Hope & Encouragement

  1. Philippians 4:6-7 - Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
  2. John 15:7 - If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given to you.
  3. God is bigger than my circumstances. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Philippians 1 - Pg 212.
  4. Rest in the fact that God is with you in the midst of difficulties. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Philippians 1 - Pg 212.
  5. Stuart Hamblin wrote in one of his familiar songs, “I know not what the future holds / but I know who holds the future.” If Jesus is your Savior and Lord, then the future is your friend, and you have nothing to fear. - From commentary on "Fear of the Future" in Psalm (vv. 11-14) from the BE Series Commentary by Warren Wiersby
  6. When discouraged, we naturally pray for relief . . . we beg the Lord to act on our behalf. What if, instead, we asked for the opportunity to do something for Him? How might our perspective change if we began to see ourselves as agents of God’s will, acting on His behalf and carrying out His desires, rather than always expecting Him to serve us? When is the last time you asked the Lord for an opportunity to do something for Him? Perhaps now is a good time, especially if you’re struggling with discouragement. When you pray for the ability to carry out His will, it’s likely your sense of powerlessness will quickly fade. - Swindoll, Charles R (2012-08-01). Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (pp. 21-22). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition.
  7. As  2 Corinthians 4:17 reminds us, “Our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” 
    No one is exempt from experiencing the storms of life. God is doing a work. And that is what we have to understand: God is at work. He will not waste our pain. He will produce something in our lives that we need. He is looking for a desired result. 
    Romans 8:28
      promises that “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."
    God  will take the things we are going through and use them for His glory in time. God’s end game, if you will, His primary purpose for us, is to make us more like Jesus. He is getting us ready for heaven. - From the September 29, 2016 Harvest Daily Devotion from Greg Laurie.
  8. It is a wonderful thing to know that the Lord is greater than our earthly circumstances. No matter what they may be, He can overcome them and dominate them so that the Christian shall be in true joy.  - From page 92 of the book Illustrating Great Themes of Scripture by Donald Grey Barnhouse.
  9. Psalm 27:1 - The LORD is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?  It’s not where you are but who you’re with that makes all the difference. Threats, fear, and worry—which are David’s lot in this psalm—cannot ultimately touch you in God’s presence. Not even disaster and death can separate you from his love. The endless distractions and demands of life are unified and ordered in God’s presence. The one thing necessary “is to live in the house of the LORD ... delighting in the LORD’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.” What feels dark and dangerous to you today? Name the scary what-ifs and horrors. Then stand against them and say in their face, with pugnacity and boldness, “But the Lord is my light—why should I fear you?! He is my fortress, and you can’t touch me!”- Patterson, Ben (2008-09-22). God's Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms (p. 92). Tyndale House Publishers - A. Kindle Edition. 
  10. God is our refuge and shield, our protector and defender. No matter who or how powerful the enemy is, the Lord will shelter us if we flee to Him for protection. God loves us and wants to embrace us when people mistreat us. When they humiliate, scorn, curse, or assault us, the Lord will take us under the shadow of His wings. The Lord also wants to shelter us when life is hard. When we suffer from disease, disaster, divorce, or the death of a loved one—whatever the misfortune may be—He will embrace us and be a refuge to us. But we must come to Him in faith, trusting Christ to be our deliverer through all the trials and temptations of life. If we surrender our lives to Him, His overshadowing love and care will guard us. He will infuse us with the strength to conquer all the difficult circumstances of life.
    “The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them” (De. 33:27).
    “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him” (2 Chr. 16:9).
    “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock” (Ps. 27:5).
    “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (Ps. 31:20).
    “Our soul waiteth for the Lord: he is our help and our shield” (Ps. 33:20).
    “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them” (Ps. 34:7).
    “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Ps. 46:1).
    “Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast” (Ps. 57:1).
    “Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress” (Ps. 71:3).
    “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Ps. 84:11).
    “He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler” (Ps. 91:4).
    “O Israel, trust thou in the Lord: he is their help and their shield” (Ps. 115:9).
    “As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the Lord is round about his people from henceforth even for ever” (Ps. 125:2).
    - Excerpts from the "Thought 1" reading about Isaiah 14:28-32 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  11. Encouragement and hope are present realities for the believer.  The comfort and courage that God gives the Christian are in stark contrast to what the world gives.  God's comfort and courage reach to the depths of the soul and spirit.  They are not fleeting or contrived; neither are they attained through self-effort.  These are graces, gifts from God to his children.  In the face of difficulty, discouragement, persecution, and shattered dreams, God brings encouragement.  He also gives good hope - the certainty of a good future. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:16  pg. 112. 
  12. What should trouble us then? Nothing! We cannot be troubled about our salvation; Christ has purchased it for us, and the Holy Spirit has sealed it to our hearts. Moreover, they are both free to plead our case before the Father. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom. 8:33–34). We cannot be troubled about our growth into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ either, for this is the goal of the Spirit’s work within us. Paul says: “through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit” (Rom. 8:2–4). - From commentary from John 14:16-18 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  13. Hope - Hope is not wishing for something you know won't happen.  Hope is looking forward with eager anticipation and strong confidence to the sure promises of God.  Paul also says that our hope is secure because it is stored up for us in heaven.  Our hope is safe and secure, locked away in heaven far above anything that may threaten its integrity.  This confident expectation is what motivates us to be able to love inclusively and nonselectively,  Paul tells us that faith and love spring from the hope.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Colossians 1.
  14. My hope does not rest in the affairs of this world.  It rests in Christ who is coming again. - From page 187 of Billy Graham in Quotes by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  15. For those with Christian hope, death is a messenger sent to bring them home to possess their inheritance. - From commentary on 1 Peter 1:3-4 from Crossway Classic Commentary - 1 & 2 Peter by Robert Leighton & Griffin Thomas.
  16. When we find ourselves trapped by situations that have no end in sight, we need to draw on the courage and power of the Lord Jesus Christ. He will enable us to survive any trial, whether it be long or short. We have the assurance that God is greater than any problem that might arise. Call upon the Lord, and He will lift you up.
    Prayer:  Lord, I need to feel Your presence near me. Alone, I get so tired and afraid. This life has many trials that I'm not ready to deal with. Free me from the captivity of my fears and doubts, and empower me to praise Your name always. Amen. - From the December 7, 2015 devotion from Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan R. Dick 
  17. Praise God that, through Jesus Christ, there is another perspective of death! For those who know Jesus—who have something above the sun awaiting them—death is…
    • not an enemy but a friend
    • not something to be feared but something to be anticipated
    • not the end but the beginning
    • not the cessation of hope but the fulfillment of hope
    • not painful but painless—it has no sting
    • not a defeat but a victory
    The Lord Jesus Christ, through His death and victorious resurrection, has defeated death. He has removed its painful sting. He now gives us hope. Death does not defeat us, not if we have truly trusted Christ as our Savior and Lord. Death delivers us from the woes and the limitations of this life into the glorious presence of the Lord. It transports us from the empty existence of life under the sun to the delights that Christ has prepared for us above the sun.

    The difference in perspective is in a name—the Name above every name—Jesus. He makes all the difference.  “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Re. 14:13). - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 9:2 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  18. If you want hope for life now and for life eternal, then accept Christ's salvation, serving in love. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - Ephesians 2:22 - pg. 117.
  19. The resurrection was good news; it showed that death was not the end of Christ’s life, nor need it be the end of ours. But in addition to this, it is also the case, according to the testimony of these witnesses, that the crucifixion itself was good news. Christ’s death was good. Thus, the true meaning of the phrase “triumph through tragedy” is not merely that tragedy is followed by triumph but, far more profoundly, that in the hands of God the tragedy actually becomes the triumph. The apparent defeat becomes victory. - From commentary on John 18:1 from the Boice Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice.
  20. God is eternal, everlasting. You and I are locked inside a narrow little slot called “right now.” The present moment is all we experience. And the urgency of this moment can squeeze us with its pressures, so that we make costly mistakes out of our own exaggerated sense of emergency. We always sin too soon. But God is not confined to time. In his sweeping eternality God is equally present to all points of time at once. He is always out ahead of us. So we should never panic if things aren’t falling together according to our deadlines. God is working his purpose out in his own way, at his own pace, without our hurried, nervous desperation. - From the reading of Isaiah 40:27-31 from Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et al by Crossway Publisher.
  21. Eccl 11:7-8 - Enjoy life because every year of your life is to be celebrated and enjoyed (v. 8a). - For the sixth time in Ecclesiastes, Solomon exhorts us to enjoy life. The phrase “rejoice in them all” indicates that we can find unique, special joys in every stage and age of life. Childhood holds joys that can be found only in the minds and eyes of innocent, trusting, carefree children. Adolescence holds the joys of some newfound independence, an interest in the opposite sex, and a myriad of other firsts. Young adulthood enjoys the early years of marriage and having children, followed by the unparalleled joys of watching your children grow. In our senior years, we reap the good seeds sown earlier in life, and heaven is nearer and dearer than ever before. Life—all of it—is to be celebrated and enjoyed in all its wonderful phases!   - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 11:7-8 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  22. Christ's resurrection is the cause of our living hope, for it inspires and keeps life in that hope. Because Christ has conquered death and has risen from the dead, he is sitting at God's right hand and so has entered into this inheritance. This gives us a living hope that, according to his own wish, we will be where he is. So this hope is supported on one side by Christ's resurrection, and on the other by the abundant mercy of God the Father. Our hope does not depend on our own strength or wisdom or anything within us, but on Christ's resurrection, on Christ who will never die again (see Romans 6:9- 10). This makes our hope as firm as an anchor and not like worldly hope. - From commentary on 1Peter 1:3 from the Crossway Classic Commentary 1 & 2 Peter by Robert Leighton & Griffin Thomas.
  23. We as believers must learn to deal with a brutal reality: the righteous often suffer and the wicked often prosper. Many stumble and turn away from following the Lord because of this perceived injustice. However, Scripture gives us valuable advice on how to deal with the matter:
    (1) Remember and trust that God always allows and does what is right. He is never unjust, and He never makes a mistake.
    (2) Remember that God accomplishes His great purpose in the believer’s life through suffering, and that death is the friend—not the enemy—of the Christian. The Lord is always working out all things for the good of His Son and the genuine believer (Ro. 8:28).
    (3) Remember that what happens here on earth is not the final outcome. The ultimate reward for the righteous and the ultimate condemnation of the wicked come after death, not before.
    (4) Remember the counsel of Psalm 37:
         ➢ Do not fret because of evil men.
         ➢ Do not be envious of those who do wrong.
         ➢ Trust in the Lord and do good.
         ➢ Delight yourself in the Lord.
         ➢ Commit your way to the Lord.
         ➢ Wait on the Lord.
         ➢ Do not take justice into your own hands.
         ➢ Live in the knowledge that you will one day receive an eternal inheritance and that the wicked will be repaid for      their evil deeds.

    - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 7:18 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  24. There are times in our lives when we seem to go on for considerable periods, undergoing rather radical treatment at the hands of the Father and seeing little fruit come from it. In such times we doubt if there will ever be fruit. But that is only because we cannot see as God sees. We do not have his perspective. Do not get discouraged if that has happened to you. Instead, remember that Jesus promises fruit in due time if we truly remain in him in a close way. We can give our witness, live the Christian life, and, in a sense, refuse to be concerned about the outcome; for, ultimately, God is the One responsible for the vineyard. - From commentary from John 15:5 from the Boice Expositional Commentary Series (27 Volumes) by James Montgomery Boice.
  25. He invites us to join him in his unblinking realism about all false hopes (2:22). He is saying to us, “Relocate your happiness in the future, in a world that doesn’t exist yet except in the promise of God. If you do that, you won’t be devastated when the idols of human pride are trashed, as they will be. In God you can possess both the present and the future.” Here are the terms: “Aim at heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’; aim at earth and you will get neither.” - From location 750 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners 
  26. Hope always looks forward, beyond now, to a future.  Hope rests in God's promised eternity.  And in this assured future makes faith, work, suffering, and love possible.  Hope looks to something that is sure, but just not here yet.  It is coming.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - I Thessalonians 1:3 pg 8.
  27. We are never alone.  God works tirelessly on our behalf, giving us power and strength to do what he calls us to do.  He is faithful when we trust him for salvation, for strength, for godliness...the list goes on and on.  And as part of a church, we are surrounded by people who demonstrate obedience and friendship with God - people who can help us along the way, and others whom we can help as well.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - I Thessalonians 1 pg. 15. 
  28. We should not be surprised by difficulties.  Faith, honestly pursued, will make us stronger in times of hardship. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 1 pg. 95. 
  29. If you are in Christ, whatever God is doing in your life right now is not an experiment that he might abandon if he gets fed up with you. You need to know that God would have to stop being God before he’d quit on you. And why is God devoted to you? It’s not because you risk looking like a failure. You already do. So do I. It’s because God will never let his purpose fail. The defeat of grace to sinners would be the defeat of God.
    The message of God to us all is this: “For my own sake, I love failures and fools and spiritual nitwits, for how could my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.” God’s commitment to God is his assurance to us. If that assurance does not melt your heart, it doesn’t belong to you. But if that assurance ignites within you a flame of hope, then he has set you apart to himself forever. The throne of God is a throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16).
     - Excerpt from the reading in Isaiah 48:1-22 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes st al, Crossway Publishers.
  30. Psalms 31:15 - My future is in your hands. What do you look forward to? Is there fear as you think ahead? Name your fears and again declare the hope of verse 15. You don’t know what the future holds, but you know who holds the future. Patterson, Ben (2008-09-22). God's Prayer Book: The Power and Pleasure of Praying the Psalms (p. 102). Tyndale House Publishers - A. Kindle Edition. 
  31. As Jesus explained to His disciples, God doesn’t replace sorrow with joy; He transforms sorrow into joy (John 16:20-22). The same baby who causes the mother pain also brings the mother joy. - From commentary on “  New Day - Night to Morning" in Psalm (vv. 4-5) from the BE Series Commentary by Warren Wiersby
  32. The consequence of knowing our future should bring endurance, faith determination, and confidence for today.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Thessalonians 2:15 Pg 112.
  33. Only if your identity is built on God and his love, says Kierkegaard, can you have a self that can venture anything, face anything.  - Found at Location 2537 in the Kindle Book  The Reason for God:  Belief in an Age of Skepticism  by Timothy Keller
  34. So, what is your conscience telling you? If you will trust God enough to admit it and open up to his grace, he will start healing your broken heart more than you can imagine.  - From location 466 in the Kindle Book -  Isaiah: God Loves Sinners
  35. Never fear trusting an unknown future to an all knowing God.
  36. In the face of the storms of life, we need the confidence that our Lord will be with us and that He will grant us peace. The peace of the Lord is the strongest force on earth, and those who find their peace in the Lord need never fear. Look deep inside and dwell with the Spirit of God in your heart. There you will find the calm that no storm can Disturb.
    Prayer:  O Lord, grant me Thy perfect peace, and lift me above the storms of my life. I trust in Your great love. Be with me, I pray. Amen. 
    - From the January 10, 2016 devotional reading from Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan R. Dick.  
  37. Let me say something about circumstances, which we often think are so bad. Circumstances refer to things that are without. The word itself is based on two Latin words: circum, which means “around” (as in the word “circumference”), and stare, which means “to stand.” So circumstances are the things that are standing around us. They are external. But where is the Lord in this picture? Is he without? No, he is within. It is a case of “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27). So why worry about what is without if Christ is within? To know that he is within and that he is directing us moment by moment, day by day, is the secret of that supernatural joy that is our rightful birthmark as God’s children. - From the commentary on John 15:13 from the Boice Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice.
  38. God is not only glorious in himself; he also shares his strength with us in our weakness.  He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. (Isaiah 40:29)
    God wants to get involved in our subjectivity by making his power perfect in our weakness. The word group “faint” and “be/grow weary” is the key to this passage, occurring seven times. God is speaking to weak, tired, discouraged people. Who are “the faint” in verse 29? They’re the complainers quoted in verse 27. So, how are these people faint and weak and weary? They’re weak in faith. Their fatigue is spiritual. They’re weak in courage. They feel like quitting. And it’s weaklings like them (and like us) who receive the power of God to live with our heads held high and with a lively confidence in a big God, because we can see in his promise a bright future for us out there beyond the barbed wire. People who find their reasons for living in God have an uncanny resilience about them. They live in ongoing renewal. 
    - From the reading of Isaiah 40:27-31 from Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et al by Crossway Publisher.
  39. Jesus Christ deserves our praise. Through His death upon the cross, He has saved us and forgiven our sins. No longer are we held in the bondage of guilt nor enslaved by sin and death. Christ has set us free from sin, death, and the coming judgment of hell. Our souls have been released from all the bondages of this life, and we have been given eternal life. When we take our last breath on earth—quicker than the eye can blink—the Lord will snatch us out of the physical world and bring us into the spiritual world, into His very presence.
    In addition to giving us eternal life, the Lord comforts us as we walk day by day. He guides and delivers us through all the trials and temptations of this life. By His Spirit He strengthens us to endure the hardships and misfortunes of life, teaching us to walk victoriously over all the difficult circumstances that confront us.
    Our praise and thanksgiving are to be lifted up to the Lord. He has done so much for us that our voices should never be silenced. Shouts of joy should be sounded around the world, for the Lord has saved us. He has delivered us from sin and death and given us eternal life. How can we keep silent? An hour should never pass that we do not give thanks to Him for the great things He has done.
     - From the “Thought 1” reading from Isaiah 12:1-6 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  40. If your situation looks bleak, give your concerns to Christ.  He will guard your faith and safely guard all you have entrusted to him until the day of his return. - Life Application Study Bible NIV Version - 2 Timothy 1:12 Note 1:12 - Pg 2199. 
  41. God's mercy belongs to those who remain faithful.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Timothy 1:16-18,  pg. 271. 
  42. God is present in our crises. If we will trust him, he will save us. If we refuse him, he will discipline us. But he would rather save us. - From location 1441 in the Kindle Book - Isaiah: God Loves Sinners.
  43. Jesus is faithful.  He will stay by our side even when we have endured so much that we seem to have no faith left.  We may be faithless at times, but Jesus is faithful to his promise to be with us "to the very end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).  Refusing Christ's help will break our communication with God, but he will never turn his back on us even though we may turn our backs on him.  - From the Life Application Study Bible (NIV) 2 Timothy 1:11-13 Note 2:13.
  44. While God honors us by accomplishing His work through us, that is not the basis of our value. To put it another way, we are not valuable to God because of our usefulness. He values us whether we are productive or not. There is an overwhelming comfort in that message. Human power or ability does not earn our Creator’s love. He loves us regardless. We are special to Him no matter what happens, even if we become as weak as a newborn. Swindoll, Charles R (2012-08-01). Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (p. 31). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  45. But God is gracious when we are feeble.  Paul offered this encouragement for the times when we fail:  if we are faithless, he will remain faithful.  If we belong to Christ, we are his completely.  In the midst of difficulty, he holds on to us if we stumble.  He lives within us, sharing his life with ours as we take from his life - and so he cannoth disown himself. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary - 2 Timothy 2:12b-13  pg. 285.
  46. Our lives are like tempest-tossed boat rides sometimes. We climb to breathtaking heights and fall to desperate lows, and there are times when we feel as though we just can't go on. The Lord understands these feelings. He was exalted on Sunday and nailed to a cross just five days later. He has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and He, too, felt Himself melt in the face of distress. It is well to remember that the Lord is with us, and He can truly be of help to us because He has walked our path before us. When the storms of life toss us the hardest, that is when we can count on the Lord to be closest.
    Prayer:  In both good times and bad, Lord, be close by me to help me keep my head about me. Do not let me be swept up in temporary situations, losing sight of Your hand on my life, but let me always feel Your guiding presence. Amen. - From the August 27, 2015 devotional reading from Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan R. Dick.  
  47. John 17:23 - I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.  If we believe that God loves us with the same perfection of love he has shown to Jesus Christ—then we will not be gripers because plans do not turn out the way we would like them to. We will not be despondent because of some undesirable circumstances. On the contrary, we will be encouraged, knowing that indeed “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28). - From the commentary on John 17:23 from the Boice Expositional Commentary by James Montgomery Boice.
  48. As our trials increase, we have need to grow stronger and stronger in that which is good; our faith stronger, our resolution stronger, our love to God and Christ stronger. Or it may be understood in opposition to our being strong in our own strength: "Be strong, not confiding in thy own sufficiency, but in the grace that is in Jesus Christ." Compare Eph. vi. 10, Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. When Peter promised rather to die for Christ than to deny him he was strong in his own strength; had he been strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, he would have kept his standing better. Observe, 1. There is grace in Christ Jesus; for the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ, John i. 17. There is grace enough in him for all of us. 2. We must be strong in this grace; not in ourselves, in our own strength, or in the grace we have already received, but in the grace that is in him, and that is the way to be strong in grace. - From the Matthew Henry Commentary in the MacSword software program. 2 Timothy 1
  49. The solid foundation of God's truth never changes, is never shaken, and will never fade.  When we follow God's truth, he will never forsake us.  - From the Life Application Study Bible (NIV) 2 Timothy 2:19 Note 2:19.
  50. Whatever we may face - discouragement, persecution, or death - we know our reward is with Christ in heaven.  - From the Life Application Study Bible (NIV) 2 Timothy 4:8 Note 4:8, page 2204.
  51. The righteous, the person who obeys God’s Holy Word and commandments, is in God’s hands, under His care. The wise stand in contrast to the foolish. The person who pursues folly and madness, who makes poor choices is not in God’s hands or under His care. But the wise, the person who sees life from God’s perspective and walks accordingly, is in God’s hands and under His care.
    To be in God’s hands and under His care simply means that God looks after and takes care of the person who lives righteously and wisely. If any of us place our lives in God’s hands, He will take care of us. This is God’s wonderful promise:
    “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33).
    “But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows” (Lu. 12:7).
    “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you”
    (1 Pe. 5:7).
    “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God”
    (Ps. 40:17).
    “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Is. 41:10).
    - From the reading about Ecclesiastes 9:1a in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  52. The New Testament emphasizes that God keeps believers secure in his love and protection (John 10:28–30; 1 Pet. 1:3–5). It also emphasizes the corollary truth, which we see here, that believers must persevere in their faith and commitment to Christ. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary" - Hebrews 3,  at location 1435.
  53. Jesus can lead us to full rest, but his rest needs to be claimed. God's Word can diagnose spiritual needs and provide new life. His message can awaken stragglers and help them reach his goal, and Christ's mercy can help stumblers move forward with hope. Christ endured all the temptations we face and emerged triumphant. He knew the full experience of temptation to sin, but he never compromised. His triumph allows him to give us mercy and grace to complete the job of obeying God fully.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1618.
