Scripture Text: Psalm 118:1-29
Key Verse: Psalm 118:24
This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24 should be committed to our memory and be our first thought before our feet hit the floor every morning. It is a beautiful reminder that every day is a gift from God, and we should cherish it and make the most of it. While we can never adequately repay our Lord for the day, we should strive to be good stewards of our allotted time. As we go about our day, we need to keep our eyes and ears open, watching and listening for opportunities to serve God.
It can be easy to get frustrated with the stresses and worries of life, but we must remember that God is in control and is always with us. When a moment seems too much to bear, we can reflect on how God has helped us in the past, drawing encouragement from His presence during those times. We can trust in Him and find joy in each moment, even during difficult circumstances.
Let us take a moment to pause and reflect on all the blessings in our lives. Even in situations that may seem hopeless, we can always find something to be thankful for. The people we love, the opportunities we have, the beauty of nature around us. Let us give thanks to God for all these things and more.
And as we go about our day, let us strive to be a light to those around us. Let us show kindness and compassion, sharing the love of Christ with those we encounter. May our actions and words reflect the joy we have in our hearts because of our faith in God.
Dear Lord, we thank you for this day and for all the blessings You have given us. Help us to remember to rejoice and be glad in every moment, and to trust in Your plan for our lives. Cultivate our minds Lord, guiding us to live each day with grateful hearts. May we always be a light to those around us and share Your love with others. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Amid life’s trials and tribulations, it can be difficult to find joy. But it is in these very moments of affliction that we have the opportunity to experience a profound transformation. God uses our difficult circumstances as a means to teach us patience and strengthen our faith.
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. (James 1:2-3)
God has a way of using our trials to teach us patience and strengthen our faith. It is through these very challenges that we are able to grow and develop into the individuals He has called us to be. Just like a storm that tests the strength of a ship, our trials test the depth of our character. It is through these storms that we learn to navigate the turbulent waters with grace and resilience. In times of sickness or adversity, we are given an opportunity to lean on God’s strength and find solace in His presence.
Our circumstances may seem overwhelming at times, but they are not without purpose. They serve as tests that refine us, molding us into individuals who are steadfast in their faith. It is during these moments that we discover the true depth of our convictions and develop an unwavering trust in God’s plan for our lives. Our tests become testimonies; our afflictions become opportunities for growth. We learn to lean on Him for strength and find solace in His promises. As we navigate through life’s storms, we discover an unwavering joy that surpasses all understanding.
Patience is not easily acquired; it is cultivated through perseverance in the face of adversity. As we endure trials, we learn to wait upon the Lord with hopeful expectation, knowing that He will provide for us in His perfect timing. Our faith grows stronger as we witness His faithfulness even amidst the darkest storms.
So let us embrace our trials with open hearts and minds, knowing that they are opportunities for growth and transformation. Let us hold onto our hope and trust in God’s plan for our lives. In every circumstance, may we find joy – not because of what we are going through but because of who walks beside us every step of the way. Let us find joy in knowing that God uses every circumstance for our ultimate good. May we emerge from these trials with a deeper understanding of ourselves, a strengthened faith, and an unshakable joy that surpasses all understanding.
O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. (Psalms 107:1)
If you’ve become used to thinking of the things that bring you joy and contentment, why not take it one step further and start writing them down? You don’t need to be a master wordsmith to jot down three sentences about what you’re grateful for and it doesn’t have to take up too much of your valuable time either. In fact, there’s lots of amazing benefits that come from making your appreciation official on paper! So, let’s see if we can make this practice less intimidating and more enjoyable.
More About Gratitude Journals
A gratitude journal isn’t just a journal – it’s a tool for finding joy. You can use it to keep track of things that make you feel lucky each day, which can bring more good luck into your life. Writing about what you’re thankful for keeps you in the mindset of appreciation. It helps bring out all the positive stuff you may have missed before and provides motivation during tough times. Plus, when you need a pick-me-up, you’ll always have this record of happy memories to look back on.
Benefits of a Gratitude Journal
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It’s like diving into an ocean of positivity, even when life throws some curveballs your way. Not only will writing down what you’re grateful for help to reduce stress, it can also be therapeutic and provide clarity in areas where you might feel stuck. You might just find yourself looking at life from a different lens, spotting patterns and opportunities that seemed invisible before.
Tips for Using Your Journal
When it comes to journaling, consistency is key. Some people like to write twice a day and some just once. Either way, the most important thing is that you create a habit of writing regularly. To make sure you want to keep up with your journal, choose something that speaks to you. Maybe that’s a beautiful journal or maybe it’s an electronic one. Just pick what works for you. When doing this, make it accessible; have it by your bedside or somewhere easily accessed on your phone or computer. Transform it into a ritual too; while writing, grab a warm cup of coffee or light some candles with nice aromas. Make the process yours and give your inner self what it needs: a gratitude journal that nourishes the soul.
A gratitude journal can be an insightful and life-changing tool. Remember, you only have to write three simple things you’re grateful for. There’s no need to make it complicated. Start your record keeping practice today and see what it can do for you.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32 ESV)
In a world filled with noise and distractions, it can be challenging to stay grounded and connected to our faith. However, by choosing to live in God’s Word, we can find solace, guidance, and unwavering truth. When we abide in His teachings, we embark on a journey of discipleship that leads us closer to Jesus.
Living in God’s Word means more than just reading the scriptures; it means allowing its wisdom to shape our thoughts, actions, and interactions with others. It is through this intentional immersion that we begin to understand the depth of His love and purpose for our lives.
As disciples of Christ, we are called to walk in the footsteps of Jesus. By embracing His teachings and embodying His grace and compassion, we become vessels for spreading His light in a world desperately in need of hope.
