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Lord, Restore Me. Give Me Back the Joy I Once Had—Lamentations 5:21

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18

Heavenly Father, Jeremiah was praying for the Israelites in this verse. Your Word amazes me. It was written thousands of years ago, yet it sounds like it’s a prayer for today.

Restore us, O Lord, and bring us back to you again!
Give us back the joys we once had! —Lamentations 5:21

Lord, just like Your children in Jeremiah’s day, we need to be restored. Our world is broken. Our country is broken. Your children are broken.

I am broken.

Lord, pull me in close. Restore me. Give me back the joy I once had.

Restoration must happen in me before it can happen to my world around me.

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 41:1-44:30, Ezekiel 33:21-33

Lord, You Aren’t the Only One One Who Has Plans for Me—Lamentations 3:61

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Today’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 2:1-4:22

Heavenly Father, when I hear the word “plans,” Jeremiah 29:11 immediately comes to mind. Jeremiah spoke these words to give hope and encouragement to the Israelites who had been exiled to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar.

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. —Jeremiah 29:11

In today’s scripture reading Jeremiah laments over the plans his enemies had made for him.

Lord, you have heard the vile names they call me.
You know all about the plans they have made. —Lamentations 3:61

Lord, You aren’t the only one who has plans for me.

The enemy of my soul has plans

and

I have my own selfish plans and desires.

Thankfully, Your plans trump all other plans but I must admit, many times I unknowingly work against Your plans. I either want my way or I take the bait Satan uses to entice me.

But, the plans of Satan and my flesh can lead to confusion and poor choices. Yes, You will use it all to get YOUR plans accomplished (Romans 8:28) but the pain and suffering from following MY desires instead of seeking Your Will is something I’d like to avoid.

Lord, I’m tired of learning from my mistakes.

Holy Spirit, these words immediately came to mind as I typed the previous sentence.

Seek

Wait

Listen

Obey

Lord, these verses put these four words into a daily plan. Walking out Proverbs 3:5-6  is the way to avoid choosing the wrong plans.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
and he will show you which path to take. —Proverbs 3:5-6

Lord accomplish Your plans in my life today!

In Jesus Name. Amen and Amen!

©2014, Dianne Guthmuller

*Unless noted all scripture references are from the New Living Translation (NLT)
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Lamentations 5:1-22, Obadiah 1:1-21, 2 Kings 25:22-26, Jeremiah 40:7-41:18

When Everything You’ve Hoped for is Lost—Lamentations 3:18-26

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Lamentations 2:1 through Lamentations 4:22

Hope is a powerful force.  When you have hope you can do the physically and mentally impossible, but when hope is gone you turn into an emotionless shell that just exists.

Most of my life I’ve been a person  full of hope. I love to plan and think about the future.  I’ve never spend a lot of time on the past; I’d rather dream about things to come.

EXCEPT

In a few

DARK and DESPERATE TIMES

When hope was lost

Times

When everything I had dreamed about and everything I thought I was supposed to be, was gone, seemingly forever.  In these times I knew what Solomon meant when he said in Proverbs 13:12 that hope deferred makes the heart sick.

Jeremiah knew how I felt and he knew how you feel:

I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.  I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. –Lamentations 3:18-20

When we reach a place in life where we don’t expect or believe things will get any better…

What do we do?

We do what Jeremiah did; we talk to ourselves.

“Self-talk” is a term psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, coaches and trainers use every day.  Just like most successful life skills, self-talk originated in the Bible.

Self-Talk is our internal dialogue, our thoughts. It is those thoughts, positive or negative, that end up shaping our lives, and results in the decisions we make, personally, professionally and spiritually.

The most important voice we will ever hear other than the voice of God is our own voice.  What we say to ourselves will either cause us to rise above life’s trials and tribulations or fall beneath the weight of them.

Jeremiah spent 20 verses venting, complaining, and laying his feelings on the table; then in verse 21 he grabbed himself by the collar, actually they didn’t have collars then :-), and used one of the great eraser words

Yet

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.   Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. –Lamentations 3:21-26  (emphasis mine)

Friends, we need to fight like Jeremiah to preserve our hope. When everyone says there’s no hope, we must say to ourselves, “No matter what the circumstances look like, I will hope in God!”  This is one of the few things in life that no one can take away from us, but we can give it away, if we’re not careful.

In Psalms 42 and 43, David said to himself three times:

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?

I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

Psalms 42:11


Heavenly Father, help us to grasp the importance of our thoughts and our words.  Help us to daily work WITH You and not against You as we think and speak.  Holy Spirit, show us the thoughts and words that aren’t pleasing to You.  Teach us how use the weapon of self-talk to win the battle for our hope.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:Lamentations 5:1-22; Obadiah 1:1-21; 2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40:7 through Jeremiah 41:18

Is Ignorance Really Blissful?—2 Chronicles 36:15-16

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Jeremiah 39:11-18; Jeremiah 40:1-6; 2 Kings 25:8-21; Jeremiah 52:12-27; 2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Lamentations 1:1-22

My husband Harry has often said that he believes God instituted parenting so that we could understand His heart.  When we see our Heavenly Father through the lens of a parent, our parent; His Word and His ways are overflowing with love, mercy, and kindness.

