Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Have you ever taken a career placement test? You took it and answered question after question. At the end of all the questioning, you were given a list of career choices that would be good for you based on your personality. These tests can be helpful, but they’re not the answer to everything.
Tests like these forget one major thing, God. God has a purpose and a plan for your life. And to really find out which career path is right for you, you’ve got to start by going to God for His help. We often go to our friends, family, and tests like these to determine what we should do with our lives. And while getting advice from others and taking tests is helpful, it shouldn’t be our only input.
Instead, we should be looking to God for what He wants for our lives. We should be asking Him which college to go to. We should be asking what career is a good fit for us? And then we should be willing to do what He answers us with.
You’ll experience much less disappointment if you follow after God and His plan for your life. So if you haven’t yet, begin to ask Him what it is you should be doing. Be willing to spend some time praying and don’t be afraid to act on what He says.
3 John 2 (ESV)2 Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
In this verse John is praying not only for the believers to prosper spiritually but also physically. This verse stresses something that is not often taught among Christians. Not only does God want you to be spiritually doing well but He also wants you to be doing well physically. God cares about all of you, not just how you are doing spiritually.
God wants you to prosper in every way. He wants you to do well in all aspects of your life. So no matter what it is that you struggle with and no matter what you’re going through, God wants to see you doing well.
Whatever your need is today, whether it’s something spiritually, physically, or in any other way, go to God. Get His help for all of life’s challenges.
Romans 10:17 (KJV)
17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Have you ever listened to a song the first time and didn’t like it? But then maybe it kept being played on the radio or a friend really liked it and so you listened to it over and over again. After a few times of listening, the song that you didn’t really like stopped bugging you so much. Then, before you knew it, that song became one of your favorites. There’s power in listening to something time and time again.
The same is true with God’s word. Often we hear a scripture or verse one time and it’s easy to overlook it. But if we dig into it, and get it into our hearts, it can often become life-changing. It’s all about hearing it again and again.
There are truths in God’s word that can be overlooked if we just read them once quickly. However, if we dig beneath the surface, we can often find a life-changing truth. So today, take some time to get into God’s word. Pick a scripture and take a fresh look at it. Really think about what it is saying to you and how it can apply to your life. Faith comes as you hear God’s word over and over again!
1 John 2:17 (ESV)
17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
Have you noticed how easy it is to get consumed by what’s going on around you? For you, it might be getting swept up into all gossip going on at school. Perhaps it’s simply spending too much time gaming online or watching TV. Whatever it is for you, it’s really easy to lose focus on the things that are important.
God has a divine plan and purpose for your life. However, it’s easy to become too busy to take time to hear from Him.
So today, challenge yourself to break out of the normal and do something different. Choose to take time to hear from God concerning your future. It might be spending a few minutes before you go to bed each night reading your Bible. It could possibly be getting up a little earlier or listing to a great podcast that challenges you to follow after God. Whatever the case might be for you, make getting to know God a priority in your life. Find out His plan and His will for your future.
Ephesians 4:1 (ESV)
4 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called,
You are a child of God and as His child, you’ve been called to do something for Him. God has placed desires and dreams in your heart and wants to help you accomplish them. But, have you noticed how easy it is to get sidetracked when it comes to our calling? Most of the time, it’s not intentional. We just get busy or sucked into the Netflix world and the next thing we know, we’ve totally forgotten about the things God has called us to do.
If we live our lives just for ourselves and we wait for our dreams to magically fulfill themselves, we will always be disappointed. We’ve got to be more intentional when it comes to our dreams. If we live our lives just for ourselves and look to others for fulfillment we will be disappointed. True fulfillment comes when we put our focus on our God-given calling.
The only thing that can bring you the peace and fulfillment you need is Jesus. He’s called you, so live a life that’s worthy of that calling. Choose to not be distracted by other things and choose instead to lean into Jesus. Trust Him to help you find the path that’s right for you. You’ve been called to great things!
Colossians 3:15 (ESV) 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Have you noticed how easy it is to lose your peace? You might have an upcoming test and you let worry in your life. You feel afraid that you wont get the grade you need and it makes you want to quit. It might feel like all the pressures of life are coming at you and you may feel like you’ve lost your peace. The good news is that we can experience peace even when it seems like everything around us is going wrong. It’s not that we are ignoring bad circumstances, but rather, we can have peace because of who we know. We know Jesus and that relationship allows us to live life at peace.
Even when life gets out of control, Jesus is your peace. When those thoughts of worry about a test come, you have to choose to believe what the Bible says and focus your thoughts on Jesus. In Jesus, there is no need for us to fear. You have been made right in God’s sight and that righteousness lets you live a life that is free from fear, stress, and failure. You’ve just got to choose to not allow your thoughts of worry and fear grow.
So today, choose to guard your thoughts. Choose to set your thoughts on Jesus and experience His peace even in the middle of difficult circumstances. Jesus will see you through.
Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
You might be poor or you could be rich. You might have two parents at your home, you might have one. It’s so easy in whatever circumstances you’re in to become unhappy. You might wish that things were different at home. Often, we can let our circumstances dictate our happiness. When you base your happiness on circumstances you’ll always be disappointed. True happiness comes when you choose to put your attention on eternal things. For example, you choose to focus on giving to others or telling others about Jesus. When you do those things, you’ll experience lasting peace. So today, instead of focusing on what you don’t have, choose to focus on what you do. Remind yourself of how good God has been to you. Jesus went to the cross so you didn’t have to. He took on all the sin of the entire human race. Jesus took our shame, guilt, and punishment for all time.
