There Is Always Hope

1:50 am Unknown 3 Comments

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NLT)

There is always hope
photo credit: kevin dooley via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck
You know that thing that you are going through that is really, really hard. That thing which makes you cry every time you think about it? Or makes you feel like you should just quit and go live on a desert island?

Well, I want to talk about that thing today. In fact, I want us to pray about that thing in this devotional. 

That thing for me is waiting for the results of a biopsy my husband had this last week to see if his cancer has reoccurred. I want the results and I don’t want the results so badly.

I’m sure right now as you read this that thing has come to mind for you. That hard and difficult wait or choice or relationship that you are going through is that thing.

One thought that has been consistently going through my mind the last few days as I wait for the results of that thing is that there is always hope. 

I love this verse in Romans 15 that talks about God as the source of hope.

There is always hope not because of anything we do but because of who God is. 

This verse removes our circumstances or emotions as the cause for hope and puts God squarely back in our field of vision. 

We don’t have to pretend to be optimistic anymore instead we can go to the source of hope and ask him give it to us.

We can exchange false optimism for true hope in God. (<-- Click here to tweet this)

So today I want to pray for you (and with you) as you go through that thing: I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. May you overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

No matter what you are going through God can be your source of hope. And when you realize that you’ll know that there is always, always, always hope. 

If you would like to share what that thing is for you in the comments so others can pray for you please do. 

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God’s Grace Is Enough For Mondays, Biopsies & ________ [Fill In The Blank]

11:39 am Unknown 15 Comments

My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness. 2 Corinthians 12:9 (MSG)

Gods grace is sufficient for Mondays
Photo: {Charlotte.Morrall} via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck
Don’t you think some days are harder than others?

I felt like canceling Monday today - just closing my eyes and waking up on Tuesday. 

That way my husband wouldn’t have to have another biopsy. We could just keep pretending that his lymph nodes weren’t enlarged again and not have to deal with doctors trying to discover if he’ll need more chemotherapy.

While I struggled to open my eyes, I remembered a beautiful story Corrie ten Boom tells of when she was a child, and she realized that her father would die one day:

I burst into tears, “I need you!” I sobbed. “You can't die! You can't!” “Corrie,” he began gently. “When you and I go to Amsterdam, when do I give you your ticket?” “Why, just before we get on the train.” “Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.”

So this morning instead of cancelling Monday, I prayed this prayer:
God, I don’t feel like facing today but thank you that your grace is enough. Please provide me with exactly what I need, when I need it to make it through today. Amen

I don’t know why you’re whispering that prayer or why you wish you could cancel today but I do know that whatever you’re facing God’s grace enough. 

And I do know that when the time comes to face that thing you dread you will look into your heart and find the strength you need – just in time.

So I can say with confidence today that, God’s grace is enough for a biopsy, enough for me.

Gods grace is sufficient for Mondays. (<-- Tweet this by clicking here)

In fact, Gods grace is enough for everyday. 

God’s grace is enough for _______________ [fill in the blank with whatever you are going through and leave it in the comments. Then take the time to pray for the person who commented before you that they will see God’s sufficient grace today].

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Anxiety & Zest & God (Or How To Be Fearless)

5:34 am Unknown 12 Comments

Light, space, zest – that’s God. So, with him on my side I’m fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. Psalm 27:1 (MSG)

Light, space, zest - that's God - Psalm 27:1
Photo: Thomas Tolkien via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck
Don’t you sometimes wish that you could see God all around you, that you could see God in light and space? That His presence was something you could almost taste? 

Do you ever think that if you could see and do these things you’d have less fear? 

If you could see God in light and space and zest, would you worry less, and be more certain that God was with you?

I think that all the time.

I especially think it when anxiety begins to creep in, ‘God, if I could only see that you were here, I wouldn’t be afraid.’

Today my husband goes for his third scan post chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and I’m afraid.

