Lenten Journal Prompts

Spend time before Easter Sunday reflecting on your relationship with Christ with these 40 Lenten Journal Prompts.

Lenten journal prompts
Photo by Mary Lentz

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Welcome friend. Today, I’m sharing 40 Lenten prompts. Lent is typically acknowledged by Catholics as the 40 days before Easter in the church’s liturgical calendar. For example, in the Catholic church, this is a time to give alms and we fast on Fridays (abstain from meat) to align ourself with sacrifice. This small sacrifice serves as a reminder of what Christ did for us.

I think this goes beyond doctrinal differences of Christians. The forty days before Easter is also a good time to reflect on the health of your relationship with God.

Journaling

I love journaling. I’ve been doing it for years and really feel like it’s a beneficial tool of introspection. First, journalling helps document where you are emotionally and spiritually at a given time. Next, it serves as a timeline, gracefully depicting an arc of your emotional growth. Once you become accustomed to journaling, I know it will become a great tool for self-therapy.

Additionally, if you’d like more ideas for journaling, please read my other posts:

All you need to get started is a notebook and pen. If you hate writing, don’t worry. There are plenty of digital options these days. Day One, for example, is a great digital diary that even allows you to post photos with your writing and is available in the cloud for all your devices.

Lenten Journal Prompts

  1. How can you help your spouse become closer to God?
  2. What do you feel God wants you to change?
  3. How can you help your children become closer to God.
  4. Describe a recent situation where God was clearly present.
  5. What verse gives you comfort in hard times and why?
  6. How can you better serve God?
  7. What do you need to leave at the cross?
  8. Who or what needs forgiving?
  9. For what are you asking God?
  10. With what do you need patience?
  11. Name three things you are grateful for this week.
  12. About what are you most fearful?
  13. What does the cross mean to you?
  14. What mysteries do you wish you knew?
  15. Delight in the Lord and give praise.
  16. How can you better serve others?
  17. Which bible character inspires you most and why?
  18. How can you be a better steward with money?
  19. Describe a prayer God has answered recently.
  20. Which deceased friend or family member are you still grieving? Which bible verse give you the most comfort?
  21. Who do you find hard to love and how can you pray for them?
  22. How can you become more humble?
  23. Have you ever evangelized? How did you feel doing it?
  24. What is your favorite verse in scripture and why?
  25. How can you make time for more prayer?
  26. Of the gifts of the spirit, which do you most like to possess and why?
  27. Describe a time God answered your prayer in a better way.
  28. In what situation do you need to praise God instead of complain? Why do you find it so hard?
  29. We all have a role to play in God’s world. What do you think your purpose is?
  30. The enemy loves to attack our joy and hope. Where do you feel like you’re being attacked and how will you fight back?
  31. Give thanksgiving.
  32. What does “following Christ” mean to you?
  33. When you reflect on your life, what hard time are you most grateful for?
  34. When do you feel God most distant?
  35. Why do you love God?
  36. From what do you need healing?
  37. Write a prayer for your enemy (I know this is a hard one).
  38. Confess something to God.
  39. For what God-given gifts are you most grateful?
  40. How do you think God sees you?

Before You Leave

I hope these forty lenten journal prompts help you understand your relationship with Christ better. Lastly, don’t forget to pin this post, so you can use this year after year.

At least once a month, I post a Christian themed post, usually rooted in Bible study. Finally, I invite you to join me by subscribing to my blog so you never miss a post. Thanks for reading.

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25 Christmas Journal Prompts

Christmas evokes a a wealth of emotions. Today, I’m sharing 25 Christmas Journal Prompts to discover how you feel about the holiday season

25 Christmas journal prompts

Christmas is a special time of year. But for many people, it brings a myriad of emotions – some happy and some not so happy. The holiday blues is a real thing and they can leave us pining for those we’ve lost in death. We may mourn old traditions that are no longer continued. Or we may have a renewed love for the season as we watch Christmas magic overtake our children’s hearts. Sometimes you may feel all the above. Today, I encourage you to go through the list of 25 Christmas journal prompts and discover how you feel about the holiday season.

25 Christmas Journal Prompts

  1. What is your favorite childhood memory about Christmas?
  2. Did you believe in Santa? Was that a good or bad experience?
  3. What does Christmas mean to you?
  4. What does your ideal/perfect Christmas look like?
  5. If money were no object, what would you want for Christmas?
  6. What is the most special Christmas gift someone has given you?
  7. Who do you miss most around Christmas?
  8. Do you make goals for the New Year? What are some of the goals you have right now?
  9. Describe how your family celebrates Christmas.
  10. What Christmas traditions in your family do you love most? How will you ensure those traditions continue?
  11. What things make you feel most connected to others at Christmas?
  12. How will you spread Christmas cheer this year?
  13. What is your favorite holiday movie and why do you love it?
  14. Is there anything that makes you sad around Christmas? Why?
  15. Some people feel blue around the holidays. What can you do to combat those feelings?
  16. What is your favorite memory of your childhood home at Christmas?
  17. Describe something you love to do on cold winter nights?
  18. How do you feel about the commercialism around Christmas?
  19. Write a Christmas story.
  20. For what are you most grateful at Christmastime?
  21. What is most stressful at Christmas? What can you do to make it better?
  22. Describe what you love most about Winter.
  23. How can you be a more giving person during the holidays?
  24. What has changed since the beginning of this year?
  25. How was God faithful to me this year?