When we spend our energy focused on who Jesus is and what He has done for us, it’s a lot harder to be disappointed with our lives. Sure, circumstances may come and go. Certain things may not always go the way you want them to. But when our focus is on Jesus, we can rise above our circumstances and find peace in Him.
Matthew 11:28 (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Are you facing some difficult situations in your life? Maybe your parents are divorcing. Perhaps your best friend isn’t treating you right. Life is full of difficult situations, and in the middle of them sometimes it’s hard to hold your head up and keep hope alive that things will get better. In today’s Bible verse it tells us to come to God when you’re weary. When you’re tired and life is hard, go to God. Tell Him how you feel and ask His wisdom in dealing with other people. In those situations where you don’t feel like you can go on, take heart. God hasn’t left you alone or helpless. He’s given you the Holy Spirit to be your comforter. Just lean on His help and ability to help you through tough times.
God wants to give you rest. If things have been hard and more than you feel like you can handle, be encouraged. God wants to give you the peace and rest that you need. So lean on God. Let God’s peace flood into your heart. Know that God hasn’t left you to face difficulty alone. Go to Him and get the help you need. Life can be tough but know you’re not alone. You’ve got heavenly wisdom and help to face any and every situation. You will make it through!
Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
It’s easy to let people and circumstances make you feel bad. Maybe someone said something to you that made you feel like you weren’t worth anything. Perhaps school is hard for you and so it’s easy to feel like you’re not important or worth anything.
When you begin to feel that way, often you enter into relationships and allow yourself to be treated poorly. That’s not how God sees you, however. God sees you as a masterpiece. He created you, knows you and knows the plans he has for you.
So don’t allow yourself to feel bad if people haven’t seen your value. What matters is that God does and He loves you in a big way. So today encourage yourself that you can make it. Your life is important and matters to God.
Isaiah 40:8 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Do you wish you had a date? Are you in a relationship, but wish you knew how to get out of it? Relationships are hard and whether you’re in one or not sometimes it’s just simply hard to be content. Some days are good and some days are bad. With all the ups and downs of relationships, it’s often a lot of work to be content. The good news is that no matter how crazy your relationships get, there’s one thing that is constant. It’s God’s word. God’s word is never changing. And when things get crazy, it’s God’s word that we should turn to. God’s word should be the standard and the guide for all our relationships. So regardless of your relationship status, choose today to look at God’s word. Let the unchanging truths in it be the standard for how you live your life. Don’t be swayed by relationships and feelings but rather cling to the truth found in God’s word.
Ephesians 4:23 (ESV)
23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,
We can know lots of scriptures and memorize tons of Bible verses, but until we think about them to the point where our attitude changes, they don’t do us any good. The power in scripture is when you let it change your attitude.
If you know a Biblical truth, like how much God values you, it doesn’t do you a ton of good. You can still live sad, depressed and feeling like no one really loves you. It’s when you think about God’s truths to the point where they change your thoughts and feelings that they become powerful in your life.
So challenge yourself to not just read and memorize Bible verses. Choose instead to dwell on the truths found in God’s word. Choose to let those truths affect what you think and determine your attitudes. The word of God is powerful. When you let it become real to you, it will change every part of your life for good.
Philippians 2:13 (ESV) 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Have you noticed that a lot of the time we want things ‘now’. We want our teachers to give us less homework, ‘now’. We want our parents to get off our case, ‘now’. We want our lives and our relationships to get better, ‘now’. We live in a world where things often happen fast and we are so used to instant downloads and results and action that it’s sometimes hard for us to be patient and wait for things to change.
A lot of the things in God’s word require a process. Maybe you pray for something and you don’t get the results to your prayer right away. You have to wait and wait and wait and it seems like it’s taking forever. The waiting time is often the hardest part. But it’s in the times of waiting that God helps us develop character in our lives. You might be waiting for that special relationship that will turn into marriage. In the waiting time, God can try to build character into your life. He might challenge you to get closer to him or to build successful habits.
Waiting isn’t always comfortable, but it’s good for us. It’s in those times of waiting on the promises of God that we develop godly character. Today if you’ve been waiting for change for a while, don’t give up. God is working in your life. Through this situation, he’s going to build character into your life.
Mark 6:3 (ESV)
3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
Have you noticed that when you’re used to something it’s hard to appreciate it? In today’s Bible verse, we see people who didn’t believe in Jesus because they were used to Him. They lived with him, knew his family, and didn’t see how miraculous he was.
How often do we miss what God is trying to do in our lives because at times it seems ordinary? We miss that God is blessing us at our job because it’s not always easy. We miss the fact that God has brought friendships into our lives because they don’t always treat us right.
It’s so easy to miss the miraculous in our lives because sometimes it appears ordinary. And often we miss what God is doing because it doesn’t seem extraordinary. Choose today to not take for granted what God is doing in your life. Instead be thankful and realize that God is doing the miraculous in your life even if it feels like you can’t see it yet.
1 Samuel 15:29 (ESV) 29 And also the Glory of Israel will not lie or have regret, for he is not a man, that he should have regret.”
One of the best things about God is His faithfulness. He isn’t like the people at your school that suddenly decide they don’t like you because of what you wore today to school. He’s not like the people you know who say they’re going to do something and then forget. God is refreshingly different. This Bible verse says that He won’t lie and won’t change His mind.
Sometimes it can be hard to put your trust in God because we expect Him to be like all the other people in our lives who sometimes let us down. We know people that say one thing but mean another, or don’t follow through with their promises. However, that is the opposite of how God is.
God always comes through. He never gives up on us and He doesn’t lie or change His mind. God is the one constant in your life that you can always count on. Be encouraged today that you can trust in God’s faithfulness.