Be Optimistic

My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever. – Psalm 23:5-6

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Are you an optimistic, hopeful, enthusiastic Christian? You should be. After all, as a believer, you have every reason to be optimistic about life here on earth and life eternal. As C. H. Spurgeon observed, “Our hope in Christ for the future is the mainstream of our joy.”  But sometimes, you may find yourself pulled down by the inevitable demands and worries of life here on earth. If you find yourself discouraged, stressed, or both, then it’s time to take your concerns to God. When you do, He will lift your spirits and renew your strength.

Today, make this promise to yourself and keep it: vow to be a hope-filled Christian. Think optimistically about your life, your profession, your family, and your future. Trust your hopes, not your fears. Take time to celebrate God’s glorious creation. And then, when you’ve filled your heart with hope and gladness, share your optimism with others. They’ll be better for it, and so will you.

– Steve Arterburn

Go forward confidently, energetically attacking problems, expecting favorable outcomes. – Norman Vincent Peale

The people whom I have seen succeed best in life have always been cheerful and hopeful people who went about their business with a smile on their faces. – Charles Kingsley

No Christian can be a pessimist, for Christianity is a system of radical optimism. – William Ralph Inge

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I will look for the best in other people, I will expect the best from You, and I will try my best to do my best—today and every day. Amen

Seeking God and Finding Happiness

But happy are those . . . whose hope is in the LORD their God.
PSALM 146:5 NLT

Do you sincerely want to be a happy Christian? Then set your mind and your heart upon God’s love and His grace.

Happiness depends less upon our circumstances than upon our thoughts. When we turn our thoughts to God, to His gifts, and to His glorious creation, we experience the joy that God intends for His children. But, when we focus on the negative aspects of life, we suffer needlessly.

The fullness of life in Christ is available to all who seek it and claim it. Count yourself among that number. Seek first the salvation that is available through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and then claim the joy, the peace, and the spiritual abundance that the Shepherd offers His sheep.

True happiness consists only in the enjoyment of God. His favor is life, and His loving-kindness is better than life.   ~Arthur W. Pink

Pleasure-seeking is a barren business; happiness is never found till we have the grace to stop looking for it and to give our attention to persons and matters external to ourselves.   ~J. I. Packer

No matter how hard he searches, nothing beneath the skies and nothing above the skies can make any man happy apart from God.   ~C. H. Spurgeon

God has charged Himself with full responsibility for our eternal happiness and stands ready to take over the management of our lives the moment we turn in faith to Him.   ~A. W. Tozer

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, I am thankful for all the blessings You have given me. Let me be a happy Christian, Father, as I share Your joy with friends, with family, and with the world. Amen

A Book Unlike Any Other

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes.
ROMANS 1:16 HCSB

The Bible can be a powerful tool for defeating stress. George Mueller observed, “The vigor of our spiritual lives will be in exact proportion to the place held by the Bible in our lives and in our thoughts.” As Christians, we are called upon to study God’s Holy Word and then apply it to our lives. When we do, we are blessed.

The Bible is a priceless gift, a tool for Christians to use as they share the Good News of their Savior, Christ Jesus. Too many Christians, however, keep their spiritual tool kits tightly closed and out of sight. Jonathan Edwards advised, “Be assiduous in reading the Holy Scriptures. This is the fountain whence all knowledge in divinity must be derived. Therefore let not this treasure lie by you neglected.” God’s Holy Word is, indeed, a priceless, one-of-a-kind treasure. Handle it with care, but, more importantly, handle it every day.

God gives us a compass and a Book of promises and principles—the Bible—and lets us make our decisions day by day as we sense the leading of His Spirit. This is how we grow. ~Warren Wiersbe

I am certain that the Bible is the Word of God. Either it is or it isn’t, and either all of it is the Word of God, or we never can be sure of any of it. It is either absolute or obsolete. If we have to start changing this verse, toning down that, apologizing for this and making allowances for that, we might as well give up, so we must take it as it is or leave it alone. ~Vance Havner

The instrument of our sanctification is the Word of God. The Spirit of God brings to our minds the precepts and doctrines of truth, and applies them with power. The truth is our sanctifier. If we do not hear or read it, we will not grow in sanctification.   C. H. Spurgeon

The Bible is the one Book to which any thoughtful man may go with any honest question of life or destiny and find the answer of God by honest searching.  ~John Ruskin

TODAY’S PRAYER
Dear Lord, the Bible is Your gift to me. Let me use, let me trust it, and let me obey it, today and every day that I live. Amen

Building Character In Silence

Steve Arterburn

Be silent before the Lord and wait expectantly for Him. Psalm 37:7 HCSB

Here’s a simple little prescription for character-building: carve out a little time for silence every day. Here in our noisy, 21st-century world, silence is highly underrated. Many of us can’t even seem to walk from the front door to the street without a cell phone or an iPOD in our ear. The world seems to grow louder day by day, and our senses seem to be invaded at every turn. But, if we allow the distractions of a clamorous society to separate us from God’s peace, we do ourselves a profound disservice. So if we’re wise, we make time each day for quiet reflection. And when we do, we are rewarded.

Do you take time each day for an extended period of silence? And during those precious moments, do you sincerely open your heart to your Creator? If so, you will be blessed. If not, then the struggles and stresses of everyday living may rob you of the peace that should rightfully be yours because of your personal relationship with Christ. So take time each day to quietly commune with your Creator. When you do, those moments of silence will enable you to participate more fully in the only source of peace that endures: God’s peace.

If the pace and the push, the noise and the crowds are getting to you, it’s time to stop the nonsense and find a place of solace to refresh your spirit. Charles Swindoll

Silence is as fit a garment for devotion as any other language. C. H. Spurgeon

Jesus taught us by example to get out of the rat race and recharge our batteries. Barbara Johnson

Growth takes place in quietness, in hidden ways, in silence and solitude. The process is not accessible to observation. Eugene Peterson

The Lord Jesus, available to people much of the time, left them, sometimes a great while before day, to go up to the hills where He could commune in solitude with His Father. Elisabeth Elliot   Character builder

Want to talk to God? Then don’t make Him shout. If you really want to hear from God, go to a quiet place and listen. If you keep listening long enough and carefully enough, He’ll start talking.