Posts Tagged ‘Psalm’

We all need to be lifted up and encouraged at times and the Bible is a great source for encouragement. The Bible is the living word of God and feeds us through the promises of God found in scripture. I have listed some of my favorite Bible verses for encouragement. These verses have lifted my spirit in times of need and I hope they do the same for you. Please also consider a deeper study of the Bible by looking up these verses and reading the context they come from. I pray these great scripture quotes are encouraging for you today!

Strength Quotes For Encouragement

Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”

Isaiah 41:10 fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18  So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

Comfort And Encouragement Bible Verses

Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Psalm 9:9 The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;  your rod and your staff,  they comfort me.

Psalm 55:22  Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

Matthew 11:28-29 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Peace Scripture Quotes For Encouragement

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Romans 8:6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Philippians 4:6-7 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.

Encouragement Through God’s Promises

  •  The Promise of Eternal Life

John 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

  •   God’s Faithful

Deuteronomy 7:9 Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations

  •  God promises To Guide Us

Psalm 32:8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.

  •  All Scripture Is Inspired From God- The Bible Is The True Word Of God

2 Timothy 3:16-17  All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

  • God Hears Our Prayers

1 John 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us.

Christian Encouragement Quotes

God will not be absent when His people are on trial; he will stand in court as their advocate, to plead on their behalf.  –Charles Haddon Spurgeon

You are valuable because you exist. Not because of what you do or what you have done, but simply because you are. –Max Lucado

Be assured, if you walk with Him and look to Him, and expect help from Him, He will never fail you. –George Mueller

The stars may fall, but God’s promises will stand and be fulfilled. J. I. Packer

We all live busy, hectic, modern lives. When we work, we work a lot. When we play, we go all out. When we are home, we have kids to take care of or school events to attend. When it comes to church, we could be at a service or small group every other day if we really wanted. It can be hard to put time aside from our eventful days to rest and be quiet before God as today’s Scripture instructs.

Being quiet before God gets even harder when a monkey wrench is thrown into our busy lives. This could be a death in the family, a rebellious child, the loss of a job, or anything at all that is unexpected. When any of these happen to us, our first response is often to set things back to “normal mode”. Who wouldn’t want to do this? We look for the plans of action necessary to set things in order and ask God to bless us along the way. We fall into the trap that action is the only solvent for the unexpected problems in life. When many times, we simply need to live as the Psalmist and “be still and know that [He is] God” Psalm 46:10. Our comfort won’t come from solving the issues alone, but knowing God and his ways during our busy life.

Begin taking 5 minutes out of your workday to be in a quiet place and rest in God. As we begin to make this a habit, we will understand its importance and remember to make more time during our busy lives for God.

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
“In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.”
But you were unwilling, (Isaiah 30:15 ESV)

 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matt 6:34 NIV

  1. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.  Phil 4:13 NIV
  2. Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:31 NIV
  3. “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? Matt 6:25-27 NIV
  4. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. Luke 21:14 NIV
  5. Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22 NIV
  6. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 NIV
  7. I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken..  Psalm16:8 NIV
  8. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.  Psalm 62:6 NIV
  9.  Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings Psalm 17:8 NIV
  10. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  Psalm 91:4 NIV
  11. 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.  Isaiah 41:10 NIV
  12. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
  13. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  Romans 8:28 NIV
  14. The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. Psalm 28:7 NIV
  15. I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1-2 NIV
  16. They will have no fear of bad news;  their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.  Psalm 112:7 NIV
  17. Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5 NIV
  18. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. Deut 1:31 NIV
  19. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ JesusPhil 4:6-7 NIV
  20. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.  2 Timothy 4:7 NIV
  21. Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,  fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
  22. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1 NIV
  23. “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me.” John 14:1 NIV
  24. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NIV
  25. When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  Psalm 56:3 NIV
  26. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut 31:6 NIV
  27. Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 NIV
  28. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 NIV
  29. Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. Proverbs 24:14 NIV
  30. I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces. In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened; he saved me from all my troubles. For the angel of the LORD is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. Psalm 34:4-7 NIV
  31. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you. Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are.  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.   1 Peter 5:7-10 NLT
  32. As for God, his way is perfect:  The LORD’s word is flawless;  he shields all who take refuge in him. 2 Samuel 22:31 NIV
  33. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NIV
  34. “The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.  Exodus 15:2 NIV
  35. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. Hebrews 6:19 NIV
  36. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6 NIV
  37. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27 NIV
  38. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Romans 15:5-6 NIV
  39. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;  to be made new in the attitude of your minds;  and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Romans 4:22-24 NIV
  40. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalm 73:26 NIV
  41. Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV
  42. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 NIV
  43. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31 NIV
  44. As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.  Psalm 18:30 NIV
  45. Are God’s consolations not enough for you, words spoken gently to you?  Job 15:11 NIV
  46. The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.  The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all. Psalm34:17-19 NIV
  47. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.  Psalm 25:5 NIV
  48. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes;  its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:8 NIV
  49. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. Psalm 33:4-5 NIV

