Category: thoughts by Charles Stanley

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Read: Ephesians 2:1-7


Do you feel loved by God?  Let me ask the question a different way: Did you know that as a believer, it’s possible to mentally understand God loves you without actually sensing it? In fact, the reverse can be true as well—we may say we love God, all the while knowing that our feelings of affection for Him are limited.

There are a variety of reasons that a Christian might not sense love from God or affection for Him, some of which stem from childhood experiences. Perhaps love was absent in the home, or maybe it just wasn’t expressed verbally or demonstrated in practical ways. An individual’s personality could also be part of the equation—some people are naturally expressive while others are more reserved in their emotions.

Although this discrepancy between knowledge and experience can be distressing, there is hope. Meditating on all the ways God has demonstrated His love for you—and asking Him to help you perceive it—can begin to move that truth from your head to your heart. Remember that love is God’s very nature (1 John 4:8), not something conditioned on your performance. And if you’ve been adopted into His family through faith in His Son, God has chosen to lavish kindness on you in Christ.

Believing and accepting that you are loved by the Father will in turn affect your feelings for Him. Commit to knowing Him more intimately and accurately through His Word, and your affection for Him will begin to grow. As you spend time with Him in Scripture and prayer, you’ll discover that the saying “to know him is to love him” is certainly true of God.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18


The three commands in today’s passage may look simple because they’re short, but many people find them challenging to obey. Our lives are so full of responsibilities and activities that it’s all we can do to keep up our schedules, let alone live as these verses command. There’s only one way to succeed—not by trying harder but by focusing on Christ. When He becomes the center of our attention, our attitude and behaviour will change.

Rejoice Always. The realization that our omnipotent God is constantly with us puts troubling circumstances in their proper place—under His authority. It also helps us sense the incomparable joy of His companionship, even in difficulties and suffering.

Pray without ceasing. It’s important to set aside time each day to come before the Lord with our problems and requests. But believers also long for an ongoing attitude of prayer, which, like a continual conversation, is expressed either verbally or in our thoughts. Then if a decision is required or trouble comes, our first thought is to turn to God for help.

Give thanks in everything. If our minds are set on the Lord each day, we’ll be able to thank Him regardless of the situation. That’s because we know He is with us and will work everything for our good—if not here, then in heaven.

These three admonitions are a call to become preoccupied with Christ. If we are consumed with other thoughts, it’s easy to feel irritated, worry unceasingly, and complain about everything. But when we begin each day in God’s Word, we are reminded of His instructions and His care.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

People are saved when they trust Jesus Christ as Savior and choose to follow Him. Right then, most Christians realize that they will dwell with Him forever in heaven. But many don’t understand what they can expect for the remainder of their lives on earth.

One benefit that’s available immediately is a growing relationship with the Lord. The Father’s oneness with Jesus (John 10:30) illustrates the intimacy God wants to have with His children. He had this type of closeness in mind at creation—a relationship with man is an avenue for Him to express His love and for us to worship and understand our Maker.

Another advantage is that Christ-followers are promised clear guidance through God’s Holy Spirit. Decision making is a part of everyday life. It is impossible for a mere human to know every variable and nuance before choosing which path to take. But the Lord knows all things—past, present, and future. With godly wisdom available, it’s hard to understand why anyone would prefer to trust his own hunches.

Provision is yet another blessing guaranteed for believers. There will be hard times, but God gives Christians everything necessary for following Him (Philippians 4:19). And His grace will always prove more than sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9).

How abundantly God gives to His children! One word of caution, though: these gifts are effective only when believers walk obediently with Him. Sin can stifle them.

The heavenly Father desires that all of His sons and daughters have these blessings; if you’re living in obedience before Him, they are available to you. Is anything getting in the way of your total submission to Him?

by Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Daniel 4:1-27

Why is it so easy to lie?

Telling a falsehood is something we all did as children, but lying can trip up even longtime Christians. The underlying motive for giving in to deception is usually a desire to protect ourselves in some way. We lie to get out of trouble, to avoid an unwanted situation, to profit financially, to receive acceptance, to bolster our image, to hide our flaws, or for other self-serving reasons.

