Why does God allow threats and difficulties in our lives?

Times which bring difficulty also bring the good of rebuilding our dependence on God and His goodness.

Image credit: Ian Greig

Verse

The punishment you brought me through was the best thing that could have happened to me, for it taught me Your ways.

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭119:71‬ ‭TPT‬‬

Summary

Times which bring difficulty also bring the good of rebuilding our dependence on God and His goodness.

Prayer

Lord, as I reflect on this latest threat and the fear I experienced
(tell Him about it and how you felt)
it has been good to be reminded of Your nearness and faithfulness.

I turn to You again, praising You for Your goodness and kindness to me
when faith has been weak.
Thank You for bearing with me when I have been paying too much attention
to the lies and threats from the enemy of my soul.

I choose to focus, not on the steepness of the mountain,
but Your ability to lift me to a higher perspective —
and show me Your way through.

I put my dependence on You again, through Jesus
Amen.

Link

For a reflection that explores this verse further, go over to www.believethegoodnews.com

Who is looking out for me now?

We used to find security in belonging — it was a more institutional age. That’s changed — which has brought clearer focus on our belonging to the kingdom of God

Image credit: Who? Du! Nelson on Unsplash

VERSE

“Then call on Me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give Me glory.”

Psalm 50:15 NLT

Summary

Our need to belong in the traditional ways of the world has become unfashionable. Paradoxically, this has made it easier and more attractive to belong to God through accepting Jesus — and to know who we turn to, when things get difficult.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, for being close to me.

You never turn, even if I turn away at times.
You never absent Yourself, take a holiday, become preoccupied
or block us out —
and You are patient and ready to restore us, when we do these things ourselves.

Forgive me for my times of faithlessness.
I turn to You again now, thankful that Jesus has made a way for me.
Amen.

Link

For a reflection which explores this verse further, go over to www.believethegoodnews.com


What is happening when I pray and nothing changes?

Sometimes, prayers are answered instantly and clearly. Often, there’s a ‘stretch of faith’ that tests us — as we keep praying and trusting God.

Clifton Suspension Bridge. Image credit: Gothick, wiki commons

Verse for today

O LORD, do not stay far away! You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!

Psalm 22:19 NLT

Summary

“O LORD, do not stay far away!” When we cry out to God and nothing seems to happen, it is good to be reminded that this is normal! Faith is like a bungee rope which just pulls out for a time… But this ‘free fall’ is where faith is generated.

Prayer

Lord God, I am sorry for relying too much, too often, on my own imagined strength, and not having confidence to trust in Your Father nature of love.
What is happening to me (this attack on……. (name it) is more than I can handle. I lack wisdom, I can’t see a way through. I thank You that through Jesus I can turn to You.
O God, You are my strength. Come quickly to my aid! Thank You for hearing me. Amen.

Link

For a reflection exploring this verse further, go to this page on www.believethegoodnews.com

What does God do for us, that we couldn’t do for ourselves?

“Love makes it impossible to harm another, so love fulfils all that the law requires.”. Romans 13:10 TPT

Summary

To live better by doing more good and less harm is a general objective of many religions. Christian faith looks at it differently — God’s love, which becomes part of us when we say ‘yes’ to Jesus, changes us so we find ourselves shying away from the harsh response or the uncaring attitude. We find we are enabled to love others without condition.

Prayer

Lord, I’m so grateful that I don’t have to reach up to you with my attempt at love,
because You have already reached down to me with Your all-powerful and personal love shown at the Cross.
How can I love others unconditionally?
Only with Your love filling me and overflowing from me.
Fill me now, Lord, and change me into more of You.
May others see Your love in me — and be drawn to You. Amen.

Link

For a reflection on this verse, head over to this page on www.believethegoodnews.com

How do I receive God’s guidance?

Only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

Image credit: Ian Greig 03228

Verse

I set my heart on Your precepts and pay close attention to all Your ways. My delight is found in all Your laws, and I won’t forget to walk in Your words. Psalms 119:15-16 TPT

Summary

What guides us through life? Our upbringing, the peer pressure of friends, family and colleagues and the traditions and expectations of the community we live in all seek to influence, but only God speaks with complete reliability from the various dimensions of His self-revelation in His word. It’s just up to us to choose to seek Him and listen.

Good news

God is constantly revealing Himself, especially through different dimensions of His word. That’s how He speaks to us, personally, as His children, as we listen.

Prayer

Lord God, You have shown me Your way over and above all other ways.

The way that is true has been shown by Jesus, and His Spirit is active in helping me to see it……

If I listen, and if I remember, and If I avoid all the the other distractions and influences.

