“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. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
We need to have balance in our lives…we need to be engaged, learning and growing and yet we also need time to rest, recharge and be renewed. It is not easy in this world in this life to live in balance. The first step to finding balance and peace is found in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Where does that stand? Start by meeting with Him every day and ask Him to guide you…remember he is present every aspect of your life and you can talk to Him about anything.
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 19 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 at Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
Luke 9:23-24 NIV
God doesn’t need us to make the plans and try to control the outcomes…and frankly living this way often leads to disappointment and frustration. I read some place last summer these words…God does not need our help or cooperation in establishing purpose in our lives…only our surrender. This is true, we need to remember that God is with us and within us always and at all times…instead of thinking He is only near when we pay attention or recognize His presence. What or how do you need to surrender to God?
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2019 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4 NIV
Greater by MercyMe
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?“
Romans 8:31 NIV
(This photo was taken in Juny of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.”
1 John 4:7-11 NIV
God’s love is the most powerful thing in the world. Nothing can compare to it…no matter where you are, no matter what has happened or is happening…God’s love can change what you believe is impossible. Trust Him, seek His Word, believe, confess your sins and surrender your ways for His way. Amen.
“We love because he first loved us.”
1 John 4:19 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2016 in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming)
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1:9 NIV
God is with us always…at all times, in all places and during all circumstances. If you sense God is distant, this is about how you have moved away from God not the other way around. He is center of everything for all time…we are not to be the center of our lives. God cares about you, He loves you and He promised He will never leave you.
I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV
(This photo was taken in October of 2018 at a park near Winterset, Iowa)
“I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
2 Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
4 One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.”
Psalm 145:1-4 NIV
Let Everything That Has Breath by Matt Redman
“The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.”
Psalm 145:8-9 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2022 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)
“pray without ceasing…”
1 Thessalonians 5:17 NIV
Don’t give up…don’t give in…be encouraged, trust in the Lord’s way. Continue to pray for that person or situation. God is with you and He will lead and guide you. We you grow tired rest in Him…find peace in God’s Word. The one who persists and is patient is the one who will see God’s plan and God’s timing.
“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)
“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 NIV
Our faith journey is a process without an end point on earth. As we learn about Jesus and we read God’s Word the process begins by helping us transform on the inside…we open our hearts and minds to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit becomes our guide. This is not the end of the process…as we continue to learn and grow the intention is for us to have this Spirit of peace and goodness flow through us to our neighbors and others. We are not saved just to be saved alone…we are to become a channel of God’s peace every day. The Light of Christ should shine through us so that others can see God in who we are and what we do. Think about it…in what other person in your life have you seen God shining through? May we be comforted by God’s peace. Amen.
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:9 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2016 at a lake place in northwestern Wisconsin)
“Let us not become tired of doing good. At the right time we will gather a crop if we don’t give up. 10 So when we can do good to everyone, let us do it. Let’s try even harder to do good to the family of believers.”
Galatians 6:9-10 NIRV
Our lives are filled with moments and memories…some are good times and some are difficult. We all tend to embellish a bit in our memories, the memory of good times seems to be really good and the memory of bad times seem to be really bad. Sometimes our bad memories start to take a person down a road where even the present moments are seen through their eyes with a negative perspective. This is a quick spiral downward and we can get stuck in the swirl of negativity. We have to have the courage to choose a new perspective, a more balanced view things and we are fed that perspective when we read the Word of God. When times are hard and it feels like you are making no progress on anything…don’t give up, keep pressing on, keep believing…that is your faith at work. Goodness will come to those who believe in the hope that God provides through Jesus Christ. May God’s peace be with you. Amen.
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Colossians 3:12 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 in Badlands National Park in South Dakota)
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27:1 NIV
We have been saved…we have a fortress of salvation…we have been delivered by Jesus Christ to eternal life. Trust in the Lord, there is no greater strength than the love of God. When we fall down He will pick us up, He renews us and restores us. His Word is a shelter from evil. When it feels like the world is crashing down around you look to the Lord for He is our Rock. Amen.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
Psalm 18:2 NIV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 in Glacier National Park in Montana)