Be sure to visit my other posts for more journaling ideas:

Christian Journal Prompts

Looking for a new way to spend some spiritual quiet time? Try these Christian journal prompts to help explore your Christian walk.

christian journal prompts

Spiritual Journaling

Hello friend. I hope you’re having an awesome day. Today, I’m sharing some Christian journal prompts that I hope will help you fine tune your relationship with Christ. These are some of the topics I’ve written about in my own journal this past year.

I like to think of Christian journal prompts as a personal assessment about your spiritual life. So many times we are just trodding along not even realizing they we are off track somewhere. Using these journal prompts help me to stop and evaluate just where I am on my spiritual walk.

I will add one disclosure though. The Bible should be your guide through this. My degree is in Psychology and journaling can often be associated with that because Psychology is all about finding answers within yourself. But that isn’t what I’m promoting. I’m asking you to listen for God’s voice with scripture as your guide. Personally, I like to pray before I do spiritual journaling. Ask God to reveal His will for your life and ask Him to impart wisdom.

Christian Journal Prompts

  • Describe a time in your life where God has rescued you. Do you believe He’ll do it again?
  • Write a scripture that brings you peace. What is God saying to you?
  • Describe a time where you believed God spoke to you.
  • Write a prayer of surrender to God.
  • How can you be bold and courageous for the Lord.
  • Be still. What is God telling you now?
  • How can you serve God better?
  • How can you be a light to others in a dark world?
  • Describe a time when God used a bad situation for your good.
  • What do you feel God is asking you to change?
  • What do you imagine heaven will be like?
  • When do you feel most distant from God?
  • How are you hurting others with your pride?
  • Ecclesiastes tells us there is a season for everything. What season are you in right now?
  • Write out the lyrics of a Christian song or hymn that brings you joy.
  • Write a scripture that brings you joy. How can you apply it to your life?
  • Describe a blessing that happened this week.
  • Write a Psalm of worship to God.
  • Do you find it hard to apologize? If so, why?
  • The bible specifically speaks of joy, not happiness. In what way are they different?
  • Are you self-righteous about something? What can you do about it?
  • What are the character attributes you think a Christian should have?
  • When you get offended by something how does your pride react?
  • Pick a bible character. What can we learn from his/her life?
  • What do you need to confess to God?
  • Write a letter of forgiveness to an enemy.
  • Is there something that you haven’t forgiven yourself for? How can you receive the healing of the Lord?
  • Write 5 scripture verses that make you feel strong and courageous.
  • What does forgiveness look like?
  • If you are struggling though something, what do you think God wants to you to learn?
  • List all the needs God is currently meeting.
  • What do you love most about your church family?
  • What does God say about pride (see the scriptures)?
  • Describe someone in your life who exemplifies humility.
  • What are your God-given gifts and talents? How can you use them to advance the Kingdom?
  • Who or what do you need to forgive?

Before You Go

Don’t forget to PIN this post for later. Also, take a look at some of my other scripture related posts.

Decisions, Sacrifice, and Jobs

Did you miss me? I took two weeks away from writing on this blog to catch up on some much needed rest. I’m guessing most of you didn’t even realize I was gone! That’s okay. I needed a break. If you’ve been following along, you know my husband recently left his job of seven years. They closed his field office here in San Antonio and we’ve been job hunting for eight months. Let me tell you, the process has been stressful.

There have been tears, prayers (e.g. begging and bargaining with God) and dashed hopes. There was several highly desirable jobs we wanted, but didn’t get. There were several jobs we were offered but the pay and circumstances were just plain deflating. I had naysayers and critics who thought we were fools for waiting (and for turning down perfectly good jobs). I had friends who were always reaching out and praying over us. I can’t express my gratitude enough for the support. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster!

We Finally Have a Job

We were really hoping to get a job with a local refinery here. We’ve tried every way to make that work, but they just weren’t fully sold on hiring my perfectly-qualified husband for the senior manger role he desired. Alas, we have an offer that gives us a huge pay bump. There is just one catch… it’s in Austin.

First, let me start off by saying that I am completely and deeply grateful for this opportunity. God has opened some huge doors here and he has blessed us exponentially in this situation. However, Austin was never on the map for us and we are shocked by the housing market there. Let’s just say, San Antonio is far more affordable. So much so, we are considering commuting from San Antonio instead of moving.

Moving

We love our house and we are so happy here with what we have. We are still early in our house search, but we’ve yet to find anything that is even remotely comparable for the price.

If we stay, as I anticipate we will, it will come with immense sacrifice. It will mean a ninety minute commute each way for my husband, but he’ll have every other Friday off. It means we can stay close to our family and don’t have to leave the church family we love dearly. It means we don’t have to uproot our children from their home.

My oldest son is so reliant upon routine and structure. It brings him so much security. He loves his room and his house. His memories are here. Our memories are here. We built this beautiful house ourselves. I love it so much, it would probably take something immensely better for me to consider giving it up. So far, I haven’t seen it – at least not without spending unGodly amounts of money.

