“We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything
to work toward something good and beautiful
when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan.”
Romans 8:28 (VOICE)
Do you know certain individuals who can always take the “lemons” in life and make lemonade ~ those people who can seemingly make the best out of the worst situations? You may wonder how they do it. How can they possibly keep a smile on their face and joy in their heart when their world seems to be falling apart? It’s likely that those individuals have a quiet confidence from within ~ the confidence that their Heavenly Father is orchestrating everything in their lives ~ even the bad things ~ to create a beautiful masterpiece.
Let’s face it, life’s not always perfect. No one is immune to the imperfections of this world. Things happen. Mistakes are made. Accidents occur. Tragedy strikes. Relationships fall apart. Diseases spread. Bad decisions lead to terrible outcomes. But regardless of the situation, the Master Craftsman promises His children that He is able to pick up the broken pieces and fashion them into something good and lovely. He is able to take the problems and difficulties in your life and use them for your benefit. Trust that His wisdom is sufficient to weave every detail of your life (both good and bad) into a beautiful pattern, transforming you more into His likeness. As your trust in Him grows, you will spend less time looking backward, wishing things could be different, and more time looking ahead with hope and anticipation of the future He is preparing for you.
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Jeremiah 17:7
As you do not know the path of the wind,
or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
the Maker of all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 (NIV)
Each tiny piece of God’s beautiful creation exemplifies the work of a master artisan. Take a few moments today to get outside and observe some of the intricate details in nature, and you’ll be amazed at the magnificent workmanship of God ~ The Maker of all Things. There are so many awe-inspiring mysteries in nature that we will never fully comprehend ~ like how a baby’s body is formed in a mother’s womb or how a caterpillar metamorphosizes within a cocoon into a beautiful butterfly. Nature plays a very important role in God’s grand plan. In fact the very first verse of the Bible tells us that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (NIV) And since the very beginning, He has used the creation to point us to the Creator.
“For ever since the creation of the world, His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks).” Romans 1:20 (AMP)
The marvelous creation not only teaches us about God’s divine nature and infinite wisdom, but it also glorifies God on its own. That fact should inspire us to do the same through worship and praise of our Heavenly Father.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays his handiwork. Day after day it speaks out; night after night it reveals his greatness. There is no actual speech or word, nor is its voice literally heard. Yet its voice echoes throughout the earth; its words carry to the distant horizon. In the sky he has pitched a tent for the sun. Like a bridegroom it emerges from its chamber; like a strong man it enjoys running its course. It emerges from the distant horizon, and goes from one end of the sky to the other; nothing can escape its heat.” (Psalm 19:1 – 6)
The Creator takes great care in watching over His creation, yet nothing in all of creation is more valuable to Him than you. He designed you as a one-of-a-kind original, and He knows each detail of your life…including your name and number of hairs on your head! Never doubt that God loves you dearly and is watching over each moment of your life.
Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Therefore do not fear; you are of more value than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:29 – 31)
“You direct me on the path that leads to a beautiful life.
As I walk with You, the pleasures are never-ending,
and I know true joy and contentment.”
Psalm 16:11 (VOICE)
As a child of God, you can believe in the truth that God’s will for your life is always the best place to be. He created you, and He knew you before your very first heartbeat. He knows all your strengths and all your weaknesses, and He knows the exact purpose that He had in mind for your unique life. Seeking His guidance and following His direction will always lead to a beautiful life where you experience true joy and contentment. If He guides you on a certain path, you can be confident that He will be right beside you and will equip you for the journey. “The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8(NIV)
So if you are facing a big decision or venturing into a new chapter in your life, continually seek divine wisdom and guidance from your Heavenly Father. He will direct your steps and illuminate the perfect pathway to your beautiful life ~ the life He designed just for you! Trust in His precious promises:
- “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
- “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 (NIV)
- “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)
- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3: 5 – 6 (NIV)
God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
He does great things beyond our understanding.
He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
Job 37:5-6 (NIV)
“…Are you listening?
Have you noticed all this?
Stop in your tracks!
Take in God’s miracle-wonders!
Do you have any idea how God does it all, how He makes bright lightning from dark storms, how He piles up the cumulus clouds—all these miracle-wonders of a perfect Mind?” Job 37:14-16 (MSG)
Nothing can compare to God. By spending time observing the majestic scenes and intricate details of God’s creation, we are reminded of His awesome power in every aspect of our lives. Life always creates more questions than we have answers, and we must continually turn to Our Heavenly Father for answers, guidance and fresh insights. When He speaks, we must be ready to hear His message.
Take a moment to “stop in your tracks,” find a quiet place and listen to the marvelous voice of God.
Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 NIV
As the New Year dawns, many of us make a noble list of New Year’s Resolutions. A brand new year seems like a gift, a fresh start, a clean slate, a chance to turn the page to a new chapter in our lives. We usually start out the month of January with grand intentions and high ambitions, but we find that we often lose that enthusiasm as the days and weeks click past. Our list of resolutions gets buried under the stack of papers that we intended to organize, and we forget about all the things we resolved to do over the next 365 days.
The truth is that we should live each new day with resolve and intent. God has given us a certain number of days to fulfill our life’s purposes, and we should ask Him to give us the grace to understand the important significance of each day (and each moment) that we spend here on earth. Some of us have more time than others, but none of us know the exact amount of time that we have left to complete our life’s mission. We should diligently pray for divine instruction concerning how to use our time throughout the days of our lives. Thoughtful time management is an excellent art whether you’re a business professional, student, homemaker or retiree. God models time management for us when we consider the account in Genesis 1 of His orderly creation of the universe; each day was filled with important tasks and accomplishments, and He even set aside time for rest. When you number your days to good purposes, according to God’s guidance, you will live wisely and your heart and mind will be inclined to achieving God’s mission for your life.
So instead of making a list on the first day of the new year of things you want to accomplish in the next 12 months, you should make a list as you begin each New Day. It might be helpful to write your daily list on a calendar or in a notebook, so that you can look back over the year and see all the things that you and God have accomplished together. Live each New Day as though it were a gift of time, a new beginning, a fresh start, and a chance to fulfill God’s grand purpose. If you order your days according to God’s plan, rather than your own desires, you will feel a divine sense of fulfillment each day of your life, and no moment will be wasted.
Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you;
He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
Deuteronomy 31:8 (NIV)
With God as your life’s Heavenly Navigator, you never have to worry or be fearful when forging ahead into uncharted territory. You can confidently trust that the Lord is going before you, guiding you in the path that is best for you. He promises to be with you each step of the way…even in the deepest, darkest valleys and through the most treacherous terrain. When the going gets tough, He will never abandon you or forget about you.
Perhaps you are struggling with decisions about your career, finances, relationships, child-rearing, education, or even treatment options for a health crisis. You would never travel to a new place without consulting a map or GPS system. Why do you think that you could blindly traverse though life’s journey without consulting God’s divine wisdom? He is your holy Field Guide for your earthly trek. Instead of feeling overwhelmed or afraid, focus on the fact that God is already ahead of you, leading the way. He knows the plans He has in store for you ~ seek His excellent guidance and ask Him for wisdom. With Him by your side, you can have confidence that the choices you make are best
He’s already in your future…follow His lead.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
“I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
“For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath.”
Each day untold numbers of negative thoughts can swirl through our heads. It is often difficult to control those thoughts, but I have found that the best remedy for negative thinking is through God’s powerful and positive Word. When you feel discouraged, weak, too tied to go on, unloved, condemned, depleted, confused, incompetent, fearful, guilty, unsure, defeated, worried, sad, or alone, God has an answer for you. Say these verses out loud until you have memorized them. Repeat them to yourself each time that negative thought creeps into your mind. God loves you unconditionally! He speaks to you through His Word. Listen to His voice of truth instead of the lies that may be playing on “auto-shuffle” in your mind.
Here are just a few examples to get you started:
God’s Answers to our Negative Thoughts:
|You say: ‘It’s impossible’
||God says: All things are possible
||(Luke 18:27 NIV)27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:27
|You say: ‘I’m too tired’
||God says: I will give you rest
||(Matthew 11:28-30 NIV)28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
|You say: ‘Nobody really loves me’
||God says: I love you
||(John 3:16 NIV)16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
|You say: ‘I can’t go on’
||God says: My grace is sufficient
||(II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15 NIV)II Corinthians 12:9
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
|You say: ‘I can’t figure things out’
||God says: I will direct your steps
||(Proverbs 3:5- 6)5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
|You say: ‘I can’t do it’
||God says: You can do all things
||(Philippians 4:13 NIV)I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.
|You say: ‘I’m not able’
||God says: I am able
||(2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
|You say: ‘It’s not worth it’
||God says: It will be worth it
||(Roman 8:28 NIV)28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
|You say: ‘I can’t forgive myself’
||God says: I Forgive you
||(I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1 NIV)1 John 1:9
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness
8 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,
|You say: ‘I can’t manage’
||God says: I will supply all your needs
||(Philippians 4:19)New International Version (NIV)
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
|You say: ‘I’m afraid’
||God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear
||(2 Timothy 1:7)New International Version (NIV)
7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
|You say: ‘I’m always worried and frustrated’
||God says: Cast all your cares on ME
||(I Peter 5:7 NIV)7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
|You say: ‘I’m not smart enough’
||God says: I give you wisdom
||(James 1:5 NIV)If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.
|You say: ‘I feel all alone’
||God says: I will never leave you or forsake you
||(Hebrews 13:5b NIV)God has said,
“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”