The Best Time To Pray

“From inside the fish, Jonah prayed to the Lord his God.”    Jonah 2:1 NIV

When is the best time to pray?

– when you are running from God.

– when you have been disobedient and rebellious.

– when you have done your own thing, your way and find yourself in the center of a devastating storm.

– when you realize that God is BIGGER than your fear and STRONGER than the storm.

– when you are in the very center of something that is far bigger than you and you have no power to get out of it.

– when you are ready to let go of your preconceived ideas of what God is calling you to and willing to serve wherever you are, with whatever God has given you, right now. 

When is the best time to pray?

NOW… whatever your “now” looks like.

In the Storm

Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping.”  

Matthew‬ ‭8‬:‭24‬ NIV

Since living in Southern Florida, I have a healthy respect for storms that come on quickly and are ferocious. Every afternoon in the summer, the fluffy white clouds that fill the blue expanse of the sky in the morning turn into dark thunderclouds by the afternoon.  

Some afternoon storms are gentle showers and over quickly. 

Some of them rip the sky open with the crack of lightning, heart-pounding thunderclaps, and vicious wind.

The verse above describes a storm on the Sea of Galilee that came on so suddenly and was so ferocious that seasoned fishermen feared for their lives.

And what was Jesus doing?

He was sleeping

The storm did not disturb him.

How?

Jesus knew three things:

  1. That God, His Father determined His time on earth, not a storm- even the most ferocious of ones.
  2. Who and whose He was: the Son of God, on a mission from God, filled with the power of God.
  3. He knew that His mission was not over yet.

The best thing for you to do in a storm is to trust God and rest. 

Rest in God’s sovereignty:  He knows the moment you will cross into eternity.  This storm will not be the end of your story and God does not have half a plan.

Rest in knowing who and whose you are: a cherished child of God, redeemed by the cross of Christ to live life loved and drenched in God’s grace.

Rest in the knowledge that as long as you are here, God’s mission for you is not done yet.

When You Think It’s Over, It’s Not

Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

John 11:43 NIV

Lazarus was dead. 

His body wrapped tightly in grave clothes and laid to rest. 

The world had already moved on and the story of Lazarus was over.  

But his story was not over for God.

Lazarus was dead and Jesus told them to open the tomb anyway.

Lazarus was gone and Jesus called his name anyway.

Then Lazarus walked out alive. 

You may think that your story has already been written.

That it is over.

That where you are right now is where you will always be. 

That your usefulness, your marriage, your ministry, your job, your purpose, your hopes lay dead and lifeless at your feet.

Jesus defied death.

“Where, O death, is your victory?  Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15: 55 -57 NIV)

If you are breathing, God is not done with you.

You may think your story is over but God doesn’t.

He calls life from death and unbinds the grave clothes that cling.

He calls your name, reminds you who you are and whose you are.

He changes the ending of your story.

He will resurrect relationships, restore callings, redefine life as you know it and move you from darkness into the light.

The story of Lazarus is more than an example of a miracle, it is a proclamation of the power of Jesus to raise the dead things in us and a reminder to us today that all death means nothing in the light of His love.

He defeated death itself and because of Jesus, you have nothing to fear here or when your time on earth is done.

When fear rises up to tell you that your story is over, know that in Christ your story has only just begun.

Just when you think it’s over, it’s absolutely not.

Press On

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.PHILIPPIANS 3:12 NIV

Today, I want to challenge you to let go of:

– trying to earn God’s love (He already loves you).

– your fear of failure (you have nothing to prove).

– perfectionism (you have nothing to fear).

– habits that sabotage your growth (you don’t need them anymore).

– trying to control everything (you can’t anyway and it’s exhausting to try).

And I want to encourage you to take hold of:

– God’s grace.

– your faith in Jesus.

– the vision Jesus has for your life.

– the hope of love’s transformation.

– trusting Jesus with it all.

Jesus will not give up on you or let go of you.

He loves you so much that He will continually press you to press on to become who He has created you to be.

“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12 ‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Let go of what is holding you back and go after with all your heart all that God has for you.

With Him, You Can

“Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. GOD, your God, is with you every step you take.”

Joshua 1:9 MSG

Today you may be faced with a task that looks way too big for you to tackle. 

God knows this.

He doesn’t intend for you to do it on your own or by yourself.

He intends for you to tackle it with Him.

To face the impossible challenge with Him.

To lean on His strength, His wisdom, His power to do it.

Should you face it?

Yes
.

Can you?


Yes
.

Why?


Because you are not alone in it.

You can do all things through the One who will strengthen you.

His name is Jesus and He is your Lord and Savior.

With Him, you can.

With Jesus

Come, he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Matthew‬ ‭14:28-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s impossible to walk on water.

It’s impossible to feed 5,000 people with a small boy’s lunch.

It’s impossible to heal a man born blind.

Jesus did all this and more while inviting His disciples to join Him.

They not only watched Jesus do these things, they got to be a part of it.

They did their part and Jesus did His.

He walked on water and invited Peter to walk with Him there.

Peter wanted to be where Jesus was, which happened to be on the water.

Peter helped Jesus feed over 5,000 people by doing what Jesus told him to do: pass out bread and fish.

Jesus will invite you to do the impossible without expecting you to do it in your own strength. 

Jesus knows you can’t do the impossible without Him. 

He fully expects you to fully depend on Him for it. 

Don’t focus on what seems impossible today.

Focus on following Jesus and following through on what He has asked you to do.

I am praying for you to receive all Jesus has for you,

to boldly go with Him to places you have never been before.

To experience new life, new love, new freedom, new hope and a brand new normal of stepping out in faith with Him. 

In Jesus’ name, Amen

God Will

For He, God, Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down or relax My hold on you! Assuredly not!” ‬‭HEBREWS 13:5 AMPLIFIED VERSION

God will not leave you without support.

Jesus is bigger than your situation.

He will not leave you helpless.

He will not relax His hold on you.

He will make a way where there seems to be no way.

As you face the challenges before you, know that God is beside you.

All things are possible with God.

He will not leave you.

Take the Step

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” ‭‭ISAIAH‬ ‭41:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Faith is about taking the first step.

Faith is taking the first step when are you are nervous, uncomfortable, and anxious.

It is about trusting God more than trusting your feelings. 

It is trusting God to give you what you need to take the first step.

Faith is the action of doing what God is telling you to do and trusting Him that it is the right thing.

Every time you use whatever faith you have (whether it be little or large) to step out in obedience, you are trusting God to walk with you every step of the way.

So go ahead, take the first step.

Then the next and the one after that.

All the while believing that the God who loves you (and He does) will empower you to do it.

What step is God asking you to take today?

Stress Won’t Help

I don’t know what you’re facing today but I want to tell you that stressing is not the solution to it.

Striving is not the solution either.

Trusting God is.


Surrender is the solution.

Surrender yourself to God.
Surrender your situation to God.
Surrender your fears to God.

This isn’t about giving up but it is very much about giving over of yourself into God’s hands.

Not because you understand how God can work a miracle but by believing He can work a miracle.

Surrender is about trusting Him to be who He is – your loving Father. 

God assured us in Hebrews 13:5-6 MSG, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you, we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what. Who or what can get to me?

Your Father is here, ready to help.

Stress won’t help you but God will.

You can trust Him with what seems impossible.

What do you need help with today?

You Are Stronger Than You Know

“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

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.

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.