Category: <span>thoughts by Mary Pinckney</span>

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (NLT)


I have come to find that my efforts alone are worthless when it comes to achieving anything I set out to accomplish.

I fail time and time again when I try to do things on my own. If it were not for the grace of God, I would not be able to go forward successfully in what God has called me to do.

Even when I get lost in finding my way through everyday routines — fighting to remain focused on the goals I have set ? I find that I can do nothing without Him. I often struggle because I am a “doer” by nature. My works often get me wrapped up in a performance mentality. I find myself doing enough just to get by rather than producing what I am capable of through His grace. Can you relate?

We are to commit and trust our works to the Lord. As it says in Proverbs 16:3, then He will cause our thoughts to become agreeable to His will and our plans will be established and succeed. This has become one of my go-to-scriptures when I am feeling overwhelmed. It puts me back into focus and helps me get out of my own way again. I recognize that I don’t have to have everything be perfect, I just need to relax and trust Him.

I encourage you today to rest in God’s grace upon your life. Rest in knowing that He will help you overcome every challenge you will ever face.

Father, we take so much pride in doing what we know is best. We get lost in our own ability and neglect the help you have freely given. Teach us to value your grace in our everyday life. Teach us to recognize the grace you have given us to accomplish what you have called us to. I pray that every day we will commit our works to you so that you will establish our thoughts. May our eyes be open to the countless rewards that await us when we do it your way and not our own. In Jesus name, amen

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•  Grace Upon Grace – A Devotional by Roy Lessin

•  Trading Flaws for Grace– A Devotional on Grace by Kathy Cheek

•  Salvation Explained


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“He set my feet upon a rock, steadying my footsteps and establishing my path.”
Psalm 40:2b (AMP)


The year came in with a vengeance.

On top of seeing snow in unexpected places,  we have seen a number of tragedies, deaths, illnesses, hurricanes, among other life-altering challenges. It’s almost as if the bottom fell out and many of you find yourselves trying to find sure footing again.  Is there a place of certainty that I can find rest? Is there hope for me, my family, and our future?

Even in this moment of transition I speak peace to the weary souls that are at a place of turmoil. I speak rest to your minds from the anxious toil.  Cease striving trying to figure it all out and rest in the unfailing love of the Father; for He gives rest to His beloved.

We must learn to accept His sovereignty and receive His grace. There are situations we will never be able to understand.  We are to trust that God has it all under control and He is working it all together for our good. He will also reveal His plan as time unfolds.

 2 Corinthians 12:9 encourages us to rely on the grace of God; My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”   Paul wanted God to remove the problems he faced because they seemed too much for him to bear, but God knowing all too well the purpose of those trials encouraged Him that His power was all He needed.

I challenge you today as you read this to take a step back and ask God to help you see your situation through His eyes.  In times like these we need Him to broaden our perspective. As He does take comfort in the rest that He has already provided; be still my friend and know that He is God. There is nothing too hard for our God to handle. When everything around you is shaking, He is a firm foundation. He is the rock of ages. He knows how to steady you and establish your footing on solid ground.

Father, teach me to rest in your unfailing love. I admit I get lost trying to find my way through life’s ups and downs. I don’t always know where to go or what to think. I don’t always know what to do, but you do. May I take comfort in knowing that Your purposes for me will be fulfilled.  There is nothing that I will encounter that can separate me from Your love. Thank you, Father. In Jesus’s name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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https://findingtruthwithin.com/

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Further Reading

•  Religion Causes Conflict and Strife– No Thanks!  

•  Getting Life Back on Track

•  Salvation Explained


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“Let your gentle spirit be made known to all men.” Philippians 4:5 (NASB)


 We live in a society that is filled with hurting people, many of whom go unnoticed on a regular basis. Have you stopped to take notice of the people around you?

We often get so consumed with meeting the next deadline, competing for the next promotion, or running to our next obligation, that we lose sight of how we treat the people around us. Sadly, our busyness can lead to harshness, critical attitudes, frustration, or just being overwhelmed to the point that we treat the ones we love unfairly.

How many of your relationships are strained because you need to make an attitude adjustment this very moment? It’s time to push pause. Take a deep breath and release the weight of what you have been carrying. Remember, as a born again believer, you have been called to be a light to those around you. People are taking note of your every move. You are to exhibit Christ’s nature that is within. I know we all have our days… but ultimately, Jesus should be seen, not us.

