You and I live in a trashy world. Unwanted garbage comes our way on a regular basis... Haven't you been handed a trash sack of mishaps and heartaches? Sure you have. May I ask, what are you going to do with it?

You have several options. You could hide it. You could take the trash bag and cram it under your coat or stick it under your dress and pretend it isn't there. But you and I know you won't fool anyone. Besides, sooner or later it will start to stink. Or you could disguise it. Paint it green, put it on the front lawn, and tell everybody it is a tree. Again, no one will be fooled, and pretty soon it's going to reek. So what will you do? If you follow the example of Christ, you will learn to see tough times differently. Remember, God loves you just the way you are, but he refuses to leave you that way. He wants you to have a hope-filled heart ... just like Jesus ...

Wouldn't you love to have a hope-filled heart? Wouldn't you love to see the world through the eyes of Jesus? Where we see unanswered prayer, Jesus saw answered prayer. Where we see the absence of God, Jesus saw the plan of God. Note especially Matthew 26:53: "Surely you know I could ask my Father, and he would give me more than twelve armies of angels" (NCV). Of all the treasures Jesus saw in the trash, this is most significant. He saw his Father. He saw his Father's presence in the problem. Twelve armies of angels were within his sight.

Sure, Max, but Jesus was God. He could see the unseen. He had eyes for heaven and a vision for the supernatural. I can't see the way he saw.

Not yet maybe, but don't underestimate God's power. He can change the way you look at life.
 

"I Love Christmas"

Written by Max Lucado

 

Let the sleigh bells ring! I love Christmas. Let the carolers sing. The more Santas the merrier. I don’t complain about the crowded shops. I don’t grumble at the jam-packed grocery store. Well--it’s Christmas.

I love it because someone will ask the Christmas questions. What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me? The questioner may be a soldier stationed far from home. She may be a young mom who, for the first time, holds a child on Christmas Eve. The Christmas season prompts Christmas questions...and answers.

Because of Bethlehem, God is always near us. Always for us. Always in us. We may forget Him, but God will never forget us. He called Himself “Immanuel”--God with us!

From Max's book,

From Because of Bethlehem

© Max Lucado.

Used with permission.

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

Thought

How can we keep our circumstances from determining our mood? How can we emancipate ourselves from the limitations that life deals us? The last in the trio of commandments opens the door for the other two to be true — we can rejoice in hope and we can be patient in affliction because we have been faithful in prayer. No matter what our situation is, we can pray with joy because of our hope in Christ no matter what our current situation is. We can remain patient, persevering through affliction, by presenting our requests and intercessions to God with thanksgiving. Prayer is God's gift to us so that we can be patient and joyful, even when things don't appear to be going well.

Prayer

Father, I thank you, because no matter what struggles I face, you assure me of ultimate victory. I thank you, dear God, because no matter the hardship or burden, I know you will help me through it and bring me to your presence with great joy. Until that day of ultimate victorious joy, please ransom my heart from discouragement by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name. Amen.

 
Used with Premission  - Today's Verse are written by Phil Ware.

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
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