Lord, I come to You for help.
Give me eyes to see with insight, and spiritual ears to hear Your voice.
Help me not to quickly forget what You have shown me, but rather, to walk in it.

May this point others to Your Son Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Link

For a reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com
on this page.

God’s Call to All

Watch a one-minute video introduction to the theme for Sunday, August 16 (church &chapel).

This links to the article in The Living Word God’s Call to All for Sunday, August 16.

In all life’s uncertainty and change — what is God saying?

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution

Image credit: Ian Greig 03529

But the LORD’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. Psalm 33:11 NLT

Summary

God’s long-term, stated purposes stand in sharp contrast to our ‘reactive living’ and short-term mind set. We should pray agreeing with what God is doing as a solution, rather than the requests of those overwhelmed by immediate concerns.

Prayer

Lord God Almighty, You are constant, unchanging in Your love and forbearance and faithful towards us when we lack faith.

We praise You for Your goodness, and also for Your greatness in perspective and eternal timescale.

Forgive us for being so short-sighted and so concerned with the provision of today rather than seeking Your kingdom and living by its values.

We pray for true spiritual revival of turning towards Jesus, receiving what He has done for us and recognising His Lordship. We pray for this to bring Your goodness and Your new life, widely among our neighbours and across our communities. We ask this in and throughYou, Jesus. Amen.

For a brief reflection on this verse, head over to www.believethegoodnews.com and this page

How can Jesus say, “Ask anything in My name”?

May Your kingdom come, more and more, evident in our world and lives.

Image credit: Ian Greig 03499

And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it. If you love me, keep My commands.   John 14:13-15 NIV

Summary

“Ask me for anything” invites the equal and opposite follies of asking God for what is inappropriate, and not asking for what tests our faith. The context of the verse helps us find the balance — Christ is drawing out from His disciples who He is. He alone is the way into the kingdom — and that kingdom life and kingdom order meets everyone’s needs, your personal ones included.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, I praise You as the One who holds all authority in heaven and earth. You are the king of the kingdom of heaven. Before You, every knee must bow.

May Your kingdom come, more and more, evident in our world and lives. May Your kingdom come in a revival: many turning to You, coming to know the Father and experiencing the joy of new life.

As I ask You to to bring the renewal of Your good rule to my world, nearby and further afield, especially… I thank You that you know my needs… and are renewing me in spirit, soul and body. I receive this, remembering what You have already done for me, Jesus. Amen.

For a brief reflection on this verse (3 min read) see www.believethegoodnews.com on this page.

How to feel secure

King David’s tried and tested solution to finding God’s peace to conquer anxiety

Image credit: Ian Greig

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.
 Psalm 27:4 NIV

Summary

David knew all about anxiety, with his life and reputation under threat even from those close to him. But he also knew God and His goodness. He knew where to find peace. We are better equipped to practice the presence of God, even in our busy lives — we have the Holy Spirit, the Helper, who will always lead us to finds heaven’s perspective on our situation.

Good News

The good news is that we can ask Jesus into our heart and life and make that transition to knowing God personally. We don’t have to find Him in His temple because we ourselves become a temple of the Holy Spirit.

Prayer

Lord, I feel assaulted by life, and fear and anxieties keep pressing in.
But I come to You in Jesus and I ask You this: that I might draw close to You, to know Your presence and gain Your true perspective.
Thank You so much that I have privileged access to You at any time, and I have Your promises all the time. Remind me again, as I regard Your beauty, Your kindness — and Your wisdom. Amen.


For a longer reflection on this verse, see this post on www.believethegoodnews.com

What do You think, God?

Image credit: Wikipedia/Apollo2005

Learning to focus on God’s thoughts, for a change

VERSE

How precious to me are Your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you. Psalm 139:17–18 NIV

Summary

Once we have become friends with God through Jesus, we have a conversation going with Him. But a listening attitude is important if we are going to hear His voice — not pretending we know best. Agreeing that His thoughts are precious is a good way of seeking His wisdom for our lives.

For more teaching on this verse and theme, see What do You think, God? on http://believethegoodnews.com

Prayer

O God, Your thoughts are precious, of incomparable value by the measure of man’s wisdom. You see all, understand all, and know the end from the beginning.

Help me to be a hearer and a doer of Your Word1. Where my thoughts crowd in — my anxieties and doubts, my wrong judgments and the opinions I proudly uphold‚ forgive me, help me to quiet my soul and — to make space for You to speak and me to hear.

My way too often proves to be no way, but Your way is life and salvation. Your words are like gold2 and taste sweeter than honey3.

Thank You, holy and Almighty God, that You delight in speaking to me as I come to You in Jesus. Amen.


  1. James 1:5–8 []
  2. Psalm 12:6 []
  3. Psalm 119:103 []