When Nebuchadnezzar had an alarming dream, the Lord gave Daniel the interpretation: The king was going to become insane and live like a wild animal for “seven periods of time.” At that moment, Daniel had to decide whether he would tell the king the truth or conceal it. In those days, giving a king a bad report could cost the messenger his life. Yet despite the danger, Daniel held to his convictions and delivered the Lord’s message to Nebuchadnezzar.

Here’s why Daniel could speak the truth in the face of danger: He trusted God. Since he was doing exactly what the Lord wanted, he wasn’t frightened into compromise. Obedience to God is worth far more than anything we could gain from speaking lies or doctoring the truth in an effort to stay safe.

Are you willing to commit to speaking truth even when it’s costly? Altering income tax information, falsely enhancing your image on social media, or ignoring a miscalculation in your favor on a receipt isn’t worth the loss of character that comes with deception. Seeking to please the Lord and letting Him handle the consequences will always be the best course of action.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Psalm 62:1-8


What am I going to do?” How many times have we all uttered this cry of despair? Sometimes the storms of life come without letup; they seem endless, successively crashing against us until we feel as though we can’t take any more. In those times of desperation, Psalm 62 offers three valuable lessons.

First, we must wait. It’s understandable that we want answers and relief immediately, but the Lord acts in His own perfect time, and He’s never late. Therefore, we must wait for Him to guide us to the next step—even when that means resisting our natural desire to react quickly and take control of circumstances.

Second, we must wait in silence. When we quiet our mind and tongue, we give God an opportunity to speak His words of hope and trust to our heart. Instead of letting anxiety and worry occupy our thoughts, we must focus on God’s promises from Scripture. Then He will give us patience, trust, courage, and the assurance that He cares and is in control.

Third, we must keep in mind the motivation for this waiting—God’s intervention. Our focus is to be on the Lord, not on our troubles, ourselves, or other people. We must learn to filter out whatever is pulling our attention away from trust in almighty God, who is working according to His will and timing.

When the storms of life batter you, make sure that your feet are planted on the solid rock of Jesus Christ. Do not despair, asking, What am I going to do? Rather, ask, What is God doing? And be assured—He is doing something.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Romans 5:6-11


Scripture tells us that love is the very essence of who God is (1 John 4:7). So if you don’t believe that He loves you unconditionally, you’ll never really know Him or have genuine peace about your relationship with Him.

How do you define “love“? It is Jesus unselfishly reaching out to mankind, giving Himself to us and bringing good into our life regardless of whether or not we accept Him. Romans 5:8 tells us that His care and concern are so immeasurable that He laid down His life for us while we were still His enemies. In fact, the Bible says that He first began to express His love toward us before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:3-5). That means your actions had absolutely nothing to do with His love for you!

God’s commitment to us has absolutely no conditions or restrictions and isn’t based on whether we love Him back. Nor does He have more love for “good” people who may strike us as more worthy. He loves us even in our sin, even when we don’t repent. Does that give us license to disobey? No. It gives us power to live holy lives, walk obediently with Him, and learn to love Him the way He deserves. To follow Him is to receive the love He has been offering all along.

Every single moment, whether awake or asleep, we all live under the canopy of the Lord’s wondrous, absolute love for us. But to fully experience that love, you must receive it. Say yes to this amazing gift that God wants to pour out on you. Bask in it, and let it overflow to those around you.

by Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Psalm 139:1-12


One of the most distressing emotions is the bleak sense of isolation caused by a difficult situation or experience. This is especially true when a loved one has died or you find yourself in the middle of a severe trial that can’t be solved quickly. Though the planet keeps on spinning, your world seems to have stopped and you begin to wonder, “Lord, where are You?”