We’re going to see how this works out. Thankfully, we don’t have to make a decision on moving immediately. We have some time to let this play out. if the commute becomes too big of a burden, we’ll seriously consider moving.

A Big Thank You

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank everyone who has prayed over us in this hard season. There are some (you know who you are) that reached out every couple of weeks and let me cry on your shoulder. Others gave me hope when I was clean out of it! I won’t forget that. I know our actions confused a lot of people – especially when we said “no” to certain jobs, but thank the Lord we were never in a desperate position. We could afford to wait for the right opportunity and God has come through. It may not be exactly how we expected (it rarely is), but we’re certain God had a hand in all of it.

Plans For the Future

With Dan’s long commute, it means longer hours – and that equates to even longer days as a stay-at-home-mom. May I be honest? I’ve been struggling the last twelve months as a stay-at-home mom. I’ve felt lonely, bored, and disinterested. I wasn’t always like that. I was very happy for a long time because I was a part of a mom’s group. It felt like a big family. But I rarely participate in that group anymore. First, some friends have moved on as their children have grown. Secondly, the group has a very different vibe these days. Then a falling out with a “friend” left me feeling uncomfortable about returning and participating. I’ve tried out a few other different groups, but never felt chemistry. I’m very conflicted about where to go from here. I’m not sure where my place is or where God is guiding me. I do know that I need to find a my new mom tribe! I’m just not sure who or what that is.

Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we enter the new season God has for us.

Scripture Reading Jealousy and Comparison

No one wants to admit they are jealous, but if you’re battling to happy in the successes of others, this is for you. Join me for scripture reading Jealousy and Comparison.

scripture reading jealousy and comparison

Hello friend. This month’s scripture reading is going to be centered around jealousy and comparison. I think this is a neglected topic, specifically in modern Christianity, so let’s talk about it.

What is Jealousy and Envy

Envy, jealousy and comparison are feelings rooted in insecurity, greed, and pride. Jealousy is the feeling of being replaced or outshined by a rival. Envy is the coveting or discontentment by another’s possessions, circumstances, or qualities. Both of them keep us from realizing our own potential.

Social media, for example, is a great catalyst for feelings of envy. It provides us an intimate glimpse into someone’s private life. We see their vacations, fun events, new houses, new jobs, and even romantic relationships. It’s easy to start comparing your life against someone else’s. Perhaps a friend’s life seems more exciting than yours. Maybe someone seems to be surrounded by countless friends or maybe a neighbor or coworker always seems to have financial blessings.

By the way, if you feel that social media causes these feelings to arise, I suggest quick amputation either temporarily or permanently. For help on quitting social media see my two posts Living Without Likes: How I Broke Up With Facebook and Social Media Detox.

I’m Not That Jealous

Many of us don’t think of ourselves as overly jealous, but here are some basic questions you might ask if you feel there is a problem. (Excerpt from the book Mind Over Emotions by Les Carter)

  • Do you work hard to come out looking good in situations?
  • Do you tend to be status conscious?
  • Do you need a lot of recognition for achievements?
  • Do you find it hard to pay compliments to others?
  • Do you base your self image on your performance?
  • Do you have hidden feelings of inferiority?
  • Do you complain about unfair treatment?
  • Are you willing to pass on negative rumors about a successful person?

Overcoming Jealousy

Remember Your Identity in Christ

Earlier this year, I shared a scripture reading post, Identity in Christ. Knowing who you are in Christ really does solve a lot of life’s problems. Jealousy and often spark feelings of insecurity and inferiority. The way we fight that is to remember what scripture says about us. I encourage you to read my post if you are wrangling with self-worth issues. Root yourself in the God’s loving view of you.

Stay Grateful

The deeper my relationship with Christ, the more I understand the need for gratitude. It really is the remedy for lots of our problems. We limit the power comparison has over us when we focus on our own blessings. Yes, they are blessed, but so are you! If you are keeping score and trying to balance blessings on a scale, you will be eternally frustrated. Furthermore, I’ve learned to realize that many times the blessings of others pour into my life as well.

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own.

Harold Coffin

Perhaps you have a friend who is talented at party planning. Maybe you’ve even asked her to teach you, but you can’t seem to do it with the same ease and creativity as she does. You can be envious of her gift or you can be grateful that you have access to her talents and imagination when you need party planning help. A perspective of gratitude is a great cure for envy.

Develop an Attitude of Abundance

Envy ensues when you feel an imbalance of success, gifts, or talents. This perceived disproportion causes feelings of insecurity and fear – as if there are only so many blessings to go around. For instance, sibling rivalry is the feeling of being overshadowed by a sibling. It can create feelings of scarcity when it comes to the love of a parent (e.g. if my mom loves my sister there will be less love for me).

Therefore, we must retrain our minds to have an attitude of abundance. There is such a thing as “healthy competition.” My dad used to say, “there is always room for one more hamburger stand.” “Competition” isn’t something to fear. There is always more where that came from! That’s because God owns it all. He is the one who bestows gifts, blessings, and talents and he never runs empty. There is never a need to be jealous once you realize that God has a future full of blessings for you (Jeremiah 29:11). I promise you this…he will never run out of favor.