I encourage you today to put on gentleness, even in the midst of those moments of frustration. Slow down and begin to pay attention to what really matters. It is not the to-do lists that are waiting to be tackled. It is the people connected to you. Let gentleness go before you today. The things you accomplish will mean very little if you have no one to share them with.

 Father, help us to be mindful today of our attitudes. Help us to pay close attention to the ones we hurt because we are not paying attention to the little things. May our words and our mannerisms be seasoned with grace. May we pause to take time to commune with You in order to receive the love that we need to share with those around us. Lord, let Your love flow through us like never before. In Jesus’ name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•  God Provides Companionship

•  God is Gentle and Humble

•  Salvation Explained


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“So prepare your minds for action, be completely sober [in spirit—steadfast, self-disciplined, spiritually and morally alert], fix your hope completely on the grace [of God] that is coming to you when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:13 (AMP)

Have you ever been set free from something only to find yourself going right back to it? It can become a chaotic cycle. I was set free when I accepted Christ; yet I kept finding myself slipping back into old patterns. It is difficult to stay free in some area of our lives if we are not being proactive in the process.

For years I struggled with emotional eating. Food was always my source of comfort until one day; the Holy Spirit told me I had an unhealthy attachment to food. Those were not words I was excited about hearing. However, at this point, I knew I needed to do something different.

How could I get free and stay free? My process began with preparing my mind for action. Upon recognizing where my problem stemmed, I had to deal with the root issues. I had to go back and renew my mind by focusing on the truth of God’s Word. The truth of what God said about me. It helped me understand that he is my true source of comfort. He is my place of peace and refuge.

Renewing my mind had to become a daily process at this point. I learned it was my responsibility to take charge of my thought life in order to break free totally. It is like bathing regularly. In order to wash away the influence of the world, reading the Bible and other inspirational materials is vital. We must also be intentional when it comes to dumping negative emotions as well as daily filtering what we allow to enter our minds.

Father, help those that are reading this today to end the constant cycles they often find themselves in. Grant them the grace to prepare their mind for action as they walk with you day by day to the place of true freedom and wholeness. In Jesus name, amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10a (NLT)

Be still; these two words are not always comforting to a rescuer like me. It is hard sitting back and watching the ones you love suffer. Feelings of helplessness begin to take a hold of me as I sit back wanting to reach out and pull them from the hardships and the emotional pain they encounter. If I move out on what I want to do, it can hinder their growth. It can move them away from the purpose and the plan of God. The Lord has dealt with my heart on several occasions about this. I realize now that I jump to help out of fear of what may happen. Moving in fear reveals a greater problem; I don’t always trust the Lord with everything that concerns me or those I love. He has allowed me to see that my place, at times is just to pray. Oh this is not an easy task!! I want to act. I want to move, but I hear the Lord whispering steadily, BE STILL.

I have learned through various situations that we have to allow the Lord to complete the work that He began. He knows what is best for each of us and He will indeed perfect all that concerns us. If you too, struggle with running to your loved ones’ aid and playing Holy Ghost Jr, remember, you are only prolonging their process. Be still and know that He is God and He will bring them to their expected end.

Father, teach us how to trust you totally with our lives and those we love; comfort our hearts and grant us assurance as we watch you work in their lives. Help us to know that You are a faithful and a loving God and assure us that we can trust you at all times. Amen.

Take a moment and write down the situations in your life you need to trust God in. Find a scripture on trust that will help you to remember to leave it in God’s hands.

By Mary Pinckney
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Learn more about knowing Jesus at: https://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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As hard as it seems keep believing!


So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)

God is not slack concerning His promises to you. He has not forgotten about you. The very same words I have used to encourage myself time and time again, I use today to encourage you. It is not easy trusting a God that you don’t see. It is not always easy trusting that He is concerned about what concerns you. But the truth of the matter is, we serve a God that will never renege on His promises.

Paul tells us in our scripture reference not to throw away our confident trust in the Lord. Confident trust is the belief that something will happen based on God’s character. Again, He does not falter on His promises. Our reliance then should be on His ability to bring what He promises to pass.

So right now, in this very moment, as hard as it seems to keep believing, I urge you not to throw away your fearless confidence. Instead, embrace the patient endurance that helps us to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising. It is this endurance that prompts us not to give up when we are weary. We will reap the harvest that has been promised to us if we just hang in there. I challenge you today to stick it out and stick with God’s plan. Stay consistent, keep trusting, keep believing, and keep fighting until you see the promised completion.

