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Surviving or Thriving?

Are you living your life feeling like you are barely surviving or are you living a thriving life through a relationship with Jesus Christ?

We have to allow God to work in us just as much as we want Him to work through us in helping others. We cannot pour from an empty cup. A lack of spiritual guidance through God’s Word will often leave us feeling like we are barely surviving this crazy thing called life.

FaithAnchored Ministries podcast FaithAnchored Speaks- Anchored in Truth Podcast past episodes are now on YouTube!

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Devotional-Be Alert!

1 Peter 5:8-9

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

There are many voices in the world screaming their agendas and beliefs, all trying to get us to ‘jump on their bandwagon’ and stand with them in their ‘truth’. This is a very dangerous game that people all over the world are playing. Right now it is beginning to get very difficult to speak of real truth– the absolute truth— the truth in God’s word.

In the current time we are in when you stand on the truths in the Bible, people in the world begin to persecute you and begin to exercise the newest trend of ‘cancel culture’. Basically this is a ‘if you do not believe the way I do and do not stand up for what I believe to be truth’ you are labeled a fascist, intolerant, hateful, racist, and a whole slew more of not so pleasant labels.

The Bible warns us of such behavior that in the end days the world will not know the truth and they will except lies for truth and begin to worship the antichrist.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
2 Timothy 4:3-4

With all the fairly recent laws that have been passed we can see 2 Timothy 4 playing out in front of our eyes. For instance, marriage is a covenant that God created for a man and woman to become one. The Bible has a lot to say about marriage and its divine purpose for being created. However, the world is morphing the true purpose of marriage, eliminating the divine purpose of God and the facts on what marriage TRULY is.

Another example would be our leaders trying to remove God out of everything– the pledge of allegiance, prayer isn’t allowed in schools, the talk of removing God off of our currency, and the list could go on. The Bible warns us about turning from the ways of the Lord for our own selfish desires and that is exactly what our nation is doing.

28 “So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the Lord their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.
Jeremiah 7:28

The light and truth in God’s word is being snuffed out by the evil, prideful, and selfish ways of the current generations in the world. It has morphed from being about what is good and right to what makes one ‘feel good and feel accepted’.

The problem with this is that the world is teaching us all the wrong ways to achieve self happiness and self worth when in fact neither have to do with us. Our actions or feelings are not what leaves us feeling fulfilled. God created us and the ONLY way to feel complete, worthy, and accepted is to understand who we are in Him and NOT what the world says.

19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
John 3:19

The darkness in the world is attempting to fully overtake the light, but we do not have to fear or worry God is in control and knows exactly what is happening. Remain steadfast in the faith and stand upon the rock of Jesus in truth and God will ALWAYS protect and lead the way.

Be alert when reading ‘news’ stories on social media or listening to them via a news station, ask God for discernment to know what is truth and what is a lie, and be on guard to not quickly fall into the ways of the world.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being the voice of truth and the light in a world full of deceit and darkness. I confess that there are times I do not use discernment and quickly fall into the trap of lies the world has to offer; Lord forgive me. I pray that each person that reads this will have an open heart and mind to receive Your message. God it is You who gives me these words and I pray each person would hear what You want them to and receive the message they need to hear through this article. I pray we would all be alert and on guard so that when the enemy attempts to deceive us we are ready to put him in his place. I pray you give us all the courage, strength, and wisdom to follow Your Truth above all else. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Devotional- Comfort & Counsel

As I have been reading and studying the book of Job, I noticed that the friends Job had were not encouraging to him during his season of suffering. His friends instead tried to figure out what Job had done wrong that caused God to seemingly be ‘punishing’ him.

In the Old Testament days it was believed that if you were ‘upright and righteous’ you would find favor with God and He would be sure you ‘prospered’.

However, the scripture is very clear that Job was righteous and blameless; which is why Job was so distraught when he began losing all of his wealth, quickly followed by his family and his own health.

Job cried out to God asking ‘Why’; he was not trying to argue with God he truly wanted to know if he had done something that caused him to lose favor in the eyes of the Lord.

Job’s friends remained strong in their belief that Job could not possibly be righteous if God took away his prosperity. His friends ridiculed him and tried to convince him that he was not in good standing with God.

This upset Job and he made it clear that their words were foolish and that the Lord gives and takes away, but God is still good regardless.

Zophar tried to convince Job to repent for proclaiming his innocence and righteousness; scolding him that he does not have the knowledge or power to know God’s immeasurable or limitless being and wisdom.

