Jesus should’ve given up on me long ago. But each day, despite my sins and failures, God draws and holds me close.

In Christ, I am held secure.

I never fully understood God’s heart for me until I became a parent. But having walked beside my daughter through her obedient and rebellious times, I’ve come to understand the love that never lets go and never gives up.

When our daughter was young, we moved across the country, a transition she struggled with. Though initially we were oblivious to her pain—seven-year-olds aren’t often able to express their emotions—we soon became alert to a drastic change of behavior. Our normally cheerful, affectionate little girl had become sullen and angry.

I was confused and concerned.

One afternoon, she grew quite upset with me (for reasons I can’t remember), and shouted, “I hate you!” then slammed her bedroom door.

That was the first, and perhaps last time she’d ever said something like that to me, and it broke my heart, but not for the reasons you may assume.

My heart broke because I knew hers was breaking. Beneath her anger and harsh words, I saw her pain, and in that moment, what I longed for most was to draw her near and hold her close.

I’ve displayed a similar response toward God as she had to me, numerous times, throughout my faith journey. Like when my friend was dying, and I struggled to reconcile my circumstances with what I knew regarding God’s love, power, and sovereignty. Once my emotions settled down, guilt and fear followed. Had my anger angered God?

Had I—or would I—do something that would drive Him away for good?

But each time, I discovered not only had He remained, but He was actually taking giant, loving steps toward me.

In John 10:29, our Savior said, “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand” (NIV).

That’s a promise we can hold tight to. Christ holds me, and you, secure and His love will always, always remain.

Graphic made from quote pulled from post.

Unshakable. Immovable. Solid and Sure.

Let’s talk about this! How can you rest in the security of Christ today? Sometimes this starts with a reminder. The reminder that we don’t have to have it all together or know all the answers. We simply need to turn and surrender to and rely upon the One who does.

Speaking of reliance on Christ, make sure to check out the latest Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode on living in Christ’s perfect guidance.

Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/Meet Our Hosts:Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comFollow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/Grace Fox has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.comFollow Grace:Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor
  1. Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9)
  2. Showing Grace to Those Who Are Hard to Love (Ephesians 2:1)
  3. Lessons Learned in the Waiting Room of Life (Genesis 8:1)
  4. Maintaining and Honoring Healthy Boundaries (Luke 10:40)
  5. A Scripture-Based Prayer for Your People (Joshua 22:5)

There’s new content on Faith Over Fear as well. Find it here.

How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110 Faith Over Fear

Everything feels easier when we sense God is guiding us. But what do we do when it seems as if God isn’t responding to our prayers? During periods of divine silence, we might assume that we have done something to make God angry or turn away from us. If we carry shame and unhealed wounds, we might be tempted to view God’s supposed non-response as confirmation of the inner lies that tell us we’re worthless, discardable, or a failure. Our assurance grows, however, when we fill those gaps with truth and remember and reflect upon God’s heart.In this episode, Jennifer Slattery discusses some of the common assumptions people make during periods of divine silence, what these assumptions reveal, and various truths that can help us stand in the full assurance of God’s grace. Resource mentioned:Your Daily Bible Verse podcast, April 5th, 2022:https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/your-daily-bible-verse/id1477482900Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Questions:1. What resonated with you most in today’s episode?2. Can you share a time when you felt God wasn’t answering your prayers? How did you feel?3. Did you learn anything through that seemingly silent period?4. Why is it important to remind ourselves of God’s character and heart toward us?5. During times of silence, why is it important to reflect on God’s grace?6. What Scripture passages do you turn to when you wait on God (for answers or intervention)?7. Is there anything you’re doing, or not doing, on your end that might drown out God’s voice?8. What are some of the ways God speaks to us? (Name as many as you can think of.)9. Why is it important that we consistently read our Bibles?10. What is one action step God is asking you to take after having listened to today’s episode?
  1. How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110
  2. The Power of Breath Prayer to Calm Your Anxiety (with Jennifer Tucker) – Ep. 109
  3. The Courage to Embrace Career Risk – Ep. 108
  4. The Courage to Surrender Our Hurts to Jesus – Ep. 107
  5. Trusting God’s Promise to Use Our Suffering for Good – Ep. 106

My Secret to Joy

by Carol McClain

Has life discouraged you? Does society seem strange? Have we normalized destructive behavior so that we’re confused if we can classify anything as right or wrong?

If the answer to any of these is yes, I’m not surprised. We’re awash with bad news: war, disease, inflation … I can add to the list, but I’d rather count my blessings than the downfalls of our era.

You don’t need any more of this. Neither do I. Life is short, and for me, definitely getting shorter faster than I like. I’m not flooded with despair. God granted me blessings piled on top of blessings, so instead of grousing, I decided to focus on joy.

But how does one see the good when so much is wrong?

This is an odd thing for this woman who was raised with my family’s Belorussian attitude of fatalism. Why hope for the best when you’re going to be stuck with the worst?

Balderdash. Here’s my epiphany on the day that joy finally became my go-to emotion.

On a frosty morning, I drove to my favorite hiking spot in our beautiful Smoky Mountains. I swerved around curves. A glorious stream flowed over rocks and cascaded downhill to my left. Narrow lanes and curving mountain roads caused me not to ogle the jaw-dropping beauty of the overarching rock face of the mountains. Here, icicles clung to the ledges and sparkled in the early morning sunlight.

I raced toward my mission late and fearful my tardiness would upset my hiking buddy. Besides, I’d seen the scenery this before.

As I approached Meigs Falls, two tourists stepped out of their car. With cameras poised, they shot pictures. The falls, in flood stage, roared gloriously. Only one car carrying two middle-aged tourists noticed the roaringly pristine view.

I hurried on, but what was I thinking?