  54. We do stumble. We sometimes wander in disobedience to God. Our waywardness and weakness threaten to overwhelm us! But we have a Savior who understood. He faced our temptations and overcame them. We can overcome them also if we come with boldness to claim God's mercy and grace.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 3,  at location 1641.
  55. "but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."  Hoping in the Lord is expecting that his promise of strength will help us to rise above life’s distractions and difficulties. Do you believe God loves you and wants the best for you? Can you relax, confident that his purposes are right? Are you convinced that he has the power to control all of life—and your life as well? Though your faith may be struggling or weak, accept his provisions and care for you. - From commentary on on Isaiah 40:31 from The Life Application Study Bible (NIV) - Bible Study Notes by Tyndale House Publishers 
  56. How are we to strengthen people who feel weak or fearful? We are to tell them the Lord is coming. That’s not “pie in the sky” theology. It’s God’s Word given to us practically. The way to strengthen people—whether yourself or others—is to say, “Fear not. Be strong. Your God will come and save you.”
    We’re pilgrims, gang, on our way to a city with foundations (Hebrews 11:10)—a place that is solid and secure, a place that won’t shift with the changing winds of commerce or culture—heaven. If we lose sight of this, if we begin to think this is all there is, we become vulnerable to discouragement and depression. “Lord,” we’ll cry, “will I ever get the job I want? Will I ever lose the weight I want? Will it ever be right between sisters and brothers?” I can get so discouraged if I think this is all there is. But if I realize God’s coming back and will set all things right, I can go on. - From the reading for Isaiah 34:2-4 of Courson’s Application Commentary (3 Vol.) by Jon Courson
  57. See the section on Rest on this website!
  58. God provides hope to help us endure in our faith commitment to Jesus.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, vv. 1-8 at location 2678.
  59. God's steadfast promises encourage us to hold our Christian hope. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, at location 2842.
  60. The fact that we have access to God's presence forever gives us a firmness for our hope. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, at location 2884.
  61. True comfort of soul comes only from the Lord. This comfort includes deep spiritual rest, a rest of assurance that one’s life is in God’s hands. To the righteous believer God will give strength and courage to bear whatever lies ahead, working all things out for good (Ro. 8:28). Even if the righteous believer dies due to the trial confronting him, he knows (has assurance) that God will immediately transfer him into His presence—quicker than the eye can blink. - From an excerpt in Isaiah 40:1-31 in the Preacher’s Outline & Sermon Bible Old Testament Outline by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Inc.
  62. Our hope depends on Christ's priestly work. We have unlimited access to God's presence guaranteed by God's own servant who has entered God's presence on our behalf (v. 20). Christ's work as a perpetual High Priest provides us the hope that we also will receive divine blessings from God's presence.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, VI.  Deeper Discoveries, I. Hope (vv. 18-19), at location 3041.
  63. James 1:2 - One of the greatest promises regarding such trials or temptations is found in 1 Corinthians, where Paul writes, “No temptation (trial) has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). It is with this kind of joy, hope, and optimism that we should face the trials of life. - Exerpt from James 1:2 commentary from “The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volumes 1-35: Genesis - Revelation” by Stuart Briscoe.
  64. God's promise provides an anchor for our hope. Christ enters God's presence as our forerunner to nail down our experience of fellowship.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 6, at location 3058.
  65. With Jesus as our High Priest, we have a strong, effective representative in God's presence. He is praying for us. He is pure and spotless in his character. He can pray for us in our weakness. He can pick us up when we stumble. We can always have access to his strength. As believers we find ourselves constantly safe in Jesus' praying hands.  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 7, VII. Teaching Outline, A. Introduction, at location 3640.
  66. By faith in Jesus you and I become members of God's family. We have urgent and desperate needs. Because God is now our heavenly Father, he loves us too much to leave us hanging. We are family. God will help.   - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, Conclusion at location 3876. 
  67. That's where Jesus fits in. He is the new leader who gives us hope. Through faith in Jesus, we become children of God (John 1:12). Through following Jesus, we experience abundant life (John 10:10). Because of Jesus, we can find mercy and grace for our every need (Heb. 4:16). Thank God for Jesus! - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, Conclusion at location 3881. 
  68. Knowing these truths produces three responses in our lives. First, we have gratitude. We can say, “Thank you, God, for your great provisions for me.” We can live as thankful people. Second, we have encouragement. We can feel, “God has given us a good agreement. He supplies all we need.” When our load becomes heavy and our future confused, we find hope simply to keep plodding on in God's strength. Third, we find fear and respect for God. We must say, “A God this gracious deserves our obedience.” Then we must live as if we mean it. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 8, Conclusion at location 3884. 
  69. James 1:2 - One Christian grace to be exercised is joy (v. 2). We must not become sad and miserable, which would make us lose heart in the trials we face. Philosophy may instruct people to remain calm in troubles, but Christianity teaches us to be joyful in them. Our trials will brighten our graces now, and it will brighten our crown in the end. There is greater reason for joy in adversities if we consider the other graces that are developed by them. - Excerpt from The New Matthew Henry Commentary by Matthew Henry.
  70. Hebrews 10:37-38 - Believers can endure with confidence because God will come through!  Christ will come to rescue and deliver his people.  There is certainty of God's coming intervention for those who trust him.  Those who are righteous will live by faith.  Their faith will support them as they wait confidently on God to act.  To those who waiver, a warning is issued.  God has no pleasure in those who shrink back.  These believers needed to maintain their confidence. - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 10:37-38,  at location 4627.
  71. When we believe God, we take him at his word and walk with him through whatever he places before us.  With faith in God we can face sickness, loss of job, family difficulties, and uncertain futures.  With faith in God we can glorify our Father in daily living, find and follow his will for our lives, and receive his commendation of "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:21).  - From the Kindle Book "the Holman New Testament Commentary - Hebrews 11, B. Examples of Faith, verses 11:30-38 at location 5034. 
  72. It is evident that this "life that God has promised" is more than the eternal life given to every believer at the time of his salvation ( John  5:24 ). Since it is a reward for an accomplishment subsequent to initial faith, it must refer to a still higher quality of life. - From the "Expositor's Bible Commentary, James 1, verse 12.
  73. Maybe you are going through a struggle in your life. A tragedy strikes you or someone close to you, and you are hurting. So you go to God in prayer, and you ask him to comfort you. Do you realize what God does? He doesn’t give you comfort. Instead he gives you the Holy Spirit, who is called the Comforter.11 The Holy Spirit literally comes to dwell in you and puts the very comfort of Christ inside you as you walk through your pain.   - From the Kindle book Radical by David Platt, at location 819.
  74. Matthew (13:31-33) - While God's kingdom appears to start small - almost invisible - we can take hope in the assurance that it is growing steadily and will achieve it promised glory and power out of all proportion to its small beginnings. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 198.  
  75. The Messiah will be called Wonderful Counselor. Since Christ has come, we have a far better idea of just what this name means. Christ lived as a man, bearing all the trials and temptations of humanity. He even suffered incomprehensible persecution and was eventually executed as a criminal. Due to His intense suffering, He is able to be the most empathetic counselor imaginable. He knows what it is like to endure pain, to feel hunger and thirst, to experience poverty and homelessness. He knows the feeling of being rejected—even by His own family—and of being forsaken and left all alone. Such are the experiences that confront so many of us as we live out our lives. Thus when we need a counselor, Christ is the one Person who can feel what we feel, and He stands before us as the Wonderful Counselor. He is the one Person who can comfort us, who can give us solid guidance about how to handle the problems facing us. As the Wonderful Counselor, Christ can guide, encourage, and strengthen us to conquer whatever trial or temptation confronts us. As the Wonderful Counselor, He will teach us how to walk victoriously throughout life.
    “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him” (Ps. 103:13).
    “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness” (Is. 41:10)
    - From the reading about Isaiah 9:6 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  76. Don't be discouraged about your seemingly small contributions to the kingdom.  God will use them to build toward his ultimate, glorious kingdom. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 207.
  77. Don't be discouraged if you don't see the kingdom growing as rapidly as you wish it would.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Matthew" by Max Anders and Stuart K. Weber, page 207.
  78. Mark 9:19  Leave it in God's Hands - When we face despair because the task seems too large, we should leave it in God's hands and do the work that needs to be done. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, Mark 9, II. Commentary, B. Borrowed Glory (9:14-32), page 149.
  79. "I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer.  You are yourself the answer,  Before your face questions die away.  What other answer would suffice?" - C. S. Lewis ,  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, Mark 12, page 198.
  80. Mark 15 - Sometimes the pain from being mistreated in our past can haunt us and leave us feeling bitter and angry.  It could be a father who neglected you, a mother who berated you, a teacher who ridiculed you, a spouse who was unfaithful, a friend who betrayed you, an employer who walked all over you.  You can get free of these beasts because Jesus came to kill the beasts in your life.  Fresh starts is what Jesus is all about.  Whatever hurts you have experienced in the past, let Jesus wipe the blackboard clean and replace those images with himself.  He will set you free-indeed.   - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, IV. Life Application, A. Clean Slate, page 265.
  81. Mark 16 - For the believer in Jesus, every day is Christmas.  The tree, in this case the cross, was barren, but Jesus Christ, God's only son, put himself on that tree for us.  He became wretched so we could become righteous.  He became filth so we could be set free.  He came down so we could go up.  Our lives were as barren as that tree, but he decorated us with the gift of his salvation. - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Mark" by Max Anders and Rodney L. Cooper, Mark 16, IV. Life Application, Every Day is Christmas, page 279.
  82. Luke 7 - Jesus' compassion brings life to the dead, awe to the living, and a call to compassion to his disciples.  - From the Holman New Testament Commentary "Luke" by Max Anders and Trent C. Butler, II. Commentary, B. The Savior's Call to Faith Reveals Divine Compassion (Luke 7:11-17), Supporting Idea, page 105.
  83. I developed what I call my “problems theory” about the way life works. It’s pretty simple, actually. My theory is that our problems never go away.  If we want to enjoy life in the vibrant, fully alive way that we all crave, then we must have something to focus on that is bigger than our problems. When we have a larger perspective, we realize our problems are really not significant in the long run.  - From location 854-859 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges
  84. Paul was focusing on what was happening in him, not to him. Likewise, we can be sure that when something is happening to us, God is doing something in us—something that will shape us for eternity.  - From location 874 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  85. The secret to living life with wind in your sails is to focus on more than your own problems and pain. Regardless of what’s going on around you, look beyond yourself. Fix your eyes on the eternal—in every area of your life. What are you looking at when you think about where you are in your life right now? Could it be that your problems are not your real problem? Maybe you just have the wrong focus.  - From location 881 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  86. You and I need to get our focus off this life, off what we receive from other people, beyond what we own or see in front of us. We must constantly remind ourselves that the only things that matter are eternal things. The secret of life is to keep our focus there. This truth then leads to the question, how do we live so that our focus remains on eternity?   - From location 886 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  87. My God is big and my world is small.  - From location 913 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  88. God definitely cares about your concerns. But I’ve found that he often has an easier time revealing his solutions when you and I are concentrating on his ways instead of our own. From my own experiences, I’ve learned that God tends to be very practical in helping us find solutions bigger than our own perspective permits.  - From location 915 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  89. Even in the face of judgment there is always hope for salvation. Remember that all trials are not necessarily judgments from God. Carelessness causes some hardships, while other misfortunes are the natural result of living in a fallen world. In this corrupt world we are subject to all kinds of accidents and diseases. But when we deliberately sin, God will judge us. He will discipline us in order to correct us and keep us from harming ourselves or injuring other people. Because God loves us, He will do all He can to keep us from continuing in sin and darkness and shame.
    When we sin, we will suffer as a result of it. We will bear some trial, some pain, some suffering. But in the midst of judgment there is hope. Even while we are suffering the judgment of God, He will deliver us if we will turn back to Him. As Scripture says, if we will judge ourselves, we will not be judged. If we will confess our sins, He will forgive and cleanse us. He will accept us back into His favor and restore the joy of our salvation. He will once again empower us to live fruitful and victorious lives. Infusing us with His presence and strength, He will enable us to overcome all the trials and temptations that confront us. Listen to the wonderful hope promised by God’s Holy Word:

