Dear Jesus

The more challenging your day, the more of My Power I place at your disposal. As your day, so shall your strength be.

Dear Jesus,

This is a wonderful, practical promise. My strength seems quite insufficient for the demands I face today. Yet I know Your promises are trustworthy and true. So I look to You for strength sufficient to handle the challenges of this day. 

Beloved, no matter how inadequate you may feel, you can always look to Me for help. You don’t need to go to a special place or assume a certain posture to seek My Face. Nor do you need to use elegant language or otherwise work to win My favor. I always look favorably on you, because I can see in you My own perfect righteousness. I am alive in you, and I know your thoughts better than you do. So a simple glance at Me, made in faith, is enough to connect you to My Power.

You tend to waste energy trying to determine whether your resources are adequate for the day’s demands. How much better to simply acknowledge your inadequacy when you awaken each morning! This frees you to rely on My infinite sufficiency. If you stay in touch with Me throughout the day, I will place enough Power at your disposal to meet your needs as they arise. 

You often run into trouble when you keep checking up on your “power gauge” rather than looking to Me for My provision. This self-assessment can lead to panic, which quickly sends you into a downward spiral. As your mind races, searching for ways to bolster your resources, you become increasingly anxious. Yet as soon as you turn away from self-help and turn toward Me—your ever-present Help—you find that your strength surges: becoming equal to the demands of your day.

Your sandals shall be iron and bronze; as your days, so shall your strength be.
~ Deuteronomy 33:25 [NKJV]

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.

~ Psalm 105:4

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 
~ Psalm 46:1

Dear Jesus

Trust is like a staff you can lean on as you journey uphill with Me. If you trust in Me consistently, the staff will bear as much of your weight as needed.

Dear Jesus, I find this teaching very comforting, since my journey seems to be more uphill than down. I love the idea of having something I can lean on as much as I need: a trust-staff. I confess there are many other things I tend to lean on in tough times, but not one of them is sufficient to bear the full weight of my neediness. Help me turn away from these inadequate supports and turn toward You—through trust.

Beloved, it’s good that you want to turn away from your deficient supports. Not only will they let you down eventually, but they can become idolatrous. I’m delighted that you desire to turn toward Me through trust. If you want your trust-staff to support you adequately, you must lean on Me consistently. Don’t wait till you’re in desperate straits! Turn to Me before the mighty waters of trouble engulf you.

You said that more of your journey is uphill than down. That is as it should be. Ultimately, you are on a highway to heaven. Though there are many ups and downs along the way, the overall gradient is upward. I am in the process of transforming you—preparing you for an eternity of living face to Face with Me. Do not expect easy conditions on such a high-reaching adventure. But do expect Me to support you all the way to heaven. Lean on, trust, and be confident in Me with all your heart and mind!

Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding.
~ Proverbs 3:5

Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you while you may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.
~ Psalm 32:6 

Then they returned . . . strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. 
~ Acts 14:21–22

Dear Jesus

Taste and see that I am good. The more intimately you experience Me, the more convinced you become of My goodness.

Dear Jesus,

I have been taught since early childhood that You are good. However, that teaching did not change me significantly. Eventually I became a Christian, and I tasted Your goodness briefly. Yet I still did not know You very deeply. As a result, when things went badly in my life, I tended to resent Your ways with me. Only when I began investing time in seeking Your Face did I start to know You intimately. Now that I have tasted Your goodness, I want to experience more and more of You

Beloved, your desire to know Me more fully is a delight to My heart. Actually, I have been pursuing you for quite some time. Long before you became a believer, I was working to reveal Myself to you. I placed experiences in your life that exposed your deep need to know Me. I brought you people in whom you could see the Light of My Presence. Even after you trusted Me as Savior I continued to pursue your heart, which was divided between Me and worldly goals. Finally, you began seeking Me with your whole heart, and I rejoiced!

Your wholeheartedness has opened the way for genuine intimacy between us. You have tasted My goodness, and you want more. I have responded to this desire in several ways: I’ve allowed suffering in your life, so that you can learn to trust Me more. Also, I have blessed you with intimate experiences of My Presence—to boost your confidence in My perfection. My goal is for you to become so convinced of My goodness that nothing can shake your trust in Me. Then, your soul will be deeply satisfied—as with the richest of foods.