Focused on my destination, I ignored the journey. Teal water falling, forever falling and never running dry, danced over slate-grey cliffs. Spray sparkled in the early morning. A canopy of rocks with water dancing over its ledges in the dawn should never become a humdrum appearance.

Graphic with quote from post.

When my friends first showed me this waterfall, I found the scene a beauty worthy of continual photographs from every conceivable perspective. For many months, I strained to glimpse the falls. That day, though?

Why did I let my vision grow stale?

During this drive, my spirit finally absorbed my favorite scripture. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Phil. 4:8, ESV).

A simile jumped to my mind as I thought, “If there is anything worthy of praise,” think about these things like a tourist.

As a visitor (as I am here on earth), I might never get this moment again. Life is fragile. I need to be ready—in season and out. Vacationers come prepared with cameras and clothing and maps. They search, look, and see. The friend I rushed to meet knows and loves me. She would understand if I were delayed. I needed to take my time, to forget the bad things and remember Philippians. I need to concentrate on what is lovely.

As I drove, I switched the radio from the news droning on about the latest crisis in politics and tuned into my favorite Christian station. My favorite group, For King and Country, sang “Joy.” The song made me want to dance because God is good, and I am blessed. I live. I’m loved. The world is beautiful.

So, dance I will.

Practice being a tourist. Focus on joy. You’ll find yourself dancing and singing even when your world falls apart.

Get to Know Carol:

Carol McClain is the award-winning author of four novels dealing with real people facing real problems. She is a consummate encourager, and no matter what your faith might look like, you will find compassion, humor and wisdom in her complexly layered, but ultimately readable work.

Bio picture - Carol McClain


Aside from writing, she’s a skilled stained-glass artist, an avid hiker and photographer. She lives in East Tennessee. Her most recent interest are her two baby does Peanut & Buttercup. Like all babies, they love sitting on our laps and. Being bottle fed.

You can find more about Carol McClain at carolmcclain.com, Facebook,  BookBub, and Goodreads

Check out her latest release Prodigal Lives:

Life keeps piling problems on Meredith Jaynes. She loses her second foster child—one she was scheduled to adopt. Then Parker Snow refuses to marry her. With only her goats and artisan soap to support her, life will get no better.

Cover image for Prodigal Lives by Carol McClain

If she is honest, though, she still has Crystal. Her funny, happy, loveable toddler makes the sun shine and reminds her of the never-failing love of God.

Pearl Solomon loves her life with her grandfather Guy, but every one of her triumphs is overshadowed by her sisters’ lives. With Mama Meredith, they live a life she envies. Because of her jealousy, she refuses to contact them.

Years later, life for both families twist down paths they do not wish to travel. Pearl knows she’s lost what was most precious in life but has no means of fixing things. Left to her own devices, she spirals out of control.

Meredith finds it harder to mask the despair infertility has brought to her life.

Both families believe they must reconcile themselves to their fates as reality shatters their dreams unless they dig deep for the promise of love.

Buy it HERE.

Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/Meet Our Hosts:Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comFollow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/Grace Fox has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.comFollow Grace:Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor
  1. Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9)
  2. Showing Grace to Those Who Are Hard to Love (Ephesians 2:1)
  3. Lessons Learned in the Waiting Room of Life (Genesis 8:1)
  4. Maintaining and Honoring Healthy Boundaries (Luke 10:40)
  5. A Scripture-Based Prayer for Your People (Joshua 22:5)

Quote on trust and surrender on pale blue graphic.

Looking at my to-do list, I hate to say this, but our agenda reveals what, or who, we love most and where we place our trust. This really hit me this morning as I read through a particular passage of Scripture. It came from Mark 9:30-31. It states:

“Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn’t want anyone to know He was there, for He wanted to spend more time with His disciples and teach them. He said to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies. He will be killed, but three days later He will rise from the dead’” (NLT). 

Prior to this moment, Jesus and His disciples had been engaged in hugely significant ministry. Christ had been teaching, healing, and liberating thousands of deeply hurting people. He was changing lives with a single touch and powerful words of truth. From a human perspective, that was precisely where He and His disciples needed to stay. Who else could the people turn to? It wasn’t like there were other miracle workers wandering about. 

At least, not yet. But Christ knew something His disciples and the crowds didn’t—He was about to share His power and His mission with twelve hand-selected men. Therefore, His and their temporary absence served a beautiful eternal purpose: multiplication. That’s always God’s heart. He takes what little we offer, be that time, resources, or skills, and makes it more than enough. 

Quote pulled from post on pale blue background.

I know this. I truly believe God will accomplish through me every task He assigns to me, despite my weaknesses, mistakes, and insufficiencies. I’ve also learned, whatever I pursue apart from Him, more often than not, leads to little more than exhaustion and feelings of defeat. In other words, I don’t need to cram my schedule or strive to meet a certain level of success or productivity. Doing so could, in fact, hinder my progress and my call. I achieve far more when I learn to hit pause, take time to nourish my soul, and to better equip my teammates and myself. 

My struggles to do so indicate a few things: That I’ve come to rely, and therefore place more trust in, myself, rather than God; and that perhaps I’ve given my heart to someone or something else. 

As if I could possibly know or do more than Almighty Creator God or could find soul-deep fulfillment in anything apart from Him. I recognize the foolishness of both scenarios. I also realize my sovereign God can and will do so much more through my surrender than I’ll ever accomplish through my efforts alone. In the process, He’ll fill me with indescribable, inextinguishable joy and peace and provide increased intimacy with Him. My goal, then, is to align my day and priorities to reflect those truths. 

In Mark 9, Christ provides a perfect example for how one can live with Spirit-led effectiveness. 