    “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Ac. 2:21).
    “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?” (Ro. 8:24).
    “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Ro. 10:13).
    “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Ro. 15:4).
    “For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel” (Col. 1:5).
    “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (Tit. 2:12-13). 
    - From the “Thought 1” reading from Isaiah 18:1-7 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  90. Service with a Smile  - Focusing on others and their needs also helps restore our perspective. When we’re serving others, we’re no longer obsessing about our own problems and the painful realities that may accompany them. Serving is one of the most eternal things we can do, one of the things we do that matters most. When we’re addressing the needs of others and making their needs a priority over our own, we realize that our problems aren’t as big as they sometimes seem. Jesus said, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27). - From location 928 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  91. Romans 8:31 - “If God be for us, who can be against us?”
  92. We gain a new perspective on our own problems when we focus on the needs of others. - From location 959 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  93. One of the best ways for us to begin breathing fresh air again is by refocusing our lives on all that really matters—the eternal things. When we live for eternity, our difficulties don’t disappear—but they don’t weigh us down either. We can choose to focus on our problems even as we try to reach some imaginary place of trouble-free living. Or we can focus on eternal things and enjoy the fresh breeze of joyful purpose. Live for eternity, and you’ll never live another day unfulfilled.  - From location 979 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  94. Real life comes from God living inside us, and we are more likely to experience a breath of fresh air when our attitudes reflect the light of his presence. And attitudes can be adjusted. Most of us develop an outlook over time that becomes our default way of seeing things. Our thoughts shape our emotions, which affect our perceptions, which influence our actions. If we want to get the wind back in our sails, we must begin by examining the fundamental thoughts we carry around inside us. I’m convinced that there are some foundational beliefs that we can harness and use as a wind generator in our lives.  - From location 1054 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  95. In God’s Word we find the most wonderful and encouraging news: God promises to set His people free from their world of hardships and heavy burdens, from their captivity and enslavements by the wicked of this world. He also promises to walk with true believers through every trial and misfortune they experience. But He not only walks with His people through their trials, He also brings them through victoriously. So no matter what grips a person’s life, he or she can be liberated by God’s salvation. God will rescue or deliver His people from whatever forces hold them in bondage or hold them down. This is the wonderful message of the present Scripture. - From the reading about Isaiah 40:1-31in the Quest Study Bible Notes: The Question and Answer Bible by Zondervan 
  96. When we have a relationship with God as our Father and completely rely on him, our lives will never be boring again. Just before going to the cross, Jesus explained to his disciples that they could experience the power and enjoy the love that existed between him and his heavenly Father. Then he said, “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete” (John 15:11). Following the example of Jesus puts us on a grand adventure, one that will surprise and delight us much more than anything we could have ever dreamed up on our own. - From location 1065 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  97. In order to cherish the life we’ve been given, we must never forget that God is working out his purposes for good. Even when we can’t imagine it, even when times are hard and the pain feels unbearable, we must remember to exercise our faith and hope for God’s best.  - From location 1070 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  98. No matter what happened, Paul didn’t let circumstances upset his peace or shake his faith. This is the attitude that all of us can share when we place our trust in God. Though we may not yet understand how our situation will work out, we remain confident, knowing that God is taking care of it.  - From location 1073 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  99. If you want to breathe new life into your attitude, then you must be able to laugh. “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven . . . a time to laugh” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4). I believe that God loves laughter, which reflects a sense of joy in our lives. We’re told “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22) and “the joy of the LORD is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10). Jesus certainly displayed joy and humor. - From location 1075 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  100. The best day of your life is today, this one you’re currently in. Accept the present as the gift God intends it to be and make the most of it. Don’t squander it by worrying about the past or the future. Wake up and be in your life right at this moment.  - From location 1083 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  101. Our hearts become polluted with unresolved issues and old grudges when we allow someone else to get under our skin. Obviously, we didn’t choose to be hurt, betrayed, or offended, but we always have a choice about how we react. And God makes it crystal clear how we must respond if we want to enjoy life: it’s summed up by the word forgiveness.  - From location 1097 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  102. The Lord will provide for us and meet every need we have. 
    “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things [housing, food, clothing] shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33).
    “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Ph. 4:19).
    “Let your conversation [conduct, behavior] be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me” (He. 13:5-6).
    “But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (De. 4:29).
    “And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day. And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers” (De. 30:8-9).
     - From the  reading from Isaiah 41:8 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  103. We may not have had the same choices in the past, especially when we were growing up, but as adults we can choose how we will approach any challenges that come up. We can’t determine what happens to us, but we can determine what happens in us. Paul makes the distinction very clear for us: “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1).  - From location 1121 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  104. People who have a high appreciation of life know that God is going to work everything out for the good. They may not always see it in this life, but they know they serve a good God who loves his children. They don’t sweat the small stuff. They let their Father take care of it all. “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” (Romans 8:28).  - From location 1157 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  105. One of the simplest ways to adjust your attitude is to look for something positive in every situation. I’m not talking about becoming a Pollyanna who spiritualizes everything and pulls silver linings out of every storm cloud. But I am talking about being willing to see what you have in the midst of the storm. - From location 1161 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  106. Whether it’s rainy or sunny, stormy or calm, resilient people see the upside to their present position. They never lose sight of all they have to be grateful for because they’ve learned what Paul himself learned and passed on: “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  - From location 1168 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  107. if we want to experience fresh air in our attitudes, we must turn all of our worries over to God. One of the primary reasons we’re not happy is that we try to handle everything ourselves. Yet no one can handle everything—or even most things—in their lives.  - From location 1181 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  108. The difficulties we face can’t be our problem and God’s problem at the same time. When we realize that he’s in control, that he alone is God and is infinite, powerful, loving, and all-knowing, then it’s suddenly much easier to relax and enjoy the present moment. He never intended for us to worry about what might happen, what could happen, what should happen, or what will happen. He only asks that we follow him and live in this moment right now. - From location 1185 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  109. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).  - From location 1188 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  110. Notice that prayer and thanksgiving are gifts God offers us so that we may access his peace. - From location 1190 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  111. God wants us to rely on him. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). When we give him our concerns, we naturally have an attitude that’s worry free, that’s at peace, that’s present to love those around us.  - From location 1192 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  112. Attitude is a choice. And for most of us, our attitude will not take care of itself. We need to manage it every day. One of the healthiest things you can do is take responsibility for your own attitude. The key is to focus on what happens in you, not to you. The choice is yours. - From location 1198 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  113. “Nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37, emphasis added). - From location 1301 in the Kindle Book "Fresh Air" by Chris Hodges.
  114. When Christ returns to earth, He will meet every need in the world. No person will lack anything. All needs will be met. But what about today? How about the needs that confront us now? Needs such as…
    • sufficient finances
    • gainful employment
    • training or skills to secure adequate employment
    • food, clothing, and housing
    • adequate heat and shelter during extreme weather
    An endless number of needs exist among people today. What can the Messiah, Christ our Lord, do to help meet these needs now? He gives us the most wonderful promise: if we will seek God and His kingdom first, He will help us meet our needs. If we will believe in Christ, turn our lives over to Him, and obey His Holy Word, He promises to provide us with the basic necessities of life. He will make sure we have food, clothing, and housing. This does not mean that we are to sit around lazily waiting for God to meet these needs. To the contrary, the Lord teaches that we are to work diligently at our jobs and be faithful in all our tasks. When we are faithful, He makes sure that our basic needs are met. If by chance we are unemployed but diligently trying to find jobs to provide for our families, He will provide for us—if we are genuine believers. The Lord must provide if we are faithful, for if He did not, He would be untrue to His Word. But we can rest assured that the Lord is not a deceiver. He never lies. He always fulfills His promises. If we are genuinely trusting Him and doing all we can to meet our needs, He will provide for us. This is the wonderful promise of His Word:
    But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Mt. 6:33).
    “Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth” (Mk. 9:23).
    “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (Jn. 6:35).
    “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” (Ro. 8:28).
    - From the “Thought 1” reading from Isaiah 23:13-18 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  115. God is bigger than our problems.  Why not turn our problems over to God?
