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  • How to Find Real Peace

    Posted on June 17, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell JUNE 17, 2015

    How to Find Real Peace
    LYNN COWELL

    "Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace." Luke 1:78-79 (NIV)

    I left my dying father’s hospital room and searched in vain for my car. The parking deck hadn’t felt so dark and looming when I’d pulled in, but that was more than 24 hours ago. A new day had begun, but there was no shining sun.

    As I opened my door, it was all I could do to hoist my mentally and physically exhausted self up into my truck’s seat. It may have been my birthday, but not one ounce of me wanted to celebrate.

    There is no way I could have prepared for that day; it’s a strange feeling to take care of a terminally ill parent, especially when you’re a mom of little children. Would my eldest remember my dad? I knew my 2-year-old wouldn’t. I felt robbed. I’m too young not to have a dad.

    Tears streamed down my face. As soon as I started the car, lyrics from the radio spoke of a day when going to heaven will bring those of us who love and follow Christ new bodies. The day of ultimate healing.

    Jesus met me in my car that day. He reached down into my pit of despair. He made it clear to me that He was real and heaven is real, too.

    Before this day I’d prayed non-stop for God to heal Dad. I knew He could. As I read my Bible I came across stories of Jesus healing the blind, the lame, even raising the dead. I’d seen Him heal a friend’s child of cancer. There was no doubt in my mind that God could heal my dad’s cancer too.

    However, until that day in the parking deck, I had never considered my father’s passage to heaven as the ultimate healing. This realization poured a peace into my spirit like I had never experienced during his cancer battle.

    That peace filled my heart and stayed through the next day when he died. It was there the day of his funeral, and it’s been there each time I’ve thought of him since. God’s perfect love flowed to imperfect me and continues to remain in my life, quieting my fears of the future as well as the pains of my past.

    Perhaps there are days when you feel life isn’t fair. Maybe it even feels hopeless. At times like these, when we don’t feel Jesus’ love for us, we can reach out to Him, asking for His peace that goes beyond our feelings. A peace that surpasses our understanding (Philippians 4:7, ESV). A real peace beyond what we can comprehend or communicate. We can reach out to our Jesus and lay hold of the truth in today’s key verse: "Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace."

    Father, no matter how I feel, help me remember and reach out for the peace Jesus wants to give me through His perfect love. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Isaiah 26:3, "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." (NIV)

    John 14:27, "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." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Empower a young woman to learn more about allowing peace to rule in situations beyond her control with Lynn Cowell’s book, Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Purchase your copy here.

    Know some young women who need help learning to live in God’s peace? Start a Magnetic Bible study and invite them to join! You will grow together as you become the women God intended you to be. Magnetic includes a free leadership guide plus you’ll find additional free resources to help you get started here.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What one situation have you been in recently that threatened to steal your peace?

    If you didn’t experience God’s peace in that situation, take a moment to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help you turn to Him at the moment it seems your peace will be threatened.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Can't You Hurry Up, God?

    Posted on May 6, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell MAY 6, 2015

    Can't You Hurry Up, God?
    LYNN COWELL

    "But Sarai and Abram had no children. So Sarai took her maid, an Egyptian girl named Hagar, and gave her to Abram to be his second wife. ‘Since the Lord has given me no children,’ Sarai said, ‘you may sleep with my servant girl, and her children shall be mine.’ And Abram agreed." Genesis 16:1-2 (TLB)

    Why have you said, "No," God?

    The whole situation didn’t make sense. The job description fit me perfectly. And I just knew God had made me aware of that opportunity so I could move forward in my heart for ministry. Yet all the doors closed, and I couldn’t figure out why.

    Weeks turned into years as the quicksand of discouragement pulled me under. I felt forgotten, and I often looked back on that lost opportunity with regret. Maybe there was something more I could have done to make it work? Why didn’t I try harder?

    Time went on, and I was no closer to my dreams. I couldn’t understand why God kept me from that perfect position.

