Category Archives: Turning Point

Turning Point; David Jeremiah – The Best From Psalm 23: The House of the Lord

And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Psalm 23:6

 Recommended Reading: Jeremiah 23:3-6

As we enter 2023 with Psalm 23, notice how it ends in the house of the Lord. Jesus used this image in John 14:2, saying, “In My Father’s house are many mansions.… I go to prepare a place for you.”

In his book on Psalm 23, David Roper said, “It’s not that heaven is somewhat like home. It is home. Our earthly homes are mere signs or reflections—primitive symbols of warmth, love, togetherness, and familiarity. The ultimate reality is our Father’s house—where there is a father who never dies, who makes a home for the lonely, who treats us like family, where real love awaits us.”[1]

The final two chapters of the Bible give us a vivid flyover of our heavenly home. In Revelation 21 and 22, we read about a new planet and a vast city. Those who know Christ as their Shepherd have a future beyond belief.

Make sure you’re among that number. Be certain the Lord alone is your Shepherd!

Everything goes wrong here; nothing will go wrong there. Nothing will be lost; nothing will be missing; nothing will fall apart or go down the drain. Heaven is God’s answer to Murphy’s Law.
David Roper

[1] David Roper, Psalm 23 (Grand Rapids, MI: Our Daily Bread Publishing, 2019).

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Compelled and Propelled

For the love of Christ compels us.
2 Corinthians 5:14

 Recommended Reading: 2 Corinthians 5:12-15

When someone asked missionary David Livingstone why he had forsaken a life of ease to explore Africa and share the Gospel, he replied, “The love of Christ compels me.” In the museum dedicated to him in his hometown of Blantyre, Scotland, visitors can still see those words emblazed by his name.

God so loved the world that He sent Jesus. And Jesus so loved the world that He sends us. He said, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). We often grow weary of preparing to teach the church preschool class or teach the small group that meets every Wednesday night. Perhaps we wonder if our financial support for missions does any good.

Why don’t we stop? One reason! The same love that compelled Christ to leave heaven and propelled Him to earth also compels and propels us. Because of God’s love for us, we are able to love others. By loving others as God loves us, we can point them to Christ and God’s marvelous gift of salvation.

Ask God for a fresh dose of His compelling love!

God had an only Son, and He was a missionary and physician. A poor, poor imitation of Him I am, or wish to be.
David Livingstone

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – The Shattered Mirror

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

 Recommended Reading: Romans 5:6-8

Dustin Stradley woke up on a jailhouse floor in an orange jumpsuit—with no idea how he had gotten there. His drinking was out of control. When he was released on bail, he went home and looked in the mirror. “I was disgusted with what I saw. And so, I…just punched the mirror and shattered the mirror and fell down and just started bawling, crying.”

Dustin’s dad gave him a Bible with a note saying, “This is God’s love letter,” and Dustin eventually gave his heart to Christ. “I realized God loved me, period. Even though I did all these things, God loved me exactly like I am. And He wants to have a relationship with me now.” [1]

God made us in His image, but we’ve all broken the mirror by our sins, addictions, and flaws. But God can restore us! His love for us enables us to love Him in return.

Choose to love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength today.

God met me right there, and He’s doing the same thing for all of us. It’s not about earning more of God’s love. He loves you right now, exactly like you are.
Dustin Stradley

[1] Ed Heath, “God Loved Me First,” The 700 Club.

 Read-Thru-the-Bible: Exodus 35 – 37

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – No Outcasts

Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the Lord speak, saying, “The Lord has utterly separated me from His people”; nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.” For thus says the Lord.
Isaiah 56:3-4

 Recommended Reading: Isaiah 56:1-8

Isaiah 56 is an unusual passage, written to two groups of outcasts. The first were foreigners. The others were Jewish males who had been mutilated by the Babylonian invaders. They were eunuchs. Sometimes we, too, feel like outcasts or suffer the loss of something the world has taken from us.

In Isaiah 56, the Lord invited foreigners and eunuchs to join themselves to Him, to serve Him, and to love His Name (verse 6). He promised, “Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer” (verse 7).

In Christ, there are no castaways; in heaven there are no outcasts. We’re included in the grace of Christ. Rejoice today knowing that we are no longer outcasts!

