Isaiah 49:15 ~ NKJV
“Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will never forget you.”
If you think about that verse you can see the true beauty of it. It would be impossible for a mother to forget her child, especially when it is nursing. If she did happen to forget, it wouldn’t be for long because that baby would start screaming like crazy when it got hungry, then the mom would remember. Still, it would be difficult for her to forget in the first place. I’m sure all the moms reading this would agree with me on that one.
Compared to God and the way He loves us, it would be easier for a mom with a nursing baby to forget her child than for God to forget about you. That is an amazing promise. Even with all the screaming and crying of a nursing baby, it would still be easier for a mom to forget her kid than for God to forget you for an instant. When everything is falling to pieces and it feels like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling, you can be confident in the fact that God is still hearing you! He will never forget about you!
In order to forget about us, God would have to first, make Himself a liar because He promised not to forget us in His Word. Beyond that, He would have to be in complete contradiction of Himself. The heart of a Father doesn’t forget His kids. His heart is for you. God thinks about you, constantly! You’re His favorite thing in all creation, how could He forget about you? He couldn’t! That’s not the God we serve. You never have to feel alone or abandoned because God will always be with you. You never walk alone. This Kind of the universe thinks you are the coolest thing ever. The only one left to convince is yourself because you are important enough to be remembered.

Focus on Jesus

Psalm 25:15 ~ ESV
“My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net.”
There are so many distractions in life, sometimes they are welcome and sometimes they aren’t so welcome. In fact, it seems that today, distractions are thriving and that is exactly how the enemy likes it. If he can get us distracted, he can get us discouraged and then we are in a whole heap of mess. When we get discouraged, we aren’t motivated to do anything because we start to think that we could never make a difference.
So, what do we do when we get bogged down in all the troubles and worries of life? Do what the verse says, fix our eyes on Jesus. That is the answer to every problem, when we focus on Jesus and His power, our problems start to shrink as we look away from them. As we focus on Jesus, our perspective changes and suddenly we are going back to who we know He is. We start to remember what He has done before and that He hasn’t left us. You might start to get happy if you do that! You could be in the middle of the biggest mess of your life, but if you focus on Jesus I promise your outlook will be brighter.
The really cool part about this verse is, as we look to Jesus and focus on Him, He will take care of everything else. The verse says that God will pluck our feet out of the net. It doesn’t say He will work our feet out of the net, that He will work to untangle it. No! He will PLUCK our feet out of the net. Just like that, done! Our problems never have been and never will be greater than the power of God. You don’t have to get yourself out, God will always be there to get you out of any situation.
Today I am praying for all of you that no matter what you are facing today. No matter what situation is staring you in the face, that you won’t focus on it. That your eyes would be locked on Jesus and you would be so tuned into Him that you don’t even hear the storm. Stay focused on Jesus, and He will never let you down, you can count on that.

Never Alone

Isaiah 41:10 ~ NIV
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
As I was praying this morning and asking God what I should write, He brought this verse to my mind. About a year ago, I was helping to lead a class of 1-3 graders and we memorized it in class. Every couple of words, we had a little movement to help solidify the verse in our minds. Every night we learned a new verse and by the end of the week, some of the kids were able to quote all of them just by hearing the references! I say that to show how important memorizing the Bible is. Just a few verses here and there can have an incredible impact on you when you are in a tough spot, or in a good spot. There is always something to learn from the Word of God.
I also want to talk about this verse in particular. That first sentence is extremely powerful. We never have to be afraid because we never have to go through anything alone. There are a lot of times when the scariest part of a situation is thinking that you will have to go through it alone. But that is never the truth because God will never abandon us.
Then there is that next part, “do not be dismayed, for I am your God.” There are certain situations in which it doesn’t feel like enough to not be alone, sometimes we need a little influence to go with it. Here is some influence for you, the God who created the whole universe with His voice calls you His son or daughter! That’s some powerful influence! Not only does that give you influence, it can give you confidence because God will back you up whenever you need it. All you have to do is ask and He is right there with you.
I saved my favorite part of this verse for last, plus it was the last part of the verse, so it makes sense. It says that God will strengthen us and help us, cool! But it also says He will hold us up with His righteous right hand. How cool is that?! In the Bible, the right hand was the hand of blessing and the left hand was either a lesser blessing or a flat-out curse! Now, here’s the good part: God doesn’t save the best of His goodness and love for the “perfect” or “important” people. He saves it for you! You are important to Him and He has saved the best for you!
You never have to feel alone, or abandoned, and you never have to feel like you were created to be “less than” anyone else. Don’t let those lies steal into your mind. You were created with a unique light and purpose that this world desperately needs! Trust God to give you what you need to carry what He destined for you. He isn’t going to call you into something that you aren’t capable to handle.

