The phrase from the Bible that comes to my mind the most often is from James 1:2, “count it all joy.”
I think I take it out of context more often than not, since James was writing to persecuted Christians, and my life is pretty easy here in the States. But it reminds me of where my focus is. Where my focus should be.
James says count it all joy, because all these trials we go through are making us more like Christ, and as Christ followers, that should be our goal. But the thing I notice most about this is that James doesn’t say “feel joy.” He says to count it as joy. We can feel upset about something, yet note that we are becoming more like Christ so it is ultimately good. We don’t have to manufacture fake feelings to count it all joy.
Spend 5-10 minutes journaling about what it looks like for you to count it all joy. There are no right answers, as this will look different for everyone.
Next time you are going through something hard,...
Here in Middle Georgia, everything is personalized with a monogram. Purses, cars, earrings, luggage, notebooks, cups, everything. You can even buy the machines that cut out the vinyl that personalize everything. We have taken it to a whole new level.
So how come, when we read God’s Word to us, we feel like it’s not personal? We feel like it isn’t relevant to our lives. But that isn’t the case. The Bible is living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and is relevant to our lives today!
So I challenge you today. Take out your journal, and write out Ephesians 3:14-21 and personalize it. Where it says “you” write your name. Write it like it were a prayer from Paul, specifically for you.
How would your life be different if you took the Bible as a Word for you? Would your life change? Would you read it more, and do what it says (James 1:22).
Over the past month, I have been so overwhelmed with the to-do lists and the craziness. I could blame this on the final days of school, and the transition to summer, but y’all, I don’t even have kids to blame it on!
But one thing that I have found always calms me down is gratitude. Spending time acknowledging the gifts I have been given, and giving thanks to the One who gives them.
So I challenge you today to take 10 minutes and sit down with your journal. Take the first 5 minutes and list as many things as you can think of that you are thankful for. Then take the next 5 minutes and thank God for those things. Take note and see if your whole spirit is calmer afterwards. I would bet it is.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his faithful love endures forever.” -Psalm 107:1
Sometimes we can become so familiar with passages of Scripture that talk about characteristics of God, that we can become numbed to the facts about who God is. I don’t want to be numb. I want to stand in awe of who He is.
Today’s journal prompt is from Psalm 103. I want you to open your Bible, and read that Psalm. Then make a list of every single thing that Psalm says about God.
Example: His name is holy. He forgives my sins. He heals diseases. He redeems my life. He crowns me with faithful love. He crowns me with compassion.
This is just the first 4 verses. There is so much to stand in awe of our God about in Psalm 103.
Go make your list. Then thank God for who He is.
Today is the day between Good Friday, and Easter. It’s the messy middle. Jesus is dead. Sin has appeared to conquer. But we know tomorrow will sing a different song. Maybe in life, you are in a messy middle. Maybe you can’t quite sing the song of hope while in the darkness.
I hope Psalm 34:18 can sing a little hope for you.
The Lord is near the brokenhearted;
He saves those crushed in spirit.
Today, try to carve out a little time with your journal and coffee. Write about what this verse means to you.
Maybe inside this messy middle, you want to feel God near to your broken heart.
Maybe you are just on the other side of that mess, and looking back at how God was there all along.
Maybe you are still searching, wondering about where God is in all of this.
Write in your journal like you are writing to God. Nothing is off limits. I promise He is big enough to handle whatever is on your heart.
Do you ever feel like you just don’t have the words to pray? That is when I like to have Scripture help me in my prayers. The Psalms are full of prayers that people have prayed, and I use their words, and then rewrite them in my own words.
What verses stood out to you?
What parts did you relate to?
What parts did you not relate to?
What did you learn about God?
Pick one of these questions (or all of them, I am not the boss of you) and write about it for 5-10 minutes.