Take Heart, it’s all good!!

Consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18
Devotionals Daily

God’s Peace for When You Are Suffering
from God’s Peace for When You Can’t Sleep

John 16:33
The heart of the Christian story revolves around suffering. Jesus suffered on the Cross for our sin, providing a way of redemption for us sinners. Suffering is something none of us want to go through, yet we are all prone to at some time in our lives.
Are you walking a difficult path through suffering right now? At times it may seem like there’s no end in sight, but don’t lose hope — for there is an end, there is always an end if you’re a believer.
If you’re having trouble sleeping because of your current state of suffering, be it physical, emotional, or spiritual, be reminded of God’s holy Word and the messages of hope within.
While the heart of the Christian faith is about suffering, it also is about redemption. God takes broken things and makes them beautiful.
He is the Creator of redemption. As you lie in bed wrestling with your suffering, it can be so hard — and seem almost cruel — to be told that your suffering will birth something beautiful. Yet the Lord speaks truth in His Word: although those who love Him often go through suffering, it can be a time to draw ever so close to the heart of the Lord. During times of suffering, death, pain, and darkness are turned to rebirth, healing, and light when you are part of the Christian story.
As Christians, we are to expect suffering. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble,” but He followed up that statement with a beautiful, hope-filled statement: “Take heart.” You may wonder, Why? Why should I take heart when my suffering is so acute? The answer is this: Jesus has overcome the world through the death He suffered on the cross. Because of His work on the Cross, you can have hope in your suffering. The Lord has overcome evil, and He will bring you to a place of splendor.
Tonight, even in the middle of your suffering, take comfort in the words of the Lord, our Savior. Know that your suffering will be painful, but the Lord’s ability to strengthen you during this time — even grieve with you in your pain — can help bandage up even the most broken of hearts. Your present suffering, dear sister or brother, will reveal a greater glory. Fall asleep feeling confident of the Lord’s plan for your life; He will use suffering for good — He promises.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. — Romans 8:18
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. — 1 Peter 5:10
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. — John 16:33
Prayer
Father God, be near me in my suffering tonight. It is sometimes hard for me to accept that suffering is a part of life, but it is comforting to know that You are with me always and are working all things together for good. Renew my tired spirit and continually put before me the hope each new day brings.
Blessing
May you experience how deep and rich and wide the love of God can be in your life. May you see your present sufferings as nothing compared to the future glory that will be revealed in heaven. In the midst of your suffering, may you reach for God’s hand and cling to the redemptive work of the Father.
Praise
Thank You, Abba, for your perfect work. You take the ugly, painful suffering in this world and somehow turn it into beauty. You took the dust of the earth and fashioned it into human beings. You made the glorious, green earth out of nothing. and You will take my own personal struggles and make them into precious gems.
* * *
Excerpted with permission from God’s Peace for When You Can’t Sleep, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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Why? Why should I take heart when my suffering is so acute? Because of Jesus. He is with you in your pain. He is for you and promises to use even the terrible hurt that you are in for good. He will make what is ugly beautiful, what is broken whole, what is unfair just, and what is dead alive. He promises! Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily
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Don’t let sleepless nights rob you of peace .Every evening, millions of people crawl into bed and struggle either to go to sleep or stay asleep through the quiet hours of the night. What’s worse, lying awake during those dark and silent times can bring on a busy mind and anxious thoughts that make sleeping seem even more impossible. Instead of recharging and resting peacefully before the alarm rings, the early morning sunbeams are met with exhaustion and difficulty focusing.

God’s Peace for When You Can’t Sleep is a wonderful means for calming the mind and soothing the spirit during those drawn-out periods of restlessness.
There are words of encouragment, quotes, Bible verses, blessings, praise and prayers to help direct your thoughts toward a serene and tranquil place of rest—a place full of God’s presence of peace. It’s the perfect companion to keep within reach for any time of night or early morning hours.  
Learn more about God’s Peace for When You Can’t Sleep…
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Relationship with Christ or Religion?

I’ve tasted grace and can’t help but tell others abouJesus heals, redeems, and gives life

