Daily Devotional – 11/15/16 “May the God of hope …”

As the holidays approach, a time when families should be happy, there are a lot of you who are anything but. The majority of you are stressed, overworked, underappreciated, depressed, suicidal and on the verge of throwing in the towel. Some of you are grieving and have been for so long that you don’t even know how else to be. Some of you are still trying to figure out how you ended up here, again. You’re looking for a way out yet you’re fearful of trying the way maker. You’re trying to make ends meet and they aren’t even close. And still thinking of a way to tell the children they can’t get what they want this year either. Contemplating check advances and title loans when you’re already in over your head. And for what? To cut thanksgiving dinner short to stand in a line to buy something your children probably won’t appreciate and you don’t need. Yes, this may be the first or tenth holiday without your loved one but in the midst of grieving, don’t forget to live.

Listen, I don’t know what you’re dealing with ma’am. I don’t know what you’re toiling with sir. I don’t know what you’re fighting about or why you’re crying. I don’t know what’s causing your sleepless nights or your dark days. However, I do know that better days are possible. I don’t have to quote scriptures because you can probably recite them all but when will you start believing in them. I don’t have to tell you that God is right there, you know this but when will you start to trust Him? Yes, I get it because I, too, used to dread the holidays. It seemed like every black Friday I would be temporarily out of funds while trying to scrape together enough money to get the children something but I’ve lived long enough now to realize, just waking up is enough for me and if I put my hands in God’s hands, He’ll blow my mind. And get this, I don’t need the details, I simply need the blessing. So to you, whomever you are, who are in the dark place of life right now, I need you to know this … “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” —Romans 15:13

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Daily Devotional – 9/28/15 “I pray that you …”

Ma’am, you can stop looking for your joy over there, it’s not there. Sir, stop searching for your joy at her house, you won’t find it. Beloved, quit trying to locate your joy inside of things that didn’t bring you joy to begin with. Yea, I know you thought it was joy in that relationship but baby if you take it off life support, you’ll quickly find; it’s been dead. Come here Pastor; you are looking for joy in your assignment however you’ve missed the message because the joy is the assignment and if you can no longer see that, your assignment, where you are, may be up. May I suggest having a talk with your teacher. Look, Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” And if you have to look for joy in other folk, places or things, ask yourself this question, “What is my spirit producing?”

The bible says in Proverbs 17:22, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” My brothers and sisters, I don’t know what you are dealing with on today. I don’t know what or even who you laid down with on last night only to get up with the same nagging thing again this morning. I can’t grasp the severity of what you’re going through because I am not walking in your shoes. I can’t feel your pain, I don’t know how your grief feels, I am not dealing with your sickness, addiction or heartache. We aren’t all going through the same thing but this is my prayer to you … Romans 15:13, “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” I pray that you will put ALL of your trust in God so that He can fill the void places in your spirit with the joy you need to get out of the darkness. You are not lost; you just need to open your eyes. You are not drowning; you just need to stand up. You are not alone, ask for help.