God Specializes in Impossible Dreams

When the pursuit of your dream deteriorates from difficult to impossible, congratulations! You’re in good company.

Even Paul went through dead ends: “At that time we were completely overwhelmed, the burden was more than we could bear, in fact we told ourselves that this was the end. Yet we believe now that we had this experience of coming to the end of our tether that we might learn to trust, not in ourselves, but in God who can raise the dead.” (2 Corinthians 1:8-9 PH)

If God can raise people physically, he can raise people who are dead emotionally. He can raise a dead marriage. He can resurrect a dead career. He can resurrect you from a health problem.

God told Abraham he’d be the father of a nation, but then Abraham had to wait until he was ninety-nine years old before he had his first child. The Bible shows Abraham’s situation going from difficult to impossible.

But Sarah got pregnant, and they laughed about it. When the baby was born, they named him Isaac, which means laughter.

God often lets problems become impossibilities.

What’s the best response to a dead end? “He has delivered us from such a terrible death, and He will deliver us; we have placed our hope in Him that He will deliver us again.” (2 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB)

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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God Pushes You to Deeper Faith

In order to build your faith, God will give you a dream; then he’ll urge you to make a decision; but then he’ll allow a delay, because in the delay he matures you and prepares you for what is to come.

The truth is you’ll have difficulties as you’re pursuing your God-given dream. This isn’t because he doesn’t care about you. It’s one of the ways he pushes you toward the deep end of faith.

As God delays, you’ll face two types of difficulties: Circumstances and Critics. This is a natural part of life. God designed it this way because he knows we grow stronger when facing adversity.

When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt and toward the Promised Land, he had one problem after another. First, there was no water. Then there was no food. Then there were a bunch of complainers. Then there were poisonous snakes. Moses was doing what God wanted, yet he had problems.

God does this because he is building our faith and character. When we finally reach our limit and exhausted all options, it is then that God begins a mighty work through us: “I know, even though you are temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials and temptations. This is no accident – it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable, than gold .” (1 Peter 1:6-7 PH)

—From Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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When God Says Wait

Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith.

In Habakkuk 2, God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.”

When delay comes to your dreams, you’ll most likely start asking the question, “When, Lord? When are you going to answer my prayer?”

And we hate to wait. We don’t like to wait in a doctor’s office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.

We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for thirty years in the carpenter’s shop before setting out on his public ministry.

Why do we wait? It teaches us to trust in God. We learn that his timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God’s delay never destroys his purpose.

A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between “no” and “not yet,” and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, “No,” but he is saying, “Not yet.”

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Decision-Making Builds Faith

After God gives you a dream, you’ve always got a decision to make. Are you going to do something about the dream He has given you? Nothing is going to happen to that dream until you wake up and put it into action.

James 1 teaches us that faith is a verb. It’s active and not passive. It’s something you do. Decision-making is a faith-building activity. You use your muscles of faith.

A great illustration of God’s plan is a trapeze artist. They swing out holding onto a trapeze bar, and then they let go in order to grab hold of another trapeze bar that swings them to the other side. But, at one point, they’re not holding on to any bar. They’re suspended in air for a split second.

Have you ever been there in a career, where you’re leaving one job for another and nothing’s in between? You’re 180 feet above the ground with no net below and holding onto nothing.

But if you don’t let go and grab onto the vision God wants you to have, you swing back. But this time you swing back lower and lower until you’re finally stopped, hanging there in the air. And there’s only one way out: down!

God brings your dream to a point of decision so your faith will build as you swing toward Gods dream for you.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Restoring Relationships: Take Initiative

To restore a broken relationship, the Bible says you need to take the initiative.

It doesn’t matter whether you are the offender or the offended, God expects you to make the first move. Don’t wait for the other party. Go to them first.

Restoring broken fellowship is so important, Jesus commanded that it even take priority over group worship. He said, “If you enter your place of worship and are about to make an offering, but you suddenly remember a grudge a friend has against you, abandon your offering, leave immediately, go to this friend and make things right. Then and only then, come back and work things out with God.” (Matthew 5:23-24 Msg)

When fellowship is strained or broken, plan a peace conference immediately. Don’t procrastinate, make excuses, or promise, “I’ll get around to it someday.” Schedule a face-to-face meeting as soon as possible. Delay only deepens resentment and makes matters worse.

The success of a peace conference often depends on choosing the right time and place to meet. Don’t meet when of you are tired, rushed or could be interrupted. The best time is when you both are at your best.

–from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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God Says You’re Lovable

God says you’re lovable. This is so important because you can’t fulfill God’s commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” until you believe this. If you don’t feel lovable, you can’t love anybody else.

Our verse today says a couple things about God’s love for us.

God loves you consistently — He doesn’t love you one day and not the next. He doesn’t love you on your good days and not on your bad days. God is 100% consistent in his love for you.

God loves you unconditionally — He says, “I will always love you and it is unconditional. You don’t earn it.” He doesn’t say, “I love you if you’re good, or if you do these things, or because you look this way or you do these things.”

You never have to wake up in the morning and say, “God, are you going to love me today? Did I read my Bible enough? Did I pray enough?” He loves you consistently no matter who you are or what you do.

