You need water. You need food. You need oxygen. Have you ever thought about the fact that you also need hope?
You need to believe that good is coming and that happiness and joy are possible. You need hope because it sustains you.
You know you should avoid hopelessness, but sometimes that feels impossible. Hopelessness sinks you into darkness, sadness and a feeling of being trapped with no escape in sight. You feel powerless and unmotivated. You look down instead of up.

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Words are powerful. They have the ability to set the direction for our lives. When they’re spoken over us by someone who has authority, such as a parent, a coach, or a mentor, they can determine our destiny. The reason some people aren’t reaching their potential is they’ve never had blessings spoken over them. They’ve never had anyone declare what they can become, who God says they are, and how they have seeds of greatness.

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When I talk about what it means to have joy and contentment, I am not talking about relying on the power of positive thinking as you live out your life like The Little Engine That Could (“I think I can, I think I can”), or the many programs in books and on television about the power of positive thinking.

I am talking about the power that comes from being content with what God has already given you.

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One of the most unforgettable encounters the disciples had with Jesus was when He came to them in the midst of the storm. The waves buffeted their little boat, and they were fearing for their lives when Jesus appeared walking on the water. He called out to Peter to come to Him. Peter climbed out of the boat but then started sinking.

Peter called out to Jesus to save him. That had to be the shortest prayer in the history of prayers. 

But the length of our prayers do not matter as much as the heart behind them. 

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I believe in the Holy Spirit. (Apostles’ Creed)

What would it have been like to be among the Twelve and look Jesus in the face as he spoke the words of God to us?

Imagine, on that final night before his death, that he looks around the room and says to you, “Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’” (John 13:33)…

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Everyone knows that faith plays a significant role in our spiritual growth, but practically speaking it either occupies too much or too little of our understanding. If our conception of spiritual growth is nothing more than self-effort we will not experience life transformation.

But if every spiritual pothole is paved with “just trust God,” we will also miss out on true spiritual growth. This is not to detract from the centrality of faith in becoming more like Christ, only to understand its role, so we can better coach those whom we disciple.

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Our words have creative power. When we speak something out, we give it the right to come to pass. It’s one thing to believe you’re healed, but when you say, “I am healed,” that releases the healing. It’s not enough to just believe you have favor, that you’re blessed, that you’re going to fulfill your dreams. The Scripture says the spirit of faith is in our words. When you say, “I have favor and I’m coming out of debt,” good breaks will find you, the right people will track you down. You can think positive, believe for favor, and pray for God’s blessings—that’s all good—but nothing happens until you speak.

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God’s promises are a bedrock or anchor to your soul. Simply put God can be trusted. There are some estimates that say there are more than 3,000 promises in Scripture. I have even seen one estimate as high as 7,000. The point is very clear, God loves making promises and more importantly, God loves fulfilling them. The question, however, is how do you actually go about claiming the promises of God for your life? He has placed them there for you and you have the right to believe God for them, so how do you do this? Here are four simple, yet compelling ways to claim God’s promises for your life.

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I honestly don’t know if there has ever been a time when I felt brave. But also, will we ever truly feel brave to do the things God calls us to do? Really, I don’t think it matters. We are not called to to live based solely off our feelings because they can come and go and change depending our circumstances.

Instead, we are called to live according to the Word of God. His Word never changes. It stands the test of time, and it holds true for us regardless of how we feel.

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Seeking the Lord means seeking his presence. “Presence” is a common translation of the Hebrew word “face.” Literally, we are to seek his “face.” But this is the Hebraic way of having access to God. To be before his face is to be in his presence.

But aren’t his children always in his presence? Yes and no. Yes in two senses: First, in the sense that God is omnipresent and therefore always near everything and everyone. He holds everything in being. His power is ever-present in sustaining and governing all things.

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