    In today’s key verse, Sarai, Abram’s wife, was stuck too. God had promised them offspring — as many as the stars in the heavens (Genesis 15:5) — yet time was ticking. Sarai was growing older and worried she had yet to have a child.

    Sarai may have believed she’d become invisible to God, and it was time to take matters into her own hands. She decided she wouldn’t wait any longer, so she devised a plan to get what she wanted.

    And she got it, alright — a pregnancy plus a whole lot of trouble.

    Sarai followed a common practice of her time and gave Hagar, her Egyptian slave, to Abram to become a surrogate mother. But her plan backfired. Hagar became pregnant and also a little haughty. With another person looking down on her barrenness, Sarai was more miserable than before.

    If only she would have waited instead of manipulated.

    Like Sarai, I had a hard time waiting on God. I couldn’t understand what was taking Him so long! Yet, when the perfect position opened down the road from my home, instead of a 1,000 miles away, like the other job, it all made sense.

    So often now as I take my short drive to the office, I find myself very thankful I waited for God to provide.

    If we can wait and not manipulate, God promises us He is always at work for our good (Romans 8:28). Even when the situation seems to be going the wrong way, we can trust that His way is best. We must be prayerful, wait and trust. Easier said than done, though, I know.

    Yet when we wait and see God’s goodness come to past, we create a history with God, a repertoire of faith moments when we have seen God’s faithfulness. This foundation builds our faith in Him so we know we can trust Him again and again.

    These stories, these faith-building encounters with God, are the same stories I share with my kids, helping them to trust God with their dreams for the future as well. Helping them also learn to wait and not manipulate.

    Today, thank God for the times you have seen His faithfulness. If you are in a current struggle, pray for the patience to wait and not manipulate.

    Lord, when life doesn’t go as planned, everything in me says, "Do something!" when You might be asking me to do nothing but wait. Give me faith to wait and not manipulate. To trust You fully, no matter how my circumstances appear. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD." (NIV)

    Psalm 130:5, "I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." (NIV)

    Isaiah 30:18, "Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!" (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Do you know a young woman who needs to wait and not manipulate? Lynn Cowell’s Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants would be a good resource to give her.

    Stop by Lynn’s blog today where she shares a beautiful download for those difficult times of waiting.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    How have you been tempted to manipulate a situation in your life instead of prayerfully waiting for God to move?

    Choose one of the verses above to have on hand when your mind wants to start planning instead of praying for God to move.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • The Danger of an Empty Heart

    Posted on April 15, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell APRIL 15, 2015

    The Danger of an Empty Heart
    LYNN COWELL

    "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." Psalm 145:16 (NIV)

    I’ve come to the realization that every choice I make is actually a trade.

    Some trades are good. On the days I trade a half hour of sleep for extra time with Jesus in God’s Word … that’s a great trade. The time I chose to keep dusting as my daughter shared her heart with me … that was a horrible trade. Taking care of my body or indulging in a little more dessert? It’s all about what trade I will make.

    There’s a guy in the Bible, not much different than me, who also made a trade. His name was Esau, and the story of his dealings are found in Genesis 25.

    Esau was the twin brother of Jacob. Esau, like me, was an outdoorsy type. Jacob, unlike me, liked to hang out in the kitchen.

    One day, after being out in the open country, Esau returned home exhausted and famished to find Jacob cooking some stew. He said, "Quick, let me have some of that red stew!" (Genesis 25:30, NIV).

    Jacob, being the conniving type, saw an opportunity to play let’s-make-a-deal with his older brother. He made a proposition, "First, sell me your birthright" (Genesis 25:31, NIV).

    According to Jewish tradition, fathers gave the birthright to the firstborn son. The eldest would receive the title of the family name (maybe something like the way royalty passes on the family title) and a double portion of his father’s inheritance.

