By Toni Ford
Over the past couple of weeks, my heart has been burdened by watching the situation in Afghanistan unfold, the hurricane taking landfall in New Orleans and damaging that city once again, observing so many close friends walking through difficult situations and perceiving so much anger among believers and non-believers alike all based on what they think is “truth” and “right” for everyone else during these times we are living in. If I were to dwell on all these things, it would be so easy for depression, despair and hopelessness to overtake my thoughts and emotions. However, one of the greatest lessons I have learned over these past two years is to keep my eyes and my focus fixed on Jesus. Hebrews 12:2 has become my theme verse which says, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Even Jesus Himself, while here on earth, had to put into practice, keeping His eyes fixed and focused on His heavenly Father while being surrounded by horrible situations all around Him.
It is my prayer that as you read the following scripture, you would be encouraged and reminded to fix your eyes on Jesus. In these crazy times in which we live, He truly is our only hope! So be reminded, friends:
God’s has good plans for you. Jeremiah 29:11 is a familiar verse that we often use to encourage others. At the same time, we must remember that this verse was written to people who were in captivity for 70 years! Yet, this verse is still true today, that regardless of what life brings, God is still God! This verse is actually my life verse, which says, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This doesn’t mean that life will get easier, but it does mean that God is still God and knows the plans that He has for you, and you can trust that His plans are always for your good!
God is our Restorer. God continues in Jeremiah 29:12-14: “In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me in earnest, you will find me when you seek me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and bring you home again to your own land.” God wants to restore us, but we do have a part to play in our restoration process. As we pray and earnestly seek after Him,
He will listen and He will end the captivity and re-store back to us what has been taken! Our God does more than just listen; He restores and gives back!
God is our Healer. The psalmist said in Psalm 6:2-3 that his body was weak and in agony and his soul was greatly troubled. “Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak. Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony. I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord until you restore me?” Today, may you be encouraged knowing that Christ is the Healer of your mind and body! Psalm 6:9 says, “The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.” He hears your cries. Not only does the Lord want to heal our bodies but wants to heal our souls, the very roots that are causing this disturbance of peace in our souls. If you feel captive in any way, be blessed with His love, redemption and power to flood you and release you. Reject all lies at the root and let the power of the Holy Spirit address the lies and set you free!
This is my prayer for each of us: May we receive the compassion of Jesus to address every emotional concern. He is mighty to deal with any physical or emotional need we may have. Receive the light of His healing grace into everything that is out of God’s order. May we remember that God’s thoughts towards us are for peace and His plans for us are for healing. He promised the all-surpassing power of His love. He will accomplish His hope, His future and His well-being in each of us. When we seek Him, He hears us. He lets us find Him to bring us back from our captivity, whatever it is. His best for each of us is peace, wholeness and security.
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!