There are days
meant for living
and there are those
that are unforgiving.
Dreams can soar
and fly so high
and they can fall
and wither and die.
Life can be easy
a joy to feel
or feed you poison
and make you reel.
Loving can be
a precious thing
or all your blood
from you wring.
The sum of these
can happiness make
or punch you out
and make you break.
Strength remains a commodity we desire whether it’s physical, emotional, or spiritual. And in most cases, we know that the kind of strength we desire won’t happen overnight. We lift weights and exercise, knowing that we won’t be looking like a superhero for some time, if ever.
We push through painful disappointments and grieve private losses, feeling our emotions but not allowing them to overpower us. And spiritually, we strengthen our faith by praying spending time in God’s Word, and serving others.
Our spiritual strength, however, isn’t built on what we do but who we know. God is the source of our strength, and it’s our relationship with him that increases our strength, not any spiritual disciplines by themselves. many people can do “spiritual exercises” for the wrong reasons. If we’re committed to loving God, they are natural ways to flex the muscles of our heart.
CHALLENGE: Contact a loved one and share with them how spirituality–in whatever form it takes for you–is helping you with a problem.
If you’ve ever carried a full backpack, armful of grocery bags, or heavy package to mail, you know the relief that comes when you release your burden. Your muscles relax, your arms tingle, and you can catch your breath.
If you’ve ever been carrying a heavy load and someone came along to help lighten it, you know the kind of gratitude you feel for such assistance.
God provides us with the same kind of relief each day. From the laundry list of cares and concerns we continually seem to carry to the new items we’ll add today, he can lift them all.
We don’t have to strain, strive, and struggle alone. In his power, sovereignty, and wisdom, he knows the leverage points that will help us life our part of the burden. As Jesus also reminds us, it’s light and easy to carry.
Today, res in the knowledge that God bears your burdens.
CHALLENGE: Email a friend or loved one and offer to help them deal with a burden currently weighing them down.
The new life we receive through Christ is not a makeover of our outward appearance and wardrobe. It’s not a special feeling or physical sensation we experience while it’s taking place. It’s not winning the lottery and having all our problems go away.
The life we gain when we give our hearts to Jesus is eternal life–the promise of being with our Lord in heaven–but also an abundant life of purpose, joy, and contentment in our early existence.
We have the two best reasons possible to rejoice over the enormous gifts God extends to us through salvation in his Son. Even though our mortal bodies will perish just as Adam’s did, our spirits will not die but will complete our transformation.
Today, enjoy the gifts of the new life you’ve been given.
CHALLENGE: Post a message on one of your public pages, praising God for your salvation and abundant life.
The biggest lie that we believe is that God can’t love us the way we are. We have never been loved perfectly. Our families and friends have done the best they can, but they are limited by their own wounds and feelings of not being loved.
Some of us, unfortunately, have been hurt deeply, and we have started to believe lies as a result. “I am unlovable.” “I have to be good in order to be loved.” “Love hurts.” We carry these beliefs with us, and they form our abilities to give and receive love and acceptance.
How can we change this belief? We can’t do it by ourselves.
Only God can show us how much he loves us. Through his Word, through the words and actions of others, and through his whispers to our heart, our Father wants his love to permeate us through and through. The enemy’s lies melt away in the power of God’s love.
CHALLENGE: Encourage a friend by telling them that you love them. You may be God’s message of love to them today.