The gospel brings me explosive news: my search for approval is over. In Christ I already have all the approval I need.
Dave Harvey

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Heavenly Love

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.
Revelation 21:4

 Recommended Reading: John 14:1-3

A toddler is playing in the yard while his mother watches from the nearby porch when the toddler stumbles and falls hard on the ground. A split second later comes the predictable wail, the anguish of pain. That signals two things—the mother running toward the toddler and the child running toward the mother. There is the iconic scene: The mother’s love poured out like balm on her child’s fear and confusion as they meet.

In a way, our whole life is destined for the same eternal joining—where our lifetime of anguish meets the permanent and loving presence of God. King Solomon wrote that God has put eternity in our heart (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Whether we know it or not, the longing of our heart is to find love, comfort, and security in the presence of God. And in heaven we shall; the result of our faithful union with Christ is no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain.

The final consummation of God’s love for us is heaven, the eternal dwelling place He has prepared for us (Revelation 21:1-4). Thank Him today for the joy that awaits us in heaven.

I want to know one thing: the way to heaven.
John Wesley

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Powerful Love

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39

 Recommended Reading: John 10:27-30

A recurring plot of romance movies is a couple separated after high school or college who are then unexpectedly reunited years later. Predictably, their love is rekindled, and their romance is restored.

What the pair discovers is that nothing had dampened their original love. Nothing—not time nor distance nor careers—had managed to separate them when it came to love. This theme is biblical at its core. In Romans 8:35, Paul asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” And in verse 39 he concludes, “[Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In verses 35-38 he provides a list of more than fifteen circumstances and events which might seem powerful enough to separate us from God’s love. But nothing is as powerful as the love of God.

Don’t ever think there is something that can come between you and God. Nothing is stronger than His love.

None walk so evenly with God as they that are assured of the love of God.
Thomas Manton

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – The Best From Psalm 23: Anointed With Oil

You anoint my head with oil.
Psalm 23:5

 Recommended Reading: John 10:7-16

Over a hundred years ago, William Evans wrote a little book about Psalm 23, in which he said: “A shepherd must be a physician also. In the belt of the shepherd, medicines are always carried. Sheep are very susceptible to sicknesses of many kinds…. Ofttimes at night as the sheep passed into the fold, the shepherd’s knowing eye would detect that one or another of them was sick and feverish…. He would take the feverish sheep and… anoint the bruise with mollifying ointment.”[1]

Olive oil was the shepherd’s great secret. He used it for making and dipping bread, for fuel for his lamp, as a lotion, and as an ointment for his own wounds and those of his sheep. A few drops of the lubricating fluid would relieve the hurt of a cut or bruise.

The Bible compares the Holy Spirit to oil. The Good Shepherd anoints us with this precious oil, and the Spirit’s invisible ministry to us gives us nourishment, brings a radiance to our face like a lotion, and heals our wounds.

Rely on the Spirit’s ministering work today.

The metaphor of oil—the visible and tangible liquid poured upon and absorbed by a human being—tells the invisible presence and action of the Holy Spirit.
John McKinley

[1] William Evans, The Shepherd Psalm: A Meditation (Glasgow: Good Press, 2021).

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Inexhaustible!

We love Him because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19

 Recommended Reading: 1 John 4:12-19

Charles Spurgeon preached on this verse—1 John 4:19—many times. He said: “I hope to preach from it a good many more times… for it is one of those inexhaustible wells into which you may let down the bucket every morning, and always pull it up full. It is a mine with a good many seams of the richest ore. You may think that you have dug all its treasures out, but you have only to sink a new shaft, to find that there is another seam just as rich as the former one; and when you have brought all that wealth to the surface—and that may take your whole lifetime—someone else may… open up a fresh vein.”[1]

We should take this verse into our heart today! Only eight words, yet the wealth of heaven is contained in the syllables! Say it aloud. Ponder it. Imagine it. Believe it. Rest on your pillow tonight with this simple sentence ushering you to sleep.

No matter what we face in life, God will always love us. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from His love!

The love of God to his people is omnipotent; there is no force in nature that can for a single moment be compared with it.
Charles Spurgeon

[1] Charles Spurgeon, “The Secret of Love to God,” Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit Volume 47, August 15, 1880.