To be insecure is to lack confidence or trust, whether in ourselves or someone else. There are many causes of insecurity, but chief among them is our failure to fully trust God (Jeremiah 17:7-8). As believers, we have this assurance: “And those who know Your name put their trust in You, for You, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You” (Psalm 9:10; also see Deuteronomy 31:8; Lamentations 3:57). If we know God is with us, why do we still experience feelings of insecurity, doubts, and fears? Why does God seem so far away?

In Satan’s arsenal, one of his biggest weapons is doubt. Satan loves for us to question who we are and how we measure up to others (Ephesians 2:1-2; Ephesians 6:12; 1 Samuel 16:7). He wants us to feel insecure over the meaning and purpose of our lives, where we’re going, and how we’ll get there.

Another cause of feelings of insecurity is reliance on wealth and possessions instead of God. The world encourages us to strive to be “number one” and promotes the adage “he with the most toys wins.” If we don’t have the latest iPhone, fastest car, biggest house, or largest paycheck, we are failures. Yet the Bible teaches us not to set our hopes on earthly riches but on God: “As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy” (1 Timothy 6:17, emphasis added; see also Mark 10:23-25; Luke 12:16-21). Riches, being uncertain, will certainly bring insecurity to those who trust in them.

Many times, insecurity takes the form of worry about the future. Jesus was empathic when He said, “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow. . . .” (Matthew 6:31-34). Worrisome fears about the future are rooted in a doubt of God’s provision. This breeds strong feelings of insecurity and a lack of peace, resulting in fear and depression. When we doubt God, Satan wins (Philippians 4:6; 1 Peter 5:8).

Insecurity may also result from being preoccupied with the things of the world: “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15). Security is not to be found in this world’s people, things, or institutions, including government institutions. Some people become obsessed with having the right leaders in government, the right laws, and the right policies. When the government is in the wrong hands, they contend, the nation is doomed. However, the Bible teaches us that God is in control and His sovereignty extends to governmental leaders (Proverbs 21:1; Daniel 2:21). While we should practice good citizenship and vote our conscience, we must also recognize that government policy cannot save us. Only God can do that (Isaiah 33:22; Psalm 143:6; Jeremiah 17:5-6).

Others place their trust in their pastor or other church leaders. However, men can and will let us down. Only Christ is the sure foundation. “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: ‘See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who relies on it will never be stricken with panic’” (Isaiah 28:16). Jesus is the solid rock and our only hope of security (Matthew 7:24).

Often, the reason for our insecurities is an undue preoccupation with our own selves, an “it’s all about me” mentality. The Bible warns us about self-absorption and pride (Romans 12:3). God’s work will be done “‘not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6).

True security comes when you recognize that “God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). When struggling with feelings of insecurity, never forget God’s promise: “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” (Isaiah 26:3).

It’s very rare that you see someone who likes Monday. I’m actually excited about what the week has in store, so I’ve included some verses below for us all to read and to become inspired by. I pray that the Holy Spirit lifts you up today so that you find encouragement and joy. Be blessed today and start the week of right.