Lord, I have failed you time and time again in this area. Help me today to continue along the path that you have laid out for me. Help me to stay true to my assignment even when my feelings get the best of me. Help me to keep the right heart attitude as I wait on you to bring your promises to fulfillment. Most of all, help me to continue trusting your heart towards me. In Jesus, name, Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•   Struggles, Despair

•  Understanding the Holy Spirit

•  Salvation Explained


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But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31

Sometimes we just need to stop, breathe and listen to what God is saying. Life can be so busy at times that we miss the important instructions we need to go forward. Give yourself permission to sit still and enjoy the stillness of the moment.

That brief pause may hold the key to the breakthrough you have been awaiting.

Lord teach us how to be still and wait in your presence. Teach us how important it is to listen for your still small voice in the midst of our daily routine.  Thank you for always being available for us. In Jesus name, Amen

Grace and Peace,
By Mary Pinckney

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Further Reading

•  How to Have a ‘Quiet Time’ with God

•  How To Be Sure God Listens To Your Prayers

•  Salvation Explained


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Thought – Is there a specific fear or doubt that has been grabbing hold of you recently?


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” – Hebrews 12:1

It takes courage to face the truth about yourself — your fears, doubts, and insecurities.
·
It takes courage to admit you are wrong when you have hurt someone.
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It takes courage to stand up for righteousness in the midst of what is popular and accepted.
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It takes courage not to defend yourself when you know you are innocent.
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It takes courage to love those that spitefully use and abuse you.
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It takes courage to forgive others so that you can be forgiven.
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It takes courage to believe in a God you can’t see.
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It takes courage to trust that God is in total control when everything around you is in total chaos.

When we walk by faith, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses. They walked the same walk before us.
Many of them did not get to see the promises of God fulfilled on this side of Heaven. They died still believing that what God promised would be theirs.

These men and women of God faced major challenges because of what they believed, but they still believed. Their lives were shared with us in the scriptures to encourage and inspire us not to quit in tough times. Let us therefore strip off every weight and every sin that so easily distracts us. Let us lay down our will and become heroes of faith for those that will follow
us.

Father, we desire to do your will in the midst of tough situations that we face daily. We want so much to live a life that is pleasing to you. We desire to follow the example of so many others that have gone before us. Their faith walk showed us how courageous they were as they stood for what they believed. May we walk in that same courage as we continue in our journey before you. In Jesus name, Amen.

Thought – Is there a specific fear or doubt that has been grabbing hold of you recently? Bring it to Jesus and pray for His courage to fill your heart today

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

Going Deeper with God

There is Nothing Beyond Your Reach – by Mark Doyle

•  Salvation Explained


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How do you keep going during chaos?


I struggled with finding the answer to this question for years. As I inquired of the Lord, He began to show me answers through the life of Jesus.

As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns.  Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”  Matthew 14:13-14 NLT

Jesus withdrew to be alone after receiving the news that His cousin John the Baptist was beheaded but upon seeing the crowd He turned and had compassion on them. Compassion is defined as a feeling of wanting to help someone who is sick, hungry or hurting.  Jesus wanted to ensure that the crowd had what they needed even at a time He was in need. The disciples wanted to send the crowd away but Jesus commanded that they be fed, pointing out that what they needed was within their ability to handle.

Too often, God is asking us to serve others but our own selfish ambitions get in the way. We are so concerned about our own needs and focused on our own insecurities until we miss the multiplication that is possible when God is with us. It is not within our own power to always meet the needs of the crowd. The key is recognizing God is always the source.  When we come to Him admitting our insufficiency, He takes what we have and multiplies it.

Jesus knowing the needs of the people did not turn them aside, He laid His own need aside to ensure the people were taken care of. After doing so, He continued to a place of solitude to pray.  Why is this significant when it comes to keeping it together? We can’t give out daily and not take time to replenish. This is faulty thinking. Anyone that has ever driven a car knows after driving for miles the car will run out of gas. To get more service from that car it must be refilled repeatedly. This is the same for each of us.

Jesus making time to withdraw and pray helped to keep Him connected to His source. It gave Him the power, the grace, the instructions and the wisdom to continue doing the will of the Father. Jesus knew His assignment. He knew daily meetings with His Father were required to ensure He could continue.

The death of John the Baptist is significant because Jesus was hurt by the loss of His cousin and friend. John the Baptist knew He was the Son of God sent to save mankind. As we take this into consideration we find that Jesus had emotions. He did not allow His emotions to hinder Him from doing the will of the Father. He understood His emotions had a place but it was not to move Him from His assignment. Again, this was evident when He saw the crowd. He allowed His purpose to lead.

