1 Thessalonians 5:16
It might seem ridiculous to rejoice all the time. Who can be pleased at everything that happens? Who can celebrate everything that takes place? Of course, not everything, every day will please or be acceptable to us. But … when we strive earnestly to seek out positive circumstances, people, situations, happenings and attitudes, it will amaze us how the negative we see will fall away and our outlook will change in refreshing ways.
I will strive today to look for all that is positive around me. In that I know I will begin to experience the positive within me, which you have given me to know, dear God. Amen.
Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
These are words of promise and hope. When we are thirsty for help our needs will be quenched. When we feel poor and unsatisfied, we will have enough to meet our needs. These words remind us of God’s ability to provide us with an abundance to care for us each day. We need to connect to God’s power to experience the tremendous blessings and goodness offered to us infinitely.
Praise be to you, O God, for the amazing gifts you offer to me every day. I pray for the will to focus on those gifts today and live in gratitude for all you do to reach out in care and concern to me. Amen.
Not that I am referring to being in need; for I have learned to be content.
Throughout our life’s journey we are constantly challenged to seek God’s will and not our own. It’s a hard struggle at times. Our self-centeredness gets in the way. Yet when we know and trust that God truly does provide us with everything we need, we begin to possess contentment with those blessings. In fact, we begin to see the blessings are far more real and profound that we could ever believe.
Not my will, but your will, O God. That is my simple prayer today. Amen.
Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored?
Our impatience gets the best of us. Our inability to see much beyond the present clouds our thinking. It is then when we grow quickly to believe there is neither relief nor hope. Humanity has struggled with this forever. When we look at our condition only through our eyes we only see suffering, disappointment and pain. But when we reframe our thinking to begin to see our situation through God’s eyes, then we grow to see relief and hope anew.
While today may seem hopeless and bad to me, O God, help me to remember that you see life eternally and not just momentarily. Help me to begin seeing things your way this day. Amen.
It will serve as a pavilion, a shade by day from the heat, and a refuge and a shelter from the storm and rain.
Where is the place that serves as a sanctuary for you when the days and nights are too hard to handle? What eases the fears and calms you to face the moments ahead with hope and confidence? Who can you turn to who will listen, who will encourage you, who will help soothe your worries and put them in perspective? Go to those sanctuaries. Turn to those calming influences. Seek those soothing voices. You do not, must not, weather the harsh times alone. Allow these gracious gifts from God to give you the healing respite you need.
Gracious and giving God, remind me that you provide all the shelter and protection I need. You offer to me the wonderful havens and blessings that abound around me in an endless stream of care and love. Amen.
… and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another…
Many cancer survivors say a major key to well-being and survival is finding the will to forgive - to let go of past hurts, slights, resentment and pain, to lift the burdens of bitterness off their hearts, to lighten the load of guilt and shame. Cancer is a heavy enough weight to carry. You don’t need the crushing yoke that keeps you mired in anger and causes you to be constantly on the offense. Let go of the past and let God handle it for you. Free yourself to concentrate instead on the well-being God is here to create.
I have too many burdens already. I need to cast them aside so I can see your goodness instead, O God. I know you will help and I pray for your release. Amen.
Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
I have to admit, sometimes I am afraid. Sometimes I feel alone, sometimes abandoned, sometimes as if my distress will never end. Sometimes I look for God and God does not seem to be there. But when I remember the great and ancient prophets felt the same way, and yet somehow found God caring even in their deep distress, I am comforted in knowing I am not alone in my fears. I then do know that just as they found God to be at work in their lives again, I can and will too.
My God, you have not forsaken or abandoned me. Even though for a little while I may waver in my belief and trust, I ultimately know you are here and you are the one who will see me through. Amen.
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
Remembering that we are created by a God who loves us and wants only the best for us is an essential part of creating wellness in every aspect of our lives. When we remember that God is always on the side of wholeness, integrity, truth, goodness, healing, forgiveness and love, we have a roadmap for the journey ahead. Constant mindfulness that God is always offering to guide us in the right directions can be a tremendous source of comfort and strength.
I need to be reminded over and over again of your great love for me, O God. When I am reminded it is amazing how clear the answers are and how much simpler my life’s journey can be. Amen.
My joy is gone; grief is upon me, my heart is sick.
There are those inevitable days and moments when we, like the ancient prophet, feel utterly despondent in our circumstances. On those days, sometimes we just have to give voice to our sadness, our fear, our pain. God is gracious enough to listen and great enough to understand. On those days, turn to God and share from your heart. Share what is on your mind. Share your distress and let God begin to soothe your troubles and take them away.
When nothing else seems to work, I know I can still turn to you to reveal my sorrow and despair. In these moments, O God, reveal yourself to me and remind me of your compassion and care. Amen.
Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.
We often look at cancer and all the issues surrounding our survival as a fight we are forced to endure. Indeed, none of us asks for or wants this fight in our lives. But instead of looking upon it as a burden to shoulder, a battle to wage, we need to see it as an opportunity to change for the better – reexamining our attitudes, our emotions, our lifestyles, our relationships and our spiritual connections. In refocusing our understandings toward creating wellness, as opposed to fighting a disease, we emerge from a dark struggle into a much more affirming life of joy and light.
I often allow this disease to define me, O God. Instead help me to redefine my way of life to reflect not a disease, but your warming, comforting light. Amen.
Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously; let this be known in all the earth.
It is when we approach each day, each task, each person we encounter with an attitude of thanksgiving, it is then when we begin to see more goodness around us. It is then when we allow more light to break through the darkness. It is then we begin to see hope rather than hopelessness. It is then we find answers where there were none before. It is a spirit of gratitude that must come first in our thoughts and hearts and minds. That spirit transforms our outlook and sets us on a path of positive action and results.
I praise you today, O God. I praise you for giving me this day to experience the joy of your creation and the wonder of your love and grace. Amen.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.
Many of us who live with cancer feel as if we have been plunged into a dark and forbidding world, a world in which we have no control, a world in which fear and acute uncertainty abound. But we must not remain in that darkness. There is a source of light and that light is God – piercing the darkness in ways we may not always understand, but in ways we can clearly know. Always seek the glimmers of light that do shine in every life. For those glimmers lead us to God and out of the darkness all around.
God, our life and our light, shine on us today the warming, comforting, revealing light of your mercy and love. When we are quick to give into the darkness, help us see the light that gives us hope and grants us help in countless ways. Amen.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
God is not a God who desires his children to live in pain or to suffer from distress. God has announced over and over again beginning in ancient times that pain, fear, loneliness, heartache, guilt, loss and regret are not to be the last word for our lives. Even when it seems as if our difficulties and disease will never go away, God reminds us that there will come a day when all our brokenness and anguish will be overcome with healing and relief beyond anything we can imagine today.
May the day of sweet relief we seek, dear Lord, begin in some real way today. Help us to feel your presence and know your healing even now in our imperfect way. Amen.
O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for indeed, all that we have done, you have done for us.
It is in our own minds where peace is kept away. While God has given us the ability to know perfect peace, we allow negative thoughts, self-doubts, unchecked worries and boundless anxieties to run through our minds and seize the day. We have been given the gifts of assurance and strength from God, invaluable components of peace. We must decide constantly throughout every day to give no voice to the thoughts that bring us down into depths of distress and despair. We must open our minds and spirits to the assurance and strength God provides instead.
My own thoughts are my worst enemy, O God. I need help keeping my negative thinking at bay. Guide me, I pray, to be open to accepting your guarantees of peace. Amen.