The Art of Acceptance

Come to terms with God and be at peace;  in this way good will come to you. – Job 22:21


Sometimes, we must accept life on its terms, not our own. Life has a way of unfolding, not as we will, but as it will. And sometimes, there is precious little we can do to change things.

When events transpire that are beyond our control, we have a choice: we can either learn the art of acceptance, or we can make ourselves miserable as we struggle to change the unchangeable.

We must entrust the things we cannot change to God. Once we have done so, we can prayerfully and faithfully tackle the important work that He has placed before us: doing something about the things we can change . . . and doing it sooner rather than later.

Can you summon the courage and the wisdom to accept life on its own terms? If so, you’ll most certainly be rewarded for your good judgment.

– Steve Arterburn

Surrender to the Lord is not a tremendous sacrifice, not an agonizing performance. It is the most sensible thing you can do. – Corrie Ten Boom

He does not need to transplant us into a different field. He transforms the very things that were before our greatest hindrances, into the chief and most blessed means of our growth. No difficulties in your case can baffle Him. Put yourself absolutely into His hands, and let Him have His own way with you. – Elisabeth Elliot

Ultimately things work out best for those who make the best of the way things work out. – Barbara Johnson

Father, the events of this world unfold according to a plan that I cannot fully understand. But You understand. Help me to trust You, Lord, even when I am grieving. Help me to trust You even when I am confused. Today, in whatever circumstances I find myself, let me trust Your will and accept Your love . . . completely. Amen

Fields of Change

Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruit of unfailing love, and break up your unplowed ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you. – Hosea 10:12


Character isn’t instantly created. It’s carved out.

To God, our lives are like a series of fields that need working. Once one has been worked, we move to the next. At each stop He encourages us to get busy tilling ground hardened by sin, pulling weeds grown in neglect, and planting seeds of biblical truth. He makes us willing and able for the work; and He makes each task fruitful through the power of the Holy Spirit.

But change does happen. The Bible gives us insight how. Think of Joseph in an Egyptian jail, and Moses in the desert. Recall David’s years of flight from Saul and Jonah’s time in the belly of a fish. Reflect upon Gideon in a cave and Job’s catastrophes. Consider Abraham’s wanderings and Peter’s three denials of Christ. Look at the apostle Paul’s blinding encounter with the risen Lord on the road to Damascus.

These stories, and many more like them, recount the ways of God among the men He claims for His own. As you spend time considering them, you will see a pattern emerge: brokenness, humility, and the learning of patience all come before spiritual maturity and usefulness. Open up your Bible and search out these stories. Learn from them. They demonstrate the pattern of change for your own life in Christ.

– Steve Arterburn

Our days are a kaleidoscope. Every instant a change takes place. New harmonies, new contrasts, new combinations of every sort. The most familiar people stand each moment in some new relation to each other, to their work, to surrounding objects.  – Henry Ward Beecher

Lord, when change comes, I pray that I will look to you for insight. As things change in my life and around me, help me to keep my eyes on you and trust that whatever the circumstance, your ultimate plan for me is a good one. Amen

Making Peace With The Past

Do not remember the past events, pay no attention to things of old. Look, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it? Indeed, I will make a way in the wilderness, rivers in the desert. – Isaiah 43:18-19


The American theologian Reinhold Niebuhr composed a profoundly simple verse that came to be known as the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Niebuhr’s words are far easier to recite than they are to live by. Why? Because most of us want life to unfold in accordance with our own wishes and timetables. But sometimes God has other plans.

One of the things that fits nicely into the category of “things we cannot change” is the past. Yet even though we know that the past is unchangeable, many of us continue to invest energy worrying about the unfairness of yesterday (when we should, instead, be focusing on the opportunities of today and the promises of tomorrow). Author, Hannah Whitall Smith observed, “How changed our lives would be if we could only fly through the days on wings of surrender and trust!” These words remind us that even when we cannot understand the past, we must trust God and accept His will.

So, if you’ve endured a difficult past, accept it and learn from it, but don’t spend too much time here in the precious present fretting over memories of the unchangeable past. Instead, trust God’s plan and look to the future. After all, the future is where everything that’s going to happen to you from this moment on is going to take place.

The past is past, so don’t live there. If you’re focused on the past, change your focus. If you’re living in the past, it’s time to stop living there, starting now.

– Steve Arterburn

Shake the dust from your past, and move forward in His promises. – Kay Arthur

Whoever you are, whatever your condition or circumstance, whatever your past or problem, Jesus can restore you to wholeness. – Anne Graham Lotz

Emotions: Who’s In Charge Of Yours?

Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. – 2 Peter 1:6

Emotions Who's In Charge Of Yours

Who is in charge of your emotions? Is it you, or have you formed the unfortunate habit of letting other people—or troubling situations—determine the quality of your thoughts and the direction of your day? If you’re wise—and if you’d like to build a better life for yourself and your loved ones—you’ll learn to control your emotions before your emotions control you.

Human emotions are highly variable, decidedly unpredictable, and often unreliable. Our emotions are like the weather, only far more fickle. So we must learn to live by faith, not by the ups and downs of our own emotional roller coasters.

Remember: Your life shouldn’t be ruled by your emotions—your life should be ruled by God. So if you think you’ve lost control over your emotions, don’t make big decisions, don’t strike out against anybody, and don’t speak out in anger. Count to ten (or more) and take a “time out” from your situation until you calm down.

– Steve Arterburn

Sometime during this day, you will probably be gripped by a strong negative feeling. Distrust it. Reign it in. Test it. And turn it over to God. Your emotions will inevitably change; God will not. So trust Him completely as you watch those negative feelings slowly evaporate into thin air—which, of course, they will. Our feelings do not affect God’s facts. – Amy Carmichael

Don’t bother much about your feelings. When they are humble, loving, brave, give thanks for them; when they are conceited, selfish, cowardly, ask to have them altered. In neither case are they you, but only a thing that happens to you. What matters is your intentions and your behavior. – C. S. Lewis

The spiritual life is a life beyond moods. It is a life in which we choose joy and do not allow ourselves to become victims of passing feelings of happiness or depression. – Henri Nouwen

Please Come to Women In the Battle

Our ministry at New Life is all about life change.  We help people who are in pain, confused, stuck, and don’t know where to turn.  Sometimes we help people change their trajectory in life a few degrees, and sometimes it’s a 180-degree change.  We don’t pretend that changing trajectory and living the life God has for you is easy, nor is it a one-time thing.  But God doesn’t want you to live in the pain and confusion any longer.

He’s waiting for you to do what you’ve been waiting for Him to do.  You want things to get better, for the pain, anger and confusion to go away—and so does He.  But our faith is proven by our taking steps not seeing the end, but knowing it’s there and God will honor the steps we take.

You’ve suffered the pain of betrayal, and I hope you’re working through it.  Whether your marriage has survived or not, we want to, and can, help you.  Guys make decisions to behave in a way they shouldn’t—they cross a line that they can’t take back and it’s hurt you deeply.  They’ve gone to Every Man’s Battle and hopefully their lives are different and they’ve restored or are in the process of restoring their integrity.

But you’re still hurting!

Usually it’s the case that you discovered his sexual and emotional indiscretions and you’ve been living with a hole in your heart—you’ve been angry, sad, confused, ashamed . . . wondering,  “Why?  What did I do?  What should I have done?  What didn’t I do?  What’s wrong with me?  How could he do such a thing?  What was he thinking?”  On and on the questions go.

Maybe it’s been years and the pain is still there, as is the anger, confusion and shame.  Or maybe it’s fairly new and you’re feeling paralyzed  And you have no one you feel safe talking to.

But it was his problem and his actions and his stupid decision—not mine!”  That’s a common thought of the wife whose husband has acted out sexually.  So you don’t think it’s your problem and probably had the thought: “He just needs to go take care of his issue and we’ll be fine.

But there’s so much more to it than that.  It’s why we created the Women in the Battle intensive workshop.  Dr. Sheri Keffer, one of my radio co-hosts and the speaker at Women in the Battle has a special message for you.  Just watch her invitation video below.

You’ll be glad you watched this—Sheri has been where you are and knows exactly what you’re feeling, and she wants to help you.  Watch this video and take the step to healing God wants for you.




Steve Arterburn

Restoring Broken Relationships

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. – Matthew 6:14

Restoring Broken Relationships

We all suffer from broken relationships, with God and with others. This brokenness will weigh you down spiritually and slow your progress in growing in Christ unless you take steps to mend it. And God wants to heal the brokenness and He wants you to participate by forgiving and seeking forgiveness for yourself.

God’s ultimate plan for you and our world involves healing. In Revelation, the apostle John saw a vision of a new heaven and a new earth, in which this healing would be complete. He wrote: “And the angel showed me a pure river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb . . . On each side of the river grew a tree of life . . . The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2)

Although we know that God will heal all things when He returns to rule, until then we need to take steps toward mending the brokenness. Giving and receiving forgiveness is a must when it comes to spiritual healing. In doing so you will make peace with God, with yourself, and with those you’ve alienated.