Also, in 2 Corinthians (v. 9-8) Paul reminds us the reason behind abundant blessings – not for our glory, but for HIS. So that we “will abound in every good work.” Finally, we’re also told in Ecclesiastes (3:1-8) and Deuteronomy (28:12) that we go through seasons of blessings and droughts.

abundance

Ask God To Remove It

The first thing I recommend doing when these feelings spring up is to confess it. Tell God how you feel and why you are struggling with it. Confession is powerful because secrets control us. They become a stronghold. The enemy would love nothing more that to see you fester in resentment. Reject it and ask God to help you work through those feelings. Also, ask him to help you recognize the blessings he’s already given you and to give you an attitude of gratitude.

If you should desire to be like anyone, let it be Christ and not other sinners and imperfect people (Proverbs 23:17).

Scripture Reading Jealousy and Comparison

Thank you for joining me for Scripture Reading Jealousy and Comparison. Don’t forget to PIN this post for later. Also, take a look at my earlier Scripture Reading Topics:

Finally, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog so you never miss a post.

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Trusting God In Tough Times

Trusting God in tough times is hard, but I’m here to share some hope on how to keep your focus on the Lord and his blessings that are coming your way.

Trusting God in Tough times
Courtesy of Unsplash

Trusting God in tough times is one of the hardest things we will have to overcome as Christians. Worry is a symptom from doubting God. If we believe that he will sort out of problems and make good on his promises, there is no reason to worry. If we believe he is omnipotent and has control over all circumstances, we shouldn’t grapple with trust. And yet…we do.

A Hitch While Getting Hitched

When I was getting married, my husband wanted a cookie cake as his groom’s cake. I tried ordering it advance, but the store told me the soonest I could order it would be two days in advance. So, I went down to order it two days before my wedding. I asked for a cookie cake with a Collegiate block ‘O’ written in Scarlett and grey. The man behind the counter just stared blankly at me as I continued describing it. I even drew it out on a piece of paper. He then said, it might not be him that makes it and he had no idea how to leave the drawing for the next person. I left frustrated and in tears.

I called my maid of honor and started crying. With all the things I had to do for the wedding over the next 48 hours, I was totally stressed over the potential of disappointing my new husband over a groom’s cake. I sobbed. She listened. Then she said calmly, “I don’t want you to worry about this anymore. I will take care of it. Even if I have to bake it myself, it will be there. Enjoy your wedding and don’t worry about this anymore.”

Ensuing Peace

I can’t even begin to describe how I felt. The burden had been lifted and I totally believed with all my heart that she would fix it. I trusted her to make it right. And…I stopped worrying about it. Sure enough, on my wedding day, there was a huge cookie cake, decorated with the block O, sitting there right next to my tiered wedding cake.

I realize this could have ended differently. But my point is the peace I felt knowing it was her problem and not mine anymore. This should be the same peace we feel when we shift our problems over for God to deal with.

I get it. Our problems are often bigger than a wedding cake. We suffer life altering things like divorce, death, chronic illnesses, job loss, and financial woes. I get it – but so does God. Scripture calls him compassionate. He knows what you’re facing and he is compassionate towards you.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tested in every way as we are yet without sin.

Hebrews 4:15

Why We Can’t Find Peace

We can’t see God face to face and that causes us to wrestle with faith. Even the disciples struggled to believe after witnessing miracles of Christ. Remember Peter on the water? When Jesus called him to walk on water with him he started to sink. Why? He started to doubt.

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?

Matthew 14:31

It is in our very nature to doubt. We’ve got serious trust issues! This is why it is so important to recount the times God has come to your rescue. I keep a prayer journal (war binder) with all my answered prayers. It proves to me that God is listening – or more to the point, that he cares an answers prayers.

Trusting God in Tough Times

Set Your Mind on Higher Things

Too often we tend to dwell on what is wrong, rather than what is right. This is why Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:8 to purposely reset our minds.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Philippians 4:8
perfect peace

The Psalmist echoes Paul. He tells us how to trust in one simple sentence – by turning your thoughts often to the Lord. That means when doubt and worry start to creep in, you immediately turn to God for reassurance. His promises in scripture is the reassurance he has left for us. We deliberately need to choose to think of good things instead of our problems. The more you worry, the more your fear will grow.

Gratitude

One thing is certain, after this problem, you will face another. Such is life. There will always be something about which to grumble and complain. Again, focusing on what is good, will make you feel better – and there is always something for which to be grateful. Gratitude grows contentment and joy. Spend time praising God and I promise you’ll feel better. I love reading the Psalms. The Psalmist laments and cries out to God about his troubles, but then immediately praises God for being God. He encourages himself in the Lord, our savior. Magnify God, not your problems.

In every circumstance give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

There won’t always be someone to cheer you up or encourage you. It might be the friend, spouse, or parent, with which you have trouble. You can’t rely on imperfect people to be your “well.” Draw from the well that never runs dry! Learn to encourage yourself in God’s goodness.