    Maybe Esau thought Jacob’s proposition was a lighthearted toss, so he threw back an exaggerated, sarcastic response: "Look, I am about to die. What good is the birthright to me?" (Genesis 25:32, NIV)

    That’s all it took. He swore an oath and got his bowl of stew.

    Some trade.

    When I first read this account I thought: Really? Give away all of your rights for a bowl of stew?

    What would possess Esau to make such an uneven exchange?

    Take a closer look at the word describing Esau’s condition: famished. Extremely hungry, starving, empty, hollow. I think Esau’s condition had a lot to do with his decision. Past the point of being hungry, he was empty.

    Hollow.

    If Esau would have grabbed a snack while waiting for the meal preparation, he could have been sated until all was ready. The temptation to give up the best of later for the quick fix of now wouldn’t have had such a tantalizing pull.

    Esau and I are a lot alike. When I’m "hungry" — whether that looks like loneliness, fear or tiredness — I can make some unwise decisions. When my heart is empty, I can make an unequal trade out of desperation. In this condition, I am tempted to:

    Make quick decisions
    Speed had everything to do with Esau’s choice. He wanted his problem fixed now! It wasn’t hard for Jacob to manipulate a man who wouldn’t wait.

    Exaggerate my condition
    Esau told his brother he was about to die. Someone who has been out in the open country all day doesn’t seem to be at death’s door.

    Make unwise decisions
    Esau gave up the best of what he had for a bowl of stew.

    What’s the trade you’re facing? Does it have to do with how you spend your time, invest in relationships, or take care of yourself? Maybe you find yourself trading intimacy with your husband for a romance novel? Sacrificing financial freedom for "having it all"? Bypassing time with your kids for the project at work? The trade presents itself in many different ways.

    Today’s key verse in Psalm 145:16 tells us, "You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." Jesus will satisfy our hungers and allow us to see the truth of the trade if we turn to Him. Then, we can see the exchange for what it is.

    What trades are you tempted to make today? Let’s learn from Esau. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is worth the trade if it means giving up God’s very best.

    Father, I think often I am unaware that I am making a trade. Open my eyes to see the temptation for what it is and empower me by Your Holy Spirit to make the right choices for Your honor and glory. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 90:14, "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days." (NIV)

    Isaiah 58:11, "The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Do you know a young woman making some unhealthy trades? Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants by Lynn Cowell can help her learn to make wise choices.

    Today Lynn is giving away a "Wise Choice" bundle which includes a copy of The Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst, and her book Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants. Stop by Lynn’s blog for your chance to enter.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What are some of the trades, good or bad, that you make on a regular basis?

    Take a moment to ask the Lord to help you see these choices and give you the strength to make the best trades in the week ahead.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Cover or Expose?

    Posted on March 18, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell MARCH 18, 2015

    Cover or Expose?
    LYNN COWELL

    "Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked." Genesis 9:22-23 (NIV)

    "This day is not getting off to a very good start. She’s already being rude," my friend informed me.

    It seemed the day ahead would present some challenges. One of our group members was having another rough day … and when she had a rough day, we all had a rough day.

    I stopped for a moment to pray. I prayed for the woman. I prayed for both of our days. (It appeared we both needed it!) Then, I headed into a meeting, and purposed to forget the comment and move forward.

    I know my friend was looking out for me by offering a warning, but when we find ourselves privy to information we didn’t ask for, we’re always given an opportunity …

    Cover or expose?

    In today’s key verses, Noah’s sons are in a similar situation. After the flood, Noah planted a vineyard. One day, while he enjoyed the fruit of his garden, he became drunk. In his stupor, he fell asleep naked in his tent. Ham, Noah’s son, walked into his father’s tent, I’m sure very surprised at what he found.

    Stepping outside the tent, he let his brothers, Shem and Japheth, in on his discovery. The younger two responded to their father’s embarrassing situation by putting a cloak on their shoulders, walking backward into the tent and covering their father.