Even Today

Zechariah 9:12 ~ NKJV
“Return to the stronghold, your prisoners of hope. Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.”
So, fun story, I wasn’t even reading Zechariah this morning. I was in Matthew and I set my Bible down to make a note of something I read. While I was writing, the pages flipped over (as they tend to do in thicker books) to this verse. As soon as I read it, I knew this verse was for today.
A lot of the time, it can seem like the world has gone crazy and taken us with it. Stuff is falling apart left and right and there seems to be nothing we can do about it. But when we return to our stronghold, God, in the midst of overwhelming chaos, He will give us peace.
I love the second part of this: “you prisoners of hope”. It creates an image of this hope we have as being completely inescapable. What a wonderful thing to be so surrounded by God’s hope that it takes your heart captive. *No matter what the outside circumstances are, you can have hope on the inside because the King of Glory has captured your heart!* That’s some awesome news!
Today I want to encourage every person who reads this, that God isn’t finished yet. He is in the process of restoring everything you’ve lost. Nothing good we give up in life for God is truly lost; God will redeem and restore the lost things for His glory. And today, everyone who is struggling with depression, feeling like they aren’t enough, disappointment, fear, and everything in between, today is your day. I claim that “even today” for you, today I am praying that you will be filled with hope and peace that you’ve never felt in your whole life. Today is the day! I declare it for all of you guys!
*- original thought credited to Pastor Phil Hurlbert

Listening to Love

John 10:27-28 ~ NLT
“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,”
The people hearing Jesus’ message for the first time, may have had difficulty believing it. They had been waiting for a Messiah for so long, Jesus’ words might have seemed too good to be true. After leaders who had used them for their own gain, hearing about a leader who truly loved them must have sounded like more than they could believe.
God doesn’t love us in the way of human understanding. God’s love will never change, no matter what happens. Nothing can take us away from His love and nothing can make Him take His love away from us. God’s love is a love that never quits, how encouraging that knowledge is for our hearts; God will never leave us alone.
Nothing in the entire world could ever take God’s love away from us. We can’t do anything to make Him retract it. God doesn’t change His mind about us. From the moment you were conceived God was confident and unshakeable in His choice to love you. He doesn’t change His mind and He doesn’t leave us. That isn’t what the love of the Father does, He sticks with us through everything, no matter what.

Open Our Eyes

Matthew 20:33 ~ NLT
““Lord,” they said, “we want to see!””
Jesus was coming into the city and two blind men started crying out for Him to have mercy on them and heal them. The crowd told them to be quiet, but they called out all the more loudly. Jesus heard them and healed their eyes so they could see.
I found it interesting that the crowd tried to quiet these men, similarly to how the disciples tried to send the children away from Jesus. Far too often, people who are desperate for God’s Presence and love will be hushed or even discarded. The good news is, God doesn’t listen to the naysayers; God listens to His children. When we cry to Him, we are guaranteed an answer.
I love the words the blind men used, “Lord, we want to see!” They didn’t have to use big words and long prayers. They just stated their needs and desires before Jesus, and He healed them. So many of us long to see a revival throughout America, what if we started that revival by praying the prayer of the blind men? Open our eyes let us see. What would we see if we took a look through Heaven’s eyes? Would we see people as too dirty to be worth our time? Or would we see God’s children who are broken and desperately need God’s touch, even if they know it?
Today, I am praying that your eyes are opened and that when you look around you see PEOPLE rather than mere human bodies as you go through your day. Let’s all be the love of Jesus to the people we see, maybe the people that nobody else seems to see or notice. You never know how much a smile and a friendly greeting could mean to someone. Once hope gets started, it’s impossible to stop, so let’s get it started.

Persevere to the Promise

1 Peter 5:10 ~ NLT
“In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.”
Now that’s some of the best news you’ll hear all day. Through His kindness, God was willing to send Jesus to earth to save us. He did all of that just so we would have the opportunity to spend forever with Him. We will be able to encounter Him and rest in His Presence for the rest of, well, forever.
Until we arrive in Heaven, however, there are a lot of things we have to deal with and handle. Life is no picnic, as they say. It doesn’t matter what your life is like, everyone faces trials and hardships of different degrees. Nobody is excluded. That’s not the greatest news, but, there is hope to go with it.
Here’s the good news, whenever we go through hard times, God is there to back us up with His love. Everything we lose in the fire, God will restore with something better than we could have imagined. Through the difficult times, we have God’s support and encouragement. When things are harder than we think we can handle, God will strengthen us so we can. And finally, through our entire lives, in good times and bad, we can trust that we are standing somewhere safe, and that’s on the love of God.