What if I told you Jesus came to abolish religion?
What if I told you getting you to vote Republican really wasn’t His mission?
What if I told you religious right doesn’t automatically mean Christian?
And just because you call some people blind, doesn’t automatically give you vision.
I mean, if religion is so great, why has it started so many wars?
Why does it build huge churches, but fail to feed the poor?
Tell single moms God doesn’t love them, if they’ve ever had a divorce?
Yet God in the Old Testament actually calls the religious people whores.
A little sharp, I know. When I first wrote those lines, I didn’t think so, but when in less than forty-eight hours almost seven million people heard me say those words on YouTube, I realized they resonated with more than just a few people.
My best friend makes professional videos, and we thought it would be fun to shoot a spoken-word poem I had written. To our surprise it went viral overnight. At first I was excited. I was now in the blessed company of “David After the Dentist” and “Charlie Bit My Finger.”
Then there was panic.
The number of e-mails, messages, and requests became almost unbearable. For about a solid week, everywhere I looked, I was there: Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Washington Post, New York Times, CBS Morning Show, Glenn Beck, and others either interviewed me or had a significant piece highlighting the video. One of the YouTube staff even mentioned that something this serious or this explicit about Jesus hardly ever goes viral. In fact #jesushatesreligion was even trending on Twitter for a while. Immediately e-mails started to come in:
Hello, Jeff. My name is Laura. I just wanted to say thank you sooo much for your videos. I have struggled with drugs, sex, and suicide. I always thought that I wasn’t good enough and didn’t belong anywhere ever since I was raped when I was seven. I knew God growing up, but I thought he was just some mythical figure everyone worshiped. One day I was fed up with all of it and decided that was all I could take – I was going to kill myself after school. All day I went through my head saying, It’s finally going to be done, I don’t have to worry. On my way home I got on Facebook one last time and my friend had posted your video “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus.” I figured I might as well watch it because I’m going to end it all anyway. I immediately started crying because the video made me realize that it’s okay that I’m not perfect. There is a place where I belong. Your video gave me the courage to move on and say that I can make it through life. You are my biggest role model… besides God. LOL. When I get so low that I can’t think straight, I just watch your videos over and over. They bring me peace in my mind that God still loves me even if I’ve screwed up.
And another: As I moved away to college, I also moved away from the church, attempting to find my own path. When I stumbled upon your video, I was lost after being disowned by my family for moving away from the Catholic faith. Watching it opened my eyes to Jesus again and made me realize that Jesus isn’t what I grew up with everyday in the church but rather loving and pouring with grace. I started going to the Christian services located on my campus and got back on the right track in life, learning that no matter what anyone else would say about my past, present, or future sins that God will still love me and Jesus is truly everything.
E-mails like these flooded in by the hundreds.
What had I said in my video that struck such a chord? Why were these people sharing these things with me?
To be honest, I was overwhelmed at first. I’m not a counselor. I’m not a pastor. I’m a messed-up twenty-three-year-old who just graduated from college. I was being messaged, e-mailed, and tweeted by thousands of people who were sharing their raw testimonies with me, a complete stranger. Many even stated that it was the first time they had shared their secrets with anyone. I was wondering,
What did I say? What was it about the poem that was so different? Isn’t this just the good news of Jesus that’s been preached for the last two thousand years?
I realized the e-mails were showing just how right the original poem that sparked it all in the first place was. Many people had been sold religion with a nice Jesus sticker slapped on it. Many people had been burned by so-called Christians. Many people had been abused, hurt, mistreated, and maligned all in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
But what their souls were craving was the true Jesus. The One who heals. The One who redeems. The One who gives life.
Let me be straight with you: I’m not really qualified to write this book… But I know that God has quite the sense of humor. It only takes a quick peek into Christian history to realize I’m almost the exact type of person He is looking for. A wise man two thousand years ago put it this way:
But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.
Paul tells us that God loves using people who are useless by worldly standards – because then He gets all the credit. A crooked stick can still draw a straight line, and a messed-up dude like me can still write about an awesome God.
I’ve tasted grace and can’t help but tell others about it.
My hope in sharing my story is that it would somehow thread itself into yours, ultimately weaving us both closer to the ultimate story of a God in heaven who pursues and loves people like us.
Excerpted with permission from Jesus > Religion by Jefferson Bethke, copyright Jefferson Bethke.
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Do you feel unqualified to share you faith publicly? Have you tasted grace like Jefferson describes and felt incapable of staying silent? Join the conversation on our blog! We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily 
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Abandon dead, dry, rule-keeping and embrace the promise of being truly known and deeply loved. 
Jefferson Bethke burst into the cultural conversation in 2012 with a passionate, provocative poem titled “Why I Hate Religion, But Love Jesus.” The 4-minute video literally became an overnight sensation, with 7 million YouTube views in its first 48 hours (and 23+ million in a year). The message blew up on social-media, triggering an avalanche of responses running the gamut from encouraged to enraged.
In Jesus > Religion, Bethke unpacks similar contrasts that he drew in the poem—highlighting the difference between teeth gritting and grace, law and love, performance and peace, despair and hope. With refreshing candor he delves into the motivation behind his message, beginning with the unvarnished tale of his own plunge from the pinnacle of a works-based, fake-smile existence that sapped his strength and led him down a path of destructive behavior.

Bethke is quick to acknowledge that he’s not a pastor or theologian, but simply a regular, twenty-something who cried out for a life greater than the one for which he had settled. Along his journey, Bethke discovered the real Jesus, who beckoned him beyond the props of false religion.

Learn more about Jesus > Religion…
Inspired by today’s devotion? Share it with someone!
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501 Nelson Place, Nashville, TN, 37214 USA

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