Jesus Always

When the way just ahead of you seems too difficult, turn to Me and say: “I can’t, but we (You and I together) can.” Acknowledging your inability to handle things on your own is a healthy dose of reality. However, this is only one part of the equation, because a sense of inadequacy by itself can be immobilizing. The most important part of the equation is recognizing My abiding Presence with you and My desire to help you.

Pour out your heart to Me. Ask Me to carry your burdens and show you the way forward. Don’t waste energy worrying about things that are beyond your control. Instead, use that energy to connect with Me. Seek My Face continually. Be ready to follow wherever I lead, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go. 

Dare to see your inadequacy as a door to My Presence. View your journey as an adventure that you share with Me. Remain in close communication with Me, enjoying My company as we journey together.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
~ Philippians 4:13 [NKJV]

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
~ Psalm 62:8 

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.
~ Psalm 105:4 [NASB]

Jesus Lives

Your relationship with Me is saturated in grace. Therefore, nothing you do or don’t do can separate you from My Presence. When you are keenly aware of having failed Me, feelings of guilt and fear will conspire to convince you that you have lost My Love. Your sense of unworthiness will tempt you to punish yourself for your sins. But remember: I have clothed you with garments of salvation—arrayed you in My own righteousness. Your salvation is all about Me and what I have done to rescue you. Let me help you feel more secure in My Love.

At times of deep regret, you need to grasp onto grace for dear life. It is utterly impossible for Me to stop loving you. Your relationship with Me is so saturated in grace that the two are forever inseparable. Consider the following: Meat that has been marinated cannot become unmarinated. The longer it soaks, the deeper the marinade penetrates, flavoring and tenderizing the meat. You have been soaking in grace ever since you trusted Me as Savior. The longer you “marinate,” the more fully My grace permeates our relationship. It is impossible for you to become un-graced!

I want you to rest in the perfection of your salvation. My glorious grace makes you holy and blameless in My sight. So, nothing you do or fail to do could ever separate you from My Love.

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 [NKJV]

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness. 
~ Isaiah 61:10

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
~ Ephesians 1:4–6 

Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
~ Romans 8:39

Jesus Calling

I, THE CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE, am with you and for you. What more could you need? When you feel some lack, it is because you are not connecting with Me at a deep level. I offer abundant Life; your part is to trust Me, refusing to worry about anything.

It is not so much adverse events that make you anxious as it is your thoughts about those events. Your mind engages in efforts to take control of a situation, to bring about the result you desire. Your thoughts close in on the problem like ravenous wolves. Determined to make things go your way, you forget that I am in charge of your life. The only remedy is to switch your focus from the problem to My Presence. Stop all your striving, and watch to see what I will do. I am the Lord! 
[ROMANS 8:31–32; MICAH 7:7; 1 CORINTHIANS 12:3]

YOU ARE ACCUSTOMED TO WORRY-THOUGHTS roaming freely in your brain, so you must train yourself to bring all your cares into My Presence. Remember that you are never alone in your struggles: I am always aware of you and your circumstances. I can help you because I have all authority in heaven and on earth.

Let [God] have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you. 
~ 1 PETER 5:7 [TLB]

Jesus came and spoke to [the disciples], saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” 
MATTHEW 28:18 [NKJV]

Before You Turn Out the Light:
If your mind and heart have wandered today, give yourself grace, and return to Me now.

Dear Jesus

If you try to carry tomorrow’s trouble today, you will stagger under the load and eventually fall flat. You must discipline yourself to live within the boundaries of today.

Dear Jesus,

This discipline is extremely difficult for me, but it is one I strongly desire to master. My focus slips from today into tomorrow with the greatest of ease. I’m beginning to realize this is a form of escapism. By focusing on tomorrow’s problems, I avoid facing today’s. However, this type of escapism is extremely unpleasant, since worry is so painful. Also, it’s a way I sabotage myself: The more I worry about tomorrow, the less I can accomplish today.

