“Cast your burden on the Lord,
and he will sustain you;
he will never permit
the righteous to be moved.”
Psalm 55:22 ESV
How often do you feel like you have to carry something all by yourself? That it all depends on you and what you do? We all have moments and seasons of life like this and God knows we will face them…heck He is the one that told us in Scripture…
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33 NIV
And He is the One who has given us the Way through these times in life…turn towards Jesus…tell Him about the things that you are carrying. He wants to hear from you and He wants you to know He is walking right along side you…you just have to acknowledge Him and seek Him. He is with you and He is willing to carry your burdens for you. May we find peace with the Savior. Amen.
“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
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:6-14 NIV
Jesus came down from heaven to do for us that which we can’t do on our own…save us from our sins. He did it because He loves us…He did it so we could have a personal relationship with God. Never forget or underestimate what Jesus Christ our Savior has done for you and me…turn towards Him and trust Him with every aspect of your life. Amen.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”
John 3:16-17 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota)
Portions of this post were originally published in May of 2018…
“Don’t let any evil talk come out of your mouths. Say only what will help to build others up and meet their needs. Then what you say will help those who listen. 30 Do not make God’s Holy Spirit mourn. The Holy Spirit is the proof that you belong to God. And the Spirit is the proof that God will set you completely free. 31 Get rid of all hard feelings, anger and rage. Stop all fighting and lying. Don’t have anything to do with any kind of hatred. 32 Be kind and tender to one another. Forgive one another, just as God forgave you because of what Christ has done.”
Ephesians 4:29-32 NIRV
With every situation in life, we are given free will by God which means we choose how to respond to what other people do or say. This freedom also means we are accountable and responsible for our response even if we choose to do nothing. If we are focused on ourselves more than anything else we will often choose a poor response as the self is only concerned with the impact on me without regard for others. God created us out of His love and we were made to choose the Fruits of the Spirit in how we live our daily lives. Be aware not only of ‘what’ you do and say, but also ‘how’ you do and say things when you interact with others. Free will is a gift from God, how we respond to God’s Word with this gift makes all the difference in daily life. May God’s joy and peace be with you. Amen.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Proverbs 15:1 NIV
(This photo was taken in September of 2016 at a lake in central Minnesota)
“The Lord is gracious, kind and tender.
He is slow to get angry and full of love.
9 The Lord is good to all.
He shows deep concern for everything he has made.”
Psalm 145:8-9 NIRV
No matter what, anything is possible with God. If you are discouraged or defeated and thinking this is never going to change or get better…turn towards God, put your trust in Him. Confess your sins and make a commitment to change the way you live. If you are frustrated and at your wits end with another person don’t give up…pray for them and be encouraged by story of Saul who became Paul…Saul was filled with anger and hate and he was leading the charge to kill believers in Jesus and yet this was the person God chose to change to help lead the charge to spread the Good News about Jesus. You can read more about him in the book of Acts. If God can change Saul to Paul, He can change you or someone you are praying for just the same. Anything is possible with God. Amen.
“But I will bless anyone who trusts in me.
I will do good things for the person who depends on me.
8 They will be like a tree planted near water.
It sends out its roots beside a stream.
It is not afraid when heat comes.
Its leaves are always green.
It does not worry when there is no rain.
It always bears fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIRV
(This photo was taken in April of 2020 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NIV
Why should we have hope? Because the God of the universe, our Creator, loves us and He wants good things for us. How do we know? Because He sent His Son as a sacrifice to do for us that which we cannot do on our own…save us from our sinful ways. From the greatest tragedy, Jesus Christ death on the Cross, God brought about the greatest triumph, the resurrection of our Savior. No matter what has happened, no matter where you are…whatever you have done or left undone…there is hope because of God’s love for you and because He wants good things for you. Turn towards the Lord and bring everything to him. Amen.
“Let us hold firmly to the hope we claim to have. The God who promised is faithful. 24 Let us consider how we can stir up one another to love. Let us help one another to do good works. 25 And let us not give up meeting together. Some are in the habit of doing this. Instead, let us encourage one another with words of hope. Let us do this even more as you see Christ’s return approaching.”
Hebrews 10:23-25 NIRV
(This photo was taken in June of 2018 at a lake near Plymouth, Minnesota)
“God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.”
Psalm 46:1 NIV
When things go side-ways or take an unexpected turn…what do we do first? Ask questions, try to figure out what happened, look for ways to get control of what is going on? None of these are bad yet they should come after we turn to the Lord and pray for help, pray for wisdom, pray for guidance. This is where our help really comes from and we typically wait to call on God as a very last resort. As you go through this day or this weekend try turning to God first for anything and everything…He loves you, He knows you and He wants to give you good things. Amen.
“I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.”
Psalm 121:1-2 NIV
(This photo was taken in July of 2021 in Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado)
Portions of this post were originally published in July of 2021…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV
“You make known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
Psalm 16:11 NIV
“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
We have hope because Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and He is alive. We can have joy when we learn to understand that nothing in this life is too big for God to help us overcome. All of this provides us peace knowing that God loves us, provides for us and will never leave us or abandon us. Know this hope, be filled with this joy and you will have peace that surpasses understanding. Amen.
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
(This photo was taken yesterday at a Fish Sunflowers Field in Buffalo, Minnesota)
“At just the right time Christ died for ungodly people. He died for us when we had no power of our own. 7 It is unusual for anyone to die for a godly person. Maybe someone would be willing to die for a good person. 8 But here is how God has shown his love for us. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Romans 5:6-8 NIRV
God loves us unconditionally. We do not earn His love; we do not deserve it. There are not certain things you must do or be to receive God’s love. He offers it to us through His mercy and grace. Our job is to seek Him, spend time with Him, communicate with Him. We are to know Him and make Him known. There is no greater gift you will ever receive in this life than God’s love…turn away from sinful thoughts and ways and trust in the Lord. Amen.
“Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Everyone who loves has become a child of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 Here is how God showed his love among us. He sent his one and only Son into the world. He sent him so we could receive life through him. 10 Here is what love is. It is not that we loved God. It is that he loved us and sent his Son to give his life to pay for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God loved us this much, we should also love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God. But if we love one another, God lives in us. His love is made complete in us.“
1 John 4:7-12 NIRV
(This photo was taken in May of 2020 along the North Shore of Lake Superior)
“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
Hebrews 12:3 NIV
When you are tired and run down or discouraged and defeated, consider Him…when you are frustrated or angry with others, consider Him…when you feel like there is no hope, consider Him…consider Him who endured death on a cross between two thieves, for us…consider Him who was spit on and had a crown of thorns pushed onto His head, for us…consider Him who had His beard plucked out and gave His back to the whip, for us…and consider Him who gave His blood and His life for us. He did it because He loves you and He wants good things for you. Turn your attention towards Him and give Him thanks, then you will find peace. Amen.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:4-7 NIV
(This photo was taken in June of 2013 near Colorado Springs, 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
The more we try to take control and hold on tight to all circumstances the more life slips through our fingers. We were never meant to carry all of our burdens alone; we are not meant to fix everything or try to get things to meet our expectations. God doesn’t need us to define our purpose in life, only our surrender to bring us to it. Turn towards Him and daily give yourself to His way in your life. Trust the Lord with everything. Amen.
“Come to me, all you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. 29 Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls. 30 Serving me is easy, and my load is light.”
Matthew 11:28-30 NIRV
(This photo was taken in August of 2016 at Sapphire Point near Dillon, Colorado)