Getting Away from Hurry

“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.” –Amy Wilson-Carmichael

Our culture idolizes busyness and stress. Having no time for anything else implies that a person is important and lives a meaningful life. The truth is much of our busyness serves no lasting purpose. To enjoy life and take it slow allows us to rest in God and focus on what’s truly consequential and fulfilling.

How important are the things that are causing you stress? What can be cut out? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi

“O Divine Master, grant that I may not seek to be consoled, as to console. To be understood, as to understand. To be loved, as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” –St. Francis of Assisi

This famous prayer comes from one of the most beloved preachers of the twelfth century. Coming from an affluent background, St. Francis squandered his wealth on a lavish lifestyle until he had several notable encounters with the poor, which led him to take up the cause of the weak and oppressed. His family and friends mocked him because of this decision, but he knew that lasting joy came from taking care of the needy and standing up for justice. Through trials he kept this incredible eternal perspective and changed many lives.

How can you die to your love of comfort and acknowledgement and see ways to bless others instead? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Why God Chooses the Unqualified

“In a very real sense not one of us is qualified, but it seems that God continually chooses the most unqualified to do his work, to bear his glory. If we are qualified, we tend to think that we have done the job ourselves. If we are forced to accept our evident lack of qualification, then there’s no danger that we will confuse God’s work with our own, or God’s glory with our own.” –Madeleine L’Engle

God loves to exalt the humble, especially those who come from dysfunctional homes and poverty, struggle with addiction, or have few worldly gifts. He loves to do the miraculous in people’s lives and show grace in our weaknesses. When others see how God has changed you, especially if you’ve overcome significant barriers, they will not be able to doubt God’s power and goodness.

How have you seen God display His strength in your weaknesses? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Getting Away From Hurry

“Blessed are the single-hearted, for they shall enjoy much peace. If you refuse to be hurried and pressed, if you stay your soul on God, nothing can keep you from that clearness of spirit which is life and peace. In that stillness you will know what His will is.” –Amy Wilson-Carmichael

Our culture idolizes busyness and stress. Having no time for anything else implies that a person is important and lives a meaningful life. The truth is much of our busyness serves no lasting purpose. To enjoy life and take it slow allows us to rest in God and focus on what’s truly consequential and fulfilling.

How important are the things that are causing you stress? What can be cut out? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Happiness and Peace in Christ

“God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
–C.S. Lewis

When we enjoy life, we enjoy God since He is the creator of all joy and peace. God is the ultimate source of our pleasure and delights to express Himself to us in the form of a friend’s kind words, a sunflower, or dancing. On the other hand, when we look for fulfillment in things that go against God, we soon realize that our happiness is short-lived and we only experience hurt. God isn’t out to steal our joy though; He invites us to fully come alive by participating in His work which saves lives. Nothing could be more exciting or fulfilling.

We all have unique ways of experiencing God’s joy. In what activities do you feel God’s pleasure the most? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

The Difference Between Effort and Earning

“Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning. Earning is an attitude. Effort is an action. Grace, you know, does not just have to do with forgiveness of sins alone.”
Dallas Willard (from The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus’ Essential Teachings on Discipleship)

Our past and future sins are not counted against us because we are under God’s grace. We don’t need to earn His favor because we already have it. God wants you to know Him as a friend, but for any relationship to work both people need to put in effort. Our part entails acknowledging God’s love and grace and simply responding to them. We will never love God more than He loves us, and when we fully realize this we can’t help but follow Him.

Have you allowed God’s love and the knowledge of what He’s done for you soak in? How do you find yourself responding to this unmerited favor? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Forget Not All His Benefits

Forget not all his Benefits

Remember God’s faithfulness to you. Sometimes we forget that God doesn’t just save our souls; he tangibly touches our daily lives. He forgives as well as heals your illnesses. He redeems your life from hell and makes you aware of His love in the small things throughout your day. If ever you are discouraged or in need of encouragement read Psalm 103 for reminders of God’s promises and love towards you.

Where have you seen God’s benefits in your life today? Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.

Inspiration: Isaiah 42:16

notforsake

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”
–Isaiah 42:16

Going through life can seem like stumbling in the dark, barely seeing one small step in front of you at a time. Entering a new season and taking risks is scary, but knowing that God goes before you, smoothing out the rough patches and orchestrating a good plan along the way can give you confidence to move forward. Even when you make bad decisions or fail, God is a kind teacher and transforms even the bad for your benefit.

Has there ever been a time when you’ve been given an insight into God’s plan for you? We don’t always know God’s plan for our current season but we can see his fingerprints along the way. Tell us about it at your.stories@aspirepress.com.