Fearful for the results. Scared of hearing the lymph nodes are enlarged. Terrified we’ll have all our dreams for this year shattered. Again. 

I’ve been reading up on fear in the bible, reminding myself that fear is not from God, praying about how to give that worry back to him, and thinking about how fear rules so many of our lives.

Then I found this verse in Psalms about how to be fearless. And I began to think, I can do this, I don’t need to let fear rule my life

This verse in Psalms says God is light, space, zest.  

If God is light than I have a tangible reminder that God is always there. 

I can flick a switch and see my God. (<-- click here to tweet this)

I love that God is light because even in the dark I can turn on a light, spark a match or know that the moon shines even when I can’t see it. 

I know that light always pushes back darkness, always shoves out fear.

Then I read that God is space. 

And space is all around me, stuffed into gaps and openings and time, covering earth and the universe and the cosmos. Suddenly it makes a lot more sense how God can be bigger than anything we fear. 

But my favourite part of the verse is that God is zest. God is in our love of life. God is the flavouring we add to our lives.

Enthusiasm, keenness, gusto, relish, passion – that’s our God. That doesn’t sound anything like fear. 

Tang, piquancy, bite, spice, taste – that’s our God. That doesn’t taste like fear. 

I don’t know about you but often when I feel fear I sense it. My mouth goes dry, my stomach flips, my hands shake and I don’t see things properly, which is why I love that God is light, space and zest. 

We can be fearless because we can see, feel and taste God is with us. 

Light, space and zest are all around us. So is God. (<-- click here to tweet this)

Next time you feel afraid, look around you, and see God in the sunlight, the air you breathe and the taste of your food. 

Little reminders that God is with you and you don’t need to be afraid of no one and nothing. 

How do you think seeing God all around you will help you to be fearless?
Prayer: Thank you, Lord that you are all around us. Help me to see you in light, space and zest. Show me tangibly that you’re on my side and I don’t need to be afraid. Amen.

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What Does Unceasing Prayer Look Like?

6:04 am Unknown 5 Comments

{Guest Devotional by Brenda Stroth} 

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

Pray without ceasing.
Photo & Design: Wendy van Eyck
Not my little girl.  

It isn’t supposed to happen like this. 

One phone call turned my world upside down.  

It was breast cancer, a fast growing, aggressive cancer that would require radical treatment. 

And she lived nearly 2000 miles away.  

Within two weeks we moved across the country so that I could advocate for her and be her full time caregiver.   

As unprepared as we were in this situation, He gave us His Grace in the midst of our storm. 

Navigating the medical system and making life altering decisions when we were still in shock and denial felt a lot like walking on a stormy sea.

Of course, my stormy sea felt like I was walking in a tsunami with 50 ft tidal waves, and I had to dodge ship wreckage debris and fight off angry, dive bombing seagulls.  

And my glasses kept fogging up so I couldn’t always see Jesus clearly.  

And that was on a good day. Before my first cup of coffee.

What does unceasing prayer look like in circumstances like these?  

It could be that you say, Oh God, Oh God, Oh God a thousand times.  
Or fall to your knees and repeat your petitions to Him, 
or sit in silence and tune out the world while you wait for His response, 
or maybe just cry out to Him with unintelligible words and groaning in your spirit. 

It’s not a script or formula that you follow.  

It’s a state of being you engage in.  

This world is a very hard place to navigate at times.  

And while we live here, in this temporary home, we experience hardships, loss and difficulties, as well as joy and laughter and blessings. 

It’s just the way it is.  

No matter our circumstances, whether joyful or sorrow-filled, we are given the command to: Rejoice always, Pray without ceasing, In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 

I have been a student of the Bible for over 40 years, but I don’t think I really understood this passage before.  

Pray without ceasing.  

It’s not because God cannot remember you, or you have to earn His answers. He wants intimacy with us.  