    Noah’s sons had options on how to respond, and they took very different approaches.

    Ham chose to expose. He took the opportunity to highlight his father’s fault.

    To be fair, Ham didn’t intend to step into this uncomfortable scene. The Bible doesn’t say he was looking for dirt on his dad. We can’t assume anything other than Ham was at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    In contrast, Shem and Japheth heard and covered. They weren’t looking to be told or to hear of their father’s unwise decision either. What made the difference, though, was how they responded.

    They took action to protect their patriarch. We don’t read any words they said. No dialog of defense for their dad. They simply chose honor. They chose love.

    God commands us to love others, and love makes choices for the good of others.

    We, too, can find ourselves with the knowledge that someone has made a poor choice. Temptation nudges us to tell another. Like the brothers, it might be a family member, or it could be someone you barely know. No matter who the hurting person is, God calls us to practice protecting.

    Practice taking the information to God first. Not to a friend or a favorite social media outlet. And if you feel God directing you, approach the person in a loving manner and protect them by speaking truth. Whatever the response, let it be in love and covered in prayer.

    Ask God right now to give them the wisdom they need.

    Father, (insert name) needs Your wisdom. Would You step in and help her find her way to what is best, and honoring to You? In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    1 Corinthians 13:7, "It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." (NIV)

    Proverbs 11:13, "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Do you know a young woman who needs help making some right choices? Lynn Cowell’s book Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants would be a good resource to give her.

    Today, Lynn is giving away a copy of Magnetic as well as a free download for covering your girl in prayer. Stop by her blog to enter to win and receive the free gift.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Why do you think we want to expose people when we hear of a bad choice they have made?

    Choose a bracelet to wear today, or another reminder, to alert yourself to pray several times today for someone you know who needs to be covered in prayer.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • When My Mind Says "You Failed"

    Posted on February 23, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell FEBRUARY 23, 2015

    When My Mind Says "You Failed"
    LYNN COWELL

    "My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises." Psalm 57:7 (NLT)

    Fail. It’s a word I’ve heard my kids use when something goes wrong. Just plain "fail."

    It’s a word I know as well. Failure is what I felt when I’d done all I knew to do to make a large project successful. Yet, according to my measurement, I had fallen very short. All I could think was, You failed.

    I found my mind swirling, trying to process what happened. Confused, I wondered, God, why didn’t You help me? The project was for Him, after all. You would think He would have stepped up and helped me, at least in the way I was looking for help.

    What did I do wrong?

    Maybe I’m just not cut out for this?

    My confidence was gone.

    Can you recall a time when you thought you were doing what God wanted you to do, yet it didn’t turn out how you anticipated? Was your confidence shaken, not just in yourself, but in God?

    Friend, you are not alone. It’s so easy to lose our confidence when things aren’t going well.

    In today’s key verse, David speaks of confidence: "My heart is confident in you, O God."

    Reading these words, we might assume David wrote them when his life was going well, possibly moments away from marrying the king’s daughter and living happily ever after.

    His reality, in fact, was far from happy. As David penned these words, he was literally running from a mad man (King Saul) who not only wanted to kill him, but also had the power to do so. {You can read 1 Samuel, chapters 19-22, for more of this story.}

    When David wrote these words found in Psalm 57:7, "My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises" – words filled with faith and hope – he was hiding in a cave. Not alone, but with 400 guys who were also running from trouble, in debt or just plain discontented with life as they knew it.

    Here, in this awful situation, David reaffirmed his security hadn’t changed even if his circumstances did. His confidence was still built on God.

    According to my study Bible, the word "confident" in the original Hebrew means: "set in place, make secure, to be made ready, be attached."

    I love this last definition: "be attached." My mind pictures a new bride, attached to someone who cares deeply about her, with her face glowing. Her relationship brings her confidence.

    David’s relationship brought him confidence as well. Despite his horrific circumstances, David experienced security and contentment because he knew God was with him even in those circumstances.

