Do you ever feel unheard? Like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling and back into your lap? Many people have felt this way in the Bible. David, who God called "the man after My own heart", constantly poured his complaints out to God, imploring why he did not see breakthrough when he had waited so very long. But in the Bible, we also find a truth that can soften even the coldest of doubts: "I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them" (Zechariah 13:9). Friends, being refined hurts.

"Trust in God." We hear it all the time and claim to believe it, but trusting in an unseen God is a lot harder than it sounds when the waters begin to rise and you feel like you are going under. The good news is even if we do not see Him physically, Jesus is always there to pull us up out of the waters and set our feet firmly planted in the knowledge of His goodness.

The word of the Lord is sharper than any double-edged sword. It is the guiding light in a dark and twisted world. Raising children to understand and appreciate the truth of God's word is critical to their future. The beauty of Scripture is that once it is imprinted on your heart, it never goes away. The lasting impression of God's word stays through the trials of teenage years and whispers truth in the tumult of adulthood. Whether your child is walking with God or not, we pray that God leads them into a deeper relationship with Him.

Do you want to hear some good news? The enemy has nothing to offer you that God does not have better. God is the Creator of all things, and the enemy cannot create. He can only copy, distort, and pervert the things God has called "good." Instead of focusing all your energy on resisting sin today, spend time asking God how good He is. As you taste of His goodness, you will eventually lose an appetite for all lesser things that try to pry your gaze from the One who calls you by name Jesus. He alone can satisfy your heart. He alone can bring you peace.

Do you ever struggle to show love to those around you? Sometimes the call to love can feel so daunting. How can you actually love others as Christ has loved you when people say and do hurtful things that make you want to retaliate in anger and fear?  If you feel like you struggle to love well, you are not alone. Everyone struggles in this area to some extent! The good news is we can get to know Someone who not only loves well, but is love Himself: Jesus. We encourage you today to spend time immersed in the presence of God. Really get to know Him.

Finding wise counsel is a command from the Lord & He promises to give us victory, peace, safety when we seek His will & find people to give us wise advice based on His word. In a world that idolizes the heroic 'loner', it can be easy to try to do everything on your own. But Scripture shows us how crucial it is that we rely on the Lord & the people surrounding us who follow Him. We were created for community. If there is no one in your life who you can trust to give you good counsel, seek out your local pastor or an elder in the church. With age, comes wisdom.

Have you ever tried to run in the sand? For professional runners, sand running is one of the most revered workouts, because it is ridiculously difficult to run a race while sinking into the ground! Sometimes, life can feel that way. Maybe for you it feels like every step leads to more and more discouragement, making it feel painful or impossible to make any progress.

Lord, we pray that You open our eyes. Give us a vision for the future You are creating, give us a deeper understanding of Your heart. Let our lives be living reflections of Your love. Give us eyes to see the hurting and hopeless around us and the courage to step out in faith and be Your hands and feet here. Show us how to love. Show us how to live. Show us how to be like You. Give us the strength to follow Your call, even when it's difficult, even when it's mundane. Let us live for You in the everyday details of our lives.