During those long hours, days, weeks, months; when my child’s life was threatened by the dark arm of evil cancer, I did not need to remind God of anything. 

Prayer was my lifeline to God’s Throne, my link to His heart.  

And the more I prayed the more I was in His presence, and I was changed forever. 

Unceasing prayer will change YOU. (<-- Click here to tweet this)

I met God face to face. As dark as those days were, His Presence was strong, bright and precious.  

Whatever your situation, God loves you and wants to have intimacy with you. 

God will draw you to Himself in every situation, if you will allow it. 

What do you think unceasing prayer looks and sounds like? Will you allow God to draw you to Himself in every situation? Prayer: God, I don't have words to pray in these circumstances but you know that I need you and I want you to be part of this. Lord, come, bring your peace, your hope and your love into this situation. Show me how to pray unceasingly, show me how to make prayer the heartbeat of my relationship with you.

Brenda Stroth
[About The Author Of This Guest Devotional]
My daughter’s cancer required many months of surgeries and treatments. It challenged us in ways that I could not even begin to explain. She survived it, and is now cancer free, and living her life out loud. I live in Texas with my adoring husband, Jeff, and have been a Writer/Conference Speaker/Ministry leader for 30 years.  I am passionate about sharing my stories at

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Are You Missing God’s Plan For You Life?

9:02 am Unknown 10 Comments

But Jonah ran away from the Lord and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the Lord. Then the Lord sent a great wind on the sea, and such a violent storm arose that the ship threatened to break up. Jonah 1:3-4 (NIV) 

If God wants you there. He'll take you there.
photo credit: mikebaird via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck
Do you ever wonder if you have missed out on God’s plan for your life?

I’ve tried all kinds of things in an attempt to make sure that I’m not missing out on God’s plan. 

I’ve prayed, I’ve fasted, I’ve spoken to friends, and I’ve tried anything I thought God might want me to do. 

I’ve been a jewelry designer, a bookkeeper, a paramedic, an outdoor education instructor, a pregnancy crisis counselor and a television producer. 

All in a desperate attempt not to miss out on anything God has for me. 

And then I read the story of Jonah. 

God told Jonah to go a place called Nineveh. God was pretty clear that this was his plan for Jonah.

Jonah didn’t really like God’s plan so he tried to go in the opposite direction. 

One dark stormy night, on the voyage away from Nineveh, Jonah was thrown off the ship into the sea. 

But God sent a whale to swallow him like plankton. 

Jonah stayed in the belly of the rather large mammal for three days and three nights until God ordered the whale to vomit Jonah onto a beach just outside of Nineveh. 

It was the exact place that Jonah had been trying to avoid.

The problem for Jonah was that it was the only place in the world that God wanted him.

Why do I like that story? 

I like that story because it reveals that Jonah - who was actively rebelling against what God wanted him to do - was guided by God to the exact place God wanted him to be. 

It helps me realize that if I’m actively seeking to God’s plan for my life he will make sure that I stay on course.

In the story of Jonah I discovered that it is a lot harder to miss out on God’s plan for our lives then I thought before. 

God isn’t trying to trick you into missing out on the best he has for you. (<-- Click here to tweet this)
God is consistently, and lovingly, guiding you to the exact place he needs you to be right now.

Knowing that God will send a whale if you go off course has allows you to stop rushing around, trust God with your life, and recognize that he is in control.

Relax, if God wants you there, he'll take there. Just ask Jonah. (<-- to tweet this click here)

Has there been a time in your life when you can see God sent a whale? Ask God to send a whale when you’re going off track and to keep you on the path he has for you.

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This devotional orginally appeared on Gateway News.

Do You Ever Feel Like God’s Love Has Failed?

9:52 am Unknown 14 Comments

God remembered us when we were down, His love never quits. Rescued us from the trampling boot, His love never quits. Takes care of everyone in time of need. His love never quits. Thank God, who did it all! His love never quits! Psalm 136:23-26 (MSG)

A prayer for when you feel love has failed you
Photo & Words: Wendy van Eyck
Do you ever feel like God’s love has quit? 