First, He knew and remained focused upon His ultimate goal. He didn’t come to alleviate our pain and make things easier in the present, although He did, and still does, do so for countless people. He came to earth to reveal the path to eternal life and shatter every chain that holds us in bondage to sin and death. 

We have a similar mission—to point others, with our words and our actions, to God’s free gift of salvation, pushing back our world’s darkness with light. But He’s given each of us distinct roles to play in His big-picture mission. People who we are uniquely wired to reach, who will relate to our story, voice, and presentation. 

We can’t do all that God asks and fulfill the hope-filled plans He crafted specifically for us if we’re unclear regarding His will. If we’re unsure of what ideas to run with and which ones to drop, we might end up sprinting for weeks in the wrong direction. Similarly, we can’t simultaneously chase after everything we think, according to our wisdom, might bring us joy or success, as our culture defines it, and live a life pleasing to God. The moment we try, we become double-minded and therefore unstable in all our ways (James 1:6-8). 

This leads to Christ’s second example for leaving an eternal impact: prayer. Scripture tells us that Jesus often arose early in the morning, before people were awake and could make demands on His time, to communicate with His Father. He was also known to slip away, as needed, to refresh His soul through that intimate connection. 

God invites us to do the same. To carve out space each day to rest in His presence. It’s in that sacred place that we gain clarity regarding our mission and the strength to carry it out. As we offer our heart, wholly to Him, He purges the idolatry, our lesser loves, lingering in the deepest crevices of our soul and re-ignites our desire for Him. 

Quote pulled from post on a pale blue background graphic.

Third, Jesus maintained a long-term perspective. He saw, and cared deeply for, all the needs He encountered each day. But He also understood how quickly and vastly the Gospel would spread, once He trained, empowered, and unleashed His disciples. Therefore, He was willing to hit pause, at the height of His ministry, with all the seemingly urgent demands, to invest in twelve ordinary men with high potential. 

Similarly, we should always be searching for and investing in someone and allowing others to invest in us. For me, this means slowing down ministry endeavors, limiting our production calendar, and potentially even allowing certain portions of our organization to halt completely, in order to build relationships with and better equip my team. 

Sometimes, like now, when we’re planning for our first ever fundraising gala, this can feel frightening. However, my fear only indicates my lack of trust, my propensity for self-reliance, and idols, such as people-pleasing or self-elevation, that I must renounce. This ultimately involves dying to myself so that Christ might live through me. 

The more we understand and embrace our God-given roles and the more time we spend in prayer and in investing in others, the greater our effectiveness, eternal impact, intimacy with our Savior, and our joy and fulfillment. 

We live in a hectic, fast-paced, demanding culture, but that doesn’t mean we must accept its invitation to frantically follow. In fact, we mustn’t. Instead, may God give us the wisdom, clarity, desire and strength to do all that He asks and only what He asks of us. May we follow the example set by Christ, our world’s most competent leader, to make room, during our busiest seasons, to fill our souls and pour into the souls of others. And as we do, may God use every insecure and anxiety-filled moment to reveal the cracks in our faith and all the idols we’ve allowed to occupy His rightful place in our hearts. 

Let’s talk about this! Do you find it challenging to relinquish your daily schedule to God? If so, why do you think this might be? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

And speaking of surrender and trusting Christ more fully, make sure to check out the latest Faith Over episode:

How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110 Faith Over Fear

Everything feels easier when we sense God is guiding us. But what do we do when it seems as if God isn’t responding to our prayers? During periods of divine silence, we might assume that we have done something to make God angry or turn away from us. If we carry shame and unhealed wounds, we might be tempted to view God’s supposed non-response as confirmation of the inner lies that tell us we’re worthless, discardable, or a failure. Our assurance grows, however, when we fill those gaps with truth and remember and reflect upon God’s heart.In this episode, Jennifer Slattery discusses some of the common assumptions people make during periods of divine silence, what these assumptions reveal, and various truths that can help us stand in the full assurance of God’s grace. Resource mentioned:Your Daily Bible Verse podcast, April 5th, 2022:https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/your-daily-bible-verse/id1477482900Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Questions:1. What resonated with you most in today’s episode?2. Can you share a time when you felt God wasn’t answering your prayers? How did you feel?3. Did you learn anything through that seemingly silent period?4. Why is it important to remind ourselves of God’s character and heart toward us?5. During times of silence, why is it important to reflect on God’s grace?6. What Scripture passages do you turn to when you wait on God (for answers or intervention)?7. Is there anything you’re doing, or not doing, on your end that might drown out God’s voice?8. What are some of the ways God speaks to us? (Name as many as you can think of.)9. Why is it important that we consistently read our Bibles?10. What is one action step God is asking you to take after having listened to today’s episode?
  1. How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110
  2. The Power of Breath Prayer to Calm Your Anxiety (with Jennifer Tucker) – Ep. 109
  3. The Courage to Embrace Career Risk – Ep. 108
  4. The Courage to Surrender Our Hurts to Jesus – Ep. 107
  5. Trusting God’s Promise to Use Our Suffering for Good – Ep. 106

And speaking of agendas and calendars, make sure to mark yours for Wholly Loved’s upcoming Gala and silent auction! If you’re not local and can’t make it, no worries! We’ll have items you can bit for online.

Gala save the date graphic

Quote from Max Lucado on mint background.

Our response to setbacks, challenges, and attacks reveal how well we know and how deeply we trust Christ. When others come against us, do we truly believe He’s our defender? When someone or something threatens our job, will we trust He’s our provider? And what about when our boss gives someone else that promotion we’ve worked tirelessly for, the one we’re certain will catapult our dreams? 

Will we rest and wait on God or clench our fists and fight for “what’s ours”?

