More Than Just Being Happy

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. (Matthew 5:9)
 
What comes to mind when you think of being blessed? Is it a peaceful existence? Perhaps it is financial gain.
 
Whatever comes to mind, you might be surprised to learn that being blessed is more than just being happy. 
 
It is experiencing hope and joy despite your circumstances.
 
So many times in the Bible, we are given promises that contradict the world’s standards. By earthly terms, we typically think of being blessed as having something, someone, or some measure.
 
But the Bible tells us it is having joy in Christ and following His ways—despite our circumstances.
 
As we seek God’s ways, our hearts and minds are transformed to be more like Him and less like the world. Today ask God to direct your heart to Him.
 
Therein lies true peace of mind!
 
When I read this devotion one word came to mind, hallelujah! I pray you are filled with hope and joy today. Seek Him and you will find Him every single time.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Perfectly Just

Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him. (Psalm 103:13)

Did you know that God’s love is based on His character? He is holy, just, merciful, and compassionate all at the same time. His characteristics are too many to name.
 
Because He is perfectly just, the Psalms tell us that He does get angry over our sin.
 
However, He lets go of it when He forgives us. And He forgets the sin!
 
God is merciful, and He withholds judgment. He is not passive-aggressive because He relates to us in love.
 
As far as the East is from the West, we are told that we are separated from our sin. How is this possible?
 
Because when we ask for God’s forgiveness, He sees us through the sacrifice His Son made for us. This should never be an excuse to sin, but instead, should prompt us to want to do what is right—out of gratitude for Jesus’ incredible sacrifice.
 
Thank you Jesus for your incredible sacrifice for me today. Renew my spirit and create in me a clean heart. Amen.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me, I pray it blesses you too.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


When We Praise God

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalm 19:1)

Praise is defined as the expression of approval or admiration for someone or something.
 
What’s something in your life that you have praised recently? Maybe a song you heard, an outfit you saw, a show you watched, or a friend’s actions you admired.
 
When we share that praise with others we have a purpose. Maybe not a life goal, but there is a reason we are sharing it.
 
“Did you see that new movie? It’s so great! You guys have to see it.”
 
“Have you heard her new song? It’s amazing, you need to stream it now.”
 
“Did you see how he helped that family? Don’t you just admire him more than ever?”
 
In each case, the person giving praise has a purpose. He wants you to go see that movie or listen to that song. She wants you to see the goodness of that generous person.
 
We don’t praise  to entertain or pass the time, we praise to bring attention to something worthy of that attention.
 
When we praise God, we bring the attention of the world to the Creator who is indeed worthy of ALL of our attention. We prompt those who may not know Christ at all to take notice of Him.
 
Can you think of a time when someone else’s praise drew your attention to God?
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. He is worthy of ALL our praise and attention. I am reminded of Luke 19:40, And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Practice Praise

Praise ye the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul. While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. (Psalm 146:1-2)
 
As a teenager in high school I had a rather atypical variety of interests. I was a varsity field hockey athlete (you don’t hear that every day), a lifelong dancer and member of the school dance team, and a budding thespian, acting in school plays and performing with a student improv group. 
 
While my specific activities were pretty different, one thing was consistently on my schedule: PRACTICE! All of those activities required me to practice.
 
Becoming life-long, daily praisers of God also requires practice.
 
It takes little effort to see that human nature moves us more easily towards criticism and complaint than praise, so we have to replace that natural inclination and train our hearts and minds to praise like an athlete trains his arms and legs to have muscle memory to rely on come game time.

Practice is not often thought of as fun or enjoyable but it is necessary ad beneficial. If we set our minds and hearts to be committed to practicing praise, we are well on our way.
 
Are you ready to commit to practicing praise?
 
Write it down or tell someone in your life that you are practicing to be a lifelong, daily giver of God’s praise. 
 
Practice, Practice, Practice!! Commit to practicing praise. I pray you are encouraged to be a daily praiser of God!
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Sing Praises

Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. (Psalm 63:3-4)
 
We must teach our hearts to sing praises to God at all times, no matter what we’re walking through.
 
A tall order in these post 2020 days, but we have an even bigger God. As we prepare to improve our level of praise, let’s first assess where we are.
 
When I read this devotion I was challenged to truly answer this one question. How much time to do you spend praising God each day? It’s never to late to start praising God today. Praise Him through the storm.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Even Through Suffering

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
 
In this passage, the apostle Paul is offering exuberant praise to God. Despite Paul’s pain, God still delivered him.
 
This in turn allowed Paul the ability to come alongside others who were also in pain and lead them to Christ.
 
Since God is the author and origin of mercy and compassion, His tenderness and grace sustain us…even through suffering.
 
As a father has compassion on his children, so does God lovingly care for you personally.
 
No matter what painful trial you may be enduring, know that His sweet comfort is permanent and endless. After all, one of His very names is Comforter!
 
No other person on the planet will be able to console you like your Father.
 
We never have to tip-toe our way into His presence. As you let the fire of His glory and love soothe your wounded soul, He will transform you into a gateway of His kingdom.
 
With the power of the Holy Spirit ignited within, you will become a comforting light in the darkness for others, leading them out of their pits of despair.
 
Give Him praise today from a thankful heart, for He is faithful!
 
This devotion blessed me so much. “We never have to tip toe our way into His presence”, amen, what assurance. Despite  what your facing, offer exuberant praise to God today. We can learn so much from our time of pain and suffering, if we allow The Holy Spirit to ignite within. I pray you are uplifted and encouraged by this devotion today.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Rejoice in The Lord!