This only confirmed Job’s complaint– God was not acting predictable according to their understanding of Him. Job rejected the faulty ‘wisdom’ of his friend, because He knew that God was ultimately in control regardless of what the circumstances may look like.

Job accused his friends of misjudging him and then stood up to them by making it clear that he is not inferior to them. Job dismissed their criticism and said that they were ‘forgers of lies’ and worthless physicians. (Job 13:4)

According to Job, his friends were speaking out of vain; they intended to offer him comfort in his spiritual distress but instead was passing judgement and giving faulty advise.

Job tells them a better expression of wisdom from them would be to ‘be quiet’. Their counsel was not helpful nor comforting to Job; it only further complicated his circumstances.

Job finally told his friends to basically stay out of it while he pleads with God.

See Job didn’t blame God or accuse him of wrongdoing; Job wanted to sincerely know and understand why God seemed to be giving so much attention to his being. He truly wanted to know why he needed to suffer so much when his faith was unwavering.

Despite all the questions Job cried out to God he remained firm in his belief that one day God would vindicate him; which is exactly what would happen. Job knew that no matter what life looks like his hope could only be in God.

If Job would have listened to his friends counsel and assumed God was punishing him and that he was in fact not righteous this could have led Job down a dark and depressing path, walking away from God instead of running into His arms for grace, protection, love, and justification.

When seeking comfort and/or counsel from someone we need to be mindful on who we are trusting. Although some may have good intentions they cannot give good sound advice regarding your circumstances if they have no understanding or lack Godly wisdom.

Our best bet is to take our questions and concerns to God and not allow those around us to influence our choices, actions, reactions, and especially not our faith.

Reflect

Have you ever felt like God was punishing you for something and that is why you are suffering? Did you seek comfort and/or advice from a friend? Was it helpful?

How does this example from the book of Job change the way you view suffering and who we choose to seek comfort in during it?

Is God telling you anything specific about your circumstances, suffering in general, or seeking comfort and counsel while reading this article?

Call to Action

Declare over your life that God is NOT punishing you and He is NOT mad at you.

Pray and Journal what God is speaking to you about current or past seasons of suffering.

Make a goal to be mindful on who you share your suffering with and be sure you always take it to God first.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you today for this message on suffering and choosing who we seek comfort and counsel from wisely. Lord sometimes we get so caught up in the hurt, suffering, and grief that we lose control of our words and tend to share to much with the wrong people. Lord I confess I am guilty of not seeking Your comfort and counsel first and allowing those around me to affect my actions, thoughts, and faith in You.

I pray that each person that reads this article will be moved by Your Words and have discernment when seeking comfort in others. Lord I pray that You would ignite a fire in each of us that would encourage us to seek You first above all else. Help us to remember that Your love, mercy, forgiveness, and justification does not come from our actions but from You and You alone. I pray that each would feel Your presence surrounding them in their seasons of struggling and know that You are with them.

I pray for protection over our minds and spirit from the words of those who are faithlessly giving us faulty advice. I pray that our hearts be protected by Your hand and that we remember You are the ultimate comforter and counselor. In Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

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Devotional- Faith like Job

Struggling is a part of the sinful world we live in. Everyone will face times of struggle, trials, and tribulations regardless of their faith in God. The importance lies in how we react and handle life’s battles when they strike.

Job was a Godly man and had great faith and love for God, but Job faced a lot of suffering and loss. Job was a wealthy man who not only had a lot of money, animals, and ‘stuff’, but he also was in great health.

In Job 1 satan and God have a discussion about Job and his faithfulness. Satan basically says that Job only loves God and is so faithful to Him because God has blessed him and his possessions are great. Going on to express that if God allowed all of his wealth and possessions to be taken away, that Job would certainly curse God.

God allowed satan to have power of Job’s possessions and wealth but strictly told satan not to lay a hand on his body.

Satan left the presence of the Lord and went out to attack Job’s possessions.

Job lost his wealth, his animals, and all of his possessions. However, Job did not sin! Instead Job fell to the ground and worshipped God. In all that Job had lost and faced he did not sin nor did he blame God for any of it.

Satan tells God that all a man has in possessions he will give up for his life, but if He allows Job’s bone and flesh (health) be taken, that he will surely curse Him (God). So God allows this but strictly states to spare his life.

Job then loses his family, his friends, and his health. He is covered from head to foot in painful boils. Job still did not curse God or blame Him for what was happening in his life.

Instead Job cries out and curses the day he was born. (Job 3)

Job is a great one to look at for examples of how we should remain faithful in God during all seasons of our life. Job shows us that our love for God and our faith in God should not depend on how we feel He is treating us.

