30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 17

30 day praise

Day 17: Prince of Peace

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

I love these verses because they remind me of how to obtain God’s peace. Praise God and give Him all my cares and concerns. I love it that I can have peace in the midst of the chaos of life. In the midst of circumstances beyond my control and frustrating people and a world going crazy, I can have peace knowing Who is in control. Often I forget that peace is for me everyday, in the little things too. I rest in his peace for the big stuff, but not always the little stuff life throws my way. Lord, help me to live in your peace in the everydayness of life.

Day 18: Difficult People

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 15

30 day praise

Day 15: You are Loved

If I truly lived in the light of God’s love for me it would be very freeing. Instead I find myself lost in the maze of comparison all too often. I put so much pressure on myself to be perfect, but not necessarily Holy. There’s a big difference. I look at those around me and never seem to measure up. But God doesn’t ask me to be those people. I sometimes get so wrapped up in what I am not that I forget who I am and how important it is to just be me. God created me. He knows me. He gave me traits and abilities. He knows my potential and my limits. He knows how to refine me and is in the process of making me the best me possible. All He asks is that I use who He made me to be for His glory, but I can’t do that if I am constantly trying to be someone else.

I praise the Lord that He is patient with me. I praise Him that he will continue His good work in me. I praise Him that I don’t have to compare myself to others and can live in the freedom of HIs love and peace. Help me to marinate in that freedom and love until I can fully absorb it.

Day 16: Friendship with God

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 14

30 day praise

Day 14: Bread of Life

All too often I turn to everything except God to fill my desires. When I want to rest I don’t come to God for the rest he promises. Instead, I’ll camp out in front of the tv or surf the net. I know there are so many things that are not inherently bad things, but if I constantly choose them over spending time with God, then my priorities are wrong and I leave feeling unfilled anyway.

I was actually thinking about food last night during the MasterChef finale. America is obsessed with cooking shows, or food competitions. I like them too. I fear food has become an idol for us, maybe even for me at times. I put a lot of time and energy into food preparation, from planning to execution. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to care for my family well. But I will expend energy to make sure we have a dessert on hand, but not expend the same energy to make sure I spend time with God. Again, it’s a priority thing and I think I often forget what truly satisfies the soul.

Satan loves to tell us that we don’t need God, that a million other things are more important. He loves to tell us that we can be happy if only we do this, or this. He lies. But sometimes, in the moment, it’s hard to remember that. O Lord, help me desire to feast on the Bread of Life.

Day 15: You are Loved

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 13

30 day praise

Day 13: Forgiveness

In thinking about God’s forgiveness and what to say, this Matthew West song came to mind. I love that it reminds us of why forgiveness is so amazing. How God removes our guilt and looks at us clean through Jesus sacrifice. We don’t have to beat ourselves up or wallow in our guilt. We have been pardoned once and for all. And no matter how we may feel about ourselves, God bestows his mercy, love and grace and views us as righteous.

There is no guilt here
There is no shame
No pointing fingers
There is no blame

What happened yesterday has disappeared
The dirt has washed away
And now it’s clear

There’s only grace
There’s only love
There’s only mercy
And believe me it’s enough

Your sins are gone
Without a trace
And there’s nothing left now
There’s only grace

Day 14: Bread of Life

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 12

30 day praise

Day 12: God’s Sovereignty

12 days in, almost halfway there and I am thinking that I serve an amazing God! It is so refreshing to focus on praising Him for who He is. Just focusing attention on His attributes has been a big blessing because it puts things in proper perspective.

God’s sovereignty is something I’ve been thinking alot about these past few days so it was very easy to praise Him about that today. I’ve been speed reading through the Old testament for a study I’m in, getting an overview of Israel’s history. God’s sovereignty is displayed so much! He is in charge of the rise and fall of nations, the rise and fall of rulers, the outcome of battles and providing for his people just to name a few. He is the God that can slay giants with a small boy, a stone and a sling. He can make the sun stand still. He can make shadows go backwards. He can make donkeys speak. He can rain down fire from heaven and shut up the skies to cause famine. Truly we serve a God who can do anything. After all, He spoke, and everything that is came to be.

It’s a great reminder to me that I truly do not need to fear and that no matter what happens in life, God is ultimately in control and nothing takes Him by surprise. He is more than able to do anything I ask of Him, and if He doesn’t do what I ask there must be a reason.

Day 13: Forgiveness

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 11

30 day praise

Day 11: Holy Spirit

I don’t often praise God for His Spirit, but I am so thankful. I wish I actually remembered more that His Spirit is in me and with me all the time. Sometimes I don’t live like it. But when I think about it – what a precious gift! We are never far from God. He lives in us if we are His children. He guides us and comforts us. Convicts us and reveals truth to us. He is a constant companion and that, like I said previously, is really amazing!

Day 12: God’s Sovereignty

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 10

30 day praise

Day 10: Fear

Who of us doesn’t have many things we are fearful of? We are human after all. If it was easy to not be afraid then God wouldn’t have to continually remind us to fear not. In thinking of the things that I fear it wasn’t hard to ramble off a list without thinking too hard. In going through that list and bringing it before God it was encouraging to praise Him for being a God who can take my fears and replace them with peace. And the more I praised Him for all His attributes, the more the fears dissipated. Now, of course they will come back. But that’s when I need to remember to continue to praise and wait for His peace to fill me again.

Day 11: Holy Spirit

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 9

30 day praise

Day 9: Broken Dreams

I love the story of Joseph because it is such a typical God story. He worked through the selfishness, arrogance and rivalry of siblings to bring Joseph to Egypt. Then he worked through false accusations and imprisonment to bring Joseph to power and ultimately bring the Israelites to Egypt and then showcase His power and on and on. Even though Joseph acknowledges to his brothers that what they intended for harm, God used for good, I’m sure there were times when he thought all was lost and God had forgotten him and the dreams he knew were from God.

I don’t know that I have too many broken dreams, but I do know what’s it’s like to have a door slammed that you hoped would be open. I know what it’s like to hurt. I know what it’s like to wonder if God has forgotten about your dreams. But I also know what it’s like to see beauty from ashes and have seen growth from the darkest of places. I know what it’s like to have God change your dreams. I’m thankful He knows us better than ourselves and that He sees the big picture so much better than we do.

Day 10: Fear

30 Day Praise Challenge – Thoughts from Day 8

30 day praise

Day 8: Feeling God’s Love

If you have never experienced the love of God, you are missing out. Think of the best human love you have ever felt and magnify it by a billion and it still doesn’t match the love of God. When I truly stop to thank Him for His love it is overwhelming and brings me to my knees. I know who I am and I know I don’t deserve this kind of love from anyone, much less a Holy God. The fact that He loves me anyway, died for me and pursues me. It’s beyond comprehension. Thank you!

Day 9: Broken Dreams