As we study the life of Jesus we find the answers we need to keep it together when our world turns topsy-turvy. We learn that there is a place for our emotions and a proper way to deal with our own pain in life. We learn the importance of maintaining daily intimacy with God. We learn that we cannot function in our assignment without daily connection with our Father.  He holds the key to keep us together even when we are falling apart.

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•  Salvation Explained

•   Why Worry Yourself Sick? – by Muriel Larson

•  Dealing with Despair

 


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“Praise the LORD, who is my rock. He trains my hands for war and gives my fingers skill for battle.” Psalm 144:1 (NLT)


Every day you will face challenges that try to move you away from God’s plan and purpose for your lives. You will be tempted to act out of character. You will be tempted to give in to the pride of your own hearts; relying on yourselves rather than fully relying on God.  Unfortunately, all of these decisions will put you in a position to lose the battle.

If you are to see victory over the obstacles you are currently facing, it will take you learning the battle strategy from the one who knows best. God has strategic weapons to dismantle every attack of the enemy. We find this true throughout the Old Testament readings.

Joshua won the battle of Jericho by marching around the city 7 times, then releasing a loud shout. Gideon was told he had too many men for the battle. He was then instructed to take 300 men with him. As they went blowing their trumpets, the Lord confused the opposing army and they began to fight themselves.  Jehoshaphat was told by the Prophet of the Lord, you will not have to fight in this battle, the Lord will fight for you. They proceeded to battle worshipping their God and the other army began to destroy themselves.

As you can see from these accounts, God does not fight like we fight. His weapons are much greater than ours. They are weapons of mass destruction; tearing down every stronghold, piercing between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Today, instead of cowering down to the enemy of doubt, fear and insecurity. Instead of giving into the temptation to quit. Instead of allowing the whispers of the naysayers stop you in your tracks, I encourage you to fight back! You must stand and gird yourself with the full armour of God. Endure hardness as a good soldier and see those very obstacles demolished in your path.

When you allow God to be your defense, your strong tower, He can perfect all things that concern you.  After all, He has already equipped you with the weapons that work; prayer, worship, and the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God.

Do your battle on your knees today. Do your battle in worship. God will fight for you.

Father, thank You for teaching our hands to war. Too often, we fight from a place of our own strength not fully relying on, leaning into, and trusting You.  As we begin to change course, thank You for Your patience with us. Thank You for your power being made perfect in our times of weaknesses. May we look to You when we are weak to help us win the victory in every area of our lives. In Jesus name Amen.

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•  The Supernatural Power of Praise

•  God Listens to Us

•  Salvation Explained


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God set eternity in our hearts from the moment we got here. He knew we would need something to keep driving us forward.


And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3 NIV

Born knowing He would die for the sin of mankind – that was the assignment given to Jesus. His life was already mapped out for Him before the foundations of this world were formed.  He knew that the sin of mankind would be placed on His shoulders. He knew He would be beaten and bruised for our transgressions and the chastisement of our peace would be placed upon Him.  His destiny was to lay down His life for a people of whom, many would reject Him.

Jesus was motivated by the joy of seeing us reconnected to God. His purpose was evident in His words as well as His actions.   Even though He struggled in the Garden of Gethsemane, He chose to keep going in spite of the pain that was on the horizon. His unselfish act kept Him focused on the end result. We can take lessons from the life of Jesus.

Just as Jesus was born with a purpose, so were you and I. God set eternity in our hearts from the moment we got here. He knew we would need something to keep driving us forward. When we take our eyes off what we think and feel and focus on those God has called us to reach, it should motivate us to keep moving forward as well. It is my prayer that the life of Jesus will bring comfort and hope to you as you continue towards your God-given purpose.  If you are struggling with what that purpose is today; take a moment and ask God to reveal to you His plan for your life.

Lord we want to take this time to thank you for the birth of your Son Jesus. Thank you for allowing Him to walk upon the Earth and be the example for us. May His attitude towards pleasing you and serving the purpose for which He came become our very own. In Jesus name, Amen.

Grace and Peace to you,

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•  God’s Plan – A Study on God’s Destiny for Me?

•   We Plan, God Directs

•  Salvation Explained


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Allow the Lord an opportunity to become your hiding place today.


You are a hiding place for me; You, Lord, preserve me from trouble, You surround me with songs and shouts of deliverance. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!” Psalm 32:7 (AMP)

Remember as a child having that one place you could hide and feel secure when you were afraid? It may have been under the bed, or in the closet. Wherever it was, you knew without a shadow of a doubt all would be well if you could just get there.

