Sustained and Trained

“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My prayer for you today is that you would know His love as He pours His strength into you. That you would know His peace as you lean on Him. That you would rest in God’s grace as you walk by His guidance. That you would trust Him with the future and focus simply on the task before you. That you would be released from the restlessness within you as you receive a new determination to go forward in faith.

God will give you what you need right now to fight the battle before you.

You are stronger than you know because your strength comes from Jesus and His right hand sustains you.

Don’t give up, you are sustained and trained through the power of His love.

Hope Endures

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”        2 Peter 1:2-3 NIV

God’s divine power through Jesus has given you everything you need to live the life God made you for.

That doesn’t mean it will be easy.  

If it was easy, you wouldn’t need God’s power to do it.

You will need Him.

You will need His power to keep going in spite of the obstacles, the setbacks, the failures, and the frustrations that you will face this year.

Good thing you have Him.

The promise is made.

Hold on to Jesus.

Hope endures.

Happy New Year.

Around the Corner

I grew up about an hour or so from the beach in Southern California.

Unless you know that you are going to the beach, it just feels like you are stuck in the worst freeway traffic of your life: standstill traffic with smog.

But then you turn a corner and there it is – the sand, the waves and the beauty of the beach.

My friend, you don’t know what this new year will bring.

The journey so far hasn’t been easy and doesn’t look hopeful.

Keep going.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭25:4‬ ‭NLT‬

Don’t give up.

There is more for you and for all you know, it may be just around the corner.

And it will be breathtaking.

With God

 “Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God!” Luke 1:37 TPT

When the angel appeared to Mary and told her that she would give birth to Jesus, she asked him, “How is this possible?” and he replied, “with God!”.

God promised that a child would be born that would be the Savior of the world – hundreds of years before this moment.

I am sure many had given up hope.

I am sure many moved on.

But God’s promises are filled with God’s power.

The very same power that brought order to the chaos and light to the darkness promised that Immanuel, “God with us”, would be born.

And He was.

He was born and laid in a feeding trough, did miracles and died on a Roman cross, defeated death and ascended to heaven.

He is Jesus.

He is the Messiah.

Hold onto hope.

Don’t move on.

All of God’s promise are infused with His power.

Nothing is impossible with God.

When God drops a promise in your heart and an opportunity in your lap, you must have faith to go forward.

Grab on to faith like it is your job and obey whatever God asks you to do.

Not because it is easy.

Nothing worth having comes easy.

But if God asks you to do it, He will give you what you need to do it.

With God nothing is impossible.

With God, you can.

Refuge and Fortress

“I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge

and my fortress, my God,

in whom I trust.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1-2‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Jesus came so that you could live so close to the Father that the shadow of His love would cover you.

He went to the cross so that the presence of Almighty could be a refuge from the storm raging around you and a fortress of peace to run to when you are weary of fighting.

Jesus defeated death and cleared the way so you could be free to live fully in the power of God. He is the door into the refuge of God’s presence and the key to open it is trust.

Are you trusting Jesus today or are you trying to do it all yourself?

Faith Full

I remember a time a few years ago when I was discouraged and heartbroken.

My hopes had been swept away by a flood of circumstances fueled by other people’s choices and actions. I chose integrity but no one else saw it that way. My character was questioned. My reputation was shredded and I could do nothing about it.

I could only walk forward into a future that I had not anticipated or imagined.

I clung to Jesus. I grabbed hold of the promise that He would never leave me or forsake me. I tried to trust that He could redeem the circumstances as I watched everything we had built crumble around us. I tried and failed. I couldn’t find trust or hope within my soul, only heartbreak and fear.

Psalm 119:116 became the words I held onto:

Sustain me, my God, according to your promise, and I will live; do not let my hopes be dashed.”

One morning I got up early and took a walk. We were living in Las Vegas and my neighborhood edged the desert by the Red Rock. With worship music loaded on my iPod, I set out to pray and breathe in the presence of God.