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. (Philippians 4:4)
 
What did Paul and Silas do? They praised God.
 
What was Paul doing in prison? Rejoicing always.
 
First, they were praising God for the who, not the what. They were bloody and bound up in prison. If you had asked them, “What are you praising God for?” I don’t think there was any “what” that they could point to. Nothing good was happening, but their God was still good. They weren’t praising God for the what. They were praising Him for the who. You can do that too. 
 
Your circumstances may be bad, but your God is still good. He is near, His promises are still true, His love still unconditional, His grace still amazing, His timing still perfect. You may not like the what of what’s going on, but you can still praise God for the who of who He is.
 
Second, they were praising God before the provision. So often we hold off on praising God until He provides what we want. Think about that. Doesn’t it sound like an entitled little snot-nosed kid? I won’t be grateful until I get exactly what I want. We are better than that and, more important, God deserves better. Paul and Silas praised God before He answered their prayers or changed their circumstances. That’s the kind of person I want to be.
 
Third, they were praising God and then He showed up. Paul and Silas were worshiping God in the middle of the night and—boom!—God showed up.
 
And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:26)
 
They did not praise God because He showed up; God showed up because they praised Him.
 
When we praise Him, He will show up. When He shows up, it will change our thinking. If we change our thoughts, we change our life.
 
When I read this devotion it has stuck with me and I had to share it with you. Praise Him through the storm, not for what your going through but for who He is and He will show up every time.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Re-Prioritize

Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. (Haggai 1:3-6)
 
The prophet Haggai was sent to speak to the group who had come back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of the Lord. The Book of Ezra explains how the first group came back to begin the rebuilding process. Due to great opposition, the work came to a stop over the course of time. Haggai was sent by the Lord to re-start the work and get the people going again. The Lord was telling them to get their priorities straight. They had settled into their lives and homes but the temple was still not finished. They lived in paneled houses while God’s house lay in ruins (Haggai 1:4). If they took a close look at their lives, they would see how their efforts had produced little.
 
Do you ever feel as though you work really hard, try to do the right things, yet nothing seems to come from it? Are you blessed? Do you see the Lord’s hand in your work? If you feel as though you work to put your wages in a bag with holes, then maybe you need to “consider your ways.” Check your priorities. Are you giving your first fruits unto the Lord? It is not just about your work for God that matters, it is about your heart before the Lord. Is He truly first in your life? Do you do things for Him because you love Him, or is it for other reasons?
 
These are the questions that we all must ask ourselves. Sometimes we get so focused on our own lives that we lose God’s perspective. When that happens, we often begin to sense that things are not quite right. We do not see the blessings as we would expect or hope to see. As the Lord continued to tell His people through the prophets, “Repent and Return.” The message is the same for us today. Maybe it is time to put some new priorities in your life. Pray about what the Lord wants you to re-prioritize and ask Him to help you to make the changes He wants. Instead of pockets with holes, you will see storehouses that overflow with His blessings.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. I pray in return it blesses you, encourages you and causes you to pause and consider your ways.  
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Like an Eagle

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:5)
 
Did you know an eagle molts its feathers about once a year? While old ones fall away, new ones grow back as a replacement. Interestingly enough, this process is not all at once.
 
The eagle molts his feathers slowly and gradually, allowing him to fly unhindered.
 
In a way, this is the same for us and God. When we follow and stand on His word, He promises to renew us daily with His overflowing abundance of joy, peace and strength.
 
The second we became born again, our old self was “molted” or stripped away. We instantly became new creations through Christ, robed in the light of His righteousness and glory.
 
Like the eagle renewing his feathers, the Lord promises to renew your youth by His grace. You now have His nature and He satisfies you with the goodness and glory of who He is. 

No matter how many obstacles you have faced or how weary and worn you feel, it is never too late to take flight like the eagle.
 
Even in the midst of trials, you can still soar above and beyond… allowing God’s grace to transform you from the inside out and renew your soul.
 
I pray after reading this devotion you are encouraged to fly like the eagle, above and beyond, unhindered. Allow God’s grace to transform and renew your soul.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!


Be Still In His Presence

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. (Psalm 46:10)
 
Be Still. On the days when we have a to-do list that’s a mile long, it can feel nearly impossible to do this.
 
When we are consumed and lost within the chaos of our schedules, we become numb to His voice and lose out on the precious things the Lord wants to share with us.
 
Too often we waste time struggling and panicking about our problems, thinking we have the power to solve them alone. We saddle ourselves with more tasks than we can bear, hoping our issues will fade away if we just try hard enough.
 
All the while, the Lord is standing alongside us, patiently waiting for us to cease our struggling so He can reach over and help.
 
Think of a person who is at a hospital waiting to receive a shot. The doctor cannot do their job effectively if the patient is struggling to sit still.
 
For us, it is the same with God. He is the ultimate physician and problem solver, but He will never force Himself upon you when you attempt to do things without Him.
 
Today, try to find time to sit down and be still before Him. The Lord will not shout over our chaos, but wait for us to quiet ourselves in His presence.
 
That is the place where you will hear His voice the clearest. When you choose to do this, He is exalted and able to bless you with His love.
 
When I read this devotion it blessed me. I pray you are encouraged to be still, quiet yourself and make time to bask in His presence. He is patiently waiting for you.
 
Have a beautiful and uplifting day in The Lord!