Shift Responsibility

You are limited. God is limitless. He is both powerful and mighty. He can take on any mess. Make it his problem to fix. Let him shoulder the burden of working out the kinks. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. When you know every mystery in the universe and control all circumstances, our problems aren’t a surprise. Wreckage and ruble is easy to clean up when you’re the creator of the entire world.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

A yoke is a wooden beam fastened to oxen (one older, one younger), to pull heavy weight in pairs. If the young oxen tires, the older one will bear most of the weight. Jesus invites you to share your heavy burden with him. Fasten yourself to him and let him take on the weight of your troubles. To him it is easy and light to bear. Also, the analogy of the yoke does not promise the burden will disappear, rather we are to walk in step with him and he will carry us through.

I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, Lord, make me live in safety.

Psalm 4:8

In Conclusion

If you are struggling with trust, faith, or anxiety or worry, I encourage you to read my other posts:

Thank you for taking the time to read Trusting God in Tough Times, with me. If you are going through a hard time and are burdened with worry I’d like to pray over you.

Lord, thank you for inviting us to share our burden with you. Please help my friend, who is struggling with believing that things will get better. Bless them with the gift of faith and trust. Assuage their anxiety and worry and help them cast their care onto you and you alone. Thank you for always showing us compassion and mercy. Even though we don’t understand why this happening, we give thanks to you and know you are working it out for our good. Amen.

Before you leave, please subscribe to my blog for more inspirational posts.

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Scripture Reading – Faith

Cataclysmic events can shake our faith. But don’t stay in doubt too long. Pray this month long scripture reading – Faith and watch your faith grow.

Scripture Reading - Faith
Photo courtesy of pexels

Hello, friend. I’m glad you’re here. Before we begin, let me pray over you. I pray that the Holy Spirit blesses you with the spiritual gift of wisdom – that what you’re about to read increases your faith and trust in the Lord. If you are struggling with faith today, I pray that he breaks the spiritual stronghold of doubt. Amen.

This has been a huge area of testing recently in my life. It’s easy to feel full of faith until something knocks the wind out of you. So since I’m also being stretched in this area, I thought I’d share with you how God is guiding my heart.

What is Faith

What exactly is faith? Paul explains in his letter to the Hebrews, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for – the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)” THE ASSURANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR.

Hope is the happy anticipation of good. Therefore, faith is the assurance of good, but in particular – when it is not seen. It is the conviction, the belief, that regardless of the current appearance or evidence, good is coming. To me, faith is built upon two pillars – hope and trust. You can’t have one without the other. The combination equates to faith.

Faith After Disappointment

“But what if I’ve been disappointed? I had faith and was disappointed!” Maybe you had a prayer you didn’t feel was answered or a situation that didn’t change. I know the feeling. In fact, over the last few months, I’ve struggled with this. In fact, today I experienced another very big disappointment…again! It’s very hard to get back to trusting God. But this is where you have to dig deep in TRUTH instead of fickle emotions.

If you feel stuck in disappointment, I encourage you to read my post How to Handle Disappointment in God.

How Do We Strengthen Our Faith

Abide in Christ

I had often heard pastors and priests talk about “abiding in Christ.” For years, I thought it meant to surround myself in the warm, basking love of our savior. Almost like a warm blanket, I was to wrap myself up in him and his presence. But that isn’t what the word abide means.

The word abide actually means to “obey – to follow, to heed, conform to, consent to, acquiesce, pay attention to, agree to.” This takes on an entirely different meaning. To abide is a command of obedience. More directly, it means yielding our will to His.

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not do what I say?

Luke 6:46

Don’t misunderstand this as legalism, which is putting law above the gospel and reducing it down to rigid moral codes. Rather, our obedience is an act of love (John 14:15) and allows us to be malleable to God’s great plan for us. We shouldn’t expect full blessing in exchange for partial obedience.

Ask

If there is one valuable lesson I’ve learned as an adult Christian, it’s that I am incapable of anything in my own flesh. Trying to do things on our own – including following Christ, is all but impossible in our own humanness. Even with our best intentions, we are riddled with imperfections and shortcomings. That’s why it’s important that we ask God for help – including help with trust and the gift of faith.

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe you have received it, and it will be yours.

Mark 11:24

Ask God to increase your faith. You have not, because you ask not. Ask! And be bold!

Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you: for everyone that asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Matthew 7:7-8

Start Small

While I would love for you to take a grandiose, blind, leap of faith, I know how hard it is to be afraid of doing so. After all, if you could do that, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. So if you have to, start small. Just take the first step in faith – believe He hears you! Then believe He cares about you. Next, believe that he is good. Keep taking those baby steps towards believing! Over time, with prayer and scripture, your faith will mature.

scripture reading faith

Remember God’s Promises

God has given us the greatest spiritual food for faith – His word. His word is full of promises for when we are struggling with faith. Clutch to them like a life raft! Hold on to them and don’t let them go. Write them on sticky notes and put them on your fridge if you have to, but keep God’s promises in front of you! Remind yourself daily, that God’s ultimate plan won’t disappoint. He has something better for you.

Pray scripture aloud. I found this to be a powerful tool to increase faith and ward off the enemy. As Paul writes to the Romans, “so faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:17). Hearing the living word of God increases faith.

Hebrews 11:6

Remember There is a Battle Going On

It’s easy to forget that there is a real life battle going on for your soul. We have an adversary. Scripture calls him “the accuser,” “a deceiver,” and a “murderer.” The very introduction of Satan as the serpent has him causing Adam and Eve to doubt God and his command. Jesus himself called Satan the “father of lies” (John 8:44).