Satan is the author of pain, suffering, grief, and loss. He wants to use these things to separate us from the love and mercy of God. He wants us to remain bound by our feelings, allowing them to navigate our faith and love for God; keeping us from the awareness of God’s higher purpose for our life.

God is always near regardless of what our circumstances may look like or how we may feel, God is always good and near to us in our brokenness, pain, and sorrow.

Reflection

Do you think you would react the same way if God took away all your belongings, wealth, and health?

What is one thing God is telling you or showing you through Job’s suffering?

Do you allow how you feel God is treating you to affect how you feel about God?

Call to Action

What is one thing you can do moving forward to form a stronger faith in God, regardless of your circumstances?

I encourage you to set your feelings aside and seek the truth’s in God’s Word, allowing Him to guide your every step and trusting what He says over what you feel.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for being a faithful, patient, and loving God. For giving us the example of Job’s suffering so that we may see our own suffering in his story. Lord forgive us for falling trap to our feelings and allowing them to drive our actions and faith. I pray that each person who reads this will be touched by Your truth. Lord I pray you would expose our faithfulness or lack of to each of us, show us where we need to apply Your truth more and prune out the schemes of satan. Lead us in every area of our life. Open our hearts, ears, minds, and eyes to Your truth and protect us from the lies of the enemy. God I pray You would remind us of the example Job set when we face our own times of suffering and loss, help us to remain strong in Your truth and faithful to Your calling. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Build Your Life on the Bible

Carefully read and re-read the below scripture from James 1. Note the instruction it gives us to living life in a relationship with God. What does it look like? What type of behaviors/habits should we have to live a healthy, purposeful, and productive life in Christ?

James 1:19-25 NKJV

Qualities Needed in Trials

19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Doers—Not Hearers Only

21 Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Hope comes from having a purpose.

As Christians we should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger. We should be living our life with an overcoming attitude and an attitude of acceptance.

Faith comes from hearing the message- the message comes from the Word of Christ.

The Word of God is the “seed”- our hearts are the soil. Soil has to be prepared before a seed can be planted and thrive- just as our hearts need to be prepared to be receptive to hear God’s voice.

4 Attitudes for good reception to God’s Word

  1. Quiet
  2. Calm
  3. Humble
  4. Clean (take out the garbage-remove all sin and evil through confession)

An attitude of acceptance- welcomes the Word of God.

You cannot just listen to the Word of God-
You must DO WHAT YOU READ.

We need to evaluate our spiritual walk- are we hearers or doers of God’s Word?

Knowing something is NOT what makes it fruitful in your life. It is the application of what you know that determines the effect it has in and on your life. You can hear the Word of God and know the truth, but if you do not apply it to your life the knowledge is fruitless.

God calls us to be doers of His Word- not hearers.

It is through the hearing and doing of the Word of God that shapes us for the purpose He gives us in life.

I ask you today to look into the mirror- truly gaze at yourself and be honest- are you being a hearer or doer of Gods Word? Do you know what your purpose is in this life? Are you actively stepping in faith towards God’s ultimate plan for your life?

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for giving us Your Word, for guiding us and directing our paths. I am so thankful that you are a patient and forgiving God. Lord forgive me for the times I am acting as a hearer to Your Word instead of being a doer. Lord help each of us to truly look within ourselves and have discernment with what You are reveling to us. Show us how to actively listen and do what You are speaking to us. Give us the courage and strength to be bold in You- seeking first Your kingdom and purpose for our life. It is in Jesus might name I pray.

Amen

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Discovering God in Israel’s Crossing of the Jordan River

First read the story of Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River and take notes of how you see God in the story and how you see yourself in the story.

The account is documented in Joshua 3-4 and took place during the settlement period (1440-1050 BC)

Seeing God in Israel’s crossing of the Jordan River.

  • God keeps His promises!
  • He guides and directs His people.
  • Promises and proves He will be with those who move forward in faith in Him.
  • If God appoints you to do something-such as lead- He will see you through.
  • God is powerful and can turn obstacles into a safe path.
  • God makes His presence known and undeniable.
  • God has the power to control nature.
  • God wants His mighty works and miracles taught to our children.
  • God wants every person and every nation to know His might.
  • God calls us to ‘take a step’- we must be obedient to His direction.

Did you note something during your reading that isn’t on the list?

Share your list in the comments below.

Reading Reflection

Is there an obstacle in your life that God is leading you to overcome?

