and trusting in Jesus, you will find hope, joy, and meaning in your journey, no matter how bumpy it seems.
Being friendly and approachable is a Jesus quality. You may think, Of course anyone could talk to me or ask something of me. But you may also be sending a message that says you already have enough friends, thank you very much, or you’re too busy to be bothered. Or maybe you’re sending the message that you don’t want any friends.
Stop and think about Jesus’ friendliness. Jesus meant it when He said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Are you sure you are friendly and approachable? To your family at home? To the people at school, at church, or next door? Is your heart tuned in to those who are new, lonely, not a part of the in crowd—the outsiders?
Ask God to look into your heart. Pray for an approachable spirit that will reflect the heart of Jesus. Be like the One who never refused the cries of anyone who needed a friend and help … including you.
Lord Jesus, thank You that You are always available to me when I’m alone or lonely. I know how good it feels to have a friend like You. I want to reflect Your heart and be a Jesus kind of friend to others. Help me be open and available to others who need Your help through me. Amen.
A Young Woman’s Guide to Making Right Choices takes teens through the step–by–step process of making decisions that are life-affirming, godly, and wise in areas that include improving relationships.
Do you take your responsibilities seriously? Maybe so much so that you worry about how you’re going to manage all the responsibilities and relationships that are on your plate at home and fulfill everything you’ve committed yourself to outside the home?
Here’s a thought. What if there are just a few things God is asking of you? Just a few things He requires you to do? A few things that demand your faithfulness? Well, that’s the truth. God has a unique list of responsibilities that are just for you. (For starters, look at the list in Titus 2:3-5.) Ask Him to help you write out your list based on His list. Then ask Him to infuse you with His wisdom. Ask Him to empower you with His strength to faithfully carry out your list.
Look at each day’s true priorities and then look fully into God’s face, focus your attention, time, and energies only on the tasks God has for you today, and move forward in His power and grace!
You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You.
You will find dozens of highly practical tips for every area of daily life, including your marriage, family, home, place of work, friendships, health, finances, and personal growth in Small Changes for a Better Life.