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – One for the Road

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
1 Corinthians 6:19

 Recommended Reading: 1 Corinthians 6:12-20

Major Ian Thomas, a British expositor, described a foolish man who was trying to push his car when it was filled with gasoline and capable of running on its own. He said that’s how many people try to live the Christian life—in their own strength and by their own efforts. But only Christ can live a life of godliness. He wants to do it through us by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit.[1]

As we walk in the Spirit, we become more and more like Jesus because He is controlling more and more of us.

That perspective adjusts the way we look at difficulty. The devil seeks to harm us, but God uses every peril and problem to develop a more disciplined, Christlike, Christ-filled, Christ-empowered life. What a blessing to have a Heavenly Father who desires us to be more like Him! As we walk with Him, let’s thank Him for the daily work of the Spirit in our life.

The Christian life is nothing less than the life which He lived then… lived now by Him in you!
Ian Thomas

[1] Major W. Ian Thomas, The Indwelling Life of Christ (Colorado Springs, CO: Multnomah Books, 2006), 53-55.

 Read-Thru-the-Bible: Exodus 11 – 13

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Take It to Heart

My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves.
Hebrews 12:5-6, NIV

 Recommended Reading: Hebrews 12:3-11

God provides the discipline we need to become mature members of His family. This isn’t an easy teaching to understand. Sometimes we wonder if God is disciplining us whenever we get sick. If we suffer a misfortune, is it because we’ve committed a certain sin? Not necessarily. It’s often hard to know when a particular hardship constitutes divine chastening.

Often God whispers in our heart to tell us He is correcting us. Our conscience whispers, “The Lord is teaching you a lesson.” If so, take it to heart. He’s doing it out of love.

In a broader way, all the hardships of life are the means by which we develop the discipline of discipleship. There are lessons in every circumstance, and maturity can be gained in every hardship. Just like earthly fathers, our Heavenly Father demonstrates His love for us through discipline. Though we don’t like discipline, let’s learn to be thankful for this demonstration of God’s love in our life.

If God didn’t discipline His children He would be a negligent father. He would be displaying cruel disinterest if He were indifferent to whether His children obeyed or not.
Erwin Lutzer

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Grace, Not Works

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9

 Recommended Reading: 2 Timothy 1:9

Almost every reward or compensation in this life is reckoned on the basis of works: final scores in sports, annual sales numbers, academic grades, and promotions in the business world. Occasionally we encounter grace in the secular world, but not nearly as often as being rewarded for works.

Grace was not unknown in the Old Testament—it is mentioned 18 times—but it became a major theme in the New Testament (119 mentions). Thus, it was a surprising idea to both Jews and Gentiles alike when Paul—the apostle of grace—taught that we are not saved by our works but by grace alone: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law” (Romans 3:28). And what a relief! For we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). If our salvation were based on our works, who could be saved?

If you fall, fail, or forget today, thank God for His grace. Confess your failing and continue to walk in His unmerited favor (1 John 1:9). 

Christian doctrine is grace, and ethics is gratitude. 
J. I. Packer

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Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Never Alone

If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 139:9-10

 Recommended Reading: Psalm 139:7-12

Though the laws of physics are much more complicated, for practical purposes we can say that two physical objects cannot occupy the same physical space at the same time. Conversely, a single physical object cannot occupy two different physical spaces at the same time. But the Bible has a different take on these general laws.

Theologians say God is omnipresent—He is everywhere at the same time. So He can be “here” and “there.” That means we are never separated from the presence of God. Wherever we are, God is also there. The psalmist David wrote extensively about God’s omnipresence in Psalm 139:1-18. He concluded by asking God to search and know his “anxious thoughts” (verse 23, NASB). God could know David’s anxieties because He was always with David. And He is also with you—so He knows your “anxious thoughts” as well.

God is love, so you are never separated from God’s love, regardless of where you are or how you feel.

Though our feelings come and go, [God’s] love for us does not.
C. S. Lewis

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Father Figures: Job

 

So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify [his children], and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.
Job 1:5

Recommended Reading: Job 42:7-17

There is no end of worrying by parents on behalf of their children—especially after they have left home and are living their own adult lives. Parenting never ends. In spite of the many ways to communicate electronically, parents no longer see their children daily. Parents want to know how their children are doing, especially how they are doing spiritually.

