Read an Excerpt
By Sarah Young
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Sarah Young
All right reserved.
Chapter OnePut your hope in Me, and My unfailing Love will rest upon you. Some of My children have forgotten how to hope. They have been disappointed so many times that they don't want to risk being let down again. So they forge ahead stoically—living mechanically. Other people put their hope in problem solving, medical treatments, the stock market, the lottery, and so on. But I challenge you to place your hope fully in Me.
No matter what is happening in your life now, your story has an amazingly happy ending. Though the way ahead may look dark to you, there is brilliant, everlasting Light at the end of your earth-journey. My finished work on the cross secured this heavenly hope for you, and it is absolutely assured. Moreover, knowing that your story finishes well can fill your present journey with Joy. The more you put your hope in Me, the more My Love-Light shines upon you—brightening your day. Remember that I am with you continually, and I Myself am your Hope!
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. —Psalm 33:20–22
A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time. —Titus 1:2
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope. —1 Timothy 1:1 NKJV
Chapter TwoRelax in My Presence, knowing that nothing can separate you from My Love. The worst-case scenario in your life—that I might stop loving you—is not even in the realm of possibility. So rejoice that you don't have to perform well enough to earn My Love, or to keep it. This Love is pure gift, flowing out of My own perfect righteousness. It secures your connection to Me—your Savior—for all eternity.
Since the worst thing imaginable is not possible, you can relax and live more abundantly. When things are going well in your life, I want you to enjoy those good times fully—without worrying about what is on the road ahead. When you are facing tough times, I will help you and strengthen you with My Love. Even though you live in a world where trouble is inescapable, you can be of good cheer because I have overcome the world!
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 8:39
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." —John 10:10 NKJV
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." —John 16:33 NKJV
Chapter ThreeSometimes My Sovereign hand—My control over your life—places you in humbling circumstances. You feel held down, held back, and powerless to change things. You long to break free and feel in control of your life once again. Although this is an uncomfortable position, it is actually a good place to be. Your discomfort awakens you from the slumber of routine and reminds you that I am in charge of your life. It also presents you with an important choice: You can lash out at your circumstances—resenting My ways with you—or you can draw closer to Me.
When you are suffering, your need for Me is greater than ever. The more you choose to come near Me, affirming your trust in Me, the more you can find hope in My unfailing Love. You can even learn to be joyful in hope while waiting in My Presence—where Joy abounds. Persevere in trusting Me, and I will eventually lift you up. Meanwhile, cast all your anxiety on Me, knowing that I care for you affectionately and am watching over you continually.
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. —Psalm 32:10
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. —Romans 12:12
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11 NKJV
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. —1 Peter 5:6–7
Chapter FourWhen you trust in Me, you take refuge in Me. So trusting Me is much more than a matter of your words; it is mainly a matter of your will. As you go through this day, you will encounter many things that can make you anxious, including some of your thoughts. If you don't stay alert, anxious feelings can slip into your day without your noticing them. When this happens, you may wonder why you suddenly start to feel bad. Usually, you just ignore those feelings. Or you may try to numb them with food, drink, television, gossip, or other distractions. How much better it is to "catch" the worry-thoughts before they take hold of you. That is why I say, "Be on the alert!"
If you are watchful and alert, you can choose to take refuge in Me whenever anxiety comes at you. A refuge is a place that provides protection or shelter: a safe haven. It is something you turn to for help, relief, or escape. I am eager to be your Refuge, and I am with you at all times. Nonetheless, you must exert your will by turning to Me for help. Thus, you make Me your refuge, demonstrating your trust in Me. Blessed—happy, to be envied—is the one who takes refuge in Me.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. —1 Peter 5:8 NASB
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by. —Psalm 57:1 NKJV
O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him. —Psalm 34:8 AMP
Chapter FiveI will restore you to health and heal your wounds. I am with you, within you, all around you—continually at work in your life. When your awareness of Me grows dim, My Presence continues to shine brightly upon you. This Light has immense healing Power. So dare to ask great things of Me, remembering who I am. I am able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think. Pondering My limitless ability to help you will strengthen your faith and encourage you to pray boldly.
Praying in My Name—with perseverance—can accomplish great things. Learn from the parable of the persistent widow, who refused to give up. She kept bringing her petition to a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. Eventually, her persistence wore him down, and he gave her what she sought. How much more will I respond to My children who cry out to Me day and night! Though you may have to wait a long time, do not give up. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds.
"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds," declares the Lord, "because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares." —Jeremiah 30:17
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. —Ephesians 3:20 NKJV
"I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?" —Luke 18:1–8
"For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened." —Luke 11:10 AMP
Chapter SixLearn to live from a place of resting in Me. Since I—the Prince of Peace—am both with and within you, you can choose to live from this peaceful place of union with Me. This enables you to stay calm in the midst of stressful situations, by re-centering yourself in Me. We can deal with your problems together—you and I—so there is no need to panic. However, the more difficult your circumstances, the more tempting it is for you to shift into high gear and forget My peaceful Presence.