Years ago, I sensed God calling me into greater ministry, but I didn’t receive much more information than that. Unfortunately, instead of patiently waiting for His revelation, I began planning and plotting my way. I determined precisely where I needed to go and what steps I needed to take in order to get there. And when doors remained closed all around me? I pushed and shoved my way into full-on striving mode. As a result, what God had intended to bring me deep joy and fulfilment became ugly and exhausting in so many ways. 

We cannot strive and yield, and when we’re not yielded, we’re far less apt to hear God’s voice and experience His power in and through us. What’s more, our actions reveal places of doubt; areas in our heart where we haven’t given God full control.  

At the time, I felt certain I battled against others—those I thought were holding me back. But I was actually opposing all-powerful, all-knowing God. Through my behavior, I was declaring Him false and unfaithful. 

When, in stress and angst, I fought for a certain opportunity that perpetually seemed out of reach, I demonstrated that I didn’t truly believe in the goodness, wisdom, and power of God. Because if I had, I would’ve rested in Him, finding joy in that season, trusting my Savior to lead me, always toward His very best.

Trusting that He truly knew what that best was and had the power to bring His good and pleasing, soul-fulfilling will to pass. 

This seems to be the lesson He taught Miriam, a woman chosen by Him to help lead the Israelite nation. Initially, she served God and her people with joy. After God conquered her people’s enemies in Exodus 15, she “took a tambourine and led all the women as they played their tambourines and danced” (v.20). Leading them in song, she became the first worship leader and also the first female prophet mentioned in Scripture.

National leader.

Worship leader.

Woman who spoke God’s Words to His’s people.

What influence she held! I imagine she felt incredible joy to be used by Him during such a pivotal and celebratory time in history. 

But then time dragged on and she became discontent with her role and her younger brother’s leadership. Perhaps she didn’t always agree with his decisions. Maybe she doubted whether or not he consistently heard from God. And as the oldest sibling, she might have harbored seeds of resentment that eventually began to bloom into rebellion. 

Whatever the cause, she grew dissatisfied with her God-assigned role. 

She might have allowed her growing discontentment to convince her that her position hadn’t in fact been God-assigned, or that God’s assignment wasn’t in fact good and life-giving. That she deserved more. 

She certainly could’ve provided ample reasons as to why. She’d been the one to save her baby brother from death by drowning or crocodile. She’d also spent nearly all her life living in slavery while he enjoyed forty years of luxury in the enemy’s palace. Besides, she was just as much of a prophet as her now grown brother. 

Apparently, she shared her complaints with Aaron, her other sibling, because they fell into cahoots together and said, “Has the Lord spoken only through Moses? Hasn’t He spoken through us, too?” (Num. 11:2). Their words suggest they were contemplating usurping their baby brother’s leadership.

But they couldn’t, because Moses’s authority came from God. And God made it clear, He would not tolerate Miriam’s fight for power. He dealt with her desire to elevate herself, in essence, above the sovereignty of God, by humbling her in a public and shameful way: He gave her leprosy, which caused her to live in quarantine, removed from the camp she’d so desperately wanted to run, for seven days.

Long enough for the truth to sink in: She could not force God’s hand.

Quote pulled from post on mint background.

She could, however, receive joy, fulfillment, and intimacy with Him, not through striving or performing, but through surrendered obedience. 

The same is true for us. Sometimes, when promotions and raises pass us by or sinful humans seem to sabotage or perhaps even take credit for our hard work and success, we forget. 

We forget that God is good. That He sees everything you and I experience and encounter, along with all that’s up ahead. We forget that He has a plan for us, is molding us to fulfill that plan, and has promised to lead us toward His very best. 

For Miriam, that meant serving as a national and influential leader under her younger brother’s authority. For me, that meant repenting of my sin, acknowledging my ignorance, and choosing, anew, to trust and follow my God however and whenever he led. 

What might this mean for you? Is there an area you’ve tried to force? Influence you’ve fought to hold? And if so, what does that say regarding your view of God? 

Yet, the better question is: what might our days, our energy and stress level, look like if we regularly traded our striving for yielding, our discontentment for trust, and our pride for intimacy with the One who gave His life that we might truly live? 

Omaha area friends, save the date:

Gala save the date graphic

Find out more HERE.

Connect with me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram.

Make sure to check out the latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode:

How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110 Faith Over Fear

Everything feels easier when we sense God is guiding us. But what do we do when it seems as if God isn’t responding to our prayers? During periods of divine silence, we might assume that we have done something to make God angry or turn away from us. If we carry shame and unhealed wounds, we might be tempted to view God’s supposed non-response as confirmation of the inner lies that tell us we’re worthless, discardable, or a failure. Our assurance grows, however, when we fill those gaps with truth and remember and reflect upon God’s heart.In this episode, Jennifer Slattery discusses some of the common assumptions people make during periods of divine silence, what these assumptions reveal, and various truths that can help us stand in the full assurance of God’s grace. Resource mentioned:Your Daily Bible Verse podcast, April 5th, 2022:https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/your-daily-bible-verse/id1477482900Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Questions:1. What resonated with you most in today’s episode?2. Can you share a time when you felt God wasn’t answering your prayers? How did you feel?3. Did you learn anything through that seemingly silent period?4. Why is it important to remind ourselves of God’s character and heart toward us?5. During times of silence, why is it important to reflect on God’s grace?6. What Scripture passages do you turn to when you wait on God (for answers or intervention)?7. Is there anything you’re doing, or not doing, on your end that might drown out God’s voice?8. What are some of the ways God speaks to us? (Name as many as you can think of.)9. Why is it important that we consistently read our Bibles?10. What is one action step God is asking you to take after having listened to today’s episode?
  1. How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110
  2. The Power of Breath Prayer to Calm Your Anxiety (with Jennifer Tucker) – Ep. 109
  3. The Courage to Embrace Career Risk – Ep. 108
  4. The Courage to Surrender Our Hurts to Jesus – Ep. 107
  5. Trusting God’s Promise to Use Our Suffering for Good – Ep. 106

