Don’t doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.


Don’t doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.

No matter how hard you try, in a room that’s completely dark, you’ll never be able to see anything. Even if you know for sure that something is in the room, it’s impossible to see it if the room is totally dark. You know it’s there, but you just can’t see it.

That’s what faith is like. You may be absolutely confident that God loves you; however, during the difficult and dark times in life, you may not be able to see that love.

Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Even when you don’t see God’s love for you, you can still have faith that he loves you — that is, you can be certain that he loves you, even though you don’t see it.

During those “dark times” in your spiritual life, you may not be able to see God’s love, his faithfulness, his grace, or his promises to you; however, don’t lose your faith. Be certain of what [you] do not see.

One day, your faith will be sight.

Eliminate everything unnecessary in your life in order to put first things first.


Eliminate everything unnecessary in your life in order to put first things first.

1 John 5:21 says, Dear children, keep yourselves from idols. The Amplified Bible elaborates on this: Little children, keep yourselves from idols (false gods)–[from anything and everything that would occupy the place in your heart due to God, from any sort of substitute for Him that would take first place in your life]. (AMP)

It is imperative that you prevent any sort of substitute from becoming first place in your life. Fill your life with the true, living God, not a phony substitute.

You can tell what is important to you simply by examining how you spend your time. If you are spending so much time trying to make money that you don’t spend any quality time with God, then wealth is more important to you than God. Likewise, if you are always spending time with friends and don’t have any time to spend with God, then your social life is more important to you than God.

How you use your time is so important, because you can either invest it or waste it. However, if you waste your time, you’ll never get it back. On the other hand, if you invest your time into forming a deep, close, personal relationship with God, then you will reap the rewards of such an investment for the rest of eternity.

Decide to put God first in your life: spend significant, quality, personal time with Him. Put the first, most important thing (God) first place in your life.

Safety is not found in the absence of danger but in the presence of God.


Even while David was seized by his enemies, the Philistines, he wrote this: When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid. What can mortal man do to me? (Psalm 56:3-4).

David knew that no matter what his circumstances looked like — whether his life was in great danger or not — his safety depended on God. It is no surprise, then, that David wrote in Psalm 27:1-3: The Lord is my light and my salvation — whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life — of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident.

When you feel afraid of what other people can do to you, remember that God has ultimate control over your life. However, it is important to note that in order to expect God’s protection, you must be in God’s presence. Notice that Psalm 91:1-2 says, He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” In order to be rest in God’s shadow, you must be in His presence — and that means spending time with God, reading His Word, and praying.

Whether the people coming against you are terrorists or just your neighbor, remember that it is God you protects you: The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6).

The principle that safety is found in God is summarized by Psalm 4:8, which says, I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety. You may be in dangerous circumstances, but safety is found not in the absence of danger but in the presence of God.

True worship should create God-intoxicated people.


True worship should create God-intoxicated people.

Everyone worships. Some people worship money, possessions, popularity, prosperity, or other people. They may not sing worship songs to their bank account, but by the way they live they worship (i.e. give value to) their money.

Worship is not just singing songs in church; worship is a lifestyle that places value on its object. True worship of God means that the one worshiping is placing value on God and putting him at the center of life.

That’s what Jesus was getting at when he said, “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:23-24)

Notice Jesus didn’t say anything about singing “worship songs.” To worship in spirit and in truth means that everything in your life is centered around God and guided by him — that your choices reflect him, that your actions are directed by him, and that you words are filtered through him.

In short, true worship is such that the one worshipping should be so enveloped and surrounded in the presence (the spirit) of God.

Life is too short to spend it hating.


In Leviticus 19:17, God warns us against hating others: “Do not hate your brother in your heart.” Interestingly, that verse shows us that hate isn’t just an action; it is also an attitude of the heart. Many times we hate someone in our heart, yet pretend to like them. However, hating someone in your heart is nonetheless hate — and thus despised by God.

Although it sounds harsh, 1 John 3:15 says that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer. Indeed, as far as your heart is concerned, to hate is to murder. In other words, hating someone is no different than murdering them in your hearts.

If you hate someone, you’ll be thinking negatively about them, slandering them (if not verbally, at least in your heart), and cutting them down with your thoughts and words. Thus, it is no surprise that God sternly warns us not to hate others, because life is too short to spend it hating.

In every situation, there are always two stories—the story you see and the story God sees.


In every situation, there are always two stories—the story you see and the story God sees.

Sometimes life seems to be taking us down a huge detour and everything looks like it’s not going our way. In those situations, our life and our story seems to be a disaster.