Bible Verses on Encouragement From the Psalms

  • The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)
  • “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” (Psalm 27:10)
  • “Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.” (Psalm 31:24)
  • God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
  • “In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me.” (Psalm 56:11)
  • “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.” (Psalms 138:7)
  • “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust.” (Psalm 91:1-2)
  • “He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3)

Encouraging Bible Verses Written by the Apostle Paul

  • “Be careful [anxious] for nothing: but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • “We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.” (II Corinthians 4:8-9)
  • “Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (Galatians 6:9)
  • “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Colossians 3:15)
  • “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 15:13)

Encouragement From Jesus Christ

  • Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.” (John 14:1)
  • “Peace, I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27)
  • “Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” (Matthew 6:31-34)

farMost of the people that know me are aware that I am going through a lot of trials right now. I say this not as a statement of pride, but because I know there are a ton of other people out there going through their own issues and are afraid to share it with anyone., or worse yet, they don’t know how to handle what they’re going through.  I don’t consider myself special for being able to hold up under pressure, but I do know that I am blessed. This is the hope that I hold on to every day I face another trial. We all have that same hope, and that is Jesus Christ.

I wish I was as brave and strong as people think I am. The truth is that I experience fear and anxiety every day. I also believe that most Christians do (even though most of them will deny it). Having said that, I would like to share with you the verses and some thoughts that I use when these concerns and anxieties rear their ugly heads and test my faith. Remember that fear and anxiety are normal emotions, it’s how far we allow them to consume our lives that is the real test of our faith. So please read and memorize the verses below, I assure you that they are stronger than what Satan can throw at us. Enjoy, and go in peace today. Email me if you need me.

“An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up” (Proverbs 12:25, NIV).

“I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4).

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:6-7) (Also see Psalm 55:22-23)

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?’” (Luke 12:22-26, NIV). (Also see Matthew 6:25-34)

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:5).

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).

“…the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:26-28).

“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).

“I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).

The apostle Paul found his strength in God, He reminds us that, “I …have …been in prison …frequently, been flogged …severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. …I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. …Who is weak, and I do not feel weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not inwardly burn? If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness. …I will not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. …[God] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 11:23-12:10).

“So we say with confidence, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6).

“…put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore.” (Psalm 131:1)

Also read: Psalm 139:1-23

The possible causes of anxiety and fear are many: conflict, health problems, dangerous situations, death, unmet needs, spiritual problems, false beliefs, etc.

“According to the Bible, there is nothing wrong with realistically acknowledging and trying to deal with the identifiable problems of life. To ignore danger is fooling and wrong. But it is also wrong, as well as unhealthy, to be immobilized by excessive worry. Such worry must be committed to prayer to God, who can release us from paralyzing fear or anxiety, and free us to deal realistically with the needs and welfare both of others and of ourselves.” (Dr. Gary R. Collins, Christian Counseling, p. 66.)

Some general, common sense suggestions for those weighed down with fear, anxiety or worry…

  • SIN IN YOUR LIFE – Sometimes fear and anxiety are the result of one’s own sin and guilt. If you have committed a sin or done anything evil, your fear and anxiety is probably God and your own conscience trying to get your attention. You need to repent, confess your sin, seek God’s forgiveness, and set it right.
  • SLEEP – Humans generally need 8 or 9 hours of sleep per day. Sleep deprivation can increase anxiety. Get enough rest. If you cannot sleep, you may need to seek God’s help and perhaps that of a physician.
  • BE MORE REALISTIC – Many people are worried and anxious about events that will never actually will happen to them. Relax. Focus on today. Take life one day at a time.
  • LISTEN to relaxing, soothing music. There is some great Christian music available that can help you focus on God and leave your fears and worries behind. It may also help to listen to good Christian speakers and teachers.
  • FUN – If at all possible, do something that you enjoy. It is good to get some recreation on a regular basis. Take a break. Get your mind off your fears and worries, and have some fun.
  • TALK to someone. Don’t hold all the anxiety inside. It can be a big relief to share your fears and worries with someone else—a friend, relative, pastor or counselor. If fear and anxiety is an ongoing problem in your life, schedule a regular time each week to talk with someone.
  • TAKE ACTION – If there is something practical and wise that you can do to alleviate the problem or avoid needless danger, take action. Don’t put it off. Procrastination will generally raise your anxiety level.
  • EXERCISE – Medical studies show that exercise can help lower anxiety. If you are healthy enough to exercise, try it. Regular brisk walks, running, swimming or other exercises can be a real stress reducer.
  • PROFESSIONAL HELP – There are various organizations which provide help for people with anxiety attacks, including the Midwest Center for Stress and Anxiety (stresscenter.com) which provides self-help. You can search for information and assistance on the Web using keywords such as: anxiety, panic attacks, agoraphobia. You should be able to find local help by consulting you pastor or physician.