Check out the latest Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode:

Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/Meet Our Hosts:Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comFollow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/Grace Fox has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.comFollow Grace:Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor
  1. Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9)
  2. Showing Grace to Those Who Are Hard to Love (Ephesians 2:1)
  3. Lessons Learned in the Waiting Room of Life (Genesis 8:1)
  4. Maintaining and Honoring Healthy Boundaries (Luke 10:40)
  5. A Scripture-Based Prayer for Your People (Joshua 22:5)

Grace quote

Most resolutions fail because they focus on cleaning the outside of the cup (Matt. 23:25)—behavior modification—without dealing with the internal factors that fuel our actions. True and lasting change goes much deeper, to that which drives everything else—our good habits and bad, our acts of love and sin, and our fears and our faith. 

God revealed this truth to me decades ago when I was battling what seemed like an unconquerable eating disorder and intense emotions that often felt out of control. I went to church on Sundays and sang about the all-encompassing grace of Christ, determining to love others like He loved me, only to snap at my daughter, gossip about a friend, and get into an ugly fight with my husband once home. I was a mess, as was my marriage and some of my closest friendships. I knew I needed to live differently if I wanted to experience the joy and peace Christ promised, if I wanted to be the “new creation” Scripture proclaimed. (2 Cor. 5:17).

“Lord, help me, please,” I cried, night after night, making all sorts of promises to Him and myself: The next I day would be different. I’d be more loving, kinder. I’d use words that built up rather than tore others down and wouldn’t get so caught up with the bathroom scale or what I consumed. I’d read my Bible and pray more.

I developed quite a list of dos and don’ts, habits I wanted to incorporate and those I wanted to drop, and a strong desire to follow through. And if I tried hard, if I remained focused on my goals, I could reach them … for a few days, a week, sometimes even a month. 

But I never found freedom. 

Then one night, after having broken my vows yet again, I poured my heart out to God. I felt so weak, like such a failure. I remained there for some time, tears streaming down my face as all my flaws replayed through my mind. But then God shined His light deep into my soul, revealing the roots of my behaviors and why I wasn’t living in the victory Christ had already won for me. 

My battle wasn’t over what I did or didn’t eat, say or do. My problem stemmed from my heart: misplaced loves. Idolatry of myself. Turning to food, entertainment, or shopping for comfort instead of pursuing the soul-deep healing that can only come from Christ. 

That was a life-changing moment for me that I’ve never forgotten, one that has radically changed my goals. Because I know, if my heart is right and fully centered on Christ, everything else will follow. (Proverbs 4:23).

Or to phrase it differently: every behavior, the positive and negative, and accidentally blurted word, flows from the heart. 

So, here’s what I plan to focus on in the year ahead: 

  • I will create margin in my day and week to sit quietly with my Savior, knowing anything good in me comes from Him. And I’ll learn to practice “the pause” more consistently—when I sense frustration, pride, or selfishness rising within, when anxious thoughts threaten my peace, or simply when I begin to feel fatigued. With God’s help, I’ll remember to close my eyes, to breathe deeply, and remind myself of His presence, if only for a moment, knowing every minute spent with Him fortifies my soul. 
  • I’ll trust God to fight my battles. My all-powerful Creator handles them much better than I do, anyway. He knows everything I’m facing, all that lies ahead, and how He plans to use it all for my good and His glory. 
  • I will learn to live in my true identity as His beloved and empowered child, because I know how identity impacts behavior. I won’t live as an orphan who must earn God’s love, who must hide from Him when I fail. Instead, I will consistently turn to Him, my tender and attentive Father, to receive mercy, strength and comfort in my time of need. (Hebrews 4:13). And I will listen for His guidance, knowing He is growing and healing me day by day and prayer by prayer. 

I invite you to join me as together, we choose growth over perfection and connecting with Christ over striving, because that is the life to which we’ve been called; the life Christ died to give us.

New Year quote graphic

Consider that habit you’ve long tried to break, that behavior you’ve consistently fought against. What might God want to reveal regarding its root?  

Some resources to help you stand firm in faith and experience increased freedom in the year ahead:

Fighting Fear With Faith: 30 Daily inspirational messages sent directly to your inbox. Subscribe HERE.

Your Daily Bible Verse podcast: Each 6-10 episode discusses one or two verses and how we can apply their truths to our lives. Listen HERE.

Faith Over Fear podcast: Each episode tackles common fears that hinder our freedom and our calling while discussing the truths that expel them. Listen HERE.

Grow closer to Christ through one of Wholly Loved’s Bible reading plans found HERE.

~*~

Connect with Jennifer Slattery on Facebook or Instagram

Sometimes in my most stressful moments, especially this season, I sense God asking me, “Why is this thing you’re fretting over so important?”

Have you ever paused to consider that question? When you’re frustrated because your grocery store is out of fresh green beans and you’ll have to buy frozen? Or maybe when you’ve searched ten stores for that item you know your spouse or child wants and still haven’t found it? Or when you’ve been too busy or tired to put up decorations or to perform whatever task you’re certain will make this Christmas perfect?

Maybe this is a sign of my age, but I’m learning to appreciate and prioritize the most important things. Or, perhaps to phrase it differently, I don’t want to forfeit a peaceful home and heart, relaxed time with my family, silliness and laughter, and memory-making moments for a perfectly roasted turkey. In fact, if I had to choose between eating convenient store hot dogs with my family and a perfect holiday meal surrounded by tension and strife, I’d choose the former every time.

I suspect if asked, most of us would say the same. We just need periodic reminders.

