Blessed are the Spiritually Famished

Blessed are the Spiritually Famished

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. – Matthew 5:6

We’ve all seen the televised images of starving children in countries experiencing food and water shortages. Mothers, holding their babies with bellies bloated from severe malnutrition, desperately seek food and water. If they can’t find them, these children will die.

This kind of desperation is what Jesus was talking about when He told us to hunger and thirst for righteousness. He wants us to be as passionate about doing God’s will as parents in developing countries are about getting food or clean water. Our bodies can’t survive without food, and our souls can’t live without righteousness.


Our bodies can't survive without food, and our souls can't live without righteousness.
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So how do we hunger and thirst for righteousness? Through the passionate pursuit of God’s righteousness in our own lives—living in God’s will day in and day out.

When we passionately pursue His will, other things become less of a priority, and we turn from distractions that do not contribute to that pursuit.

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Blessed are the Merciful

Blessed are the Merciful

God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us… – Ephesians 2:4

All of us have had to carry heavy circumstances that weigh us down, and we needed something to lift the burden off our shoulders. We needed mercy. Mercy reduces, removes, or relieves someone’s distress. It’s simply compassion in action.

Today’s verse reminds us that God is rich in mercy. In other words, God richly blesses us with His favor and compassion, releasing us from distress, discouragement, brokenness, pain, and problems. Mercy is in fact God’s reaction to our misery.


Mercy is in fact God's reaction to our misery.
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Mercy is God’s loving response when we ask Him not to let us bear the full weight of our burdens.

Everyone needs mercy. Lamentations 3 says that God’s mercies are new every morning. Every day you wake up, you wake up to mercy. You got up today with new life, and guess what—new life means new opportunities. That’s another day and a new opportunity to praise God.

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Be Anxious for Nothing

Be Anxious for Nothing

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. – Philippians 4:13

Paul wrote these words while confined to a Roman prison. His circumstances may not have been pleasant, yet he penned these words: “Rejoice in the Lord always . . . The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).

The circumstances of your life may appear unbearable, but there is hope because Christ is aware of what you’re facing. He knows all about the bill due at the end of the month and your lack of money to pay it. He’s already aware of the doctor’s report that will mean you must face even more treatment. Wherever your prison happens to be, God is in it with you.

Someone reading these words may be thinking, “But you don’t understand.”


Anytime you use the word but, you let go of your faith and give in to fear.
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 Stop saying but and begin saying, “I know my Savior lives, and He is faithful.”

God has kept every one of His promises. Others may fail you, but He never will.

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Fear Not

Fear Not

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? – Psalm 27:1

Do you believe that God is able to meet all of your emotional needs as well as your physical needs? Many people aren’t convinced of this, and the result of their frustrations can be months or even years of searching for a way to satisfy their greatest emotional longings.

However, David reminds us in Psalm 23 that God is the only One who is able to meet all our needs, especially when we’re overcome with feelings of doubt and fear. He writes, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me” (Psalm 23:4). When he penned these words, he was struggling with a very real sense of fear.

Many times, fear comes as a result of loss we’ve experienced or a desire that we have yet to see fulfilled. We also can become frightened as a result of something we were forced to face as a child. Thankfully, God knows all there is to know about us, and He has a remedy for the fear we feel—a personal relationship with Him through His Son and the power of the Holy Spirit.


Believers should never be afraid of life circumstances because Jesus has promised never to leave us.
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Believers should never be afraid of life circumstances because Jesus has promised never to leave us. He is with us, facing the very things that we face. David understood this, and that’s why He knew that he would be able to walk through the valley. He knew he was going to come out on the other side because nothing he faced was greater than the God he served.

Your heart may be troubled, and you may feel as though you cannot take another step. You can, but not by yourself. David faced many dark and difficult trials, and God delivered Him out of each one. The Lord will do the same for you. Whenever your heart is hurting, He is your strength and greatest source of encouragement. Have you taken time to be with Him today?

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Comfort in the Valley

Comfort in the Valley

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me. – Psalm 23:4

Most of us know what it feels like to be alone in the dark. We know what it’s like to feel afraid or anxious.

In Psalm 23, David writes about a time when he is sure he will lose his life. It was a season when he had to walk “through the valley of the shadow of death.” Yet he wasn’t afraid because he knew that the One who had the ability to bring light to the darkest situation was walking with him every step of the way.

When we face difficulties that threaten our hope and peace, God is quick to reassure us of His never-ending love. When we wake in the middle of the night to the enemy’s whispered lies that we’re not going to make it through the difficulty, the angel of the Lord rebukes him. God will bring His truth to our minds. All we need to do is what David did—proclaim what we know is true.

In essence, David said, “Though I walk through the threat of death, I will not fear because You, my Lord and Savior, are beside me.” There is no force greater than God, and He is the One who loves you with an intimate, personal love. Even though life may become dark at times, His light continues to burn. There is no darkness in this universe strong enough to quench the light of God’s love. You have no reason to fear because He is with you to comfort you on the way through your valley.

You don’t walk this path alone.


You don’t walk this path alone.
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Transforming Our Culture

Transforming Our Culture

When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:10-11

When Jesus Christ returns, we will no longer need to worry about transforming our culture because He will set up His kingdom rule. But until that time, we need to reach the world for Him and for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

What is the role of Christians in our society? Jeremiah 29:4-11 illustrates this foundational principle: Society is transformed when God’s people execute His strategy in history in a Christ-centered way.

The prophet Jeremiah challenged the Jews in Babylonian captivity to regain their spiritual clarity. The Babylonian pagans weren’t Israel’s greatest problem to deal with. The Jews had become pagans themselves and had failed to remain God’s distinct, unique people.