“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work” (2 Thes. 2:16-17).

imagesTo some the glass is half full.  To others the glass is half empty.  Some people have a real positive disposition about things in life even when maybe things don’t seem to be going their way.  Other people may seem to us to be more cynical and to always feel that the world is out to get them.  If things are good for them now, wait a few minutes for things to turn around.  Both of these descriptions are somewhat exaggerations but I think you get my point, which is that we all have different outlooks on life.

Our outward disposition is often closely linked to our circumstances in life and often we can be filled with regrets.  We may have regrets from many different areas of life.  Here are just a few examples…

  • We may have regrets about our childhood.  Maybe you were raised in a single parent household.  You resent the fact that your father (or mother) was not part of your upbringing. Most statistics show that at least one in every 4 children born in the United States will be raised with only one parent.
  • Regrets about our finances.  Maybe you borrowed more than you were able to pay back to get through college.  You bought a car that was more than you could afford.  Our finances greatly affect our outlook on life.  Jesus often spoke on topics that included finances or stewardship.
  • Regrets about our children.  Maybe you wanted children and weren’t able to have your own.  Or you wanted two boys and two girls and only had one child.  Or maybe you had healthy children and they are growing up and ready to leave the fold and your relationship with them is shattered or strained in some way.  This will cause great pain and often significant regrets.
  • Regrets about relationships or maybe even our marriage partner.  Relationship issues can bring us down and make us feel insecure or even depressed.  Even though divorce statistics are very high, its affects on each person has not diminished.  Divorce is not simply like choosing the wrong car to buy and later getting another one…no divorce often makes each person involved feel a sense of failure for whatever went wrong in the relationship.

This is obviously only the tip of the iceberg concerning areas that we may have regrets.  We have all heard someone look back on their life and say that maybe they made some bad choices but they live with no regrets.  We may wonder if I will be able to say that and if that is even a Biblical principle.  My goal for this discussion will be for us to think through this topic of regrets and whether it is Biblical to live with regrets.

Regrets are often times the result of sin in our life.  Think about it.  Think about specific regrets that you have in your life and ask yourself if they are the result of sin or unwise choices in your life.  Maybe you have been divorced or have had to file for bankruptcy or no longer speak to your children…if this is the case; it is almost assuredly the result of some sin.  Maybe it is not even your sin but the sin of someone that has left you with regrets.  We must acknowledge that this is a fallen world and we all mess up all the time.  Romans 3:10 says, “There is no one righteous, not even one.”  This verse is one of many that shows us that we all mess up all the time.  Even when we try to do good, we simply cannot do it.  Read the words of the Apostle Paul in Romans 7 where he seems to have a discussion with himself and seems frustrated with the fact that even when we try to do the right or good thing, we simply cannot do it.  We fall short all the time.  And because we fall short, we have to often face difficult consequences.  There is a penalty for our sin.  Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I could spend much more time with those thoughts from Romans but simply they show us that we are all messed up fallen created beings.  Because we fall short (or sin) we will have hard times in life and often regrets.  So how do we handle these regrets?  One place we could turn would be the entire book of Psalms.  These 150 chapters are filled with many writers crying out to God with often laments and asking God for help.  The writers of Scripture do not try to cover up or act like they have it all together but cry out to God for help in their personal lives.  Looking to Psalms seems to give us the correct way to continue in life and work through our problems or regrets in life.  Search the Psalms and see the many things the writers ask or inquire of the Lord.  I’d just like to look at one verse from Psalm 4.  Psalm 4:1 says, “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God, Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.” Now its true we don’t know the exact circumstances of this Psalm but the principle is clear.  We have a God who hears our every prayer.  We have a God that is righteous and cares about our every care (or my distress in Ps. 4.1).  We have a God who shows us mercy even when we don’t deserve it.  The rest of the Psalm (through verse eight ) shows that God is patient with us even when we stray (or follow other gods).