As soon as you realize you have wandered from your place of Peace, return to Me immediately. Call upon My Name, for this reconnects you with Me and helps you feel safe. Don't be discouraged by how often you wander from Me. You are endeavoring to form a new habit, and this takes time plus persistent effort. The rewards, though, are well worth your efforts. The more you return to Me—to our resting place—the more peaceful and joyful your life will be.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. —Isaiah 9:6
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. —Philippians 4:13 NKJV
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. —Proverbs 18:10 NKJV
Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when we must even wait for hope. I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope. George Matheson
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the Lord. Psalm 31:24 NKJV
CH7[ I want you to love Me, listen to My voice, and hold fast to Me—for I am your Life. This is the way of wisdom. I am training you to stay close to Me as you walk along perilous paths. In any close relationship, listening and loving are vitally important—and they are interconnected. Listen to Me as I rejoice over you with gladness and quiet you with My Love. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you receive My glorious Love in full measure. This will dramatically increase your love for Me.
The world is full of dangers, so it is wise to hold tightly to My hand. Listen—through My Spirit and My Word—while I talk you through tough times. Pour out your heart to Me, remembering that I am your Refuge. As you stay in dialogue with Me, I help you handle whatever is before you. Hold fast to Me, beloved, for I am your Life.
[Choose life] that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. —Deuteronomy 30:20
The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing. —Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. —Psalm 62:8 ]CH7
CH8[ I am the Foundation and Focus of your life. I am a firm Foundation: one that will not be shaken. Before you knew Me as Savior, you had nothing to build your life upon. Every time you tried to create something meaningful, it would eventually collapse—like a house of cards. Without Me, everything is ultimately "Meaningless! Meaningless!" Ever since I became your Savior, you have been building on the Rock of My Presence. Some of the things you've worked on have flourished and others have not, but you always have a firm place to stand—on the foundation I've provided for you.
The key to steadiness in your life is to set Me always before you. When you make Me your Focus, you can walk steadily along your life-path. Many distractions will vie for your attention along the way, but I am the Guide who is continually before you. So keep looking ahead to Me. See Me beckoning you on—step by step by step—all the way to heaven.
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless!" —Ecclesiastes 1:2
The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation! —2 Samuel 22:47 NKJV
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. —Psalm 40:2
I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. —Psalm 16:8 ]CH8
CH9[ Look the right way! In the world around you, there are vistas of bright beauty as well as dark, ugly wastelands. When you look the right way—toward what is true, noble, lovely—you are encouraged and strengthened. I created you with a great capacity to enjoy beauty and goodness. Your soul resonates with these blessings, drawing strength from them.
As you go through this day, you will encounter things that make you cringe, things that are wrong or ugly. Deal with these as you must, but do not let them become your focus. Remember that I am with you, and listen to Me. Hear Me saying time after time, "Look the right way."
There is beauty not only in the visible world but also in what is unseen. This world in its fallen condition can never satisfy you fully. You yearn for perfection, and I am the fulfillment of that deep longing. I am perfect in every way, yet I am able to stay close to you as you walk through this sin-stained world. So look the right way—toward blessings, toward Me—and the Joy of My Presence will shine upon you.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. —Philippians 4:8 NKJV
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me." —John 10:27
The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you. —Numbers 6:25 NKJV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. —Psalm 16:11 ESV ]CH9
CH10[ Trust Me here and now. You are inrigorous training—on an adventurous trail designed for you alone. This path is not of your choosing, but it is My way for you. I am doing things you can't understand. That is why I say, "Trust Me!"
The jungle is thick, and you cannot clearly see what is before you, behind you, or beside you. Cling to My hand as you follow this trail in shadowy darkness. Although you cannot see Me, My Presence with you is rock-solid reality. Find hope in Me, beloved, for I am taking care of you.
Focus on enjoying Me and all that I am to you—even though your circumstances scream for resolution. Refuse to obsess about your problems and how you are going to fix them. Instead, affirm your trust in Me; wait hopefully in My Presence, and watch to see what I will do.
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God. —Isaiah 50:10
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence. —Psalm 42:5 NASB
Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. —Micah 7:7 NKJV 0
CH11[ Use your trials and troubles to draw closer to Me. Whenever you start to feel distressed, turn that around by talking with Me. Let pain and problems remind you of your constant need for Me. Create a collection of brief prayers, such as: "Help me, Jesus. Fill me with your Peace. Show me Your way." These requests are spiritual nutrients—soul vitamins. The more you use them, the healthier and happier you will be.
When you view troubles in this way—as reminders to draw near Me—you can actually rejoice in your trials. Of course, this requires training your mind to move quickly from problem mode to prayer mode. It is crucial to have your arsenal of prayers ready to use. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your preparations: helping you form prayers that will flow readily out of your heart. Then practice saying them to Me, until you're intimately familiar with them. When you encounter trouble of any kind, reach into your arsenal of prayers and speak one or more of them boldly. The enemy will retreat, and I will draw near.
Excerpted from Jesus Today by Sarah Young Copyright © 2012 by Sarah Young. 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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