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
~ Psalm 34:8 [NKJV]

 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” 
~ Jeremiah 29:13 

My soul will be satisfied as with the richest of foods.
~ Psalm 63:5

Dear Jesus

A life lived close to Me will never be dull or predictable. Expect each day to contain surprises!

Dear Jesus,

I seem to have a love-hate relationship with surprises. I enjoy the adrenaline rush that accompanies them; it wakes me up and takes me beyond my ordinary routine. However, there is also a part of me that longs for my life to be predictable. In fact, I usually try to arrange things so as to minimize the possibility of being startled. Nonetheless, I do want to live close to You. If nearness to You and surprises are a package deal, then I definitely choose the package.

Beloved, a life lived close to Me could never be predictable. My ways and thoughts are too high above yours for that to be possible. I will never limit Myself to doing only what you can anticipate and understand. To do so would be to cease being God! So, expect your life to become increasingly surprising as you grow closer to Me. 

I want to help you become more joyful about your unpredictable journey with Me. There is actually much merit in expecting each day to contain surprises. This helps you view an unforeseen event not as something wrong but as something from Me. With this mind-set you are more likely to turn to Me immediately, rather than getting upset. You can ask Me to help you find all the good I have infused into the event. I also stand ready to help you respond appropriately. If you feel unsteady in the wake of a startling situation, simply draw nearer to Me.

As you learn to expect surprises each day, your life will become more exciting. You will discover traces of My vibrant Presence in unusual places. Increasingly, you will find your days bright with Joy, the pleasure of knowing Me more intimately

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
~ Isaiah 55:9 

With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. 
~ Psalm 18:29 

And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.
~ 1 Peter 1:8 [NASB]

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

Dear Jesus

Quiet your mind in My Presence. Then you will be able to hear Me bestowing the resurrection blessing: “Peace be with you.”

Dear Jesus, Quieting my mind is quite a challenge. My thoughts tend to go off in many directions at once. I really want to hear Your benediction of Peace. Teach me how to slow down my thinking, so I can experience Your peaceful Presence more fully.

Beloved, you are already doing the most important thing: communicating with Me about your problem. It is also vital to find a place where you can sit quietly, letting your body relax. It’s much easier to tone down your thinking when your body is still for a time, since mind and body are so intricately connected. As you slow down your breathing, you will find your thoughts becoming more manageable. This makes it possible to focus those thoughts on Me. While you do so, your entire being will become increasingly relaxed.

Ponder the wonder of My Presence with you. Refresh yourself in My promises: I will counsel you and watch over you. I will supply every need of yours according to My riches in Glory. Peace I leave with you; My Peace I give you. 

Though My Peace is a forever-promise, you need frequent reminders. When your mind becomes quiet enough, listen for My resurrection blessing: “Peace be with you.”

Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
~ John 20:26 

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. 
~ Psalm 32:8

And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
~ Philippians 4:19 [NASB] 

“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

Dear Jesus

My deep desire is that you learn to depend on Me in every situation. I move heaven and earth to accomplish this purpose, but you must collaborate with Me in this training.

Dear Jesus,

I love depending on You—afterward! When the task before me is too challenging for me to handle confidently, I almost instinctively turn to You for help. These are times when I am painfully aware of my inadequacy: my need to depend on Someone far greater than I. They are scary moments—times of having to act on my belief that You will not let me down. These occasions of stepping out in faith feel very much like jumping off a cliff into open space, trusting You to catch me in mid-air. And You do! That is when I feel jubilantafter I’ve just experienced Your intervention: rescuing me and enabling me to accomplish things I could never do alone.

Beloved, it is good that you have experienced My intervening help many times. Had you refused to “jump off the cliff,” you would not have had those thrilling experiences. I hope your feelings of fear will diminish as I prove My faithfulness to you time after time. Let Me suggest a technique that can help: When you face an event that unnerves you, take time to affirm your trust in Me—repeatedly, if need be. This takes your attention off yourself and your fear, helping you focus on Me and My great faithfulness.

Though I’m pleased by your willingness to depend on Me in tough situations, I desire much more from you. I want you to rely on Me even when you feel competent to handle a situation yourself. I have given you talents and abilities. When you utilize them, remember to do so thankfully, asking Me to help you use them wisely: according to My will. This collaborative way of doing things will not only help you accomplish more; it will also keep you close to Me ~ communing with Me, delighting in Me, enjoying Me.