The God of the Bible is the one true God that loves us and cares for our every care and hurt.  He does not delight in seeing us go through hardship or pain but often that is where we grow in Him.  We often grow spiritually through hardships and trials (James 1).  We must learn how to live each moment reliant fully on God.  We should model our prayers and our life like the writers of Scripture as they are not afraid to tell God what is on their hearts.  God can handle our thoughts and our prayers.  We all will have things happen in life that we wish were different (regrets).  But do these regrets control us?  Do I allow my regrets in life to smother my Christian witness?  Hopefully the answer to this is no.  Just think about one of the most memorable stories in the New Testament.  Shortly before Jesus was going to be betrayed and crucified Jesus told His disciples that all of the 12 disciples would fall away and deny him.  You know the story…Peter strongly opposed Jesus and tried to correct him by saying “even if all the others fall away, I won’t”.  Jesus told him that he would deny 3 times before the rooster crows and it happened just as Jesus said.  Do you think that Peter regretted this?  Absolutely!!!  Did he let it dampen his witness?  Not after Jesus restored him on the beach in a beautiful story in John 21.  Now I’m sure Peter never forgot this sin and shortcoming but he did not dwell on it.  He later preached the gospel of Christ with the convicting power of the Holy Spirit.  This should be our model.  We may never forget our individual regrets in life but how do we respond to them?

A movie came out a few years ago called “The Bucket List” and starred Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman.  These two men were shown as being on the back end of life and they were making and trying to complete each thing on their “bucket list.”  The list included things like ‘sky diving’ and other exciting events but at the end of the movie they both come to realize that life is about more than exciting events but about family and being true to yourself.  My prayer for each of you today is for you to come to a similar realization that the life that God wants for us is not a life filled with dwelling on our regrets and sin but by living a victorious life.  The God that we serve has power over sin and death and He is the one that will one day give us victory over these as well.  Today, pray to God like the writers of the Psalms and allow Him to lift the burden that you need taken away and give Him the glory for great thing he hath done.

How good is your vision? Can you see accurately up to 20 feet? Maybe even 50 feet? Only about 35 percent of all adults have 20/20 vision without correction, but maybe you are among the fortunate, better-than-average group. Even so, can you see into the future? What about into the hearts of your friends? Are you able to see every possible outcome of any given choice?

When we consider the limitations of our vision, no matter who we are, we come to realize what an incredible privilege is offered to us, by God Himself. He promises to instruct and inform us of the correct paths to take in life, using — not our finite and limited vision — but his perfect, all-seeing, all-knowing eye as our guide. The One who knows all ends offers to lead us to the perfect destination for each of us!

Knowing that each of us faces a myriad of hair-pulling, gut-wrenching decisions at different times in our lives-and recognizing that even the smallest decisions can have big ramifications for our lives-what an amazing gift this is! And, yet, so many of us prefer to stumble blindly through the deadly obstacle course of this world, setting our own course and choosing our own turns, just so that we can say, “I did it my way.”

If you are wrestling today with difficult decisions, know that God’s perfect wisdom and vision is available to you — it is only a prayer away. When we go to God, asking his help and looking into his Word for direction, he gives us this guarantee: I will lead you where you need to go, guiding you with my eye.

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eyePsalm 32:8

godly-living-004There’s a great debate on whether or not we as Christians should “hang out” with people who don’t believe in the Lord. Some will say that we need to reach out to the lost and I’m a big advocate of that, but there needs to be a line drawn somewhere.

Reaching out to the lost where they’re at is a great thing, but we need to make sure that we don’t go to deep into their world. Or worse yet, we don’t start living with one foot in the secular world, and one in the Christian world. This doesn’t work. In fact it’s like dieting hard during the day, and hitting the buffets at night. The clean living gets wiped out by the bad living.

So to support my thoughts on this I’ve listed some Biblical guidelines on the subject below. Hopefully it will help to clarify the deabte. Read and enjoy…:)

1. We are influenced, for better or for worse, by those with whom we associate.

*  Proverbs 13:20  He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.
*  1 Corinthians 15:33  Be not deceived: evil communications [companions] corrupt good manners.
*  Galatians 5:7-9  [The influence of bad company can be disastrous.] Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? 8 This persuasion cometh not of Him that calleth you. 9 A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.