Beloved, I agree with your self-analysis, but there is more. Focusing on tomorrow’s trouble is not only escapist, it is also irresponsible. Each day of your life is a precious gift from Me. When you squander My gift, I am displeased. Of course, you cannot avoid thinking about tomorrow altogether. That, too, would be irresponsible. The real question is, where do you live most of the time—in the present or in the future?

I see all your thoughts, so I know how many of them are needlessly future-oriented. If you want to break this deeply ingrained habit, you will need to monitor your thinking relentlessly. It is helpful to pay attention to your feelings; they can give you clues that your thinking is off course. When your present surroundings are pleasant yet you start feeling some negative emotion, it’s important to capture your thoughts and examine them. Most of the time you will discover you’ve been worrying about some future event. Offer that concern up to Me, asking Me to either take care of the matter Myself or help you deal with it later. Then, rejoice in Me: your Savior and Sovereign Lord. I enable you to go on the heights—transcending your trouble (Habakkuk 3:19)!

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
~ Matthew 6:34

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
~ 2 Corinthians 10:5

Jesus Always

As you seek Me, I encourage you to rejoice and be glad in Me. Take time to praise Me in psalms and song. Think about who I am: I dwell in splendor, majesty, and beauty. Then remember how I left the Glory of heaven and came into the world—so I could bring you into My kingdom of everlasting Life and Light. All of this helps you to be joyful in Me, your Savior. This Joy ushers you further into My holy Presence, helping you draw nearer to Me. And this nearness gives you even more reason to rejoice!

Being joyful blesses not only you but other people. Your family and friends will benefit from your gladness, which can rub off on them. You can also influence many beyond your inner circle. When My followers are joyful, unbelievers are more likely to be drawn to Me. Joy shines in stark contrast to your ever-darkening world, and some people will ask you about it. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you the reason for your hope.

But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who love your salvation always say, “Let God be exalted!”
~ Psalm 70:4

Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
~ Psalm 96:6 [ESV]

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior.
~ Habakkuk 3:18

But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.
~ 1 Peter 3:15

Jesus Lives

Worry

The ultimate protection against sinking during life’s storms is developing your friendship with Me. You waste a lot of time, however, worrying about storms you can see forming along the horizon of your life. In the past many of the storms you had anticipated veered off in another direction, never reaching you. Although some of them did actually hit, usually they had lost much of their power by the time they got to you. I urge you to switch your focus from difficulties that may come your way to My Presence, which is always with you.

You will never find security by trying to anticipate all the storms that may reach you someday. Remember that I control the atmosphere of your life. Trust Me by relaxing and releasing your concerns into My capable care. It saddens Me to see you obsessing about possible problems rather than bringing these matters to Me. When you find yourself anxiously scanning the horizon of your life, use that as a reminder to seek My Face. You will not find Me off in the distance. I am here beside you, nearer than you dare believe.

Instead of wasting time worrying, devote that time to building close friendship with Me. Talk with Me about everything that concerns you—your pleasures as well as your problems. I am interested in everything that matters to you because I am your perpetual Lover. Remember that I am holding you by your right hand. I guide you with My own counsel, based on eternal wisdom; so there’s no need to worry about the future. When the time comes, I will personally take you into Glory. For now just live near Me. My friendship is your best refuge in the storms of life.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. 
~ 1 Chronicles 16:11 

“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” 
~ Jeremiah 31:3 

Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. . . . But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds. 
~ Psalm 73:23–24, 28

Jesus Calling

THANK ME IN THE MIDST of the crucible. When things seem all wrong, look for growth opportunities. Especially look for areas where you need to let go, leaving your cares in My able hands. Do you trust Me to orchestrate your life events as I choose, or are you still trying to make things go according to your will? If you keep trying to carry out your intentions while I am leading you in another direction, you deify your desires. 

Be on the lookout for what I am doing in your life. Worship Me by living close to Me, thanking Me in all circumstances. 

1 PETER 5:6–7; PSALM 62:8; 1 THESSALONIANS 5:18