The best way for parents to safeguard their children’s lives no matter where they are is by intercessory prayer. The father and patriarch, Job, maintained a steady practice of intercession on behalf of his seven sons and three daughters. He offered sacrifices and prayers for them in case they had stumbled and sinned against God (Job 1:1-5). Just as Jesus Christ intercedes for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 7:25), fathers and mothers can intercede for their children.

If you have children and grandchildren, let intercessory prayer be your lifeline to heaven on their behalf.

We are never more like Christ than in prayers of intercession. 
Austin Phelps

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Psalms 104 – 111

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – For What Will It Profit a Man…

For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?
Mark 8:36

Two brothers in Wichita, Kansas, won the lottery, netting $75,000. They celebrated by purchasing narcotics. While using a butane lighter with their drugs, the vapors reached the pilot light of their furnace, causing an explosion that destroyed their house. One of the brothers was rushed to the hospital, and the other to jail. In the literal flash of a moment, the luckiest moment of their lives became a nightmare.

Recommended Reading: Mark 8:34-38

Millions of people feel they have won life’s lottery. They’ve accumulated homes and clothes and vehicles and sufficient financial reserves to pay their bills and ensure their futures. Some have become rich.

But sooner or later, it will all disappear in the flash of a moment, for without Christ there’s no hope of eternal wealth or everlasting life. The Lord provides for the needs of His children, and He gives us the wisdom to be wise stewards over what He entrusts to us. Our long-term well-being is found exclusively in God’s mercy toward us in Christ Jesus, which is why in all things He must be preeminent.

When I put God first, God takes care of me and energizes me to do what really needs to be done.
David Jeremiah

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Joshua 18 – 22

 

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Four Burning Questions—If God Is for Us…

 

If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Some days we awaken to sunny skies. Other days are darker, and we’re gripped by pain. Whether the pain is physical or emotional, it can make us question God’s love and care for us.

Recommended Reading: Romans 8:31-39

But God counters our questions with some of His own—rhetorical questions—to remind us of His active involvement in our care. We find glorious sets of questions at the end of Job, in Isaiah 40, and scattered throughout the Lord’s ministry. But few passages exceed the interrogation of Romans 8, as Paul draws to a close in his theological instruction about justification by grace through faith.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?… How shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect … Who is he who condemns?… Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?

If your spirits are low today, answer the questions God sets forth. Who can be against you? No one! What can separate you from His love? Nothing!

God’s burning questions have glowing answers that bring heavenly sunshine.

When Jesus shows His smiling face, there is sunshine in my soul.
Eliza Hewitt

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Deuteronomy 30 – 34

 

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – What Does Love Do? Love Waits!

 

Love suffers long.
1 Corinthians 13:4

Most adults are generally patient with infants or people with physical or mental limitations. That is, people who “just can’t help it.” And we should be. Patience is a godly virtue that the more capable can reasonably be expected to exercise toward the less capable.

Recommended Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:14

But those folks make up a small minority of the people in our lives. Most of the people in our lives are just like us—relatively fit and capable. And it is those people with whom we find ourselves being impatient. We think, “They should know better; they’re taking advantage of our good nature”—all of which could be true. But instead of justifying our impatience, we should follow the apostle Paul’s words: “Be patient with all” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). He mentions three kinds of people before that exhortation: the unruly, the fainthearted, and the weak. Then he sums up by essentially saying, “be patient with all”—the old, young, fit, disabled, responsible, irresponsible. Patience is required toward all.

Think of those in your life who consistently try your patience. Ask God for the fruit of His Spirit of love to be manifested in patience toward all.

God’s love for poor sinners is very wonderful, but God’s patience with ill-natured saints is a deeper mystery. 
Henry Drummond

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Numbers 7 – 10

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Nameless Mothers in the Bible: Elisha and the Widow

Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.
2 Kings 4:2

The Bible tells us much about her, but not her name. She was the widow of a student in Elisha’s School of the Prophets, and her husband’s death left her with two boys and no money. Her finances became so desperate she confided in Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the LORD. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves” (2 Kings 4:1).