I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me].
~ Philippians 4:13 [AMP]

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

Dear Jesus

Make Me your focal point as you move through this day. Just as a spinning ballerina must keep returning her eyes to a given point, to maintain her balance, so you must keep returning your focus to Me.

Dear Jesus, 

I definitely feel as if I’ve been spinning around today, but not like a graceful ballerina. Just when I’m about to regain my balance, another event surprises me and sets me spinning again. I find myself moving faster and faster, trying to keep up with everything that’s going on around me. Only as I look to You in the midst of my circumstances can I find equilibrium.

Beloved, your only hope is to look to Me again and again and again. That’s why I likened your situation to a ballerina who repeatedly finds her focal point as she twirls. Though many people think beginning the day with Me is sufficient, they frequently go off course unless they continue seeking Me throughout their waking hours. Learn from the ballerina: Each time she turns full circle, she returns her eyes to the same stationary point with a quick turn of her head. If she didn’t do that, she would soon become very dizzy. Similarly, you need a stationary focus as you face the dizzying swirl of events in your life. Because I remain the same forever, I am your best focal point. To avoid losing your balance, you must keep looking to Me.

I realize you cannot fix your gaze on Me continually. I understand the limitations of your human condition: You will lose sight of Me at times. But because I am with you always, you can reorient yourself with a quick glance My way. The more frequently you return your attention to Me, the better balanced your life will be. This is how to fix your eyes on Me while living in a fallen world. I assure you, though, that in heaven your limitations will be lifted. Now you see as if you are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim, blurred reflection, but then you will see in reality—face to Face!

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
~ Hebrews 12:2 

But you remain the same, and your years will never end.
~ Psalm 102:27 

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face.
~ 1 Corinthians 13:12 [NKJV]

Dear Jesus

Glorifying and enjoying Me is a higher priority than maintaining a tidy, structured life. Give up your striving to keep everything under control—an impossible task and a waste of precious energy.

Dear Jesus,

In my heart, glorifying and enjoying You is a much higher priority than maintaining order. In practice, however, I do strive to keep things under control. When that becomes my focus, I tend to lose sight of You. Even when I do think of You at such a time, I usually try to enlist Your help in restoring order. I want my life to display the deep desire in my heart: glorifying and enjoying You in carefree exuberance!

Beloved, I delight in your heartfelt desire to “kick up your heels” in celebration of who I Am. I can see into the depths of your heart, and I know that what you have expressed is true. I also read your thoughts with perfect accuracy, so I realize how easily you lose sight of My Presence. 

Let’s think together about this problem. To glorify and enjoy Me as you desire, you need to relinquish control to Me. You may think this would involve giving up something precious, because controlling things is a way you try to feel secure. In reality, however, this effort is bound to fail. Even if you succeed in creating a tidy, structured life for a time, you will not be able to maintain it. So, what I’m asking you to give up—controllingness—is something that frustrates you far more than it helps you.

Instead of wasting your energy on an impossible task, endeavor to celebrate your relationship with Me. Learn to walk more consistently in the Light of My Presence. Indeed, those who walk in this Light can rejoice in Me all day long, exulting in My righteousness. Glorify Me by living joyously in My energizing Light.

“I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.”

~ John 17:4–5 

O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 

~ Psalm 139:1–2 

Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in your name all day long; they exult in your righteousness.

~ Psalm 89:15–16

Dear Jesus

Remember that your relationship with Me is saturated in grace. Therefore, nothing you do or don’t do can separate you from My Presence.

Dear Jesus, 

I am so thankful for Your grace. When I’m keenly aware of having failed You, I grasp on to grace for dear life. Feelings of guilt and fear conspire to convince me I have lost Your Love. My sense of unworthiness tempts me to punish myself for my sins. Then I remember You have clothed me with garments of salvation—arrayed me in Your own righteousness. My salvation is all about You and what You have done to rescue me. Help me feel more secure in Your Love.

Beloved, 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. Meat that has been marinated in a sauce 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 I became your 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.
~ Ephesians 2:8 [NKJV]

For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 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 8:38–39

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