Reminders that:

  • Our attitudes will affect our joy, and potentially our loved ones’ as well, this Christmas more than any gift we give or receive.
  • The house we so frantically clean before company comes over, if used well, will soon become cluttered with jackets placed here and there, discarded wrapping paper, dirty dishes in the sink, and plump little handprints on our windows.
  • Many of the presents we spend so much on this year will eventually be long forgotten.
  • Our smiles, our kind words, the atmosphere of peace and joy we help create, and the way others feel when they’re around us–those are the gifts people will remember for a lifetime.

And when we begin to carry the weight of trying to please someone else, to somehow prove, through our cooking or decorating, cleaning or baking, that we’re a good mother or wife or human being, may we pause and ask ourselves, “Is that really what I choose to be defined by?” And, “Is this person I feel compelled to impress worth my joy and peace?” And perhaps most importantly, “Why does this person trigger my fears of rejection so?”

Because here’s the thing. We might think someone else–their critical or judgmental nature–causes our anxiety. In reality, our inner angst reveals wounding within us and places where we aren’t fully anchored in our true identity in Christ.

This means our most uncomfortable interactions are actually personal growth and healing opportunities. May we see them as invitations to slow down and seek God’s heart, allowing Him to search every wounded and insecure crevice within us, so that He can heal and then fill it with His love.

Oh, what a gift that will be! One that will extend far beyond our tinsel, burnt gingerbread cookies, and over-cooked stuffing.

This, my friends, is the message of Christmas: You are loved. You are loved in your dirty house, cookie-fail, dry turkey, imperfect state by the One who entered into our world to show us what true love looks like.

What’s more you are loved to love. Honestly, that’s our only assignment this Christmas, the one way we can create the most precious–and eternally enduring–memories.

Priceless moments, if we prioritize our to-do list above our presence, that we could easily forfeit.

Friends, that’s much too high a price to pay for any four-course meal, no matter how savory.

What are some things you can release this Christmas, be they seemingly necessary but truly inconsequential tasks, a peace-stealing desire for protection or a drive to please someone who perhaps you can never please-to hold tight to magnify the joy of Christ within you? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

If you struggle with a fear of rejection, you might find THIS encouragement helpful. I also encourage you to sign up for my 30 Days of Fighting Fear With Faith Campaign. Then you will receive daily truths designed to increase your godly confidence and freedom. You can sign up HERE.

And make sure to listen to the latest Faith Over Fear episode.

How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110 Faith Over Fear

Everything feels easier when we sense God is guiding us. But what do we do when it seems as if God isn’t responding to our prayers? During periods of divine silence, we might assume that we have done something to make God angry or turn away from us. If we carry shame and unhealed wounds, we might be tempted to view God’s supposed non-response as confirmation of the inner lies that tell us we’re worthless, discardable, or a failure. Our assurance grows, however, when we fill those gaps with truth and remember and reflect upon God’s heart.In this episode, Jennifer Slattery discusses some of the common assumptions people make during periods of divine silence, what these assumptions reveal, and various truths that can help us stand in the full assurance of God’s grace. Resource mentioned:Your Daily Bible Verse podcast, April 5th, 2022:https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/your-daily-bible-verse/id1477482900Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Questions:1. What resonated with you most in today’s episode?2. Can you share a time when you felt God wasn’t answering your prayers? How did you feel?3. Did you learn anything through that seemingly silent period?4. Why is it important to remind ourselves of God’s character and heart toward us?5. During times of silence, why is it important to reflect on God’s grace?6. What Scripture passages do you turn to when you wait on God (for answers or intervention)?7. Is there anything you’re doing, or not doing, on your end that might drown out God’s voice?8. What are some of the ways God speaks to us? (Name as many as you can think of.)9. Why is it important that we consistently read our Bibles?10. What is one action step God is asking you to take after having listened to today’s episode?
  1. How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110
  2. The Power of Breath Prayer to Calm Your Anxiety (with Jennifer Tucker) – Ep. 109
  3. The Courage to Embrace Career Risk – Ep. 108
  4. The Courage to Surrender Our Hurts to Jesus – Ep. 107
  5. Trusting God’s Promise to Use Our Suffering for Good – Ep. 106

If this Christmas feels hard, you might enjoy Grace Fox’s short Bible discussion on Matthew 1:23 titled Good News For When Christmas Feels Anything But Joyous.

And … if you’re on Facebook, I invite you to join me for a fun book launch party where I’ll be giving away copies of my upcoming release, Her Small Town Refuge.

About the book:

To secure the future she’s been wishing for,

she must earn her boss’s trust.

Escaping to the Texas Hill Country with her daughter for a vet tech internship is Stephanie Thornton’s chance at a safer life. But when medicine goes missing from Caden Stoughton’s struggling vet clinic, all evidence points to Stephanie. With the new life she’s been searching for hanging in the balance, Stephanie must convince Caden to trust her with his business…and his heart.

Find it HERE.

By Jodie Bailey

(This post first published HERE.)

I clearly remember the Christmas when I was broken. When I felt like heaven was closed and there was no way God was thinking of me.

It was the same Christmas that Jesus put me back together again and reminded me that He sees me. He sees you. Always.

I was 21, in college, and working part-time processing foreclosures for a real estate attorney. My aunt–who was more like a mother–was dying. My family had gone through a series of faith-challenging events that had left us rattled. I was lonely, scared and, frankly, exhausted. Honestly, I hardly recognized myself. 

Needless to say, the week before Christmas I was not feeling the spirit. At all! I was seeking joy in lights and tinsel and gifts, but it simply wasn’t there.

The week before Christmas I was not feeling the Christmas spirit. I was seeking joy in lights and tense and gifts, but it simply wasn’t there.