This is exactly what happened to Joseph, whose story is found in Genesis 37-50. Joseph’s brothers jealously hated him and sold him into slavery. Joseph was wrongfully put in prison for raping Potifer’s wife, when really he refused to compromise his integrity by sleeping with her. Then, Joseph helped get the chief cupbearer out of jail; however, when the cupbearer had an opportunity to return the favor and get Joseph out of jail, the man forgot about Joseph. Joseph ended up spending thirteen years in jail for something he didn’t do.

At this point Joseph’s story was going haywire, but God’s story was right on track. That’s because God had an amazing plan for Joseph’s life; God was going to use Joseph to save Egypt and the surrounding lands for seven years of devastating famine. What looked to Joseph like a huge detour was really a great plan of God to provide food for countless people, including the very brothers that had sold Joseph into slavery.

At the end of this, Joseph realized that God had a bigger plan for his life, and after his brothers come to him for food, he tells them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Genesis 50:20).

All along, God’s story was right on track.

This same principle is also true in the life of Jesus. To the disciples, it looked as those Jesus would be a great king who would rule Israel and return the nation to greatness. They hailed him as a great leader. So, when Jesus was being crucified, the story they saw looked like a major train wreck—this great leader whom they had followed for the past three years was suddenly dead. However, God’s story was at its peak—God was in the process of connecting humanity to himself.

There’s what you see and what God sees.

When your life seems to be a major disaster; know that God has bigger plans to use your life for great things. The story you see may not reflect the long-term story God has planned. Therefore, trust God, knowing that he works for good in all circumstances (Romans 8:28).

Life is short… and it’s not about us. Eternity is long… and it’s all about God.


Life is short… and it’s not about us. Eternity is long… and it’s all about God.

When God made the universe, he intended that everything in it would point praise back at Him. Every glittering star, every speck of sand, every ocean wave, every strand of DNA—everything was designed to declare how great God is. Even in making humanity, God really wasn’t too concerned about us; he was thinking mostly about Himself. God was focused on how we would magnify and glorify Him (see Isaiah 43:7).

God is most concerned about Himself. In essence, God approaches every decision with this question: “What would bring me the most glory and honor and what would make me look the best in this situation?” Then he acts accordingly.

God declares, “I am the Lord; that is my name! I will not give my glory to another or my praise to idols” (Isaiah 42:8). God made everything, and He made all of it to give glory to Himself.

We far too easily forget the truth that this entire universe is about God, and instead we try to hijack the spotlight to focus on us. We spend our short, little 60, 70, or 80 years here on Earth trying to make much of us, forgetting that all of creation is designed to make much of God.

God made you for a purpose, and He sent Jesus Christ into this world to invite you to join His purpose for your life, which is to magnify His name. So, don’t waste your life magnifying something that is like a wisp of vapor or a puff of smoke, which is visible for a little while and then disappears into thin air. Instead, leverage your life as part of the eternal story of God—a story in which every second lifts up and magnifies God.

The more you doubt, the more you’ll have to live without.


The more you doubt, the more you’ll have to live without.

Complaining is one of the worst traps that many Christians fall into. A complainer thinks, “I can’t stand my boss. If she would only treat me better, I’d be happy. I hate this traffic. Why can the government improve traffic flow with all the tax money I pay?” This is a deceptive trap because it leads one to believe that life would be better if something would be different. However, it is far more productive for to believe that God can change the situation than to doubt him.

This trap of complaining is the same trap that the Israelites fell into. They were not satisfied with what God had given them and they continually wanted more. Psalm 106:12-15 is a great example of what happens to people who are unthankful and always want more: Then they [Israel] believed his promises and sang his praise. But they soon forgot what he had done and did not wait for his counsel. In the desert they gave in to their craving; in the wasteland they put God to the test. So he gave them what they asked for, but sent a wasting disease upon them.

That passage refers the Israelites’ persistent request for food, water, and other basic resources. They didn’t trust God; they doubted his ability to provide and tested him. So, because of their doubt, God sent a wasting disease upon them. Furthermore, for forty years God withheld the promised land from them. Their doubt caused them to live without.

Accept correction as direction.


Accept correction as direction.

Part of real, genuine love is correcting others. God says in Revelation 3:19, Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. If God’s spirit is correcting you, then that a sign that he loves you. God loves you enough to risk offending you so that he can guide you away from things that might harm you.

Don’t get mad at someone who corrects you; rather, rejoice that you’re given a chance to grow and change. If you’re wise, you’ll appreciate and love the people who correct you (Proverbs 9:8)

Parents aren’t showing their children love if they never correct them. If your little boy is being mean to other kids, but you chose not to correct him, then he’ll probably never change. However, if you love him enough that you want him to improve his behavior, then you’ll correct him so that you can guide him in a different direction.

When someone corrects you, don’t become angry at them. Recognize that they’re simply trying to help you. Accept their correction as direction.