In Psalm 139, David reminds us that we do not journey through this life alone. Our loving heavenly Father is and has been with each believer every single day. He’s more than a traveling companion—He keeps His mighty hand on us and surrounds us with protective love (Psalm 139:5). Nothing comes our way without His knowledge. And He gives His children the grace not only to endure but also to grow more like Jesus through the experience.

God promises to be with you in all seasons of life, whether joyful or sorrowful (Hebrews 13:5). No matter how dark, depressing, or hopeless the situation may seem, your faithful Father is with you because His love never fails (Romans 8:31-39). Furthermore, He knows every facet of your situation and is working it out for both your good and His glory (Romans 8:28). Besides having the power to meet any need, He also has surpassing comfort for every hurt.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Dark valleys may blind us at the moment, but to our Shepherd, the night is as bright as the day. We can trust Him to bring us out of the shadows and into His light. In the meantime, we must cling to the truth of His Word, which assures us of His loving kindness and compassion.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Please open your Bible and read: Matthew 18:21-35


Our forgiveness toward others should have no limitations.

God’s unconditional pardon of our sins destroys any excuse we might devise for holding onto bitterness. Though we may try to draw a line at the number of times we’ll accept apologies, or attempt to categorize which offenses we’ll pardon, Jesus drew no lines at the cross.

We also want to hang onto resentment instead of forgiving instantly. This is not scriptural. Whenever we cling to unforgiveness – even for a short time – Satan gains a stronghold. If the Father’s will is that we forgive, why must we think about it? We need to get our thinking done now: decide today that you will respond to hurts and humiliation with forgiveness.

We walk in a spirit of forgiveness when we understand that God is sovereign over this universe. Nothing hurtful can touch us unless it passes through His permissive will. That is not to say God instigated or caused it; however, God allows some unpleasant situations so that He can utilize our hurt to develop character, to expose weak spots, or to drive us closer to Him.

Forgiveness is painful and costly. Jesus felt every nail, every thorn. As the forgiver, we must bear wrongdoing  without retaliation. But as believers, we trust Jesus Christ to take that pressure off us. We can rely on the Lord to provide both wisdom and the strength take God – pleasing action. When we forgive, we need to approach our offender with the intent of reconciliation, doing whatever God directs to get our relationship right. Jesus did that for us.

By Dr. Charles Stanley

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Read: Psalm 105:1-7


Although Scripture tells us to seek the Lord, many Christians struggle with this command. Some are so distracted by other interests and responsibilities that God is only a minuscule part of their goals and desires in life. When confronted with their responsibility to pursue Him, they often feel guilty but don’t know how to begin.

When desire for the Lord surpasses our eagerness for other pursuits, following through becomes more natural. But hunger for the Lord can be like an acquired taste. The more we pursue Him, the greater our hunger will be. However, if we ignore Him, what little appetite we have will diminish even further. Do you find that the latter describes your experience? If so, ask the heavenly Father to whet your appetite for Him—and follow through by making the effort to seek Him.

Begin with the Scriptures and prayer. Set aside time each day for meditating on God’s Word—listen for His voice, slowly digest what you read, talk to the Lord, ask Him questions, and apply what you learn to your life. Begin studying the Bible. Some of you may say, “I’ve never been into that.” My advice: Get into it! The deep things of God don’t just drop into our brains; they are placed there through diligent study.

Seeking anything requires time and effort. Will you invest your life in the pursuit of the Eternal One—the source of all contentment, joy, and hope? Or will you go after that which is fleeting? By neglecting the Lord, you cheat yourself of all the benefits He promises to those who diligently seek Him.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: 2 Samuel 7:21-22

Whom do you trust? It isn’t easy to find many people who are true to their word. At some point, we all learn the hard way that anyone other than almighty God can disappoint us. Let’s look at the Lord’s character to discover why He can be trusted.

He is the one true God. Back in Old Testament times, it was common for people to actually carve and worship a false god. Today, it is more typical to idolize something unseen, such as wealth, power, fame, or relationships. These can consume our passion, money, and time—and in the end leave us fruitless and empty. Jehovah, on the other hand, is alive and real, ready to be intimately involved in our lives.