From the first day I found out I was pregnant with my first child until this very moment my desire for my children has always been to lead them to Christ and to protect them from the tough things in life.  I want to teach them every lesson I’ve learned so they don’t have to make the same mistakes.

My love for my children pales in comparison to the way our Heavenly Father loves us.  My life experience and knowledge of the world is like looking at life through a pinhole compared to the knowledge of our God, who simultaneously sees, knows, and understands the past, present, and the future.

But in the same way my children some times go their own way and do their own thing, we ignore the warnings of our Heavenly Father and choose our own way instead of following the One who divinely knows best.

Can you hear God’s parental side coming out in 2 Chronicles 36:15-16?

The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple.  But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done.

“Mocked these messengers of God and despised their words…”

Sometimes the only way we will learn is to be forced to live with the consequences.  This goes for all of the human race not just children.  I wonder if our God is saying to Himself (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and maybe even the angels…

“I have provided the people of the 21st century with my guidebook to victorious living on this earth, the Bible.  I love them so much I’ve recorded my words to warn them of the pitfalls of this earthly life and to teach them how to be Jesus to the world.  But my people insult me;  they don’t even know what my Word says.  Ignorance of my Word is no excuse for disobedience.”

In a message a year ago, Kraig Krempa, executive pastor at Niceville Assembly said, “What we read is how we’re supposed to live, but by-in-large the church doesn’t read the Bible.”

When we as Christians stand before God, we won’t be able to blame parents, teachers, authors or pastors for their misinterpretations or our lack of knowledge of God’s Word; it’s our responsibility to know Him through His Word.  But the mercy of the Lord is amazing; He sent the Holy Spirit to be our interpreter, IF we open the Bible and spend time with Him, He will teach us!

Ignorance certainly won’t be blissful the day we stand before our God!

Heavenly Father, Your Word is life to us! Being ignorant of Your Word is a tool that Satan has used since the Garden of Eden.  Help us to resist this enemy whose number one goal is to keep us from Knowing You.  Holy Spirit, draw us to your Word, teach us your ways, make us like You and use us for Your Glory!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

© 2013 Dianne Guthmuller


Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Lamentations 2:1 through Lamentations 4:22

Were the “Good Ole Days” Really Our Best Days?—Ezra 3:10-13

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Ezra 2:1 through Ezra 4:5; 1 Chronicles 3:19b-24

Have you ever tried to recreate a special time, event, or moment from your past?

Maybe it was a particular family gathering that was just “perfect,” so you go to the same place, with the same people, eat the same food, etc., hoping to recapture the joy of that moment.  Or maybe it was a season in your career or athleticism that was “the best time of your life” that you’re long to experience, just one more time.

Most of the times I’ve tried to do this it’s back-fired.

The Israelites had a similar experience as they began the process of rebuilding the Temple.  Imagine the many days and nights the exiled Jews must have sat around fires and planned and dreamed of the day they would be back in their homeland, the day they would rebuild the Temple and EVERYTHING would be the way it “used to be.”

When that day finally came some were disappointed because it wasn’t like “the good ole days.”

But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy.  The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance. —Ezra 3:12-13

There were several possible reasons for the older leaders’ sadness but the chief cause of grief was that the second temple would be destitute of those things which formed the great and distinguishing glory of the first; namely, the ark, the shekinah, the Urim and Thummim. Not that this second temple was not a very grand and beautiful structure. But no matter how great its material splendor was, it was inferior in respect to Solomon’s Temple. Yet the glory of the second far outshone that of the first temple in another and more important point of view, namely, the receiving within its walls the incarnate Savior (Hag 2:9). (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments)

Today’s church has so much in common with these leaders.  Too many times we are playing the comparison game between the good ole days and today.  We spend so much time and energy fighting against change and trying to recreate the past that we completely miss the blessing God has designed for this season.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. His mercies are new every morning. –Lamentations 3:22-23

God was doing a new and better thing for the Israelites and He’s doing the same for you. Expect it!  (If you have time read Isaiah 43, it just seems to follow today’s reading perfectly)

Heavenly Father, help us to be thankful for our past, glory in the present, and look to the future with expectation and excitement!  We trust You!

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

 

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:  Daniel 10:1 through Daniel 12:13; Ezra 4:24-5:1; Haggai 1:1-15

When Everything You’ve Hoped for is Lost—Lamentations 3:18-26

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Lamentations 2:1 through Lamentations 4:22

Hope is a powerful force.  When you have hope you can do the physically and mentally impossible, but when hope is gone you turn into an emotionless shell that just exists.

