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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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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Self-Control Applies to Every Area

There are certain messages in the Bible that apply to everything – self-control is one of them. It doesn’t matter what kind of problem we have in our lives, self-control comes into play in every area. If we don’t discipline ourselves, our emotions will rule us and our lives will be miserable.

Exercising self-control means living in moderation. Everything in life requires quality decisions and discipline to make it happen. So many of our problems are a direct result of a lack of discipline. Financial debt happens when we can’t control our spending habits, bad health follows when we can’t control our eating habits, etc.

If you are in a situation that seems overwhelming to get out of, a lot of discipline and self-control may be required. Thankfully, God has given us the Holy Spirit to live in us and help us.

If you are born again, you have the Spirit of Christ inside you – complete with the fruit of self-control. You may not have developed it, but know that it’s there. You have what it takes. Make a decision to develop self-control through your relationship with the Holy Spirit.

Prayer Starter: God, I choose a spirit of discipline and self-control. By the power of Your Spirit in me, I will do what You tell me to do and not be controlled by my feelings.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Press on and Enjoy Your Progress

It’s true that we all still have a long way to go. I used to get discouraged about how far I had to go, and it seemed like I was reminded of it every day, sometimes every hour. I carried a constant sense of failure, a feeling that I just wasn’t who I needed to be, I wasn’t doing enough and I needed to try harder. Yet, when I did try harder, I only failed again.

I’ve now adopted a new attitude: “I’m not where I need to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be. I’m OK, and I’m on my way!” I now know with all my heart that God isn’t angry with me just because I haven’t arrived yet. He’s pleased that I’m pressing on and staying on the path.

If you and I will just “keep on keeping on,” God will be pleased with our progress. He has promised to light the path before us. We may not know the way, and we may stumble from time to time, but God is faithful. He sees your progress, He’s proud of you, and He’s going to help you stay on the right path!

Prayer Starter: God, I won’t get discouraged about where I am. You’ve already brought me so far, and I know that You will continue to light my way.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Let Go of Doubt

There are two things that cause self-doubt in your life —

Comparing your abilities to others – When you compare your abilities to others, you will begin to doubt my abilities. Instead of looking to God, you start looking at everybody else. You think these other people have more talent, more abilities, more education, or more experience. The moment you start comparing yourself to them, you’re going to be filled with self-doubt.

The Bible says, “It is dumb stupid to compare yourself to other people.” (2 Corinthians 10:12) God doesn’t want you comparing yourself to anybody else. He created you to be unique. He wants you to be you.

Remembering your past failures — Remembering your past failures is like putting a movie in your mind of all your mistakes and playing it over and over. It tortures you to death and it causes you to doubt your abilities.

God does not want you focusing on your past. If you stay focused on your past mistakes, you can’t get on with your present. And God can’t use you in the future. God says forget the past.

Don’t let your past doubts, don’t let your past guilt, keep you from being used by God. God essentially says, “I don’t care what your past is. I want to use you!”

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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Accept God’s Timing

God gives us hopes and dreams for certain things to happen in our lives, but He doesn’t always allow us to see the exact timing of His plan. Although frustrating, not knowing the exact timing is often what keeps us in the program. When we accept God’s timing, we can learn to live in hope and enjoy our lives while God is working on our problems.

Exodus 13:17-18 tells us that God led the Israelites the longer, harder way on their journey to the Promised Land because He knew they were not yet ready to go in. There had to be time for their training, and they had to go through some very trying situations. And in the process, God never failed to take care of them and show them what He wanted them to do.

The same is true in our lives, God’s training period simply requires us to do what He tells us to do when He tells us to do it, without questioning or trying to figure everything out. No matter how long things take, we can always confidently know that it will be better when we accept God’s timing.

Prayer Starter: God, I accept Your timing. I may not always understand, but I know Your ways are perfect and I completely trust in You.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Are You Seeking the Right Stuff?

Romans 14:17 defines the kingdom of God as a life of goodness, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

We are to seek His kingdom, but a lot of people spend their life seeking all kinds of other stuff. When it comes to righteousness, peace and joy, they don’t have any because they’re chasing after other things.

I used to think that if I had all kinds of worldly stuff, I’d have no worries and my life would be peaceful, but no matter how much stuff I gained, it never really brought peace. True peace comes from being one with God.

It’s important for us to understand this because I think a large majority of Christians spend their whole life searching for the wrong things, when our real treasure is in Jesus.

So what are you seeking today? What’s your treasure? Worldly things will ultimately leave you unsatisfied, but if you seek God and His righteousness, peace and joy, you can experience the completely satisfying and fulfilling life God wants you to have. Go after Him today.

Prayer Starter: God, I decide today to stop pursuing worldly things that will not satisfy. I want to be one with You, so I seek Your righteousness, peace and joy.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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Make a Difference by Being Different

One of the most important tests we all face as we try to achieve what God has called us to do is cultural distraction. For instance —

The distraction of popularity — If you are always worried about what other people think, you will be distracted from your destiny.

The distraction of pleasure – It’s OK to have fun and feel comfort, but if that’s the primary focus of your life, you will never fulfill your destiny.

The distraction of profits — You can’t serve both God and money. Making a profit can’t be the primary focus of your life.

The distraction of possessions — Judging your success by how much stuff you own will keep you concerned about keeping things and maintaining things.

The antidote to cultural distractions is this: you must dare to be different from others. If you are going to reach the dream God has given you, you must also dare to be different from others.

Noah was different. God liked what he saw in Noah. Everything was headed toward destruction, but two words changed history — “but Noah.” That’s the power of one person. That’s the power of just one individual who chooses to be different.

—from Rick Warren’s daily devotional

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You Can Be Alone Without Being Lonely

Loneliness often manifests as an inner ache, a vacuum, or a craving for affection. Its side effects include feelings of emptiness, uselessness or purposelessness. There are many causes of loneliness, but many people don’t realize that they don’t have to live with it. They can confront it and deal with it.

It’s important to realize that just because you are alone, it doesn’t mean you must be lonely or lonesome. While it may not always be possible to avoid being alone, there are always answers to loneliness.

God’s Word tells us to be strong and courageous, for God is always with us. In the natural, you may be alone, but that doesn’t mean you have to be lonely, because spiritually, God is always there. He will never leave you or forsake you.

The next time a feeling of loneliness tries to manifest in your life, I urge you to remember Deuteronomy 31:6. Declare out loud that God is with you and begin to talk to Him. As you make room for Him, His presence will fill your life. You don’t have to be lonely when God’s presence is with you wherever you go.

Prayer Starter: God, I’m so glad that You’re always with me. I know I never have to feel lonely with You by my side.

—from Joyce Meyer’s daily devotional

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