God is truth, and He is always faithful (John 14:6; 1 Corinthians 10:13). Unlike sinful man, the Lord is trustworthy—and everything that He says will happen comes to pass. Our sovereign God has all power and is in control of every situation.

Christ loves us unconditionally. How can we ever doubt His love when He willingly gave His life in our place? And His love is based not on our behavior or status but on His character alone.

The heavenly Father is unchanging. All of the above are timeless attributes that will forever be true.

God can be trusted. So don’t give Him just the easy concerns; rely upon your Creator for everything. He desires a personal relationship with His beloved and is able to guide each believer through life victoriously. In a changing, suspicious world, you have a Friend who is 100 percent reliable.

By Dr. Charles Stanley

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Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-7

Look up comfort in a dictionary and you’ll find a definition like “something that promotes a state of ease or provides freedom from pain and anxiety.” But according to God’s Word, when consolation is needed, the only true solution is the indwelling Holy Spirit. In Greek, He is called parakletos, which means “he who stands at one’s side; he who comes to one’s aid.” Believers don’t have to rely on outward remedies or distractions to ease their mind, because help is available from the ultimate Comforter.

Even before the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell believers (John 14:26; Ephesians 3:16), Scripture identified God as the one who comforts His people  (Isaiah 40:1 ; Isaiah. 49:13). The Lord personally provides consolation and reassurance because no one knows our hurts the way He does.

I like this anonymous quotation:

When we have gone into the furnace of affliction, His hand is on the thermostat and His eye is on the clock.”

God allows hardship, and as a result, we become stronger believers, wiser servants, and more humble people. But He stays by our side through the entire experience, sustaining us and limiting the intensity and duration of our distress. The Spirit’s reassuring whisper to our heart gives more comfort than the solace of family or the encouragement of friends.

People who fail to understand the true source of comfort try to escape their pain. They seek out pleasures, material wealth, or drugs and alcohol to soothe them. Only God can offer lasting relief from the crushing pressure of heartache. He even brings joy into periods of mourning.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Psalm 103:10-14

Have you ever come to the Lord in repentance, confessing your wrongdoing, and yet still felt guilty? Sometimes the problem is that we can’t forgive ourselves. Therefore, we go into a self-punishing mode, repeatedly replaying the sin until we feel unworthy not only of pardon but also of blessings, answers to prayer, and the Father’s love. Eventually we build a prison of guilt because our offence seems unforgivable.

But what does such behaviour tell us about our faith in God and our estimation of ourselves? According to the Bible, our Father freely bestows forgiveness on the basis of His Son’s payment of our sin debt—and has removed our transgression “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12). Is our refusal to forgive ourselves a way of saying we consider Christ’s sacrifice insufficient? In other words, is our standard of righteousness higher than the Lord’s?

Two men in Scripture teach us about the importance of accepting God’s full forgiveness. One is Peter, who denied knowing Christ, and the other is Paul, who persecuted Christians. The Bible gives no evidence that either one of them refused to forgive himself. Although their offences were great and both men probably regretted their actions, they received God’s forgiveness and lived in the freedom of His grace.

To be free of an unforgiving spirit toward ourselves, we must realize it’s the result of self-focus. Instead of believing the truth of God’s forgiveness, we’ve been relying on our own feelings and making them superior to His Word. It’s time to humble ourselves and place trust in God—not in our feelings.

By Dr. Charles Stanley

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Further Reading on Forgiveness:

How to Experience God’s Love and Forgiveness (3 parts)

Have You Forgiven Yourself | by Katherine Kehler

God Forgave our Sins, Past, Present and Future | by Katherine Kehler
“He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west.” Psalm 103: 12. Do you ever think that you have sinned so much that God can’t forgive you?

You Can Live Forgiven | by Max Lucado
If you haven’t accepted God’s forgiveness, you’re doomed to live in fear. No pill, pep talk, or possession can set the sinner’s heart at ease.