  116. I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - From location 4755 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  117. I also learn, as I ponder the mystery of unanswered prayer, simply to wait. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. - From location 4845 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  118. No matter how circumstances appear at any given moment, we can trust the fact that God still rules the universe. The divine reputation rests on a solemn pact that one day all shall be well. - From location 4874 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  119. In all my prayers, whether I get the answers I want or not, I can count on this one fact: God can make use of whatever happens. Nothing is irredeemable. “Teach me, O God, so to use all the circumstances of my life today that they may bring forth in me the fruits of holiness rather than the fruits of sin,” prayed the British author John Baillie: Let me use disappointment as material for patience. Let me use success as material for thankfulness. Let me use trouble as material for perseverance. Let me use danger as material for courage. Let me use reproach as material for long suffering. Let me use praise as material for humility. Let me use pleasures as material for temperance. Let me use pain as material for endurance. - From location 4899 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  120. Sometimes, though, an unanswered prayer opens the door to something far better. - From location 4938 in the Kindle Book "Prayer" by Philip Yancey.
  121. Encouragement is one of the most important ways God spreads his goodness in our direction (2 Corinthians 1:3-7). And he wants us to encourage one another to look for new blessing from God. If what we’ve experienced thus far is all we can expect, that would be demoralizing. But God’s great goodness is what puts the thrill into life. There is more for us in Christ than we have yet apprehended — always. Following Christ, we are never at a dead end, but always at a threshold. Isaiah is calling us to create that atmosphere of expectancy, because God is coming to us with fullness of salvation. - From the reading about Isaiah 34-35 in Preaching the Word Commentary Series (40 Vols.) by R. Kent Hughes et al, Crossway Publisher
  122. The aged psalmist of Psalm 37 encourages the godly to keep life in focus, especially in duress. Trust in the Lord overcomes anxiety and bitterness of heart. - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App.
  123. What promises are set before the wise? They are blessed in receiving the goodness of the Lord himself (23: 6; 34: 8). His presence brings sufficiency in matters of food, clothing, and human needs (34: 9- 11; cf. Matt 6: 33- 34). Yahweh promises to deliver and protect them (34: 15, 17- 19, 22). Such a person lives closer to Yahweh than he can ever imagine: "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High /will rest in the shadow of the Almighty" (91: 1). This God can and will care for his own by day or by night (91: 3- 13), on account of their devotion to him: "Because he loves me," says the Lord, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name" (91: 14; cf. vv. 15- 16). - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App.
  124. The imagery of the first psalm portrays the wise person as successful because God is with him. He is likened to a tree, whose verdancy and fruit are lasting (1: 3- 4; 92: 12- 15). This is only because "the LORD watches over the way of the righteous" (1: 6a). The future of the wise is bright, even in adversity. He holds on to God and to his promises. He believes that regardless of the suffering, Yahweh is for him (37: 4- 5). He affirms that in the end "he will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun" (37: 6). - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App from the First Psalm.
  125. The confidence of God's people rests in God himself, who is unmoved by the political machinations on earth. As earthly creatures we can hardly avoid becoming involved; yet our hope is in the God who laughs and scoffs at our enemies (cf. 59: 6- 8). "The One enthroned in heaven "is" Lord "('adonay lit.," Adonai "), i. e., the Master of the universe. - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App from the Second Psalm, verse 4.
  126. The hope of the godly rests not only in God but also in the anointed. Since Jesus is the Messiah, the Anointed One, the believer joins with Israel in the assurance of God's promise, the reception of the benefits of the people of God through the Messiah, the hope of the Messiah's complete victory, and the desire for the establishment of the age of blessing (v. 8). - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App from the 3rd Psalm, verse 8.
  127. Even in moments of great despair, when the soul feels itself abandoned by all others, comfort may be drawn from the assurance that God answers.  - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App from the Psalm 3:5.
  128. The psalmist knows that God "sustains" The sustenance of God is the psalmist's protection. The life of faith is one of being protected by God's loving care, marking the difference between despair and hope.  - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App from the Psalm 3:5.
  129. Regardless what enemies may arise from within or from without the kingdom of God, God will be victorious. The hope of the church still lies in the coming of Jesus Christ and his victory over all his enemies (1 Cor 15: 24- 28; 2 Thess 1: 5- 10).  - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App from the Psalm 3:7.
  130. Victory belongs to the Lord, and he grants it to his beloved.  - From the Expositor's Bible Commentary by Frank Gaebelein of the Olive Tree Bible Study App from the Psalm 3:8.
  131. These are the two pillars on which our hope is built, and they will not fail us:- (1.) The grace of God: Let thy mercies come, even thy salvation. Our salvation must be attributed purely to God's mercy, and not to any merit of our own. Eternal life must be expected as the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, Jude 21. "Lord, I have by faith thy mercies in view; let me by prayer prevail to have them come to me." (2.) The promise of God: "Let it come according to thy word, thy word of promise. I trust in thy word, and therefore may expect the performance of the promise." We are not only allowed to trust in God's word, but our trusting in it is the condition of our benefit by it.  - From Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible in commentary on Psalm 119:41.
  132. What are we trusting for our security? What are we trusting to give us peace of heart and a life that is productive, satisfying, and victorious?
    The world offers many false trusts upon which we can build our lives, but every one of them will fail. Nothing on this earth—not a single thing—can conquer the corruption and death that engulfs this world. Any life built upon the false trusts of wealth, position, power, fame, leaders, technology, or the military might of a nation will collapse. As necessary as some of these earthly supports are, none of them can give us permanent peace of heart and security or assure us a purposeful, fulfilled life.
    The only sure, permanent, eternal trust is Jesus Christ Himself. When we seek security through Christ, God Himself takes care of us. The Lord infuses our bodies with His own strength, enabling us to conquer any trial that confronts us. When we are attacked, our duty is to look to Christ and place our trust in Him. When we walk day by day placing our trust in Him, He promises to give us power to conquer all that confronts us. The only true trust that can give us genuine security is the Lord Jesus Christ. 
    - From the “Thought 1” reading from Isaiah 28:16-17 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  133. Psalm 119:50 -  This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. - The word of God has much in it that speaks comfort in affliction; but those only may apply it to themselves who have experienced in some measure the quickening power of the word. If through grace it make us holy, there is enough in it to make us easy, in all conditions, under all events.  - From Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible in commentary on Psalm 119:50.
  134. And yet these days of dreariness are sent us from above;
    1. They do not come in anger, but in faithfulness and love;
    2. They come to teach us lessons which bright ones could not yield,
    3. And to leave us blest and thankful when their purpose is fulfilled.
    4. Anonymous - From the February 18th reading from the book "Daily Strength for Daily Needs" by Mary Tileston
  135. Listen to what the angel says: Come, see the place where the Lord lay (Matthew 28: 6).
    1. The stone was moved—not for Jesus—but for the women; not so Jesus could come out, but so the women could see in!...
    2. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him (v. 7).
    3. Mary and Mary don't have to be told twice. They turn and start running to Jerusalem. The darkness is gone. The sun is up. The Son is out. But the Son isn't finished.
    4. One surprise still awaits them.  And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, Rejoice! So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. Then Jesus said to them, Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me (vv. 9, 10).  The God of surprises strikes again. Its as if He said, I cant wait any longer. They came this far to see me; Im going to drop in on them.  God does that for the faithful.
    5. The lesson? Three words. Don't give up.
    6. Is the trail dark? Don't sit.
    7. Is the road long? Don't stop...
    8. Is the night black? Don't quit.
    9. God is watching. For all you know right at this moment He may be telling the angel to move the stone.
    10. The check may be in the mail....
    11. The apology may be in the making.
    12. The job contract may be on the desk.
    13. Don't quit. For if you do, you may miss the answer to your prayers.
    14. God still sends angels. And God still moves stones. (From He Still Moves Stones by Max Lucado) - From the Matthew 28:1-20 section of the Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible Notes.
  136. Contentment is an Acquired Taste - We find contentment once we learn to see everything in life as a gift or opportunity.  Perspective is everything.  Happiness is a choice.  I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. - Philippians 4:12-13 - From page 26 of the Book - He Walks Among Us (Encounters with Christ in a Broken World) by Richard and Renee Stearns.
  137. It has been said that Jesus plus nothing equals everything, and that is true.  If you have Jesus, you are a child of the King.  You have been rescued from darkness and promised eternal life.  He loves you beyond your imagining, and He died that you may live.  Offer Jesus your half-full glass, and He will fill it overflowing.  No matter what your hardships, you are still His child, because the reverse is also true:  Jesus minus everything is still everything.  If you have Jesus, everything else you possess is a bonus. Contentment can be found in the midst of want if we learn to see our lives through the lens of God's abundance. Jesus asks us to find our contentment in Him alone.  But it is still an acquired taste.  Happiness is a choice.  - From page 28 of the Book - He Walks Among Us (Encounters with Christ in a Broken World) by Richard and Renee Stearns.
  138. It's not the days in your life that count, rather the life in your days that count. - Adlai Stevenson
  139. Jesus - Proverbs 17:17 - A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.  We see the Son of God taking on our nature so that he might be our friend and brother (Hebrews 2:14). The mystery of this friendship is beyond our imagination. His love is constant, even in death. "Here is a brother born for adversity. Trust him, oh, you trembling believers at all times and in all places. You will then possess the happy art of living beyond the reach of all disappointment" (Howell). "Though solitary and unsupported and oppressed by sorrows unknown and undivided, I am not without joyful expectations. There is one Friend who loves at all times:a Brother born for adversity; the help of the helpless; the hope of the hopeless; the strength of the weak; the riches of the poor; the peace of the disquieted; the companion of the desolate; the friend of the friendless. To him alone will I call, and he will raise me above my fears" (Hawks).  - From Crossway Classic Commentary - Proverbs by Charles Bridges
  140. Psalms 61:2 - From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.   Eric ran back and forth behind the crowd. The parade was coming, and he really wanted to have a good spot to watch it from. Everyone was so much taller than he was. Wherever he went, somebody was standing in front of him. In frustration, he began to cry. Suddenly, two strong hands lifted Eric up and placed him on shoulders high up above the mass of people. From the vantage point of the stranger's shoulders, the entire parade was easy to see. 