When he lies, he speaks according to his nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

John 8:44

Renounce doubt! Doubt is a tool of the enemy. More to the point, doubt is the enemy of faith. Satan will tempt you by planting seeds of doubt, but you decide if you water it, root it, nurture it, and tend to it. Doubt must be dealt with like a weed. As soon as you see it popping up, yank it out by the root. Don’t allow it to grow in you.

Satan immediately comes and takes away the word which was sown in them.

Romans 10:17

Simply put, Satan hates faith, which is produced by the word of God. The good news is this – Satan will not win.

Scripture Reading – Faith

  1. Mark 11:22-24
  2. 1 Corinthians 2:5
  3. Matthew 21:22
  4. Luke 1:37
  5. 1 Corinthians 16:13
  6. Romans 5:1-2
  7. Psalm 119:30
  8. Romans 1:17
  9. James 1:5-6
  10. Hebrews 11:1
  11. Psalm 46:10
  12. John 8:24
  13. John 7:38
  14. Romans 10:17
  15. Mark 5:36
  16. 1 John 5:5
  17. Romans 10:9
  18. 2 Corinthians 5:7
  19. Hebrews 11:6
  20. Psalm 29:11
  21. Psalm 16:8
  22. Galatians 2:16
  23. Romans 8:24
  24. Hebrews 10:39
  25. 2 Corinthians 4:18
  26. Hebrews 3:6
  27. Ephesians 2:8-9
  28. Hebrews 11:7
  29. Hebrews 11:27
  30. Ephesians 3:16-17

In closing

Thank you for joining me today. If you’ve missed previous scripture readings, I encourage you to read them here:

Don’t forget to pin this post for a rough day. Also, before you leave, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog for future devotionals.

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Biblical Baby Boy Names

Start your son off with a blessing. Here is my list for beautiful biblical baby boy names and their meanings.

Biblical baby boy names
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The joy of naming a baby is unlike any other. It’s a special season as you and your partner search for the perfect name for your new baby.

There is a beauty in blessing your child with a biblical name. The search for the perfect name is a very personal one, but I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you’re interested in some biblical baby boy names for your little man. Here are some tips before we get started.

Tips for Naming

  • Be flexible
  • Consider if any family members should be honored
  • For names that are loved by one spouse and not by the other, consider using it as a middle name instead.
  • Consider if the name will be shortened (example: Jeremiah = Jerry or Jeremy) and whether you want or like that
  • You may want to consider omitting the names of exes
  • Say names in full, out loud to hear how it sounds.

Other Advice

Choosing a name can be fun, but it can also lead to disagreements, especially if you are passionate about a name. Maybe there is a name you picked out years ago, but your partner doesn’t like it. That can be a tough pill to swallow. Therefore, I suggest praying before each naming brainstorm. Give your partner permission to veto names they truly dislike.

Lastly, picking a name is a very special event in having a child. Your child’s name will follow him all of his life and may even be passed down. I hope that you enjoy the process of naming your little. Finally, here is the best advice, I can give. Lots of people, family included, will have an opinion about the name you choose. But their opinion doesn’t matter. That’s between you and the child’s father. Don’t let anyone’s comments bother you or rob you of joy.

names proverbs

Biblical Baby Boy Names

Here is my favorite list of biblical baby boy names with the meanings in parenthesis.

  • Aaron (high mountain, exalted)
  • Abel (breath)
  • Abraham (father of many)
  • Adam (man, to make)
  • Amos (load, burden)
  • Andrew (manly, masculine)
  • Asa (healer)
  • Asher (happy, blessed)
  • Barnabas (son of the prophet)
  • Bartholomew (son of Talmai)
  • Benjamin (son of the right hand)
  • Boaz (swiftness)
  • Caleb (dog)
  • Daniel (God is my judge)
  • David (beloved)
  • Eder (flock)
  • Eleazar (my God has helped)
  • Eli (ascension)
  • Elijah (My God is Yahweh)
  • Elisha (My God is my salvation)
  • Emmanuel (God is with us)
  • Ethan (solid, enduring, firm)
  • Ezekiel (God will strengthen)
  • Gabriel (God is my strong man)
  • Gideon (feller, hewer)
  • Hosea (salvation)
  • Isaac (to laugh)
  • Isaiah (salvation)
  • Jacob (subplanter)
  • Jadon (he will judge)
  • James (subplanter)
  • Jared (descent)
  • Jehoshaphat (Yahweh has judged)
  • Jehu (Yahweh is he)
  • Jeremiah (Yahweh will exalt)
  • Jesse (Gift)
  • Jethro (Abundance)
  • Joel (Yahweh is God)
  • John (Yahweh is gracious)
  • Jonah (dove)
  • Jonathan (Yahweh has given)
  • Joseph (He will add)
  • Joshua (Yahweh is salvation)
  • Josiah (Yahweh supports)
  • Judah (praise)
  • Jude (praise)
  • Kenan (possession)
  • Lazarus (my god has helped)
  • Levi (joined, attached)
  • Luke (light giving)
  • Malachi (my angel)
  • Matthew (gift of Yahweh)
  • Mark (the Roman God of Mars, warrior)
  • Micah (who is like Yahweh)
  • Michael (who is like Yahweh)
  • Mordecai (servant of Marduk)
  • Moses (son)
  • Nathan (he gave)
  • Nathanael (he has given)
  • Nicodemus (victory)
  • Noah (rest, repose)
  • Omar (speaker)
  • Paul (Small, humble)
  • Peter (Stone)
  • Philip (friend of horses)
  • Phinehas (Nubian)
  • Ram (exalted)
  • Raphael (to heal)
  • Rueben (behold, a son)
  • Reuel (friend of god)
  • Samson (sun)
  • Samuel (god has heard)
  • Saul (asked for, prayed for)
  • Seth (appointed)
  • Silas (forest, wood)
  • Simon (he has heard)
  • Stephen (crown)
  • Thomas (twin)
  • Timothy (to honor God)
  • Titus (title of honor)
  • Tobias (Yahweh is good)
  • Uriah (Yahweh is my light)
  • Uzziah (my power is Yahweh)
  • Zachariah (Yahweh remembers)

