The Enemy’s Greatest Desire

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Satan’s greatest desire is to separate us from God.

This process starts the minute he separates us from God’s Word. He wants us to see God’s Word as a burden instead of the blessing it really is.

He will make us think we don’t have time to read God’s Word. We’re not smart enough to study and understand God’s Word. And it’s impossible to live out the truths in God’s Word.

The minute any of those thoughts pop into our mind, we must recognize it’s the enemy lying and trying to lure us into a trap. We can immediately shut him down by proclaiming, “God, Your Word is my greatest treasure. Your ways are my greatest joy. And You, God, are my greatest love.”

And then we need to open up God’s Word and let His truth set us free.

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Finding I AM by Lysa TerKeurst

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Dealing with Disappointment

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This past year, sports fans witnessed some of the best come from behind victories ever!

The New England Patriots battled back in the Super Bowl to overcome a 25-point deficit. The Cleveland Cavaliers persevered to win the NBA Championship after being down three games to one. The Chicago Cubs rallied to win the World Series after losing three of the first four games.

It would be great if we could identify with these winners, but honestly, most of us probably are more familiar with the crushing defeat felt by the losing teams.

Comeback wins are improbable, but soul-crushing disappointment is inevitable. We can’t avoid the sting of heartbreak, but in Isaiah 49, God says that if our hope is in Him, we will never be disappointed.

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Related Resources:

Encouragement for Today by Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, Amy Carroll and other P31 authors

The Books of 1 & 2 Samuel Experience Guide

Check out all of Proverbs 31 Ministries Resources

No More Labels!

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I was feeling like a mess.

For months, my messy closet was a constant source of stress. Every day I walked in and out thinking, “I’m just a mess!” In fact, I resigned myself to forever being a mess. You would think this would help me relax about the closet, but it didn’t. I was just short-tempered and off-kilter.

As I dealt with my emotions, I realized I was letting that self-imposed label tear me down. A messy closet doesn’t make me a mess; it makes me a child of God who happens to have a messy closet.

I could change that. My friend Debbie is a whiz at organizing, so I asked her to help me out.

Now there’s no more messy closet and no more guilt trips about the closet. Tearing down this one label in my life has given me courage to tackle others.

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The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst

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Who Am I?

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There are two great questions of humanity: Who am I and who is God?

Moses posed both of these questions to God in Exodus 3. When God calls Moses to return to Egypt and demands that Pharaoh release God’s people, Moses asks, “Who am I that I should go?”

I don’t know, but I wonder if Moses was hoping that God would explain why He was the man for the job.

And yet, that’s not what God says. Instead of reaffirming Moses’ resume, God promises He will be with Moses.

Are you facing a Moses-size task in your life and wondering why God chose you? Are you waiting to obey until your credentials match your call? The lesson of Moses is that God doesn’t build us up to be good enough, He promises to go with us.

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Related Resources:

NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women

The Books of 1 & 2 Samuel Experience Guide

Check out all of Proverbs 31 Ministries Resources

 

Do-overs

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I’ve lost count of the number of times I needed to ask God for a do-over.

And my do-over requests happen not just daily, but sometimes hourly. It’s hard to string together spiritual successes. Thankfully, God isn’t surprised by that!

In the Old Testament, He implores Israel to return and recommit to Him time and time again after they fail. Deuteronomy, Joshua and 2 Kings prove our God is the God of do-overs, new beginnings and second chances.

If you’re like me, you often hesitate to ask God for your fresh start. Don’t! The overwhelming message of Scripture says that He welcomes us when we return to Him. Ask for your do-over today! He has a limitless supply of grace and fresh starts!

For more encouragement, visit us online at Proverbs31.org.

Related Resources:

NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women

The Book of Joshua and Judges Experience Guide

Check out all of Proverbs 31 Ministries Resources

Change is Hard

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I began this year with a serious commitment to eating healthy. And then I got really, really sick.

I have Crohn’s disease, and extreme changes in my diet were really hard on my system. My doctor promised I would get healthier, but I had to be patient and learn to process what I was now feeding my body.

If you’ve just started studying God’s Word, you may know the feeling. I remember when I began; it was hard! I struggled to absorb all I was reading. I wanted it to be easy and make a difference right away, and I got discouraged.

Let’s both take my doctor’s advice. Take smaller bites of God’s Word, be consistent and don’t give up. Give your heart and mind time to process it. And most importantly, have faith that it is making a difference.

For more encouragement, visit Proverbs31.org.

Related Resources:

Encouragement for Today by Lysa TerKeurst, Karen Ehman, Amy Carroll and other P31 authors

The Book of Joshua and Judges Experience Guide

Check out all of Proverbs 31 Ministries Resources

The Power of Simple Words of Love

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I didn’t want anything to do with God.

When my baby sister died tragically and unexpectedly, my entire world flipped upside down. What I once knew to be true suddenly became questionable.

Then one day I got a note from a friend. A girl I not-so-affectionately called my “Bible friend.” Honestly, she got on my nerves with all her Bible verse quoting. I didn’t want to believe God existed. And I certainly wasn’t reading the Bible.

But as I held her simple note with one Bible verse scribbled on the front, tears of honest need streamed down my cheeks. My stiff knees bent. I whispered, “Yes, God,” and it changed the course of my life. Her gentle persistence had reached me.

May we never doubt the power of one person reaching into the life of another with written whispers of love.

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Related Resources:

Finding I AM by Lysa TerKeurst

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When It Feels Better to Blame

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You want to know one of the hardest 3-word statements to make? “I was wrong.”

I know it would be way more fun to talk about fashion, sports or the weather today, but I think it’s important to explore why it’s so hard to admit when we’re wrong. It’s so easy to point out wrong in others, but boy is it hard to see our own flaws — where we went wrong.

I have learned that in most conflicts I have two paths I can choose to travel. I can choose the path of pride, which blames the other person and focuses only on their flaws. Or, I can choose the humble way, and I admit where I went wrong and ask for forgiveness.

There are hidden gifts in walking the humble way and admitting where we went wrong. There is grace and honor to be gained. But I’ll only see those gifts if I stop blaming others and start examining myself.

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Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst

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Facing Our Black Holes

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Do you ever have little places of discouragement that entangle around your heart?

You know in the bigger picture of life, things are good. But there’s this little dark place. A little black hole that sometimes doesn’t feel little.

Maybe it’s an argument you and your husband have had one too many times. Or an issue with one of your kids.

I know it’s hard. But God wants us to know a black hole isn’t a black WHOLE. W-h-o-l-e.

The whole isn’t all bad. Yes, there are some issues to address, but don’t let Satan use this frustration to darken your outlook.

Jesus says, in John 8:12, He is the light of the world!

Ask Him to shed His light on your situation today. Look at it from Jesus’ perspective. It won’t be so dark with a little Light cast upon it.

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Related Resources:

Finding I AM by Lysa TerKeurst

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Unrealistic Expectations

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Unrealistic expectations often lead to our greatest frustrations.

I struggle with wanting life to satisfy me. I have an unrealistic expectation that it should tie up in a tidy bow like the nursery rhyme “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.”  The one that talks about gently rowing and life being merry.

But have you ever rowed a boat? I wouldn’t use the word gently. Tiresome and difficult seem more fitting. And then the last lyric, “Life is but a dream.” It sounds nice, but it’s just not true.

Life isn’t always smooth, and the stream isn’t always easy to row. But in the storms and messes of life, Jesus shows up and climbs right in to be with us.

He is the answer to our every need. He is our satisfaction — not a more tidy life.

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Related Resources:

What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa TerKeurst

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