2 Corinthians 4:18 – Seeing Beyond the Natural (Vision)
So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen.
Having a challenging moment? The Apostle Paul does not say we will not have troubles he just instructs us not to make them our focus. Challenging moments may exist, but we must be mindful of where our vision is. Instead of focusing on our challenges, he says to focus on what cannot be seen. God is at work even if it is not obvious or easily visible. If we only gaze at what we can physically see, we can get duped into believing the lie God is not active and nothing is breaking your way. We must keep an eternal view so we will never doubt God's love for us.
2 Corinthians 4:9 – Overcoming Despair (Encouragement)
We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.
Some moments in life can be perplexing. Paul acknowledges that we can have times we are perplexing. When we are perplexed, we may not understand what is happening. We must understand that even in those times, God is still God and we can still trust him. The word driven is key here. We should not allow our circumstances to take us places that do not reflect God or his word. God is good no matter what. We must keep the right perspective in knowing that he loves us and cares for us. Stopping to be grateful is a good way to prevent despair.
Read Hebrews 6:11 (Service)
Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.
Serving and loving others is faith in action. When we put our faith in action, we stay connected to God. When we allow the love of God and faith in God to lead our lives it prevents us from having a distant faith. We can love and serve others freely because we realize how much God loves us and how much he has done for us.
Read Genesis 40:12-15 (Productivity)
And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place.
Ever find yourself in a situation you did not expect to be in? In today’s passage Joseph finds himself in jail, but he does not cease operating where he is gifted. It does not matter where you are or what context you find yourself in, we should be active in using the gifts God has given to us. Joseph could have felt sorry for himself or gotten angry with God for his situation, but he remained faithful to God and continued to use his gifts. We should never allow oursleves to get down because of our situation because God still intends to use us, and he still has work for us to do.
Read Exodus 4:1-4 (Resourceful)
"Then the Lord asked him, “What is that in your hand?”
“A shepherd’s staff,” Moses replied."
“Throw it down on the ground,” the Lord told him. So Moses threw down the staff, and it turned into a snake! Moses jumped back."
Many times, the resources we need are already in our possession. The Lord had Moses use something that he already had but just in a different way. Sometimes, we think we need new things, but God can anoint what we already have if we approach it in a fresh and different way. God is in the business of making the most out of a little. We just need to trust him and to believe that he can. We need to search our lives to really see what we already have that God can use in new and fresh ways. The power was not in the staff but in what God wanted to do with it. What may seem plain to you, God can use powerfully for his glory. What area would you like to expereince in a fresh and new way? Could it be your marriage, relationships, your current MOS?
Read Philippians 4:9 (Consistency and Habits)
Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.
A lifestyle is built on habits. Paul says to “keep” putting into practice God’s principles. It is not enough just to hear truth we must implement it and live it. Consistency is what makes the difference. Is it not what we do for a day that has the most impact, it is what we do every day that has the most impact on our lives. Connecting with God daily will give us strength over the long run.
Read Genesis 43:19-23 (Integrity)
But as we were returning home, we stopped for the night and opened our sacks. Then we discovered that each man’s money—the exact amount paid—was in the top of his sack! Here it is; we have brought it back with us.
Who are you when nobody is looking? Joseph’s brothers returned what they knew did not belong to them. A life of integrity deals honestly in all business dealings and interactions. Believers in Christ do not have time to engage in any form of unrighteousness. First off, it is not God's character. Second off it is always found out. When we remain people of integrity, we demonstrate the character of Christ and are an example to the world.
Read Psalm 46:1 (Our Refuge and Strength)
God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.
Where do we go when you need a break? God is both a refuge which is a place of safety and strength meaning he gives us the ability to overcome any challenges we may face. Refuge makes us feel safe and covered and strength helps us to feel empowered so that we can overcome. God is both to us. So, when we feel pressure or difficulty, we run to him to sustain us.