I know sometimes in my life it has looked like his love has failed.

When my husband was diagnosed with cancer for instance.

Or when my brothers’ best friend was knocked down by a car.

Or when my friends were told after three dead babies that by a flook of nature they both carried something in their genes that meant their children would never live more than a day or two.

On days like those it looks a lot like God’s love has walked out on me and the people I love. 

When I read Psalm 136 I think the people involved must have sometimes felt like God’s love had quit too. 

“The God who struck down the Egyptian firstborn. His love never quits.” Where is God’s love in this verse? I’m pretty sure the Egyptians, and those that took care of the Egyptian first-born children (most probably Israelites) must have felt like Gods’ love failed them.

Or when you read, “The God who marched his people through the desert. His love never quits.” The bible says they walked around for forty years in circles. Makes me pretty sure that at some point someone was thinking, “God, where is the love?”

But through all these bad things happening this chapter tells us not once but 26 times that Gods love never fails.

God’s love never quits.

In fact it takes it one step further and says, “Thank God, who did it all! His love never quits!”

Not only does this chapter ask us to believe that God’s love never quits but it tells us to thank God even when it looks like his love has failed. 

The bible tells us to offer God thanks when my husband is diagnosed with cancer, when my brother’s best friend dies and when my friends are faced with infertility. Really?
Am I meant to say then: “Thank you that your love never quits.”

I think that is what the Psalmist is saying. 

I think he is reminding us that when the storm rages, when our worlds are crumbling, when life sucks, that we don’t have to be afraid, because we can know that God loves us. 

We can know in hard times that God is working ALL things out in love.

If you know the story of the Israelites you’ll recognize it as the one this Psalm is recalling.  

It is a story of great pain, great suffering and great love. God showed up time and time again in their time of need. Their lives weren’t perfect but it is plain to see that God loved them.

It’s interesting that this Psalm wasn’t written in the midst of struggle it was written hundreds of years later with the benefit of hindsight. 

We can’t always see God’s love in our lives but that doesn’t mean it has ever quit. (<-- Click here to tweet this)

The more I read this Psalm the more I realize that God is whispering the same thing to our hearts. 

Your life may be one of great pain, great suffering but it is also speak of God’s great love for you.

In your time of need you can bet on the fact that God will show up time and time again. (<-- Click here to tweet this)

Your life won’t be perfect but it will be plain to see that God’s love has never failed. 

And when you look back, with the benefit of hindsight, you will see that God’s love NEVER QUIT. 

A prayer for those who feel God's love has failed: Thank you God that your love never quits. If circumstances tell me your love has failed me, I know that you haven’t. I believe you remember me when I am down. I am grateful that you take care of me always. I rest in your promise that your love never quits. 

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One Way To Make Tough Decisions Biblically (There May or May Not Be Straws Involved)

4:00 pm Unknown 8 Comments

You may have to draw straws when faced with a tough decision. Proverbs 18:18 (MSG)

Photo: demandaj via photopin cc | Design: Wendy van Eyck
I don’t know about you but I find it really hard to make tough decisions.

Especially choices where either outcome will drastically change your life: like who to marry, what to study, where to live.

These aren’t easy choices, they are the kind of decisions that keep you up at night, and keep you on your knees. 

They are also the kind of decisions that we all face everyday.

Which is why I loved stumbling across this little verse about how sometimes we will have to draw straws when making a tough decision.

Reading Proverbs 18:1 I realized that sometimes there isn’t a right or wrong choice.

And that maybe God isn’t so concerned with our choices as he is about who we are becoming.

Maybe in letting the straws fall where they will we’re really just surrendering to God and letting him choose what happens next.

God doesn’t need us to marry one particular person, study the right thing and live in a certain place to make us more like him. God does that anyway in every place. 