    Sometimes we need a boost. Problems loom too large, and we can't see our way around them. Pressures build up, and we don't feel big enough to cope with them. God sees all that and He is ready to lift us up; to give us a new vantage point. Reach up to the Lord, and He will lead you to Himself, a rock which is higher than any problem we might have.

    Prayer: Pick me up, Lord, and hold me in Your loving arms. Protect me from the pressures of the day, and remove the heaviness from my heart. Inspire me with the knowledge that You and I together can handle anything. Amen. - From the book Wisdom from the Psalms, A Daily Devotional, by Dan R. Dick
  141. The world lives with fear even today. What is your fear? Do you fear the future? Do you fear life’s burdens that sometimes seem almost overwhelming? Do you fear death? Most of us fear everything except God—yet it is God whom we should fear most of all! Jesus can put an end to fear for all who trust in Him. “Do not fear, little flock” is a phrase typical of His teaching and preaching (Luke 12:32). He is the answer to any fear you have. After all, God’s power is greater than the powers of evil, and “neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future . . . nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38–39 NIV). - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 294). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  142. In the Arms of God - John 11:26 - Everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. We don’t like to say good-bye to those whom we love.  Whether it be at school or a cemetery, separation is tough.  It is right for us to weep, but there is no need for us to despair.  They had pain here.  They have no pain there.  They struggled here.  They have no struggles there.  You and I might wonder why God took them home.  But they don’t.  They understand.  They are, at this very moment, at peace in the presence of God….When it is cold on earth, we can take comfort knowing that our love ones are in the warm arms of God.  And when Christ comes, we will hold them too. - From the page 560 of the  book “Grace for the Moment” by Max Lucado.
  143. The Lord Himself goes before me and will be with me; He will never leave me nor forsake me. I will not be afraid or be dismayed. (Deuteronomy 31:8) - Boa, Kenneth; Boa, Karen (2010-03-01). Simple Prayers: A Daybook of Conversations with God (Kindle Locations 4779-4780). Trinity House Publishers, Inc.. Kindle Edition. 
  144. Just a few of the offers of a life lived in Christ:     
    1. To those filled with shame, “Grace and forgiveness can come your way.”    
    2. To those bound up in destructive habits, “When the Son sets you free, you’ll be free indeed.”     
    3. To the weak, “Strength from God — the Strength-Giver — can be yours for the asking.”     
    4. To the weary, “Jesus promises rest for your soul.”     
    5. To the poor, richness of spirit.     
    6. To the lacking, provision in due time.     
    7. To the grieving, consolation and comfort.     
    8. To the sick and dying, eternal life and new bodies in the life hereafter.
    9. - Hybels, Bill (2008-09-09). Just Walk Across the Room: Simple Steps Pointing People to Faith (Kindle Locations 2997-3005). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. 
  145. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:18-19)
  146. God is my refuge and strength, An ever-present help in trouble. Therefore I will not fear, though the earth changes And the mountains slip into the heart of the sea. (Psalm 46:1-2)
  147. I will not fear, for You are with me; I will not be dismayed, for You are my God. You will strengthen me and help me; You will uphold me with Your righteous right hand. For You are the Lord my God, who takes hold of my right hand and says to me, "Do not fear; I will help you." (Isaiah 41:10, 13)
  148. What happens when we stay riveted to the present misery? One of two things : either we blame someone (which makes us bitter) or we submerge in self-pity (which paralyzes us). I’m reminded of Paul’s words to the Christians in Rome: “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8: 18). Going on with our lives will never occur as long as we concentrate all our attention on our present pain. - Swindoll, Charles (2013-08-13). Hear Me When I Call (p. 118). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  149. Christianity is the gospel of good news, to be sure—the news that God has a plan for your life, that God loves you, that He is a God of mercy, that He will forgive, lead, and bless you if you confess and forsake your sins and trust Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 391). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
  150. God Feels What We Feel -No matter what we face, God understands what we are going through. He even understands our temptations, for Christ “has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin” (Hebrews 4:15 NIV). And that is why you can bring anything—anything—to Him in prayer, confident that He will understand. - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 392). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  151. You, Lord, are good and ready to forgive and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You. (Psalm 86:5)
  152. If God is for me, who can be against me? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not, also with Him, freely give us all things? (Romans 8:31-32)
  153. God is the only source of true happiness, because He alone offers those intangibles that we mistakenly believe can be found on Earth: contentment, security, peace, and hope for the future. None of these can be found in a job, a human relationship, money, power, or position. They are God’s alone to give. - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 395). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  154. I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1-3
  155. The One who loves us perfectly is in full control, working everything out according to His good purpose. Knowing this should fill us with hope, even in the midst of crisis situations. The Lord even promises to turn disaster to good for those who “are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28). - from Charles Stanley July 16, 2014 “In Touch” Daily Devotional.
  156. Never forget: God will speak history’s final word. Every day, the world moves closer to the time when Christ will return, Satan will be defeated, and God’s perfect plan will be fulfilled. No matter how foreboding the future, the Christian knows the end of the story—and it is glorious! Don’t lose heart. The best is yet to be! - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 415). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  157. God does not judge us by our success. He loves each person the same. Your value and mine do not come from what we do, the clothes we wear, the house we live in, or the type of car we drive. Our value comes from the fact that God made us, God loves us, and Christ died for us. Our value comes from the fact that He adopted us into His family, and we are now His children forever. Don’t depend on possessions or position for your identity. Get your identity from Christ, for you are of infinite worth to Him! - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 416). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
  158. Looking at our circumstances won’t bring us lasting joy. It may even make us depressed or angry. But when we “think on God”—when we turn our minds and hearts to His power and His love for us—we can’t help but be joyful. Paul said, “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). Discouragement flees in the face of joy. - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 418). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.  
  159. No matter what sin we have committed, no matter how black, dirty, shameful, or terrible it may be, God loves us. We may be at the very gate of Hell itself, but God loves us with an everlasting love. The proof? Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, went to the cross for us. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16) - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 466). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  160. May we rest in You in the quietness of this moment . May we be still and learn anew that You are God. We cast our cares on You. We release our struggles and place them on Your shoulders. We give our worried hearts to You. We rest in knowing You command a multitude of capable angels to watch over us, Your children , because You love us. We rest in the knowledge that Your Spirit empowers us to live a life that is beyond our own ability. Our victory reflects Your power, not ours. That strips away all the pride, all the strain, all the self -effort. You free us to rest in the joy of who You are. We thank You for all these things in the name of Jesus, who is our rest. Amen. - Swindoll, Charles (2013-08-13). Hear Me When I Call (pp. 131-132). Worthy Publishing. Kindle Edition. 
  161. God is our strength - The Scriptures also declare that God is a “very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).  God is able, indeed He is anxious, to deliver us from all sorts of trouble. He wants to give us strength to overcome the temptation to the sin that separates Him from those He loves. He wants to give us the courage to confront our problems instead of avoiding them or denying them, and then He will provide the practical wisdom and help we need to deal with them. What do you fear today? Failure? Rejection? An illness or physical danger? The uncertainty of the future? Whatever it is, ask God to help you turn it over to Him. “The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 493). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  162. Our lives are like tempest-tossed boat rides sometimes. We climb to breathtaking heights and fall to desperate lows, and there are times when we feel as though we just can't go on. The Lord understands these feelings. He was exalted on Sunday and nailed to a cross just five days later. He has experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and He, too, felt Himself melt in the face of distress. It is well to remember that the Lord is with us, and He can truly be of help to us because He has walked our path before us. When the storms of life toss us the hardest, that is when we can count on the Lord to be closest. - Psalm 107:26 from "Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan Dick and Barbour Publishing.
  163. He will come in His own time, and when you least expect it. Hope in Him more than ever; thank Him with me for the favors He does you, particularly for the fortitude and patience which He gives you in your afflictions. It is a plain mark of the care He takes of you. Comfort yourself, then, with Him, and give thanks for all. - Brother Lawrence (1967-02-01). Practice of the Presence of God, The (Kindle Locations 295-298). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 
  164. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. HEBREWS 2:18 NIV. - This passage from Paul suggests a new insight into suffering: not only are we comforted in our trials, but our trials can equip us to comfort others. Has God taught you something through your trials that could help someone else in your life? - Graham, Billy (2012-06-12). Hope for Each Day Morning and Evening Devotions (p. 546). Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition. 
  165. In the spirit of James 1:2-5 (ESV) which says: "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  Brother Lawrence presents the following:  “I do not pray that you may be delivered from your pains, but I pray God earnestly that He would give you strength and patience to bear them as long as He pleases. Comfort yourself with Him who holds you fastened to the cross. He will loose you when He thinks fit. Happy those who suffer with Him. Accustom yourself to suffer in that manner, and seek from Him the strength to endure as much, and as long, as He shall judge to be necessary for you. The men of the world do not comprehend these truths, nor is it to be wondered at, since they suffer like what they are, and not like Christians. They consider sickness as a pain to nature, and not as a favor from God; and seeing it only in that light, they find nothing in it but grief and distress. But those who consider sickness as coming from the hand of God, as the effect of His mercy, and the means which He employs for their salvation— such commonly find in it great sweetness and sensible consolation." - Brother Lawrence (1967-02-01). Practice of the Presence of God, The (Kindle Locations 430-436). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 
  166. Deliverance is one of the great promises of God. When we call upon God for deliverance, one of two things happens: either God miraculously delivers us, or else He gives us the power to walk through the obstacle standing in our way. Even in facing the obstacle of death, power is available to the believer. Quicker than the eye can blink, the power of God transfers the believer from this physical earth into the spiritual world. Death is conquered, triumphed over. And the believer lives forever in God’s presence.
    No matter what confronts us—disease, accident, financial difficulty, divorce, or any other trial or hardship—God promises to deliver us. If we will turn to the Lord for deliverance, cry out to Him in prayer, genuinely trust Him to deliver, He will give us the power to overcome the hindrance or to walk through it victoriously. Listen to the wonderful promises of God’s deliverance:
    “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?…Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Ro. 8:35, 37-39). - From the “Thought 1” reading from Isaiah 37:21-28 in the Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible Old and New Testament Commentary Set (44-Volumes) - by Alpha-Omega Ministries, Publisher: Leadership Ministries Worldwide
  167. God's devotion to us is so great. We can never be separated from the love and care of God. No matter how far we might stray from Him, He is continually on the lookout for us, and He will rescue us from whatever our peril might be. Rest sure and secure in the love of God. He will never give you up for lost. - From Psalm 119:136 the book Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan Dick and Barbour Publishing. 
  168. Take courage; offer Him your pains incessantly; pray to Him for strength to endure them. Above all, get a habit of entertaining yourself often with God, and forget Him the least you can. Adore Him in your infirmities, offer yourself to Him from time to time, and in the height of your sufferings beseech Him humbly and affectionately (as a child his father) to make you conformable to His holy will. God has many ways of drawing us to Himself. He sometimes hides Himself from us; but faith alone, which will not fail us in time of need, ought to be our support, and the foundation of our confidence, which must be all in God. Brother Lawrence (1967-02-01). Practice of the Presence of God, The (Kindle Location 459). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 
  169. We serve a God who neither sends us out alone nor hides behind us. We serve a God who, throughout Scripture, goes before His people…
    And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage:for thou must go with this people unto the land which the Lord hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, he it is that doth go before thee; he will be with thee, he will not fail thee, neither forsake thee:fear not, neither be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:7, 8