    God can make us brave whether our lives are coming together or falling apart. We can have a heart and mind that is set in place, secure and attached, even when our circumstances seem to say, "You failed."

    I want to be like David. Confidence attached to God. Unshaken by any situation or circumstances. Unable to hold back His praises.

    Dear Jesus, the way You define failure and the way we define failure is so very different. Help me see when my circumstances are a set-up, an opportunity to build my confidence in You. Always and only in You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Hebrews 10:35, "So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded." (NIV)

    Philippians 4:12, "I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want." (NIV)

    Ephesians 3:12, "In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." (NIV)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Do you know a young woman who needs to learn to build her confidence on God instead of cues from culture? If so, Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants, by Lynn Cowell, empowers young women to move beyond negative thoughts, capricious emotions and others’ opinions to gain unshakeable confidence.

    Visit Lynn’s blog today for 10 Verses For Building Unshakeable Confidence. She is also giving away a Confidence Combo — a set of resources to help you build your confidence on God.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    Think of the last time something in your life didn’t go as planned and you felt like you’d failed. How did you respond? Were you able to press into God or did you struggle in self-defeat?

    Write out Hebrews 10:35 and place it where you experience the greatest struggle with your confidence: the scale, your desk, your calendar. Read this verse out loud, allowing God’s Word to fill your heart with His confidence in this area of your life.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    630 Team Rd., Suite 100
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

  • Redefine Beautiful

    Posted on January 19, 2015 by Family Christian

    Lynn Cowell JANUARY 19, 2015 

    Redefine Beautiful
    LYNN COWELL

    "Then Peter said, ‘Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’" Acts 3:6 (NIV, 1984)

    Every girl wanted them. And she "needed" them as well!

    They were the boots that winter. Another season it was a specific backpack or jacket. Every year my daughter was in school, there was something she just had to have.

    If Christmas or a birthday was near, she often got the item she wanted. But sometimes, by the time this special day came around, the crowd was wearing something new and my daughter had moved on to a different "need."

    All too often, I knew the motive: my girl wanted to fit in. She wanted to be like the other girls in her school. And while I didn’t want to encourage her desire for material things, my mama’s heart understood. She didn’t want to be different … at least not in this way.

    My daughter was convinced the object of her desire at that moment would meet her needs or fix her problem.

    I was thinking about my daughter when I read the story of Peter, John and the crippled man.

    Acts 3:1-10 tells the story of a man crippled since birth who was carried to the temple gate called Beautiful every day. There he would sit and beg from those going into the temple courts. One day, he saw Peter and John, disciples of Jesus, about to enter and asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him and said, "Look at us!" So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

    Then Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk" (Acts 3:6b). Peter then took him by the hand to help him up. The man jumped to his feet and began to walk. He followed them into the temple jumping and praising God. All the people who knew the crippled man were amazed.

    Every day, there are those we love who are heading to the gate called Beautiful to beg. A man-made "gate," beautiful is culture’s standard of what it takes to be approved. Asking those who have what it takes, we beg for what we feel we need. For the teen girl it may mean acceptance by the popular group or the boy. As women, it may be our need for significance and value.

    But, like the crippled man, we don’t realize we’re asking for the wrong thing from the wrong people. He didn’t know there was a better solution.

    Peter and John didn’t give the crippled man what he thought he needed. They gave him what he truly needed — to be made whole.

    We too have places in us that need healing. Society has forced its standard of beauty, telling us we must look this way, weigh this much and measure this size. But just like the crippled man in Acts 3, we can be made whole. In the name of Jesus, we can redefine beautiful by His standard and receive the acceptance, approval and affirmation we need.