What is the result when you really understand this? Daniel 10:19 says “God loves you, so don’t let anything worry you or frighten you.” When I don’t have to worry or be afraid of anything, then I am free to give love to everyone around me.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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The Key to Uprooting the Devil’s Plan

If you want the great and mighty things God has for you, then you must get to the root of your negative mindsets and deal with them. Because until the roots are removed, they’ll continue to produce one bad fruit after another.

Too often we spend our lives dealing with the bad fruit of our behavior, but we never dig deep enough to get to the root of the problem. Digging deep to take care of the bad root is painful, but it’s the only lasting way to take care of the problem. We can either suffer positively, doing what’s right, or we can go with the devil’s plan. His goal is to keep you stuck in your old habits forever.

Peter tells us to be well-balanced and temperate, withstanding the devil at his onset (see 1 Peter 5:8-9). You must decide if you want the pain that will take you into a new realm of glory or to keep your same old pain and try to hide it while it’s rotting inside you.

Withstand the devil today and follow the Holy Spirit to the plan God has for you.

Prayer Starter: God, I need Your help to withstand the devil’s plan. I know digging out bad roots is painful, but if it brings me closer to Your plan for me, I want to do it. Strengthen me as I resist the devil and submit myself to follow You.

—from Joyce Meyer daily devotional

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Jesus Is Our Example

Love is something that can be seen. It is seen in the fruit of the Spirit working in our lives, in our behavior and how we treat people. Love has many facets, or different ways we can see it. For example, when a diamond ring is held up to the light, it can sparkle in various ways depending on which way it is turned in the light. I believe love also sparkles in different ways depending on how we look at it.

I Corinthians 13:4-7 gives us examples of the many facets of love:

Love endures long, it has the ability to put up with stuff for a long time.
Love is never envious, it doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love is not boastful or vainglorious, it doesn’t call attention to itself.
Love is not conceited or rude.
Love doesn’t insist on its own way.
Love pays no attention to a suffered wrong.
Love never gives up!

These are just a few ways we’re supposed to love others…and it’s also the way God loves us. First John 4:8 says that “God is love.” He loves us and has saved us, so now we can share His love with others.

To imitate God, we have to look at Jesus, a perfect representation of God who lived out all of the descriptions of love in 1 Corinthians 13. He always acted in love in every situation, even when people came against Him.

Colossians 3:12-14 says to “clothe yourselves therefore, as God’s own chosen ones…. And put on love”…. Like Jesus, let’s clothe ourselves in love and choose to follow His example, bringing honor and glory to God.

Prayer Starter: God, You have shown me what love is like by loving me first. Help me to follow the example of Jesus and live out all the facets of love in my day-to-day life.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Grace, God’s Power Freely Given

If you’ve been in the world very long, you’ve learned that there are very few days that go exactly the way we’d like them to go. Thankfully, God is never going to put us in a situation without giving us the ability to be in it with joy.

I believe God gives us His special grace for every situation. Here’s how I like to define grace: God’s power to help us do whatever it is we need to do. You can have that power today, but you have to receive it, and the only way to receive it is by faith.
Romans 12:3 says that “God has allotted to each a measure of faith.”

Ask yourself today, “What am I doing with my faith?” Are you putting your faith in yourself, or in others, or in your circumstances? That’s not living in grace, that’s just living by your own strength and works. And it won’t get the job done!

But when you release your faith and trust God to do what you can’t do, you’re putting your faith in Him. Then grace, God’s power, will come through the channel of faith and will enable you to do things that will amaze you and others.

Here’s my longer definition of grace: It’s God’s power coming to us freely, meaning it doesn’t cost us anything other than just putting our faith in God, enabling us to do with ease what we could never do on our own with any amount of struggle or effort.

Put your faith in God. He wants to give you His grace today.

Prayer Starter: God, I know that life won’t always go the way I want it to, but I trust in You. By faith, I receive Your grace, the power You have freely given to help me walk through any situation I face today.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Love in Action

As Christians, we are called to show others love. Jesus told His disciples, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another if you keep on showing love among yourselves” (John 13:35).

So many people see love as ‘just a feeling,’ but it’s so much more than that. True love shows itself through action.

And this action doesn’t have to be impossible and overwhelming. One of the best ways to show the love of Jesus is through simple, everyday action,
– Like giving a small gift to someone or striking up a conversation with a downcast individual who needs a friend.
– Or giving a bag of groceries to the single mom who lives down the street and is struggling to put food on the table.
– Showing love can even be as simple as smiling and saying hello to a person you pass on the street, in the hall, or at the store.

There are many ways to demonstrate the love of Christ. When you show His love to someone else, it can soften that person’s heart, and before you know it, they’ll be finding ways to reach out and show love to others, and so on and so on. So celebrate God’s love and let Him lead you. Is He putting someone on your heart right now?

I want my love for Jesus to be reflected in the way I show love for others, even those who may be difficult to love. If I can soften one hard heart with the love of God, maybe that person will soften another’s heart with love, then that one will reach out to others, and so on and so on… And soon we’ll have a love revolution!

Prayer Starter: God, I want my love for You to be reflected in the way I show love for others. Show me ways to demonstrate love to anyone and everyone that You bring across my path.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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