Recommended Reading: 2 Kings 4:1-7

Elisha asked if she had anything left in the pantry, and she came up with a little bottle of olive oil. Under his instructions, she began pouring from that bottle, and the oil flowed and flowed, filling every pot, pan, jar, and vessel she could find. Selling the oil, she repaid her creditor and had money left over to raise her sons.

Sometimes as mothers or fathers, we cannot solve all the problems, meet the needs, or find the way. Sometimes as workers and leaders, our resources are easily depleted. Sometimes as Christians, we feel empty.

God knows how to fill empty vessels. When our hearts cry out to Him, He pours out the oil of joy without measure. If you’re empty, let Him fill you today with His Holy Spirit!

We have within us all that we need in the person of the Holy Spirit, represented by the little pot of oil.
Jill Briscoe

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Job 1 – 8

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Qualified to Love: I (Do) Love You . . . Unconditionally

[Jesus] said to [Peter] again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” [Peter] said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” [Jesus] said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

John 21:16

How would you feel about a good friend denying any knowledge of you? We know that’s what happened when Peter denied knowing Jesus. As a disciple, Peter was outspoken and impulsive. Perhaps a weakness like his was a wake-up call.

Recommended Reading: Luke 22:54-62

But how does one recover from such a failure? After having been given the keys to the kingdom of God and declared to be the foundation of Christ’s Church, how does one regain favor after failure? (Matthew 16:17-20) Favor is the word—favor as in grace. Grace is the unmerited (unconditional) favor of God, which is what Jesus showed to Peter after His crucifixion and resurrection. When Jesus met with Peter after the Resurrection, He didn’t say, “Peter, you can continue to serve Me if you promise never to deny Me again.” He simply recommissioned Peter with no strings attached. Jesus loved Peter unconditionally in spite of his failure.

That’s how God loves you today—unconditionally, no strings attached. Rest in His grace and love today.

Christianity does not think of man finally submitting to the power of God; it thinks of him as finally surrendering to the love of God.

William Barclay

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Deuteronomy 12 – 19

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – New Year’s Resolutions – Resolve to Complain Less

Then the whole congregation of the children of Israel complained against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.

Exodus 16:2

John Killinger told of a baseball manager who grew disgusted with his center fielder, threw him out of the game, and took the position himself. The first time a ball came toward him, it took a hop and hit him in the mouth. The second ball hit him in the head, and the third flew between his hands and struck his eye. Throwing down his glove, the manager stormed to the dugout and shouted to the center fielder, “You idiot! You’ve got center field so messed up that even I can’t do a thing with it!”1

Recommended Reading: Philippians 2:12-18

How easy to blame our problems on others. That’s essentially what we’re doing whenever we grumble and complain. The Israelites murmured from the time they left Egypt until they arrived in the Promised Land—and they often blamed Moses for their problems.

This year, resolve to practice patience and complain less. Patience comes from trusting God with the things about which we want to complain. A good new year’s resolution comes from Philippians 2:14-15: “Do all things without complaining and disputing…children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.”

A person who has a negative attitude toward himself will also be quite critical of others.

Paul Meier

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Exodus 17 – 23

“Let’s Illustrate,” Leadership Journal, Fall, 1989, 51.

 

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Today’s Turning Point with David Jeremiah – Resolve to Worry Less

Do not fret—it only causes harm.

Psalm 37:8b

Motivational writer Dale Carnegie asked Captain Eddie Rickenbacker what was the biggest lesson he learned from 21 days in a lifeboat, hopelessly adrift in the Pacific. Rickenbacker said, “The biggest lesson I learned from the experience was that if you have all the fresh water you want to drink and all the food you want to eat, you ought never to complain about anything.”1

Recommended Reading: Psalm 37:1-8

The Bible says something similar: “And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Timothy 6:8).

We so easily fret about a thousand things every day, tying ourselves into knots of worry. But we have a heavenly Father who knows our needs, and Psalm 37 says, “Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart… Trust also in Him… Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him…. Do not fret—it only causes harm.”

This year, resolve by God’s grace to worry less, trust Him more, and live with joy and thankfulness for all He gives us.

The habit of looking on the best side of every event is worth more than a thousand pounds a year.

Samuel Johnson

Read-Thru-the-Bible: Genesis 24 – 28

1 Dale Carnegie, How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1948), 116.

 

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