As I turned the corner out of my neighborhood and onto the desert road behind it the song “Great is Thy Faithfulness” began. The sun was just rising over Red Rock Canyon and it was so beautiful that I almost dropped to my knees.  I heard God’s whisper in my heart, “Hold on. Your hopes are not lost. I am faithful to complete what I have started in you. I will sustain you through this and strengthen you in it. My faithfulness knows no end.”

It was a turning point for me. I carried that promise through a time that got harder long before it got better.

Hold on, my friend, your hopes are not lost. 

Jesus is faithful to complete what He started in you. 

He will sustain you and strengthen you in it. 

God’s faithfulness knows no end.

Lost

Wednesday

Feeling lost is a terrible feeling.

Years ago on the way out of Disneyland Kyle got lost. I wasn’t holding his hand at the time and when I looked around I didn’t see him. He got distracted by a new toy and got lost in the surging crowd. I told Bobby, we stopped and immediately began the search. We went back to where we came from and began calling his name. Within moments, Bobby had him but Kyle was shaken up.

Big tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t find you”. I gave him a big hug and I heard Bobby say, “You did the right thing- you stopped right where you were. We will always find you, always come back and get you.”

Kyle stuck close to me for a while after that and didn’t let go of my hand. He wanted the security of my hand and needed me to guide him through the crowd. He knew I could see more than he could, that I was stronger than he was, could protect him and knew where we were going. I was more than fine with him trusting me to guide him – I wanted to. I wanted my child close and I didn’t let go of his hand either.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.”    Luke 19:10

Jesus said that he came to seek and save the lost. He came equipped with the Father’s heart of desperation to find them. To find you & me.

He came for the ones that got distracted, swallowed up by the crowd and blinded by those around them. For the ones who panic and don’t know who or where they are.

Jesus came to:

Seek and save.

Find and hold.

Reclaim and restore.  

Many things can cause that terrible “I’m lost” feeling. It’s a scary feeling.

Stop wherever you are and let Jesus find you. He loves you and has crossed the boundary of heaven and earth to embrace you with His love.  Let Him guide you through the crushing crowd of fears and failures. He can see more than you can, is stronger than you are and knows how to direct you out of it.

Hold on and let Him hold onto you today.

Unquestionably Free

Thursday
“So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free”.  
John 8:36 AMP
Are you discouraged today because it seems like real change is impossible?
Don’t let anyone or anything con you into believing you are still a slave to sin.  Don’t believe the enemy’s lies that you have no power to break old habits, thought patterns, temptations, or addictions.
When Jesus sets you free, you are free. 
So then why does it take so long to learn how to live in this freedom?
It is because while Jesus has broken the spiritual contract of sin over your life and you are  “legally” free, your flesh has been well trained by its former slave masters.
Your flesh or old nature, has old habits, temptations, and thought patterns that are deeply set in it through years of experience and practice.
Real change takes time. Don’t give up.

What Jesus did on the cross for you means that you have the hope of real change, exponential growth, and truly transforming your life.

Jesus doesn’t just give you hope, He comes alongside you every day to do it.

Take Hold

Thursday

God has a hold of you for a reason you haven’t even begun to know yet. 

He believes in you even more than you believe in yourself. 

Don’t stop going after all God has for you just because you are not where you want to be.

Sometimes the journey seems long when you see how far you still have to go, sometimes the journey seems short when you look at all Jesus has already done in you.

Even Paul the apostle felt this way, so don’t be so hard on yourself when you do.

but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NIV

What God has for you has nothing to do with who you think you are or who you think you are not but it has everything to do with who HE is.

He is working in you so that you can embrace the future He has for you.

Keep going.

Keep pursuing.

Take hold of it.

Just So You Know

Wednesday

Just so you know: you are going to make a mistake today.

Probably more than one.

It will not be the end of the world.

Failure is not fatal.

You will never get anywhere if you run back to what you know at every challenge.

A mistake means that you are trying, so pick yourself up off the ground and try again.

Yes, it is difficult but it is not impossible.

“Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11 NLT

So, make a mistake or two, or three.

Risk failure.

Fail.

But don’t give up.

Get up and try again.