Most of my life I’ve been a person  full of hope. I love to plan and think about the future.  I’ve never spend a lot of time on the past; I’d rather dream about things to come.

EXCEPT

In a few

DARK and DESPERATE TIMES

When hope was lost

Times

When everything I had dreamed about and everything I thought I was supposed to be, was gone, seemingly forever.  In these times I knew what Solomon meant when he said in Proverbs 13:12 that hope deferred makes the heart sick.

Jeremiah knew how I felt and he knew how you feel:

I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.  I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. –Lamentations 3:18-20

When we reach a place in life where we don’t expect or believe things will get any better…

What do we do?

We do what Jeremiah did; we talk to ourselves.

“Self-talk” is a term psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, coaches and trainers use every day.  Just like most successful life skills, self-talk originated in the Bible.

Self-Talk is our internal dialogue, our thoughts. It is those thoughts, positive or negative, that end up shaping our lives, and results in the decisions we make, personally, professionally and spiritually.

The most important voice we will ever hear other than the voice of God is our own voice.  What we say to ourselves will either cause us to rise above life’s trials and tribulations or fall beneath the weight of them.

Jeremiah spent 20 verses venting, complaining, and laying his feelings on the table; then in verse 21 he grabbed himself by the collar, actually they didn’t have collars then :-), and used one of the great eraser words-

Yet

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.   Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. –Lamentations 3:21-26  (emphasis mine)

Friends, we need to fight like Jeremiah to preserve our hope. When everyone says there’s no hope, we must say to ourselves, “No matter what the circumstances look like, I will hope in God!”  This is one of the few things in life that no one can take away from us, but we can give it away, if we’re not careful.

In Psalms 42 and 43, David said to himself three times:

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?

I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

Psalms 42:11


Heavenly Father, help us to grasp the importance of our thoughts and our words.  Help us to daily work with You and not against You as we think and speak.  Holy Spirit, show us the thoughts and words that aren’t pleasing to You.  Teach us how use the weapon of self-talk to win the battle for our hope.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!

© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:Lamentations 5:1-22; Obadiah 1:1-21; 2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40:7 through Jeremiah 41:18

When Everything You’ve Hoped for is Lost—Lamentations 3:18-26

Today’s Scripture Reading:  Lamentations 2:1 through Lamentations 4:22

Hope is a powerful force.  When you have hope you can do the physically and mentally impossible, but when hope is gone you turn into an emotionless shell that just exists.

Most of my life I’ve been a person who was full of hope. I love to plan and think about the future.  I’ve never spend a lot of time on the past; I’d rather dream about things to come.

EXCEPT

In a few

DARK and DESPERATE TIMES

When hope was lost

Times

When everything I had dreamed about and everything I thought I was supposed to be, was gone, seemingly forever.  Times when I knew what Solomon meant when he said in Proverbs 13:12 that hope deferred makes the heart sick.

Jeremiah knows how I felt and he knows how you feel:

I cry out, “My splendor is gone! Everything I had hoped for from the Lord is lost!” The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words.  I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Lamentations 3:18-20

When we reach a place in life where we don’t expect or believe things will get any better…

What do we do?

We do what Jeremiah did; we talk to ourselves.

“Self-talk” is a term psychologists, psychiatrists, counselors, coaches and trainers use every day.  Just like most successful life skills, self-talk originated in the Bible.

Self-Talk is our internal dialogue, our thoughts. It is those thoughts, positive or negative, that end up shaping our lives, and results in the decisions we make, personally, professionally and spiritually.

The most important voice we will ever hear other than the voice of God is our own voice.  What we say to ourselves will either cause us to rise above life’s trials and tribulations or fall beneath the weight of them.

Jeremiah spent 20 verses venting, complaining, and laying his feelings on the table; then in verse 21 he grabbed himself by the collar, actually they didn’t have collars then :-), and used one of the great eraser words

Yet

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this:  The faithful love of the Lord never ends!  His mercies never cease.   Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. Lamentations 3:21-26  (emphasis mine)

Friends, we need to fight like Jeremiah to preserve our hope. When everyone says there’s no hope, we must say to ourselves, “No matter what the circumstances look like, I will hope in God!”  This is one of the few things in life that no one can take away from us, but we can give it away, if we’re not careful.

In Psalms 42 and 43, David said to himself three times:

Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad?

I will put my hope in God!  I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!

Psalms 42:11


Heavenly Father, help us to grasp the importance of our thoughts and our words.  Help us to daily work with you and not against you as we think and speak.  Holy Spirit, show us the thoughts and words that aren’t pleasing to you.  Teach us how use the weapon of self-talk to win the battle for our hope.

In Jesus’ Name.  Amen and Amen!


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©2011, Dianne Guthmuller

Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading:Lamentations 5:1-22; Obadiah 1:1-21; 2 Kings 25:22-26; Jeremiah 40:7 through Jeremiah 41:18

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