Before you go

Don’t forget to PIN this list for later. Before you go, be sure to grab my Baby Registry Checklist. It comes with a FREE printable to get your registry started. Also, in the comments below, I’d love to hear what names you love and why.

Scripture Reading: When to Be Quiet

Not everything requires our comment or opinion. Let’s take a look at how the bible instructs us. Please join me for May’s scripture reading: When to be quiet.

scripture reading when to stay quiet

I have a major problem keeping my mouth shut. My mouth has placed me in trouble more times than I care to admit.

I overstep boundaries. I give my opinion where none is needed. I’ve been sanctimonious, arrogant, and rebellious. Cantankerous, venomous words have escaped my lips. I have a problem keeping my mouth shut. The truth is, most people struggle with this. We tend to think too highly of our own opinions.

This month, we’re going to take a look at scripture to guide us when to speak and when to bite our tongue.

Scripture Reading: When to be quiet

Never Quiet the Gospel

First, let’s take a moment and look at when the bible commands us to speak up. As Christians, we are called to bring darkness into light by spreading the Gospel.

To Defend Our Faith

“but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame.” – 1 Peter 3:15-16

To Proclaim the Gospel

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.” – Romans 1:16

To Lovingly Correct Other Christians

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” – Galatians 6:1 

To Repair a Hurt or Disagreement

“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. -Matthew 18:15

For Praise & Thanksgiving

“By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.” – Hebrews 13:15

To Expose Darkness Including Apostasy

“Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;” – Ephesians 5:8

To Confess

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” – Romans 10:9

The bible

How To Speak Up

When we are instructed to speak up, it should always be with love. This includes any admonishment. Once corrected, we should be quick to extend the mercy of God.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

Ephesians 4:!5

Scripture Reading: When to Stay Quiet

Thank you for joining me this month for Scripture Reading: When to Be Quiet. I know correction isn’t always easy to hear, but it’s important in our walk with Christ. Please and take a moment and read some of my other Scripture Readings like Depression & Grief.In the comments below, I’d love to hear how I can pray for you.

How To Handle Disappointment with God

how to handle disappointment with God

Disappointment in life can actually make you question God’s goodness. I have some words of encouragement and advice on how to handle disappointment with God.

Navigating Crisis

As I write this, I am in the midst of disappointment. Not only are we currently losing, but we didn’t get the job we desperately wanted. We wanted it so bad we could taste it and it seemed like the perfect fit. We prayed so much about it too. So at times of deep disappointment it’s natural for us to ask, “God, what are you doing?”

Our Response to Disappointment

Disappointment is always easy to explain away when it isn’t you. We’re quick to tell a friend that everything will work out. We use phrases like “it’s in God’s time” or “it just wasn’t in God’s plan.” It all sounds good when it isn’t us. But how do we handle disappointment with God when we don’t get our way?

Typically, with a knee jerk reaction. We may think God didn’t hear our prayers. Similarly, we may feel that our prayers don’t matter to God. We want to know why God didn’t give us what we asked for. The truth is sometimes we may never know, but more often than not, I’ve looked back at my life and have been grateful for many prayers that God didn’t answer my way. One thing I do know is that God always answers prayers. It just might not be the response we’re looking for. First, let’s take a look at God’s responses when the answer isn’t yes.

God’s Responses

No

  • Your request is sinful or may lead you into sin
  • It may not be good for you – regardless of it’s appearance

Wait

  • It may not be the right time
  • God is still moving the “chess pieces” and not yet finished with your story
  • He needs you to learn, grow, or do something first

I have something better

  • There is something better He wants to give you

I often equivocate God’s timing to a chess game. There are many moving pieces. There are obstacles. Each strategic move brings you closer to your goal. Sometimes it takes several moves to get into an advantageous position. When you don’t see your prayer being answered, you may wonder if God is moving at all. Throughout my life, I’ve learned that while I was waiting, God was busy moving all the pieces of my life for the best possible outcome to my prayer. When I didn’t see God moving – He was actually moving the most…behind the scenes.

How to Handle Disappointment with God

Stay Humble

Disappointment comes from an expectation not being met. Read that again. An expectation. Could it be we feel entitled?

