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BEDSIDE BLESSINGS365 Days of Inspirational Thoughts
By Charles R. Swindoll
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2011 Charles R. Swindoll
All right reserved.
God's timing is always on time.
Mark it down. Things do not "just happen." Ours is not a random, whistle-in-the-dark universe. There is a God-arranged plan for this world of ours, which includes a specific plan for you. And through every ordinary day and every extraordinary moment, there is a God who constantly seeks you.
The God who loves us and redeemed us ... Is there, and He is not silent.
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
God's voice isn't all that difficult to hear. In fact, you almost have to be closing your eyes and stopping your ears to miss it. He sometimes shouts through our pain, whispers to us while we're relaxing on vacation; occasionally He sings to us in a song and warns us through the sixty-six books of His written Word. It's right there, ink on paper. Count on it—that book will never lead you astray.
I hope in You, O Lord; You will answer, O Lord my God.
Our part. Trust God wholeheartedly, in every corner of life, recognizing that He is the One in charge.
His part. "He will make your paths straight." The word means "smooth," "straight," or "even." in other words, He will smooth out your path. He'll take care of each of those obstacles on the trail ahead of you.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart.... He will make your paths straight.
Serendipity occurs when something beautiful breaks into the monotonous and the mundane. A serendipitous life is marked by "surprisability" and spontaneity. When we lose our capacity for either, we settle into life's ruts. We expect little and we're seldom disappointed.
Though I have walked with God for decades, I must confess I still find much about Him incomprehensible and mysterious. But this much I know: He delights in surprising us. He dots our pilgrimage from earth to heaven with amazing serendipities.
You open Your hand and satisfy the desire of every living thing.
How wonderful that God personally cares about those things that worry us and prey upon our thoughts. He cares about them more than we care about them. Not a s ingle nagging, aching, worrisome, stomach-tensing, blood-pressure-raising thought escapes His notice.
You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon him, for you are his personal concern.
1 Peter 5:7 Phillips
Fix your eyes on the Lord! do it once. Do it daily. Do it ten thousand times ten thousand times. Do it constantly. When your schedule presses, when your prospects thin, when your hope burns low, when people disappoint you, when events turn against you, when dreams die, when the walls close in, when the prognosis seems grim, when your heart breaks, look at the Lord, and keep on looking at Him.
Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.
Hebrews 12:2 NIV
If I have learned anything during my journey on planet earth, it is that people need one another. The presence of other people is essential—caring people, helpful people, interesting people, friendly people, thoughtful people. These folks take the grind out of life. About the time we are tempted to think we can handle things all alone—boom! We run into some obstacle and need assistance. We discover all over again that we are not nearly as self-sufficient as we thought.
A man's counsel is sweet to his friend.
Be specific in your prayer life. If you need a job, pray for a job. If you're an engineer, ask God to open up an engineering position for you, or something related for which you are qualified. ... If you need fifteen hundred dollars for tuition, ask or that amount. If some fear has you in its grasp, name that fear and ask specifically for relief from it.... "We need," as one of my mentors used to say, "to guard against the slimy ooze of indefiniteness."
Therefore, let everyone who is Godly pray to You.
I'd like to deliver a beautiful message to you, my friend. God's hand on your life may be just beginning to make its mark. That steep hill you've been climbing for such a long time may be the ramp to a destiny beyond your dreams. I do not believe there is any such thing as an accidental or ill-timed birth. You may have arrived in a home that was financially strapped. You may have known brokenness, hurt, and insecurity since your earliest days, but please hear me on this: you were not an accident.
You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people.
1 Peter 2:9 NKJV
Listen carefully! Jesus Christ opens the gate, gently looks at you, and says: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are ... overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]" (Matthew 11:28 AMP).
Nothing complicated. No big fanfare, no trip to Mecca, no hypnotic trance, no fee, no special password. Just come.... unload.... His provision is profound, attainable, and right.
You are my hiding place; You preserve me from trouble.
When was the last time you thanked the Lord for not showing you the future? I'm convinced that one of the best things God does for us is to keep us from knowing what will happen beyond today. Just think of all the stuff you didn't have to worry about just because you never knew it was coming your way!
I trust in You, O Lord.... My times are in Your hand.
Our Lord is searching for people who will make a difference. Christians dare not be mediocre. We dare not dissolve into the background or blend into the neutral scenery of this world. Sometimes you have to look awfully close and talk awfully long before an individual will declare his allegiance to God. Sometimes you have to look long and hard to find someone with the courage to stand alone for God. Is that what we have created today in this age of tolerance and compromise?
I searched for a man among them who would ... stand in the gap.
Anybody can accept a reward graciously, and many people can even take their punishment patiently when they have done something wrong. But how many people are equipped to handle mistreatment after they've done right? Only Christians are equipped to do that. That is what makes believers stand out. That's our uniqueness.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Matthew 5:10 NKJV
When the X-ray comes back and it doesn't look good, remember, God is still faithful. When you read that heartbreaking note from your mate, remember, God is still faithful. When you hear the worst kind of news about one of your children, remember, God is still faithful. He has not abandoned you, though you're tempted to think He has.