Do you think He is calling you to step out in faith and allow Him to lead you into ‘unknown territory’? If so, take note of what you feel God is telling you to do.

Why have you been reluctant to listen to Him? What is stopping you from following His lead?

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you for being a God of promises kept! Thank you for always guiding our steps and leading us to Your will. God forgive us for hesitating to step out and follow you in faith. Lord we know you are almighty and powerful and can make a way when there seems to be none. Lord, fill us up with Your Holy Spirit- give us discernment in Your word and help us to remember if You call us to it- You will see us through it. In Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Got to have faith

To have faith means more than just believing in something. Faith is defined in Hebrews as ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’. Faith usually starts out certain. When people believe that God will fulfill His promises to us- they are showing true faith. True faith believes even when you can not see any evidence, despite trusting in God and His character.

True faith is believing in God’s promises and that His works are always good for those who love Him.

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:29 NKJV

When people have faith in God, they know without a doubt that He will always keep His promises, He will always protect them, and He will never leave them.

Each day people of faith have to make choices in this world- usually doing so based on their unseen reality of their eternity in heaven.

People of faith preserver- despite pain, hardship, and persecution, because they know that God is with them through it all.

People claim to believe in God all the time- but do they really know who He is?

To know God intimately- faith is required. There must be a willingness to believe through the unseen that God exists and that His rewards are certain.

When having faith people discover how to unlock the power of having full trust in God and relying solely on Him. The power of salvation- through a personal relationship with Him.

Do you ‘believe in God’ or do you know God through a personal relationship with Him?

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I want to thank you for this beautiful day and for Your message on faith. Lord, I confess sometimes it is easy to lose sight of my faith because of the burdensome and painful circumstances that can arise on any given day. Lord I pray that my faith would be increased, that we would keep our eyes on You and Your promises. Remind us Lord that seeing is not believing but believing is seeing. I pray each person would want to come to know You and learn about Your unfailing love and promises kept. I pray that You would increase thee faith of each person reading this in the mighty name of Jesus I pray.

Amen

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Daily Devo- Faith Tested

The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.

Psalm 3:18 NKJV

The Bible tells us that in the world we will have tribulations- that trials are inevitable. Everyone experiences trials and pain throughout their life. It’s part of life and a consequence of sin being introduced into the world. Believer and Non-Believers alike will all have pressing times.

The difference among people going through trials are the way we perceive them.

Believers often look at their trials in a different light. When we are going through a trial in life we know we can rest assured knowing that the Lord is near to the broken hearted. Just as Psalm 3:18 tell us.

Furthermore, the Bible also tells us that we can rejoice in our trials- knowing that with trials comes spiritual growth. Our faith will be tested- there are countless stories through-out the Bible that show the various trials and testing of faith.

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.

James 1:2-4 NKJV

In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

1 Peter 1:6-7 NKJV

You can see in the above scriptures that going through trials allows us to grow and obtain practical knowledge of who God is and what He is capable of doing in our life. Our perspective on the trials we face makes all the difference on the outcome and how we deal with the situation.

I personally use to have a problem with perceiving trials in a negative light. I often felt as if I must have done something wrong to deserve going through such painful experiences. When a trial would strike it came with a ‘here we go again’ or a ‘why is it always me’ attitude. This is destructive.

As I studied the Bible, I began to learn that it was my perception and destructive attitude that was making my trials far worse than they should have been. Trials are hard to go through but they do not have to result in our spiritual destruction.

Learning that trials were common and even those in the Bible were bombarded with them- gave me peace to know it isn’t ‘Just Me’. Learning that God is near to the broken hearted and that we should expect trials through-out life in order to grow spiritually gave me the peace of mind that I can and will get through any trial life throws at me.

If God is for me than who can be against me?

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 8:31 NKJV

Find joy and comfort when you find yourself in trials. Knowing that God is near- He fights for you- and it will produce spiritual growth.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

I thank you Lord for this day- for Your message on trials- and for using me as a vessel to spread Your word. I thank you for Your instruction on the testing of our faith and the knowledge of the growth it brings within us. I pray that each person who reads this will have clarity and understanding of what Your words says. I pray that they would find joy in You during their trials and seek Your wisdom and clarity as they go through them. I pray that the hearts of the lost would be open to Your truth- that they would have an undeniable experience with You. I pray Your love and presence surround each of us- protect us Lord from the schemes of Satan- and bless each person abundantly in Jesus mighty name I pray

Amen

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Daily Devo’s Coming Soon!