    Thus saith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight:I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron: And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. Isaiah 45:1–3

    But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Matthew 2 - From Psalm 22:3 comment in Courson’s Application Commentary by Jon Courson. 
  170. There will be days when things don't just go wrong, they self-destruct totally. When we feel we've gone as low as we possible can, something else comes along to drive us deeper still. From those depths there is only one place to turn: God. He has seen all, He knows how you feel, and He patiently waits to take you into His arms to comfort and soothe you. When we feel pushed beyond our ability to cope, it is good to know God is there.
Prayer: In times of total darkness, shine Your light into my life. Help me to pick myself up and start again. Give me strength, Lord. Amen.   - From Psalm 129:3 of  the book Wisdom from the Psalms by Dan Dick and Barbour Publishing. 
  171. No situation is beyond God’s control.  Over my wife’s desk are these words: “Fear not the future; God is already there.” - From page 21 of “Billy Graham in Quotes” by Franklin Graham with Donna Lee Toney.
  172. “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Ph. 4:19).
  173. “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him” (Ps. 12:5).
  174. “Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!” (Ps. 31:19).
  175. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed” (Ps. 37:3).
  176. “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God” (Ps. 40:17).
  177. The Lord is always as close as a prayer, and we need but open our hearts to Him, and His presence will be felt once again. The Lord never hides His face from us, though often He will wait; stepping back like the loving Father that He is, to see whether or not we can struggle through a problem on our own. God wants to see us grow, and He often has to let us struggle a bit in order to allow that growth to occur. Even in those times of trial, however, the Lord is never far away, and He will not allow us to be tried beyond our endurance.  