Are You Forgiven  | by Sherry Yarger
As a young Christian, there were times when satan, my accuser, would rob me of my peace as he caused me to question my forgiveness.

The Problem is We Won’t Forgive Ourselves | by  Jon Walker
‘Then he (Jesus) said to him, “Follow me!” John 21:19 (NIV). We believe God will forgive us; the problem, though, is we won’t forgive ourselves.


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Read: Hebrews 1:1-14

What do you do when the storms of life come?

To whom do you turn?

Where do you seek comfort and security during such tumultuous times?

Throughout our lives, these storms come and go unexpectedly, but they do not have to throw us off-balance. Scripture assures us that we can maintain a steady footing regardless of the circumstances. So how do we do this? There is an amazing truth in the Bible that will keep us steady during the most trying times. Our anchor for the storms of life is simply this: Jesus Christ never changes.

Why is this so vital, and what do we mean by an “anchor”? Consider that every single thing in your life—career, relationships, finances—is in a state of constant change. You yourself are aging and changing every minute of each day, and there is nothing you can do to stop this process. In fact, even the current heaven and earth will grow old and perish, and like a garment they will be changed (Revelation 21:1). Yet through it all, Christ remains the same.

If we try to hold tightly to any of these earthly things during our hardships, we will be tossed about in various directions since we’ve affixed ourselves to an unstable foundation that’s continually shifting. However, if we place our hope in Christ, we can be sure that the anchor will hold because He isn’t moving, changing, or leaving. In fact, Jesus Christ is the only sure footing in a world of movement, and He will steady all who trust in Him

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: Philippians 1:12-18


If you could change your circumstances, would you?

Most of us would respond in the affirmative. Even if we’re experiencing relatively peaceful and comfortable conditions, we can always imagine a better life. And for those of us enduring difficult, painful, or trying situations, we long to see the burden lifted.

In reality, there are some circumstances over which we have no control. We can’t maneuver our way out, so our only option is to go through them. However, if we are redeemed children of God, we are exactly where He wants us, because His sovereignty rules over all our situations at all times.

This was true for Paul despite his being imprisoned, chained, and watched by the Roman guard. After a fruitful ministry of proclaiming the gospel and founding churches throughout the Roman Empire, he found himself under house arrest. But even during these difficult circumstances, God remained in control, and His work in and through Paul hadn’t stopped.

What seemed like a very negative aspect of the apostle’s life—being chained and watched—turned out to be the means God used to deliver the gospel to the entire praetorian guard. Paul’s imprisonment also prompted other believers to boldly proclaim Christ. Some did it out of love while others acted in envy; but in both cases, the goal of spreading the gospel was accomplished.

The same sovereign God who used Paul’s circumstances for His purposes can do so with yours. But like the apostle, you’ll have to trust that the Lord will comfort and strengthen you to endure, and yes, even to rejoice.

By Dr. Charles Stanley
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Read: James 3:1-12


Have you ever considered what a wonderful gift speech is?

When God created us, He gave us a voice and a language so we could communicate. With our tongues we can praise and glorify God, teach His Word, pray, and express encouragement and loving devotion to one another.

However, our voices also have the power to hurt. It often starts with something small, like a thoughtless comment that can snowball, causing unforeseen damage. At times we may express our opinion in a critical way, which tears the other person down. Or out of curiosity, we might ask a question or make a suggestion that sows seeds of doubt and distrust, thereby damaging another person’s reputation.

Scripture calls this gossip, and God has strong words to say about those who engage in it. They separate close friends, betray confidences, and stir dissension. Most alarming of all is the fact that the Greek word for a malicious gossip is diabolos, which is also translated “devil.” When we use our words to tear others down, we are acting like the devil rather than like Jesus Christ.

God takes our words very seriously, and so should we. Jesus said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew. 12:34). Therefore, what we need is a heart transformation, and the only one who can do that is God.

Since gossip is the opposite of love, ask the Lord to give you His love for others so you can be someone who protects reputations, covers sins, and blesses others with your words.

By Dr. Charles Stanley

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