Who do you owe an apology to? Who do you need to forgive? Just remember, God has placed one condition on our receiving His forgiveness. . . that we forgive others. It’s a serious thing. Just remember, we don’t earn forgiveness, and we shouldn’t expect others to earn ours.

– Steve Arterburn

“When you forgive, you in no way change the past-but you sure do change the future.” – Bernard Meltzer

Understanding Depression

Why am I so depressed? Why this turmoil within me? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God. – Psalm 42:11

Understanding Depression

The sadness that accompanies any significant loss is an inevitable fact of life. In time, sadness runs its course and gradually abates. Depression, on the other hand, is a physical and emotional condition that is, in almost all cases, treatable with medication and counseling. Depression is not a disease to be taken lightly. Left untreated, it presents real dangers to patients’ physical health and to their emotional well-being.

If you find yourself feeling “blue,” perhaps it’s a logical reaction to the ups and downs of daily life. But if your feelings of sadness have gone on longer than you think they should—or if someone close to you fears that your sadness may have evolved into clinical depression—it’s time to seek professional help.

Some days are light and happy, and some days are not. When we face the inevitable dark days of life, we must choose how we will respond. Will we allow ourselves to sink even more deeply into our own sadness, or will we do the difficult work of pulling ourselves out? We bring light to the dark days of life by turning first to God, and then to trusted family members, friends, and medical professionals. When we do, the clouds will eventually part, and the sun will shine once more upon our souls.

– Steve Arterburn

“Emotions we have not poured out in the safe hands of God can turn into feelings of hopelessness and depression. God is safe.” – Beth Moore

“Self-blame over the past leads to depression in the present and poor decisions for the future.”  – Barbara Johnson

“Feelings of uselessness and hopelessness are not from God, but from the evil one, the devil, who wants to discourage you and thwart your effectiveness for the Lord.”  – Bill Bright

“Don’t let aridity distress you: perfection has nothing to do with such things—only with virtues. Your devotion will come back when you are least expecting it.”   – St. Teresa Of Avila

Dear Lord, You have promised to lift me up from the pit of my despair, and You have promised to place a new song on my lips.  If the darkness envelops me, Father, remind me of those promises. And give me the wisdom to accept help from the people You have placed along my path. Amen

We’d consider it a privilege to help you with these and any other struggles. Please join us at one of our weekend workshops.

Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Hope in the Midst of Tragedy

Tragedy can strike anyone. When it does, you may feel as if you have no hope. You may wish you could just die and get it over with. But even after tragedy has devastated your life, God will redi­rect your course toward a good future. Consider a good man who went before you.

Though he was a righteous man, Job lost everything. His ten chil­dren were killed, and he lost his riches and health. All this hap­pened in a matter of days! He was left with a despairing wife and three friends who blamed him for his own misfortune. Job cried out, “If my sadness could be weighed . . . [it] would be heavier than all the sands of the sea . . . I wish he would reach out his hand and kill me . . . I do not have the strength to endure. I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on.” (Job 6:2, 9, 11)

Job didn’t know that the end of his life would be even better than the beginning. God restored everything he had lost, and then some. The Bible says, “Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, good life.” (Job 42:17)

Are you grieving the loss of someone you love? Maybe you’ve lost your job and can’t provide for your family. Maybe you see no pur­pose in your life right now. Even when you’re pressed to the point of death, you can rightfully hope that God will redirect the course of your life.

– Steve Arterburn

“Before God changes our circumstances, He wants to change our hearts.” – Warren Wiersbe


And he said; I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3


If the blaze in a fire reaches a flash point, every bit of combustible material in the room, wood, paper, carpet, and furniture, will explode into flame. The fire doesn’t even have to touch anything in order to spread. A confined blaze will heat the atmosphere until everything in the enclosed space ignites. If it can burn at the flash point it will.

If we apply the same principle to our hearts, the result is equally explosive. When God ignites the passion in your soul, and ideas spontaneously ignite, your life will be changed forever. A flashpoint of the heart can set the world on fire.

Has a fire ever smoldered quietly within the confines of your heart? A flashpoint will occur when you’re compelled to change, or make a difference, no matter what the cost.

– Steve Arterburn

Some people go through their whole life wondering if they ever made a difference. Marines don’t have that problem.” – Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

Romans 12:2

This verse is what New Life Ministries is all about: changing and transforming people’s lives. We don’t want you to be comfortable, we want to change the way you see things, and to motivate you to make the appropriate changes in your life. This, is Romans 12:2. Click here for more.

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