When the church fails to be God’s unique people, the entire culture will suffer the effects of sin. Have you thought about your unique role in transforming culture? In reaching others for Christ?


Have you thought about your unique role in transforming culture?
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God Never Makes Mistakes

God Never Makes Mistakes

We also exault in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope. – Romans 5:3-4

Was Paul out of his mind when he wrote the words above? Not at all. Rather, he had come to understand his position in Christ. He realized that he had been saved from an eternal death and that Jesus had paid the penalty for his sin on Calvary’s cross. While others may have been whining about their losses and missed opportunities, Paul was exulting over the grace that had been given to him by his Savior.

Have you really embraced the truth that God has saved you from an eternal death? Many people today are struggling with deep-seated emotional problems because they have the wrong focus. Their minds are set on the wrong object—themselves. Paul’s mind, however, was set on Christ.

Just like many of us, Paul faced prejudice, persecution, and abandonment. Yet he wrote, “God demonstrates His own love toward us” (Romans 5:8). The verb demonstrates denotes continuing action. This means that God is still doing this. He doesn’t just save you and then forget you. Instead, He never lets your slip outside of His thoughts. You may feel as though you have no one to turn to, but you have a Savior who is willing to walk through every valley with you. All you need to do is call out to Him in faith.


God doesn’t just save you and then forget you.
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God is always near to us, but He sometimes allows us to decide whether or not we want Him to be a part of our lives. We can grab the reins out of His hands and even tell Him that we are going to do all the driving. Usually, this is when He allows our plans to derail. On the Damascus road, Saul came face-to-face with the living Lord. Up to this point, he was sure that he was in control of his destiny. After meeting Jesus, however, Saul—who later became known as Paul—had a different attitude. His greatest passion was to love and serve Jesus Christ.

What is your greatest passion?

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A Need for Direction

A Need for Direction

He brought me forth also into a broad place. – Psalm 18:19

Have you ever realized that you didn’t know where you were going—and then start walking faster? Most of us do. However, speeding up doesn’t help. It only leads to feelings of fear as we think, “Oh, no! What am I going to do?” Instead of becoming stressed over our circumstances, we need to stop and turn to God for direction. He is the One who can guide us safely through any and every situation.

Speeding up, especially when you don’t know where you are, only leads to feeling more lost. Ask almost any man, and if he is honest, he will tell you this is true. A man often has a hard time admitting when he is lost. Even though he obviously doesn’t know where he is, when his wife asks, “Honey, where are we?” he answers, “Don’t worry. I know exactly where we’re going.”

Usually, she continues to press the issue, “Don’t you think we need to pull over and ask for directions?”

Most men, however, will stand firm. “No, don’t worry, we’ll be there soon.” The whole time, he’s sweating and praying that the road he has taken is the right one.

We laugh at stories like this, but all of us do this same thing at some point in our spiritual lives—men and women alike. Throughout the Psalms, we read about David running for his life from his enemies. At one point, he even runs from his own son who is trying to kill him. Many times, he doesn’t know what to do except to pray and ask God to protect and lead him in the right direction.

Having a sense of self-sufficiency only leads to a dead end and a lot of frustration. However, when we ask God for direction, we’re given the right road map, and we never get lost. David writes, “I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies” (Psalm 18:3).


When we ask God for direction, we’re given the right road map, and we never get lost.
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Is this your prayer too?

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Green Pastures

Green Pastures

He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. – Psalm 23:2

When is the last time you felt frustrated, frightened, or fearful? Instead of releasing that thought, hang on to it for a moment. Did these feelings come as a result of something that seemed out of control? Remember, when something is out of your control, it is not out of God’s control.


Remember, when something is out of your control, it is not out of God’s control.
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God’s got it. Trust Him.

Many times, God allows us to face great difficulties—not to hurt us or make us feel as though we’ve been left without any hope, but in order to teach us to turn our faces to Him and cry out for help. Never forget that He is omniscient and knows all about our every circumstance.

David wrote Psalm 23 as a standard of hope. It’s a promise that you can claim whenever you sense despair coming your way. It’s also a testimony of what God did for David and what He will do for you. When the problems of life heat up and your soul becomes dry and thirsty, God will refresh you by leading you beside His still waters.

David was never separated long from trouble. He spent years running from King Saul, who turned out to be a madman intent on David’s destruction. Sorrow, loss, separation from family members, and deep heartache were the building blocks of David’s faith. And in Acts 13:22, God calls him, “a man after My heart.”

Are you a man or a woman who has a heart for God, or are you frantically chasing broken dreams and worldly desires? If your testimony is one of rushing and running, it’s time for you to stop and let go.

Allow God to give you a cool drink of His eternal water. Then your heart will know peace.

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Shine Your Light in the Darkness

Shine Your Light in the Darkness

The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. – Romans 13:12

Some Christians get nervous in discussions about the Christian’s responsibility to the culture. A major concern is that the Gospel will be obscured in favor of social concerns. Let me assure you that when it comes to the lost, evangelism must come first. We must win people to Christ.

Without Christ, it doesn’t matter how much money people have or how good their jobs are. If they die without Christ, they die without life. Yet we still have to live in this world until Jesus returns, and while we’re here, we need to also be salt and light in our culture, just as Jesus commanded. We are responsible to recapture our society for Jesus, point people to Him, and promote His righteousness in society.


Ask yourself, am I making anyone around me thirsty for Christ?
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Ask yourself, am I making anyone around me thirsty for Christ? Am I shining my light in the darkness? Or am I contributing to the darkness through my complacency?

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