The Story of Job

Let’s take a look at the book of Job. The devil requests to tempt Job and God sets the parameters. The first tragedies don’t cause Job to curse the Lord. Therefore, Satan tells God it’s only because he was not allowed to hurt Job directly. So again, God redraws the parameters saying Satan can hurt him, but can’t take his life. Consequently, he is tortured by sores and boils. Job wants answers. Chapter after chapter Job complains, grumbles, and accuses – demanding answers from the Lord. By chapter 38, God has had enough. THEN THE LORD SPOKE TO JOB OUT OF A STORM.”

God is angry and He has a question or two for Job.

“Where were you when I laid the Earth’s foundation? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!” (Job 38: 4-5) God is making a point. You know nothing. I know everything. God continues for two chapters announcing His glory, then waits for Job’s reply. Job is speechless. “I am unworthy. How can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 40: 4)

Job has no answers. He’s been humbled and the best thing He can do in a moment like that is to put his hand over his mouth and shut up!

I’m not insisting we don’t grieve. Grieving is important to process loss. However, take a lesson instead from the Psalms. It’s okay to tell God your confused, disappointed, even angry. But those lamentations should immediately be followed by praise and vows of trust. Keep faith that God knows everything – including what is best for you and He hasn’t forgotten about your needs.

Stay Grateful

One of the best ways to ward off disappointment is to be grateful for what you already have. If you are complaining, you aren’t giving thanks. God has already given you many things and He has helped you thus far. As disappointed as you might be, try to focus on the blessings in your life.

Philippians 4:6

I know what I’m saying in this post isn’t vogue. Lots of modern churches would have you believe that God is chummy with you and they focus on messages of prosperity. But let’s take a lesson from Job. God is not a peer. He is holy (set apart) and we should practice reverence. Additionally, while occasional messages of prosperity are uplifting, it shouldn’t be our Christian focus. God is not a genie in a lamp here to grant us wishes. I just think sometimes we forget, He does not exist to do our bidding; we exist to do His. Be encouraged that God wants what is good for us (even if it isn’t what we think it is) and He will bless us. If you need proof of that, count your blessings.

Encourage Yourself in God’s Goodness

When we feel disappointed by God, you may question God’s goodness. In those dark moments, remind yourself of God’s character. This is how to handle disappointment with God.

Just

God is often described as just in scripture. I find amazing peace in knowing God is just! Not only is He just, but scripture says He “loves justice.” Justice is all about making what is wrong, right. No one can mistreat you, no one can take something away from you without God later making it right. He promises to payback what was wrong. Knowing this should curb feelings of disappointment or unfairness.

Merciful

“Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love,” (Micah 7:18) To be merciful is to extend grace when none is deserved. It means He pardons us, is slow to anger, and does not stay angry. Knowing that God is merciful tells us there are no grudges held against us. God is not spiteful. Take comfort that God is not “punishing you” by not answering your prayer the way you desire.

Holy / Righteous

To be holy literally translates to “separate.” God is separate from us in the sense that there is no evil in his character. Simply put, God is good…all the time. He is separated from sin and the sinful world. He does not participate in sin. Therefore, knowing that He has no evil in him tells us His intentions are good for us and we can trust him.

Compassionate

Have you ever wondered why Jesus came into this world as a baby? Why not come at the age of 30, just in time to start his ministry? Ask yourself, why put up with sickness, temptation, betrayals, and bad days? Why weep over the death of Lazarus when he knew he’d raise him from death only minutes later? So you would know He is compassionate. He understands your pain. God knows what troubles you. He’s been there. He sympathizes with your problems. Knowing that He is compassionate and that he has gone out of his way to show you, should bring you comfort.

Rich In Love

God’s character is loving. It’s a love we can’t even comprehend. But let’s start with the fact that He couldn’t be separated from us and therefore sent His son down to pay the price for our sin. (seeJohn 3:16)

Take a moment and read my earlier post Identity in Christ. Stop and see yourself through the eyes of God. Read what He has to say about you and how much He loves you. Once you remind yourself about how good God is and how much He loves you, it’s hard to feel disappointed for long.

Find the Fruit in Your Wilderness

For Christians there is purpose to our suffering. Everything, including our trials should bring us closer to God. How often do we become complacent when things are smooth and easy? Hardship reminds us we can’t stray too far from God because we need him.

Furthermore, everything is orchestrated to further God’s kingdom and proclaim His glory. If you remain steadfast and hope in the Lord during your troubles, you also become a witness for the Kingdom – a living example of the divine grace that passes all understanding. That strength in the time of adversity invites non-believers to desire the strength only God can provide and thereby the church.

Spread the gospel. When necessary, use words.

We are ambassadors of Christ. Remember…God is in the business of divine self-promotion.

Grateful For “Unanswered” Prayers

When I look back over the course of my life, I’m grateful for prayers to which God said no. Ultimately, what he gave me was far better. In fact, some things were so good, I never could have even imagined asking for it. Time and time again he has proven to me to just trust him and let him work out my problems for me. God’s ultimate solutions don’t disappoint.

If you feel this message has helped you, save it for later by bookmarking or pinning it. Share it with a friend who needs it. I pray the Holy Spirit speaks to you and comforts you.


If you are struggling with how to handle disappointment with God, leave a prayer request in the comments below. I’d love to pray for you.