Welcome to Daily Steps!
A weekly devotional message with daily scripture readings and prayer prompts to help you spend time with, and draw closer to Jesus.
Romans 5:2-4 "Our faith guarantees us permanent access into this marvelous kindness that has given us a perfect relationship with God. What incredible joy bursts forth within us as we keep on celebrating our hope of experiencing God’s glory! But that’s not all! Even in times of trouble, we have a joyful confidence, knowing that our pressures will develop in us patient endurance. And patient endurance will refine our character, and proven character leads us back to hope.” (TPT)
A Contagious Hope
No matter what you’ve been through, what’s happening right now, or what the future may bring, a divine calling rests upon your life. Who you are in Jesus is your true identity, not what defines your life here on earth. You are not merely a human, nor does your social circle, career, family, or reputation determine your worth. You are not just a faceless sufferer tossed about in an unfair world. According to Jesus, what happens to you is not random. You have a destiny intricately designed to change or impact someone else’s trajectory. Every experience, every pain, every moment has a purpose. Each day holds a promise and is covered by mercies rolling over you like the swells of an ocean. That is the truth, according to the promises of God’s Word. The problem is that most of us cannot see that reality because we’re only looking at the height of the waves that threaten to drown us. Therefore, the problems and the frustrating people around us fill our vision and blind us to seeing our lives through God’s vantage point. Opportunities roll by over and over because we only see them as obstacles. Each one could carry us closer to Jesus and make us contagious with the kind of hope that could change the lives of those around us forever.
One of the most soul-satisfying and joyful experiences you will ever receive on earth is seeing the fruit of your suffering become life-altering nourishment for someone else engulfed by the same pain that previously dominated your life. Jesus said in John 16:33, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” When we stop resisting or denying the fact that we will encounter problems and instead fix our eyes on the hope of knowing that He has already overcome our trials, we become beautiful, magnetic vessels of His overflowing peace and love. Sure, the problems still happen. The pain still causes hurt for a season. But if we handle it like the heavenly champions He empowers us to be, rather than earthly spectators beat down and going through the motions, the dry and parched places of pain become well-springs of living water for others to discover this miraculous hope for themselves.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” While it’s unlikely that anyone would dare say this verse isn’t true, many Christians often live like it’s a bald-faced lie by spending way too much time doubting, worrying, and questioning every single moment of discomfort, unhappiness, waiting, disappointment, irritation, or suffering. It’s not that God can’t handle our anger or answer our questions. We would rather dwell on the fact that things aren’t going exactly as we’d prefer them, instead of welcoming them and then allowing Him to develop our faith through whatever He allows, as Romans 5:2-4 promises. Jesus doesn’t ask us to deny or squelch our feelings, He just doesn’t want us to be dominated and led by them. When we trust that His ways are higher than ours and are willing to receive whatever He brings through them, only then does the fog clear from our eyes and His tender peace settles on our hearts. The more we trust Him, the less our circumstances drown out our hope. For every season of suffering… for every wave of pain… there is a calm harbor of hope waiting for us.
This week as you reflect on the Scripture readings, begin each day by asking God to help you answer this question: How does Jesus give me unfailing hope in my greatest struggles and how can I share that hope with someone who desperately needs it today?
Daily Bible Readings with Prayer Prompts
As you contemplate these passages throughout the week, make time to pray before you read them and then again, afterward. In each reading, ask God to show you what the verses mean specifically to you. God’s Word is alive, so even if you’re familiar with these Scriptures, approach them with an expectant heart and an open mind. God wants to spend time with you.
Monday - Read Romans 5:2-4 slowly in several translations of the Bible. Write down whatever phrases or words stand out to you the most. Pray them back to God, asking His Spirit to search your heart for anything that stands in the way of these incredible promises from being a reality in your life.
Tuesday - Read James 1:2-4. Take some time to think about the hope that this verse promises you. What trial, fear, or doubt is weighing on your heart and mind right now? Spend time in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to fill you with supernatural joy and assure you that He can use everything in your life to make you more like Jesus. Write down the character traits of Jesus that you need the most and ask God what work He needs to do to help you grow in those areas.
Wednesday - Read 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 and then take some time to think of the greatest struggles and times of pain in your life. Journal about your reactions, frustrations, and feelings surrounding those times. Thank Jesus for carrying you through and ask Him to reveal to you any lingering bitterness or things you can do better next time with His help. Then ask God to reveal to you how — and to whom — He wants to use your pain to administer His love and comfort.
Thursday - Read Ecclesiastes 3:11. No matter how broken or messed up something is, God can make it beautiful if we let Him. In other words, even if you’ve strayed from Him or your sin has created a problem, if you place it in His hands and allow Him to take it from here, He will redeem it for His purposes. He can turn your worst mistake into a tool to help others from making the same one. He is so big and so powerful, our minds cannot fathom what He is capable of — all because He loves us endlessly. Spend time confessing to Him, followed by a time of praise and worship — just you and God. Rejoice that you can release all of your mistakes and cares to His care.
Friday - Read Lamentations 3:22-23, Jeremiah 29:11, and John 16:33. Spend a few moments asking God to give you a glimpse of hope, healing, and strength for whatever you are facing now or any past hurt you are trying to forget. Allow the Holy Spirit to unearth things in your heart that need His touch and then write down any themes of hope or encouragement that you hear from Him in the Scriptures or in prayer time.
TAKE YOUR NEXT STEP
Grow closer to Jesus each day and explore what it means to experience Biblical hope.
Want to Go Even Further?
If you are not already using our weekly study guide with your community group or family members, you're missing out on thought-provoking questions for discussion or individual study.
SERMON STUDY GUIDE - ANCHORED - WEEK 2
Watch CF Beyond Sunday this Monday!
After each sermon, our pastors and various church leaders sit down for about 20 minutes to have a lively discussion about the weekend's topic. It will be posted on YouTube and the church website on Monday night, July 13!