 Prayer: Help me to know that You are with me in every situation at every moment of the day. I need Your comforting presence in my life, O Lord. Without it, I cannot go on. Amen.  - Excerpt from January 30th devotional reading about Psalm 13:1 from "Wisdom from the Psalms - A Daily Devotional” by Dan R. Dick and Barbour Publishing.
  178. The love of God can help us to endure many things. Circumstances that ordinarily knock us flat are as nothing when face-to-face with the power of God. Cry out to God in times of affliction, and He will comfort you and lift you above the fear of evil things. Truly, our help is in the Lord.
    Prayer: There is nothing in this life, Lord, that I cannot face as long as You are with me. Amen. - Excerpt from March 4th devotional reading about Psalm 23:4 from "Wisdom from the Psalms - A Daily Devotional” by Dan R. Dick and Barbour Publishing.
  179. Real and lasting comfort from pain isn’t found by just numbing what hurts. Real comfort is found in knowing that in the depths of sorrow, you are deeply and truly loved by a Father who knows exactly how you feel. Find your true peace and rest in the Father who loves you.  FIND PEACE IN THE MIDST OF PAIN BY TRUSTING IN THE FATHER WHO LOVES YOU AND WILL NEVER LEAVE YOUR SIDE. - From the March 19th 2012 Devional reading from PowerPoint Ministries by Dr. Jack Graham
  180. Psalms 30:5 - For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. No matter how bad they are, they come to an end and things get back to normal. God never tests us beyond our level of endurance. He is faithful to see us through hardship and to bless us richly when our trial is through. The night times of our life may seem dismal and black, but there is always a glorious morning on the rise. Prayer: When times seem exceptionally difficult, Lord, help me to remember that they will pass away. No trial last forever, Lord, and the promise of good things to come is mine. Amen. - Excerpt from March 20th devotional reading about Psalm 23:4 from "Wisdom from the Psalms - A Daily Devotional” by Dan R. Dick and Barbour Publishing.  
  181. Romans 5:5 - Now Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who has given it to us.
    Paul reminds us of our benefits in Christ and describes three special gifts that should produce a constant stream of thanksgiving in our hearts. First, we have a hope that doesn’t disappoint.  It’s sure and certain, sealed with the reality of Christ’s resurrection.  It cannot disappoint us.Second, we have love poured into our hearts.  We’re like children at the base of a waterfall, trying to catch the flow in our little cups.Third, we have the Holy Spirit.  Jesus Himself lives within us by His indwelling Spirit.Whatever your circumstances, remember these three facts, and they will make a world of difference in your attitude today.  Inspire us, heavenly Father, to make Thy will our will, not in sullen submission, but gladly and gratefully – Michael Guido. – From the March 25th devotional from the book Turning Points with God by David Jeremiah.
  182. Many times in our lives, the very things we fear are acts of God Himself. These are things that perhaps God has brought into our lives so that we can run to Him… to find our strength in Him, relish His love, and experience His awesome grace.  
    Whatever storm you’re facing today that’s causing you fear, you may well find Jesus at the center, beckoning you to follow after Him. Don’t be afraid. Trust in God’s goodness and love to always bring you back to Him!  WHATEVER STORMS AND FEARS YOU FACE, TRUST IN GOD TO USE IT TO BRING YOU BACK TO HIM!  - From the March 30th 2015 PowerPoint devotional reading from Jack Graham.
  183. John 16:33 - “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”   Why is it that so many people today—even Christians—live under the oppression of fear and worry? I think that one reason is that they’ve trusted Christ for eternal life, but don’t honestly believe He can make a difference in their lives today. This gives the enemy a foothold, allowing him to create incessant anxiety in their lives.
    But in Christ, you have the power to overcome because He has already overcome. You can tell the world and the enemy, “I’m not letting you steal my joy!”
    This day, make it your goal to live in the joy of Jesus Christ, trusting fully that He can change not only your future, but your past and present as well because He has already overcome!
     - From the March 31st 2015 PowerPoint devotional reading from Jack Graham.
  184. Your Labor Is Not in Vain - A Christian without a resurrection is a dismal Christian indeed. In 1 Corinthians, Paul goes so far as to say that if Christ has not been raised, our faith is futile and we are still in our sins (1 Corinthians 15:17). Praise God, then, that Christ died for our sins and was raised for our justification (Romans 4:25). The resurrection of Christ can be a great encouragement to us when we feel like we’re experiencing deadness. Christians can feel discouraged in many areas, but the resurrection helps us to understand that our God is a God who brings life out of death. The word “impossible” isn’t in His vocabulary.  

    Most Christians take encouragement from the fact that Jesus is going to return and resurrect the dead. Jesus’ resurrection means that those who are in Christ will be raised on the last day to spend eternity with God (1 Corinthians 15:24). The resurrection is our great hope as Christians, but the resurrection also offers us hope in this life.  

    Hope in This Life - You might be discouraged because the world has grown darker in recent years. Jesus said, “destroy this Temple, and in three days I’ll raise it up,” referring to His body (John 2:19–21). When they killed Jesus, they destroyed His temple—but He raised it. He also began building up His body, the church (1 Corinthians 12:27), which is also God’s temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). The Church is built because Jesus’ body was destroyed and because He rose again—the Church is His rebuilt temple.  

    Things never looked more grim than when Jesus was in the tomb, but God chose to start the Church when right when things looked completely impossible. Regardless of how dark and sinful the world gets, we can look to where Jesus said “I will build my church; and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) In this way, we can be encouraged by Christ’s resurrection in this life.

    Another area we are often discouraged is that of our own personal walk with God. John reminds us that we all sin (1 John 1:8), and we know that our sin can often discourage us. Our walk toward holiness sometimes feels like we’re on a treadmill—taking a lot of steps but not getting anywhere. The resurrection helps us here by first reminding us that we are justified before God because of the resurrection of Jesus (Romans 4:25). There is no condemnation for sin if we are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1). Jesus’ resurrection means we’ll be raised, even though we’ve never done anything to deserve it—not even in our best efforts.

    The resurrection also reminds us of the new life we receive in Christ. Our sin-enslaved self died on the cross with Jesus (Romans 6:6). Through the resurrection we can walk in newness of life. We see this in our baptism (Romans 6:3–4). Even though we may see a lot of sin and darkness in our lives, God is transforming us by His Spirit through Christ’s resurrection. The fact that you can say “no” to sin at all and you’re not totally enslaved is an evidence of that new life working in you. If you’re having trouble saying no to sin, remember that your wishing you could say no more is also an evidence of God’s grace working new life in you. Dead men don’t want to love God more. Thank God for this grace and ask for then seek more grace through prayer, reading Scripture, and attending church.

    There are many other reasons that we can be discouraged as Christians. Relationships, marriages, churches, businesses, and more can be marred by sin. The resurrection reminds us that nothing is impossible for God and that He loves to bring life out of death. He loves to work good out of evil (Genesis 50:20)—although it’s not always the good we’re expecting. If you’ve been discouraged lately, this Easter might be a good time to read and study 1 Corinthians 15 to see the triumph God is working in Christ through the resurrection.

    1 Corinthians 15:58 (ESV): Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
    - From the April 4th entry on the OliveTree Bible Study App Blog by David who is a front end web developer at Olive Tree.
  185. I will never leave you nor forsake you. - Hebrews 13:5 - Because of Jesus’ promise to never leave us or forsake us, we can be assured that when we face discouragement or heartbreak, He’ll be right there, holding our hand through every moment of sorrow.  Lean on that truth, and allow it to give you strength for another day.  God walks with us…He scoops us up in His arms or simply sits with us in silent strength until we cannot avoid the awesome recognition that yes, even now, He is there. - Gloria Gaither.  Excerpt from the April 18th devotional reading on page 113 of “Turning Points with God” by David Jeremiah.