When we are pressed near to the heart of God, He is faithful and He will hold us.
In His love ... He redeemed them, and He lifted them and carried them.
The Word of God doesn't tell us about the truth; it is truth. It doesn't merely contain words about God; it is the Word of God. We don't have to try real hard to make it relevant; it is relevant. Don't neglect it. It is the foundation of a stable life. It feeds faith.
The sum of Your word is truth, and every one of Your righteous ordinances is everlasting.
Deceptive baits are set out about us each day, and they don't all come from individuals. some of them come from a cable television channel or the internet or a magazine or peer pressure at school or colleagues at work.
So allow me to say this very straight: the greatest gift you can give to your marriage partner is your purity, your fidelity. The greatest character trait you can provide your spouse and your family is moral and ethical self-control. stand firm, my friend. Refuse to yield.
Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers.
Make no mistake about it, "He's got the whole world in His hands." From the greatest to the least, nothing is beyond the scope of His sovereign power and providential care. He makes the rain fall, the sun shine, the stars twinkle—in this and all other galaxies. He raises up people and kingdoms, and He brings down both. He numbers the hairs on our heads and determines the days of our lives. In doing so, He weaves everything together into His design. ultimately, the tapestry of His handiwork will be something to behold!
Blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
Whatever form mistreatment takes, it hurts. You feel the horrible rejection. you've done what is right, but you've been treated wrongly.
In the midst of all this, remember, God has not abandoned you. He has not forgotten you. He never left. He understands the heartache brought on by the evil He mysteriously permits so He might bring you to a tender, sensitive walk with Him. God is good, Jesus Christ is real—your present circumstances notwithstanding.
I will make them walk by streams of waters, on a straight path in which they will not stumble.
Discipline is one of the most hated terms of our times ... right alongside patience and self-control. But have you noticed how often it comes up in the testimonies of those who win?
No runner completes the training or a race without it.
No human body is kept fit without it.
No temptation is overcome without it.
If you want to put a stop to mediocrity, to replace excuses with fresh determination ... You need discipline.
Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects.
There have been times in my own life when I've had doubts, when I've stumbled over great cracks that appeared in my world. I've had those times when I climbed into my own bed and wept, crying out to God, just as you have. Such is life, especially when you decide to be real rather than protect some kind of I've-got-it-all-together image. In times like that, it's comforting to realize: God can handle all of this.
The Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.
When we look for people to admire, when we choose our role models, our heroes, we are often swayed or impressed by things that are cause for boasting. We want the beautiful people, the brilliant people, the "successful" people. We want the best and the brightest. We are terribly enamored of the surface. The superficial impresses us much more than we'd like to admit.
But God says, "That's not the way I make My choices. I choose the nobodies and turn them into somebodies."
The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart.
1 Samuel 13:14
What is God looking for? He is looking for men and women whose hearts are completely His—completely. That means there are no locked closets. Nothing's been swept under the rug. That means that when you do wrong, you admit it and immediately come to terms with it. You're grieved over wrong. You're concerned about those things that displease Him. You long to please Him in your actions. You care about the motivations behind your actions. That's true spirituality.
The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
2 Chronicles 16:9 NKJV
If you want to be a person with a large vision, you must cultivate the habit of doing the little things well. That's when God puts iron in your bones! I'm talking about the way you fill out those detailed reports, the way you take care of those daily assignments, or the way you complete the tasks of home or dormitory or work or school. The test of my calling is not how well I do before the public on Sunday; it's how carefully I cover the bases Monday through Saturday when there's nobody to check up on me, when nobody is looking.
"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much."
I will hold you up, God says. But as long as you lean on someone else, you can't lean on Me. As long as you lean on some other thing, you won't lean on Me. They become substitutes for Me so that you aren't being upheld by My hand.
When you lean on another person or another thing, your focus is sideways, not vertical. Human crutches paralyze the walk of faith.
Fear not, for I am with you.... I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NKJV
Discouraged people don't need critics. They hurt enough already. They don't need more guilt or piled-on distress. They need encouragement. In a word, they need a refuge. A place to hide and heal. A willing, caring, available someone. A confidant. A comrade at arms. The One called "my strength ... my Rock ... my Fortress." We know Him today by another name: Jesus.
You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name's sake, lead me and guide me.
Psalm 31:3 NKJV
How often are you to get revenge? "never," says God. Not usually. Not sometimes. Not occasionally. Not even once!
God says, "so far as it depends on you," be at peace with all. In other words, you can't change the person. All you can do is handle your part, through God's power.
Excerpted from BEDSIDE BLESSINGS by Charles R. Swindoll Copyright © 2011 by Charles R. Swindoll. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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