Have you ever noticed how subtly a wrong thought can develop into a bad attitude if you’re not guarding your mind? For instance, let’s say your spouse has a habit of doing something you don’t like. At first it’s no big deal, but the more you think about it, the more it irritates you. You’re getting dressed, and you’re thinking,”He knows it frustrates me.” You’re eating lunch, and you’re thinking, “He doesn’t care that it bugs me.”
As we enter a brand new year, we have the beautiful opportunity to choose where we want to invest our focus, efforts, and time. It can serve as an asset and tool to plan ahead for the year, and it can be a reminder when we get off track of where we want to circle back to or redirect ourselves as the days on the calendar pass through. When setting goals or aspirations for prayer focus specifically, we must invite the Holy Spirit to be our guide. He knows what is ahead for this year in every one of our lives.
Have you ever looked at Facebook or Instagram and wondered why your life is so boring compared to your friends? Maybe you felt like you were worth less because you didn’t get many “Likes” on your photos. Or you may have found yourself daydreaming about movie stars or singers and what you would do if you had their money, popularity, or beauty. This type of comparative living can make us feel we are less valuable. It feeds discontentment for where we are in life. Because our lives seem boring, we feel less meaningful.
Are you looking forward to your best year ever in 2023? God wants to do some amazing things in your life, to bring out God opportunities, God moments, and God miracles. He wants to give you the desires of your heart as you delight in Him. If you will take time to invest and delight and dwell in God, He will ignite the desires of your heart, and you will abound in His grace and goodness.
When dealing with the turmoil of a troubled marriage we can quickly become consumed with feelings of helplessness and defeat.
Living stuck in a pattern of conflict, resentment, and anger is exhausting to say the least. It is not a place you want to stay but sometimes despite all of our best efforts we can feel “stuck” in this disheartening cycle of brokenness.
Thankfully, no matter how utterly stuck we may feel God is able to heal and restore our relationships.
Some of us fall out of Bible reading because we fail to make time for it. Busyness crowds out the minutes we might otherwise give to sitting and hearing from God. There’s always something that didn’t get done yesterday or something relatively urgent that’s come up today. It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it, just how many things in our little worlds seem to trump listening to the one who made them all?
For others, it’s not busyness that gets the best of us, but a subtle cynicism about reading the Bible. How am I ever going to understand this?
In the darkness of early morning I reached over and turned off the alarm clock.
I slipped out of the warm bed, nursing a familiar feeling of dread as I picked up my robe and slippers. I made my way out of our room and down the stairs.
Once in the kitchen, I made my cup of tea and then crept down the basement steps. The cold of the concrete floor made its way through the soles of my slippers. I put my tea down on a table and threw a load of wash into the machine.
Do you find yourself in situations where you know someone has a need, or perhaps that person even asks you for help, but it’s for a need that you know you can’t meet? You know that you don’t have the money to help them with their financial need, or you can’t provide them with the job or the living situation that would solve their problem, or that you’re not gifted to provide the family counseling they need. But that doesn’t mean you’re empty-handed. You always have something to give.
Let’s face it—waiting can be extremely hard. When it comes to waiting for prayers to be answered, often, it can take longer than we originally hoped. God’s time is different from ours as He is not bound by our limitations. God is the Creator of time; therefore, He is not restrained by twenty-four-hour clocks as we are. Even though waiting for God’s best takes time, there are many reasons why we should wait for what He has in store.
We Christian Hedonists have a complicated relationship with duty. On the one hand, with our emphasis on the centrality of affections and desire in glorifying God, we are at war with duty-driven approaches to the Christian life that regard the affections as optional add-ons. To do a righteous act purely from a sense of obligation — because it is the right thing to do — is not morally superior to performing the same act with a deep sense of desire and gladness. Desire does not ruin the moral worth of good actions. Indeed, the right kind of desire establishes the true moral worth of our actions.