Let us remember that living in God’s Word is not a solitary endeavor but a communal one. As we gather with fellow believers and engage in heartfelt discussions about scripture, we strengthen our faith and encourage one another on this transformative journey.
Today, let us recommit ourselves to abiding in the truth found within God’s Word. Let us seek understanding, wisdom, and guidance from its pages as we navigate life’s challenges. May our lives be a testament to the power of living according to His will as we strive each day to reflect the love of Christ within us.
And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. (Luke 22:60)
For centuries we have enjoyed practicing our religion in safety here in America. Faith was so important to the founders of this nation that its protection is clearly stated in the first sentence of the first amendment to our Constitution. First, in a series of ten amendments which are known as the Bill of Rights. Sadly, there is an increasing number of people who are adamantly opposed to allowing Christians to have that basic freedom. Too often we read in the news of attempts to silence the preaching of God’s word. Here in America, the land of freedom, Christians have been arrested for refusing to deny their faith.
I would like to believe I am grounded enough in my faith that I would boldly proclaim the name of Christ no matter the circumstances. But in our verse today we find Peter denying he knew Christ the third time. Peter was afraid.
Peter was the third disciple to follow Christ. When Jesus met Peter, He renamed him Cephas, which interpreted means a stone, signifying the rock-solid faith that Peter would have. Peter stepped out on the waters of the Sea of Galilee when Jesus said “Come”.
All the disciples hid in fear as Jesus alone faced those next few hours of torment leading up to His crucifixion. But the Bible only gives us the account of Peter, the one whom Christ granted the rock-solid faith.
Even the strongest Christian has a breaking point. Rock-solid faith planted in the heart of this carnal flesh will eventually show its weakness. But in our weakness, God shows His unfailing strength. Jesus tells us that the tiniest amount of faith in Him is enough to move mountains. When our faith falters, (that’s when, not if) we are still secure in His hand.
Brethren we need to encourage one another, pray for each other, that in this time we have, we may continue to stand boldly for Christ.
And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? (John 5:5-6)
“Wilt thou be made whole?” Why would Jesus ask such a question? Of course, this man wanted healing! He had an infirmity for 38 years. Now we don’t know how old this man was, or how long he had laid by this pool, watching for a ripple of water. But we know his attention was on the water. Jesus’ question was intended to draw this man’s eyes off the superstitious water and put them on Himself. This impotent man needed to turn his eyes to the omnipotent God.
I read somewhere while studying for this post, that Jesus asked a question 307 times in the New Testament, but only gave an answer to His questions three times. God’s word should cause us to question ourselves, so that we can see our weaknesses, our lack of wisdom, our inability to measure up to God’s standard. This impotent man would never see his true condition by staring at a pool. There are many people in the same condition today, waiting, watching, yearning for some feeling, some emotion, something physical that will change their life. People are hungry for something to make their life different, perhaps not knowing what change they want, just something different; hanging their hopes on “good vibes” or maybe karma will look kindly on them. We need to follow Christ’s example here. We need to ask the lost and dying people the obvious questions to take their eyes off the false hopes the world has to offer. Wilt thou be made whole? There is no healing in the pool, but there is eternal life in Jesus Christ.
“Woe is me!” The prophet Micah laments his circumstances in the seventh chapter of his discourse to the leaders of Israel, speaking of the wickedness surrounding him. We can sympathize with Micah’s plight today. Our leaders seem to have no regard for the people. In chapter 2, Micah describes those in power as devising evil at night to practice when the morning light comes. Their greed drove them to oppress the common people without any sign of remorse. Judges required bribes for their verdicts. The rich and powerful would entangle their mischief in the courts allowing them to continue their evil ways. Sound familiar?
Micah was given the unpopular task of proclaiming God’s impending judgement on Israel. His bold witness for God was believed by a few and rejected by many. In chapter 7 Micah speaks of discord within close family members. The controversies caused by his witness surely affected his mental state. We can easily be discouraged at the mockery of God we see around us.
But Micah made a determined choice to trust God. In verses 7-8 we read; “Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me.” (Micah 7:7-8)
We can easily get distressed if we watch all the evil going on around us. It may seem like the whole world is against us. But like Micah, we must determine to look unto the LORD, trust Him, and allow Him to be our light in this dark world. God gives rest to the weary, strength to the down-trodden, and comfort to the brokenhearted.
But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
(1 Peter 3:15)
Whether you admit it or not, we all crave attention. We want people to hear what we have to say. Our society has driven many of us to sharing frivolous nonsense on social media, then agonizing over how many likes and follows we get. Going “viral” is now the ultimate excitement.
Truth is that people are watching us wherever we go. If we claim to be a follower of Christ, we are watched even closer. God calls us to be a peculiar people. Why would He do that you ask? So that people might take notice of our gratitude and praise toward God. (ref. 1 Peter 2:9).
When we attract attention for God’s glory, it awakens a curiosity in those around us. As Peter tells us in our focus verse, we must be ready to answer questions about our faith. When talking about our faith, we need to be honest. We should not try to hide our flaws or pretend that we are perfect. We need to be open about our own journey and allow others to see that we are real people who have struggles just like them.
How can we prepare ourselves for the questions? Spending time each day reading God’s word and in prayer is vital to our readiness. The most effective message you can give someone is to tell them how you came to trust in Christ. That is your witness that no one can dispute. But as the apostle Paul warns young Timothy, (ref. 2 Tim. 2:23) we must avoid getting side-tracked into foolish questions which will certainly lead to arguments and do nothing to further God’s kingdom. Always allow the Holy Spirit to guide your answers and conversations.
Allowing God to continuously transform your life through the reading of His word and in prayer will prepare you to not only be ready, but confidently await any questions about the hope within you.