Monday, December 12, 2011

Excelling, Not Just Surviving

“I just want to make it through this day.” Have you ever thought that? “I just want to survive this day emotionally…or physically…or spiritually.” The associate pastor of my former church preached one Sunday about surviving versus excelling. We may be doing well to get out of bed in the morning, get ready for work or school, and survive the day. But God has so much more for us. He doesn’t just want to help us make it through the day in one piece. He helps us to live each day in the fullness of His love, grace, strength, and victory. If circumstances are weighing us down, God gives us the grace we need to not just survive, but excel.

The following verses have helped me to excel in my walk with God, and not let personal fears, struggles, or circumstances get the best of me. They have also helped me to know what’s possible in our relationship with God and know what we can trust Him for—His ever-present help, His abundant grace, His never-ending love, and His certain victory.

• “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 NKJV

• “Do not fear, nor be afraid; have I not told you from that time and declared it? You are My witnesses. Is there a God besides Me? Indeed there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Isaiah 44:8 NKJV

• “And the LORD, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8 NKJV

• “God is my strength and power, and He makes my way perfect.” 2 Samuel 22:33 NKJV

• “And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16 NKJV

• “Yet in all things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” Romans 8:37 NKJV

This Christmas we may be trying to just make it through the season, dealing with all the pressures and deadlines, keeping a busy schedule, or missing a loved one. But when we see whatever causes us to go into “survival mode” from God’s perspective, we can approach each day with a different attitude. We can begin our day with joy, knowing that He is with us and He can handle whatever comes our way. Because we have Him, we can thrive in hope. The fellowship we share with Him turns our “surviving mode” into an “excelling mode”—we’re ready to excel in the work He has given us to do, ready to bless the people we meet along the way, ready to enjoy every day with Him because we’re excited to see what He will do. God is with us every day of the year, and His love and His work in our lives enable us to excel and live the abundant life that He has for us.

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