Our office adopted a family for Christmas and purchased a small tree which, it turned out, they didn’t need. I had our office manager put it in my car so I could deliver it to a friend who couldn’t afford one for Christmas, but as I was leaving work, my friend said she didn’t want one because the family had chosen to be content with what they had. On top of my already foul mood, the refusal of that tree felt insulting.

So there I was, in full Grinch mode, with a live Christmas tree in my backseat and nowhere to take it. 

To add insult to injury, when I got in the car, the gas needle read empty, so I stopped at a station where I almost never stopped. Back then, you had to go inside and pre-pay, so off I went. The guy at the next pump looked at my car and, all Christmas smiles, said, “Hey! Are you headed home to decorate your tree?”

I’m sure he didn’t expect my response as I stomped by him. “Nope. I don’t even want the thing. You can have it.”

When I came back outside, a woman was standing by my car. I’ll never forget her. She had long light brown hair and was wearing jeans and a brown sweater. She was maybe ten years older than I was and she looked as tired as I felt. When I walked up, she hesitantly said, “Did I hear you say you were giving away the tree in your car?”

When I offered her my sharp yes, the wildest thing happened.  

God is working graphic

She started to cry.  

Pointing to her car at the next pump over, she said, “I lost my job and just told my kids today that we couldn’t afford a tree for Christmas. And here you are, giving one away.”

I honestly don’t remember if she said anything after that. I was too stunned: literally shocked into silence which, if you know me, rarely happens. I do remember her helping me get the tree out of my backseat and into hers and watching her drive away.  

That feeling still hits me when I think about that cloudy, damp, cold evening. A sense of right. Of purpose. Of God never forgetting us and never turning a blind eye to our lives. After all, He says over and over in His Word that He will never leave us or forsake us.

See, I was not my best prayerful self during that time of my life.  I’d prayed and prayed for God to move, but the sickness and death kept coming. I was angry with Him for what I perceived to be His silent indifference. It felt like my family was at the bottom of a pit waiting for someone to bury us. Adding to the pain, I was coming out of a season of personal choices I had never imagined I was capable of making. I felt forsaken, hopeless, and alone: like God had opted to turn away from me.

I often wonder if that lady at the gas station felt the same. Jobless and alone at Christmas, trying to care for her children, possibly with no help in sight. But there, in the fluorescent lights of a suburban gas station, God stopped us both. He made sure we saw one another. He reminded both of us that He is exactly who Hagar proclaimed him to be in Genesis 16:1, “She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: ‘You are the God who sees me,’ for she said, ‘I have now seen the One who sees me.’” 

God stopped us both. He made sure we saw one another. He reminded both of us that He is exactly who Hagar proclaimed Him to be in Genesis 16:13.

Sometimes it feels like we’re lost in our circumstances or choices, like God has turned His back on us. But He hasn’t. Over and over again, He promises never to leave us or forsake us. He says it in Deuteronomy 31:6 and 8, Joshua 1:5, Hebrews 13:5-6… and in so many more verses. My daughter’s childhood favorite, Joshua 1:9, says it clearly: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Christ's light graphic

We might feel alone and unseen, but we never are. Ever! God is always there, always working one step ahead of us, even when we don’t see it.” Because who’d have ever thought a tree bought for one family would make its way into the hands of a Grinch who God would use to bless another family? 

Trust that He sees you and He’s at work, even when circumstances seem dire. And that, as He said in Habakkuk 1:5b, “For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.”

Have you ever felt lost and unseen?  Looking back, can you see how God revealed that He really did see you?  Maybe it was an unexpected phone call or an exceptionally beautiful sunrise. Take a moment to look at those dark times in a different light, searching for those moments when God said, “Hello, dear one. I am right here with you.”

Get to Know Jodie:

Jodie Bailey is the USA Today Bestselling author of over twenty inspirational romance novels. She is passionate about writing stories that tell the truth about freedom in Christ. As an Army wife, her favorite heroes to write about are naturally soldiers. She believes that chocolate, coffee, and the beach can cure all ills. Jodie lives in North Carolina with her husband, her kiddo, and a yellow lab who is pretty certain she is the center of the universe.

Visit her online.

Check out her latest release, Captured at Christmas:

An undercover investigation

becomes a mission to keep everyone alive

Undercover with an infantry unit to investigate a theft, military investigator Captain Rachel Blake doesn’t expect the holiday assignment to turn into a protection mission. But when Captain Marshall Slater and his little girl are targeted, she blows her cover to help shield them. Can she figure out the assailant’s motives and stop the attacks before someone ends up dead?

Buy it HERE.

Make sure to check out the latest Faith Over Fear episode:

How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110 Faith Over Fear

Everything feels easier when we sense God is guiding us. But what do we do when it seems as if God isn’t responding to our prayers? During periods of divine silence, we might assume that we have done something to make God angry or turn away from us. If we carry shame and unhealed wounds, we might be tempted to view God’s supposed non-response as confirmation of the inner lies that tell us we’re worthless, discardable, or a failure. Our assurance grows, however, when we fill those gaps with truth and remember and reflect upon God’s heart.In this episode, Jennifer Slattery discusses some of the common assumptions people make during periods of divine silence, what these assumptions reveal, and various truths that can help us stand in the full assurance of God’s grace. Resource mentioned:Your Daily Bible Verse podcast, April 5th, 2022:https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/your-daily-bible-verse/id1477482900Find Wholly Loved Ministries at:https://www.WhollyLoved.comJoin the private Faith Over Fear Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671Join the Private Wholly Loved Community Group (also on Facebook):https://www.facebook.com/groups/443325386241769Questions:1. What resonated with you most in today’s episode?2. Can you share a time when you felt God wasn’t answering your prayers? How did you feel?3. Did you learn anything through that seemingly silent period?4. Why is it important to remind ourselves of God’s character and heart toward us?5. During times of silence, why is it important to reflect on God’s grace?6. What Scripture passages do you turn to when you wait on God (for answers or intervention)?7. Is there anything you’re doing, or not doing, on your end that might drown out God’s voice?8. What are some of the ways God speaks to us? (Name as many as you can think of.)9. Why is it important that we consistently read our Bibles?10. What is one action step God is asking you to take after having listened to today’s episode?
  1. How to Have Peace When God Is Silent – Ep. 110
  2. The Power of Breath Prayer to Calm Your Anxiety (with Jennifer Tucker) – Ep. 109
  3. The Courage to Embrace Career Risk – Ep. 108
  4. The Courage to Surrender Our Hurts to Jesus – Ep. 107
  5. Trusting God’s Promise to Use Our Suffering for Good – Ep. 106