2. We should associate with those by whom we will be influenced for the good.

Psalm 119:63  I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and of them that keep Thy precepts.
Proverbs 2:20  Walk in the way of good men, and keep the paths of the righteous.
*  Proverbs 15:31  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.

3. God‘s Word likens bad associations to “snares” or traps set by the Devil.

*  Exodus 23:33  [As the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, God was specific in commanding them not to associate with the heathen living there:] They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against Me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee. [See also  Numbers 33:52 .]
*  Exodus 34:12  Take heed to thyself, lest thou make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land whither thou goest, lest it be for a snare in the midst of thee.
*  Deuteronomy 12:30  Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following [unbelievers], after that they be destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise.
*  Psalm 106:34-43  [Here is what resulted when God’s people didn’t keep themselves separate from their worldly neighbors, whom the Lord forbade them to live with:] They did not destroy the nations, concerning whom the Lord commanded them: 35 But were mingled among the heathen, and learned their works. 36 And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. 37 Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils.… 39 Thus were they defiled with their own works.… 40 Therefore was the wrath of the Lord kindled against His people, insomuch that He abhorred His own inheritance. 41 And He gave them into the hand of the heathen; and they that hated them ruled over them. 42 Their enemies also oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their hand. 43 Many times did He deliver them; but they provoked Him with their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity.
*  Proverbs 22:5  Thorns and snares are in the way of the froward [false, perverse]: he that doth keep his soul shall be far from them.

4. Bad associations can cause us to compromise our convictions.

*  Proverbs 12:26  The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour: but the way of the wicked seduceth them.
*  Proverbs 16:29  A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good.
*  Proverbs 19:27  [Overexposure to worldly counsel and the media, such as music, movies and TV, can lead you astray.] Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.
*  Proverbs 22:24,25  Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: 25 Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.
*  Ecclesiastes 9:18b  One sinner destroyeth much good.
*  1 Corinthians 5:6b  Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

5. The Enemy tempts us by making the way of the ungodly appear desirable — but consider their end!

*  Proverbs 24:1  Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them.
*  Psalm 37:1b,2  [Remember, the “good things” that the ungodly seem to be enjoying now are only temporary:] Neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. 2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
*  Psalm 73:3,17,18  For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked … 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places: Thou castedst them down into destruction.
*  Psalm 141:4  Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
*  Proverbs 23:6  Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats. 7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.

6. We need conviction to separate ourselves from ungodly, unfruitful associations.

*  Psalm 1:1  Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. [See also  Genesis 49:6a .]
*  Psalm 26:4,5  I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. 5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
*  Psalm 84:10  For a day in Thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
*  Psalm 101:4,7  A froward [stubbornly contrary, disobedient] heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.… 7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
*  Psalm 119:115  Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.
*  Psalm 139:19-22  Surely Thou wilt slay the wicked, O God: depart from me therefore, ye bloody men. 20 For they speak against Thee wickedly, and Thine enemies take Thy Name in vain. 21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate Thee? And am not I grieved with those that rise up against Thee? 22 I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
*  Proverbs 1:10,15  My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not.… 15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path.
*  Proverbs 9:6  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
*  2 Corinthians 6:14,17  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? … 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.
*  Ephesians 5:11  And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
*  Revelation 18:4  And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her [Babylon], My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. [See also  Jeremiah 51:6 .]

7. If we continue to keep bad company, we will be punished with them.

*  Genesis 13:12,13 ;  2 Peter 2:7,8  [Lot chose to live a life of ease in the wicked city of Sodom and suffered the consequences; he lost his wife and troubled his own soul:] Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. 13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the Lord exceedingly. [Although God delivered Lot out of Sodom, he suffered from having lived with them for many years:] 2 Peter 2:7,8 And [God] delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: 8 (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) (See  Genesis chapter 19 .)
*  Numbers 16:26  [Moses warned his brethren not to associate with those who sowed dissension in the ranks of the Children of Israel.] And he spake unto the congregation, saying, Depart, I pray you, from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest ye be consumed in all their sins. [The Lord later destroyed them, see verses 31-35.]
*  2 Chronicles 19:2b  Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.
*  Ezra 9:14  Should we again break Thy commandments, and join in affinity with the people of these abominations? Wouldest not Thou be angry with us till Thou hadst consumed us, so that there should be no remnant nor escaping?
*  Proverbs 21:16  The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead. [See also  Proverbs 27:8 .]
*  Proverbs 28:19b  He that followeth after vain persons shall have poverty enough.
*  Ephesians 5:6-8  Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
*  2 John 1:10,11  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: 11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