    "All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you." (Song of Solomon 4:7, NIV, 1984)

    Father, I have been crippled by society’s definition of beautiful. I desire to be made whole. Heal my crippled spirit. Restore my broken heart. Make straight in my life where my vision of myself is crooked. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

    TRUTH FOR TODAY:
    Psalm 45:11, "The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord." (NIV,1984)

    Zephaniah 3:17, "The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing." (NIV,1984)

    RELATED RESOURCES:
    Do you know a young woman who needs to redefine beautiful? Magnetic: Becoming the Girl He Wants would be a good resource to give her.

    Today, Lynn Cowell is sharing 3 Ways to Help Your Girl Redefine Beautiful as well as giving away a "Redefining Library," including copies of Magnetic, His Revolutionary Love and Devotions for a Revolutionary Year. Stop by her blog to learn more and enter to win.

    REFLECT AND RESPOND:
    What do you do when you feel pressure to conform to society’s standard of beautiful?

    Write one of the verses in Truth for Today on a sticky note. Put this verse near your closet or on your scale as a gentle reminder of how beautiful Jesus says you are.

    © 2015 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

  • Battle in the Night

    Posted on December 5, 2012 by Lynn Cowell

    Lynn

    "By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me - a prayer to the God of my life." Psalm 42:8 (NIV)

    How could this have happened? What could I have done to stop it? One of my kids had made a decision that sent my emotions into a tailspin.

    Another sleepless night was upon me; my mind wouldn't shut off. I had done so well during the day, trying to focus my heart and mind on God's promise to make all things work together for good. But as day faded into night, the struggle to trust became more than I could take.

    Many nights as I lie in bed, my mind pulls me into a spiral, tempting me to focus on my troubles. It's then and there that the battle is the most intense. A war is waged between my faith and my fears.

    What if my loved one never knows Jesus?
    Will my kids make the right choices with their peers?
    What can I do for my friend who struggles with cancer?

    Even though my body is still, the battles rage in my heart and mind.

    Do you ever struggle in the quiet of the night? Maybe you have thoughts like: Nobody else has troubles. Other people are just enjoying their lives. Why is mine so hard? The battles we face are real, and rob us of sleep and joy.

    We can take a cue from King David's words in Psalm 42:8. During the day he allowed the Lord's love to direct him. Knowing he was loved gave him the strength to make the hard choices that were the best choices.

    At night he put away all the words and hard thinking and just praised God.

    Might we give David's ways a try and do the same? When the lights are turned out, we can choose a song of praise, arming ourselves with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix our troubles. When our minds try to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, let's make the choice to stop and sing (even if only in our heads).

    I gave this a try the other night while stewing over my worries. It reminded me of a sign my mom has in her home. "Give me all your troubles before you go to bed. I'm going to be up anyway." — God.

    Right now, let's pick a song we'll sing at night when trouble comes knocking and worry wants to run rampant in our heart and mind. Make your prayer a song to God and choose a song of praise to sing to Him all day long - from sunrise to late in the evening. Watch your heart go from fear to faith as you trust in the Lord.

    Dear Lord, I feel stronger in the day than in the night. Bring to mind a song of praise I can sing that will lift my heart and cause me to trust in You, morning and night. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

    Reflect and Respond:
    Write Psalm 42:8 on an index card. Put it next to your bed to remind you to look to Him as you go to sleep.

    When the lights are turned off, we can choose a song of praise, arming ourselves with truth and worship for the only One who can carry and fix our troubles. When our mind tries to take a turn and go around that problem one more time, we can choose to stop and sing our song of praise.

    Power Verses:
    Psalm 94:18-19, "When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your unfailing love, LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." (NIV)

    Exodus 15:2, "The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's God, and I will exalt him." (NIV 1984)

    © 2012 by Lynn Cowell. All rights reserved.

    Proverbs 31 Ministries
    616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
    Matthews, NC 28105
    www.Proverbs31.org

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WHAT WE'RE ABOUT

“to look after orphans and widows in their distress...” James 1:27 NIV

Our heartbeat is to help orphans and widows in need, as our Father calls us to do.
And with every purchase you make, you’re making an amazing difference in their lives.

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