And the latest Your Daily Bible Verse podcast episode:

The God Who Stands with Us in Hard Times (Genesis 39:2) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/Meet Our Hosts:Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comFollow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/Grace Fox has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.comFollow Grace:Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor
  1. The God Who Stands with Us in Hard Times (Genesis 39:2)
  2. Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9)
  3. Showing Grace to Those Who Are Hard to Love (Ephesians 2:1)
  4. Lessons Learned in the Waiting Room of Life (Genesis 8:1)
  5. Maintaining and Honoring Healthy Boundaries (Luke 10:40)

Connect with Jennifer on Facebook and follow her on Instagram.

Isaiah 9:6 on an image with Christmas candles in the dark.

We’ve barely entered December, and I’m already tired. I’m suffering from a bit of the bah humbugs that probably come, at least in part, from the shorter, colder and drearier days. I’m tempted to coax through the holidays, and, honestly, to make them all about me. A time to rest, to watch movies and read books. To maybe go out for coffee with my daughter and friends and out to dinner with my man. 

It doesn’t take much for me to turn my focus inward. But it also doesn’t take much for me to lift my gaze, which inevitably lifts my heart as well. I can determine, well-before I attend my first Christmas party, I drop the turkey on the floor, or burn the pumpkin pie, to worship. 

I’m convinced that is the only way I will truly experience enduring, soul-deep joy. The same joy that filled the wisemen’s souls when they encountered the Christ child.

While Scripture doesn’t specify their country of origin, many scholars suggest they might have traveled from modern day Iran, a distance of 1,600 miles or more, most likely by camel. A potentially sixty-day endeavor, round trip. If you’ve ever driven down a bumpy road in a vehicle with no radio, air conditioning, or heat, you can imagine how uncomfortable their journey must have been. And no doubt they experienced challenges, frustrations, and the occasional quarrel along the way. 

Yet still “they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy” (Matthew 2:10, ESV). 

Matthew 2:10 on a picture with candles.

They rejoiced.

Exceedingly.

With great joy.

I don’t know if Scripture could say this more emphatically. They experienced deep, deep joy.

Because, before their camels stepped foot on that dusty ancient road leading to Israel, they had already decided to worship. (Matthew 2:2)

This posture enabled them to experience something others, like Herod and his scribes, missed–a personal encounter with the living God. 

Friends, regardless of how tired I might feel today, I refuse to be like Herod and the scribes. I refuse to allow a bah humbug attitude to keep me from experiencing an intimate encounter with Christ. This Christmas, I want to approach every festivity, spilled drink, and potentially uncomfortable conversation with the same expectancy that drove the Magi thousands of miles from their home to the Christ child. 

How are you this holiday season? What is most apt to steal your joy or divert your focus from our only real and abiding source of joy? What might your Christmas look like, should you determine, regardless of how dinner turns out, to worship?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

You might also enjoy the latest Your Daily Bible Verse episode below.

The God Who Stands with Us in Hard Times (Genesis 39:2) Your Daily Bible Verse

Want to listen without the ads? Become a BibleStudyTools.com PLUS Member today: https://www.biblestudytools.com/subscribe/Meet Our Hosts:Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who hosts the Faith Over Fear podcast. She’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.comFollow Jennifer:https://www.lifeaudio.com/faith-over-fear/https://www.facebook.com/JenSlattehttps://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/Grace Fox has published hundreds of articles and authored 10 books including the award-winning devotional, Finding Hope in Crisis: Devotions for Calm in Chaos. She’s a member of the “First 5” writing team for Proverbs 31 Ministries and a regular contributor to Guideposts’ Mornings with Jesus. Grace lives aboard a sailboat in Vancouver, British Columbia. Married in 1982, she and her husband celebrate three grown kids and eleven grandchildren.Check out Grace’s newest book, Keeping Hope Alive: https://www.tyndale.com/p/keeping-hope-alive/9781649380517Subscribe to her weekly devotional blog and monthly update on her website: www.gracefox.comFollow Grace:Facebook: www.fb.com/gracefox.authorInstagram: https://www.instagram.com/graceloewenfox/  Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/gracefoxauthor
  1. The God Who Stands with Us in Hard Times (Genesis 39:2)
  2. Don't Get Tired of Doing Good (Galatians 6:9)
  3. Showing Grace to Those Who Are Hard to Love (Ephesians 2:1)
  4. Lessons Learned in the Waiting Room of Life (Genesis 8:1)
  5. Maintaining and Honoring Healthy Boundaries (Luke 10:40)

May your day be filled with laughter, great conversations, and all the turkey and pie your stomach can hold!

And I’d love to praise God with you! What is one thing you’re most thankful for this year?

If you’re looking to start your day with a nugget of truth, make sure to listen to the latest Your Daily Bible episode to learn how giving thanks safe-guards our joy and fortifies our souls. You can catch the latest episode HERE on LifeAudio.com or wherever you access your favorite podcast content.