So does that mean, it doesn’t matter who you marry, what you study or where you live? 

I think God wants us to make good choices.

Most of the time we know what good choices look like: They don't hurt us or those we love, they honour God and make us look more like him and something in your spirit just says, "Yes! This is good."

I don't know if it matters who you marry, what you study or where you live.

I do know God is bigger than our choices.

When you limit God to your choices you make God small. (<-- Click here to tweet this)

If you think that God only wants to be part of your life when you make the “right” choice you have forgotten how much He loves you. 

You’ve ignored Romans 8:28 where he tells you he is always working for your good.

Overlooked God’s promise in Deuteronomy 31:6 about how he won’t let you down and will never leave you.

And forgotten that God said in Jeremiah 29:11, he would take care of you, would never abandon you, and that he has plans to give you the future you’ve always hoped for.

Perhaps it is time to stop being so scared, make good choices, and trust that God has your back, whatever your decision. 

And then let the straws fall where they will.

Do you know that God loves you no matter what choices you make? How does that knowledge make you feel? Take a moment to tell God what you’re thinking and ask him to show you that he is with you always.

Start Writing Now Synchroblog

I’m also sharing over at Devotional Diva today about How To Write A Devotional. This is all part of Renee Fishers' Start Writing Now Synchroblog so make sure to stop by!  

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God Hides Your Sin

5:45 am Unknown 0 Comments

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. Romans 5:8 (NLT)

I was trying to get dirt on my father. 

I was begging my grandfather to tell me stories about my dad’s naughty childhood. 

Instead, this 98 year old man looked at his son and said, “I’ll only say this: I loved him then and I love him now.”

My grandfather reminded me of God in that moment. 

God could choose to reveal every bad thing we have thought, said or done. 

But God doesn’t. 

Because God isn’t out to get us. (<-- click here to tweet that)

God is like my grandfather. 

God chooses to cover us with his love.

He hands us his grace and mercy when we least deserve it and says, “I loved you then when you were messing up, hurting people and doing things that didn’t benefit you. And I love you now when you’re still imperfect, stumbling towards me, trying to be a better person.”

No matter what you’ve done God looks at you - his child – and says, “I’ll only say this: I loved you then and I love you now.”

Do you believe this? Ask God to show you in a very personal way his love for you right now and in the past today. (When He does please come share it in the comments).

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How To Pray When You're Angry

5:19 am Unknown 2 Comments

How to pray when you're angry
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-25 (NIV)

Someone made me so angry today that I just wanted to fight. 

I wanted to shout angry mean words at them. And tell them how I felt. 

But then I remembered that isn’t what Jesus would do. 

It’s not that Jesus didn’t get angry. He did. 

It’s that when he did, he allowed the Holy Spirit to take the lead. 

Jesus allowed his own passions and desires to take second place to what the Holy Spirit wanted. 

And as Jesus did that, as he allowed love to replace hate, joy to replace sorrow, peace to replace irritation and patience to replace annoyance he made people want a relationship with him. 

Too often we allow anger to destroy our relationships. (<-- Tweet this)

We speak too quickly, shout too passionately, and do things we regret. 

Prayer when you're angryWe do not take the time to ask the Holy Spirit to replace our negative feelings with his passions and desires. 

It is difficult in the heat of the moment to stop and pray - harder still to share love, joy and peace instead of a piece of your mind – but it’s possible.

If someone has made you so angry that you just want to fight pray that the Holy Spirit will take all the anger and pain and hurt and replace it with his passions and desires. 

Pray that God will show you how to act in love, joy, peace and patience. 

Ask that God will help and show you how to preserve the relationship that your anger tried to destroy.

Even if you lose your cool today - scream and shout and mess up - remember that it’s never to late to ask God to show you how to fix the mess you’ve made. 

What do you do when you’re feeling angry? Do you think this will help you?
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