Here we are in 2020, life is certainly anything but “normal”. There is a world pandemic known as the coronavirus or Covid-19 happening, there are civil rights movements for “Black Lives Matter” and the LQBTQ Community Pride, there is rioting and violence through-out the streets all across America, some are protesting to defund the police, and we have a never seen before divide in America over the upcoming election, the good and evil in the world surrounding us is butting heads. Good being called evil and evil consider good and acceptable.

With all of the misconstrued ideas and information, I thought going back to the basics of Spiritual Life was necessary. It seems as if we get wrapped up in the world around us and are hanging on every word from the media and we neglect to look for the answers in the Bible, to recognize the bigger picture, and learn to look within ourselves.

Let’s take a look at what has lead us up to the current situations in the world today.

In order to do this. we must start at the beginning, which is why I have decided to do daily devotional’s– a short reading each day to help you grow in understanding and truth.

The core of the Christian faith is belief that one God revealed Himself in the flesh, as Jesus Christ and throughout the Bible- that He and His word are alive today.

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Lord God, I thank You for Your guidance and mercy over my life. I thank You for using me to help spread Your truth and love. I pray You prepare the hearts of every person who reads the daily devotionals and other articles on this blog. God open their heart and minds to Your truth. Use me, oh Lord and help me to spread Your word in truth and a way that is understanding to all. God, I thank You for all You do and all You are. I pray You will protect us all in the uncertain days ahead. Lord, we trust in You alone and take refuge beneath Your wings. I thank You for being a forgiving and gracious God, in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

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Faith while you wait

Keeping faith while you wait is extremely difficult when referring to waiting on God’s timing. We have to remember in our impatience that His timing is perfect– never early and never late. This means when you are praying and asking God for something; regardless if it is materialistic or spiritual, God is not going to give us something that we are not ready for.

If what we are requesting from Him is going to cause us more harm or heartache, God is not going to give that something to us. God knows the desires of our heart and even though we may think we know what we want or need God always knows better. God’s plan is to help us not to hurt us, to give us hope and a future.

Let’s be honest– No one wants to wait but we all have to do it.

According to a Timex survey, Americans wait:

  • on average of 20 minutes a day for the bus or train
  • 32 minutes whenever they visit a doctor
  • 28 minutes in security lines whenever they travel
  • 21 minutes for a significant other to get ready to go out
  • 13 hours annually waiting on hold for a customer service
  • 38 hours each year waiting in traffic
  • those living in Big cities wait in traffic more than 50 hours annually

= about 37 billion hours each year waiting in line somewhere
Human beings spend approximately 6 months of their lives waiting in line for things, it means like 3 days a year of queueing up. The average person spends about 43 days on hold with automated customer service in one lifetime. Those who take the bus will wait about 27 days of their lives waiting around on the platform or at the bus stop. (view the full article here)

Waiting is going to happen weather we like it or not. The sooner we accept it and learn to embrace the wait while we keep faith, the happier we will be. It could be waiting in traffic, at a restaurant or for an answered prayer from God, regardless prepare to wait.

Let’s look at one of the examples above, waiting at a doctor office. When we have to wait to be seen and feel as if it is taking too long, we don’t try to rush the doctor or convince other patients to leave. Although we may be a bit frustrated, we wait. We have faith that when it is time, a nurse will come to get us.

If we do not try to rush the day to day things – why do we try to rush God’s hand?

As you read per the timex survey waiting is inevitable, so why not learn to have faith while you wait in all things?

Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

We have faith that even though we have to wait in traffic we will eventually get home. We have faith when we flip the switch in our home the light comes on. We have faith that we will work and at the end of the pay period we will receive a check. These all come very naturally for us– we don’t often wonder if things will “work out” in the above day to day scenarios, we just have faith and know that they will. This is the kind of faith we need to have in God and His promises.

When God tells us to wait– there is always a reason– even if we never get to know it. If we would have faith in God during our “Biggest Storms”– as we do in the examples given– we would be able to live a much more peaceful, enjoyable life. Not spending our days worrying about things we can not change nor prevent. Instead spend them embracing the journey knowing God is by our side and already has everything worked out for our good– we only need to trust in Him.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Turn your worry into worship, your fear and fearless, and have faith while you wait! God’s got you!

We are often tired, worried, and purely exhausted during the most trying times in our life– but when you put your faith into God and allow Him FULL CONTROL over your life we will not grow weary.

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Having faith while you wait doesn’t mean you are doing nothing. In fact, you are actively praying, trusting, and having faith that God has a good plan and you do not have to worry.


Want more? Check out these bible studies designed to deepen your faith and grow your relationship with God.