8. We should not even associate with other Christians who persist in being wilfully disobedient.

*  Romans 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. [See also  Matthew 18:15-17 .]
*  1 Corinthians 5:11  But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
*  2 Thessalonians 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
*  2 Thessalonians 3:14,15  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish [gently warn or reprove] him as a brother.
*  1 Timothy 6:3-5  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the Words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to Godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
*  2 Timothy 3:5  [In the Last Days, some men will be] having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
*  Titus 3:10  A man that is an heretick [one who sows dissension, or holds to false beliefs] after the first and second admonition reject.
*  2 Peter 2:18-22  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

9. Pray for the Lord’s help, wisdom and discernment to escape the snare of bad associations.

*  Genesis 49:6  [The patriarch, Jacob, even prayed that he wouldn’t listen to the bad counsel of his own errant sons, Simeon and Levi:] O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
*  Psalm 56:13  For Thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not Thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?
*  Psalm 141:4  [King David prayed:] Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity: and let me not eat of their dainties.
*  Psalm 119:51  The proud have had me greatly in derision: yet have I not declined from Thy law.
*  Proverbs 2:11,12  Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: 12 To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things.
*  Proverbs 9:6  Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.
*  Proverbs 14:7  Go from the presence of a foolish man, when thou perceivest not in him the lips of knowledge.
*  Matthew 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For Thine is the Kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

For He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5c)

On the morning of October 29, 2012, hundreds of thousands of people in portions of the Caribbean and the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern United States faced their worst nightmare … “Superstorm Sandy.” This post-tropical cyclone with hurricane-force winds and its unusual merge with a frontal system affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard from Florida to Maine and west across the Appalachian Mountains to Michigan and Wisconsin, leaving death, injuries, and utter destruction in its wake. Families everywhere, especially in hard hit New Jersey and New York, were jolted out of normalcy and the comfort and security of the homes and communities they once knew. They were thrust suddenly and unwillingly into the darkness and despair of loss.

If you and your family have ever been affected by a natural disaster like this, you may feel as if you’ve been abandoned by God. However, if trouble has hit your life in some other disaster, or form of tragedy—the death of a loved one, a dreaded medical diagnosis, the loss of home and property, or the loss of your job, you are experiencing your own superstorm. You may feel as if your whole world has been turned upside down, and wonder how you can possibly survive the loss. In times like these, you can feel very much alone.

But you are not alone. In the midst of unspeakable sorrow God is with you. Even if you do not feel Him near, God is there. He promises to never leave you alone. Therefore, wherever you are, God is. He is with you before, during, and after “the storm,” never losing sight of you, or your suffering. Even as you ponder how you will begin picking up the pieces of your life, God is there … loving you beyond understanding, holding you up, and making a way where it seems there is no way. Reach out for Him today. He is a very present help in times of trouble (see Psalm 46:1).

Taking back your life …

 

1. Psalm 139:7-10 says, “I can never be lost to Your Spirit! I can never get away from my God! If I go up to heaven, You are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, You are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there Your hand will guide me, Your strength will support me” (TLB). What assurance can you find in these verses of Scripture when you are feeling as if God has forgotten you?

 

2. In Psalm 23, David pictures the Lord as the Great Shepherd who provides for and protects His sheep (His children). In verse four, he says “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” A shepherd uses his rod to protect his sheep (by using it to beat off wild beasts), and he uses his staff to guide them. What comfort can you find in knowing that God will protect and guide you during this difficult time?

 

3. In addition to needing God’s presence in our lives, we also need each other. Talk with your family or friends about the way you are feeling, so that you can share one another’s burdens, and not feel so alone in your suffering.
Additional Scripture reading:

Deuteronomy 31:8
Psalm 91:15-16
Matthew 28:20