That is what worship, experiencing the presence of God, has become for me: a hiding place. As fear rears its ugly head I know that His presence is the one place I can run. While there, He comforts and reassures me that I am safe.

There is nothing more soothing than knowing the love of our Heavenly Father. He promises to never leave us nor forsake us. Granted, there may be times we feel as though He has neglected us, but He is always there. His Word is filled with precious promises to assure us of that fact. Here is another gentle reminder from Psalm 27:5, ”For in the day of trouble He will hide me in His shelter; in the secret place of His tent will He hide me.”

Allow the Lord an opportunity to become your hiding place today. Whisper a prayer, read about His promises in the book of Psalms, or listen to songs of praise that glorify God and His ability to work on your behalf. Allow Him an opportunity to reassure you and provide the answers you need. Most of all, allow His love to overshadow you.

Father, wrap us in your arms today, and hide us as the storms of life rage round about us. Reassure us that we are the apples of your eye and that you will never leave us nor forsake us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

When you are feeling frenzied today, before running to others for answers and comfort, consult the Lord.

How has the Lord revealed Himself to you as a place of shelter in your daily life?

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•  The Everlasting God

•  The Word of God and the Power of God

•  Salvation Explained


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“I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering: . Jeremiah 29:11 CEV


We must be careful about comparing our lives to others. When we do, we tend to lose sight of what God is doing in our own lives. God is a God of purpose. He knows the plans and the future He has prepared for us. We should never underestimate His heart towards us.

Father grant us peace today about Your plans for us. Help us not to compare our journey to that of others but to take heart that You always has our best interest at heart. May we trust You at all times. In Jesus name Amen

By Mary Pinckney
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Love Your Neighbour

Random Acts of Kindness it is amazing how random acts of kindness affect those around you.

•  Salvation Explained


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“When my heart is overwhelmed.  Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. “  Psalm 61:2 NKJV


It gets so hard at times balancing every aspect of life; marriage, family, ministry, and career. Where do I find the time for me? Where do I find the time to commune with my Heavenly Daddy? So much comes into play on any given day. Sometimes I feel as though I am sinking, I am drowning in it all. Then I hear Your still small voice saying, “rest in me.”

I hear you calling me back to a place of stillness, a place of much needed peace. I hear you calling me to breathe and allow You to replenish me. I long for that time in Your presence, Lord. I long to be near You. You calm the raging emotions inside of me. Just as Jesus spoke peace to the wind and the waves in the Gospels, You still my overwhelmed heart. It is in Your presence I find fullness of joy and at Your right hand, pleasures forever more.

It is in the stillness that I find peace; I find continual hope. It is in the stillness that I find rest for my weary soul. Take delight oh my weary soul. Take delight in the presence of Abba Father. Take delight in His loving arms. If you find yourself in a similar place today, I challenge you to find rest in the Presence of Almighty God. It is in His Presence that we find renewed strength, peace, and hope.

Father, we long for Your unfailing love in our everyday lives. When we are running on empty, emotions are high, and life is overwhelming, lead us to the Rock that is higher than us. Lead us to that place of refuge and peace that we so long for. It is in You that we find rest. It is in You that we find hope. It is in You that we find peace.

When life seems to overwhelm you, take out a pen and pad and journal your thoughts.

Write a love letter to God telling Him how much you need His presence in Your life.

Grace and peace,

By Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•   How to have a “Quiet Time”

•   Praying the 23rd Psalm for Yourself and Others

•   Salvation Explained


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I know things are not going the way you planned.  I know that you thought you would be farther along by now.


And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9

I know things are not going the way you planned.

I know that you thought you would be farther along by now.

I know that you are anxious to see the finished work.

In spite of what it looks like, keep your head up! Regardless to what you may be facing today, God is not slack concerning His promises.  Instead of focusing on what you see, begin to change your focus to what God has said. His Word will not come back to Him void, but it will accomplish everything He sent it out to accomplish.

Hold on; change is on the way. That change may not be in your outward circumstances immediately, but it will take place on the inside of you if you keep fighting, keep praying, and keep pursuing His will for your life. Your time of harvest is on the way. Don’t you dare give up!

Lord, it gets harder by the minute to keep a positive outlook when it seems everything is going haywire. Help us I pray to keep our focus tuned in to You and Your Word rather than our circumstances. It is in Your Word that we find hope and renewed strength. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.

By: Mary Pinckney
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Further Reading

•  Making a Difference

•  God Is…

•  Salvation Explained


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