Today, we will talk about how we aren’t meant to live like chickens but soar like eagles. Don't you ever get tired of the constant bickering in the little cliques we belong to, be it in our neighborhood, office, or church? Don't you get fed up with the rivalry, politics, and one-upmanship, with each group beating or belittling the other…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t be afraid to love again when our hearts have been broken. Heartbreak is one of the most painful things we can experience, mainly because there is no Aspirin to dull the pain. It is one of the reasons people take to alcohol, but the relief Mr. Walker or the Grey Goose provide…
Today, we will talk about how, as we journey through life, we should take time to smell the roses. Life can move at breakneck speed, especially in the cities, where everybody seems to be in a rush, trying to get ahead of each other. Even our modes of transportation are getting faster and faster. While this is not necessarily bad,…
Today, we will talk about how when someone does something wrong, we shouldn’t forget everything that person did right. Have you ever become angry when people seem to forget the million times you have helped them and remember the one time you didn’t? Or when they don’t take note of the hundred things you did right but pay heed to…
Today we are going to talk about how we shouldn’t let the enemy hold us hostage, but allow God to set us free. We all do terrible things from time to time. Some things are more terrible than others. Ashamed, we try to cover them up, but unfortunately, there is a very devious character—Satan—who always sees what we do. Not…
Today, we will talk about cracked pots and how it isn’t a bad thing to be one. I have not met anyone in my life who has their act together. Some are better than others at pretending that nothing is wrong with them, but everyone is broken in one way or another. I know we often feel ashamed of our…
Today we are going to talk about how good things come to those who wait, but great things come to the patient. A wit defined a nanosecond as the time interval between the traffic light turning green and the idiot in the car behind you pressing the horn! But we can all be like that—very short on patience! The dictionary…
Today, we will talk about how we can all claim to have faith, but it is only when we are tested that we can determine how strong it is. Have you heard the saying: “Put your money where your mouth is”? It means that we need to show that we believe in something by our actions and not merely our…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t make goals our god but God our goal. Every leadership course teaches the importance of having visions and goals in life. I agree. Without a vision, we won’t know where we are going. Without goals to fulfill our vision, we won’t get where we want to be. However, the danger is that…
Today, we will talk about how we need to know both sides of the story if we want to play judge. People often come to us with stories about other people, and we tend to believe whatever they tell us. Consequently, the person is judged and condemned in a matter of minutes. Jesus warns us against doing this. “Do not…
Today, we will talk about how peace is not the absence of storms; it is being calm in the storm. We live in tumultuous times. The world is grappling with numerous challenges: geopolitical tensions, economic uncertainties, and the ongoing effects of climate change. The threat of conflict looms in various regions, while many countries face inflation, supply chain disruptions, and…
Today, we will talk about how the mercies of the Lord never come to an end; they are new every morning. Have you noticed how often we look to the beginning of a new year to make a fresh start? Unfortunately, we get this opportunity only once every 365 days. Fortunately, we don’t need to wait that long because Scripture…
Today, we will talk about how we should take our friends to Jesus if we care for them. Very often, especially when dealing with never-ending struggles, we feel that God doesn’t care. When families remain estranged, when sickness doesn’t end, and when success always eludes us, we think God is looking the other way. That isn’t true. He has immense…
Today, we will talk about how we should ensure that God is part of our plans when we make them. We often blame God when things go wrong in our relationships, our careers, and even our health, and we get mad at him when he doesn’t give us an instant fix to our problem. But here is the point we…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t be discouraged by failure because success is waiting for us. When we have been trying to achieve something for a long time and don’t seem to be getting anywhere, it is easy for discouragement to set in—ditto when we face obstacle after obstacle or endless opposition. We start to think there is…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t be worried if we don’t finish first on earth; we are first in heaven. Have you heard the saying, “Nice guys finish last”? It essentially means that those who are overly pleasant, considerate, or submissive will not be as successful as those willing to be cut-throat and heartless. Since many of us…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t be afraid because God is with us. Everyone is afraid of something or the other. We are afraid of dogs, cats, rats, heights, depths, failure, humiliation, persecution, prison, torture, the sky falling on our heads, the ground opening up in front of us, sickness, misery, and, of course, death. Sometimes, we are…
Today, we will talk about how God will raise us up when our enemies try to take us down. We all have enemies. These are people we might have offended, deliberately or otherwise; people who are jealous of our success; or people who resent us for no reason other than it is in their nature to resent others. Regardless of…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t try to change others because we can’t. The only person we *can* change is ourselves. We are all unique, and each person is different from the others. It is what makes us special. This “specialness” is what attracts us to other people. However, as we deepen relationships, we discover they are not…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t treat people as bad as they are but as good as we are. People are not always good to us. Even when we are good to them, they are often ungrateful and unkind. This, of course, can be exceedingly hurtful. However, before we give in to bitterness and resentment, and mistreat them…
Today, we will talk about how we should stop making excuses if we want to fulfill our destiny. We have a habit of making excuses to get out of difficult and unpleasant situations. All of us have done this, some with dazzling creativity. However, making excuses can keep us from fulfilling our destiny. Consider Moses. When God told him to…
Today, we will talk about how we should keep trying when we fail until we succeed. We are often tempted to give up pursuing our goals after we meet with failure, especially when we keep failing. We have tried to quit that addiction, attain that promotion, pass that course, get that driver’s license—the list is endless—but we repeatedly fail. Giving…
Today, we will talk about how we should be humble because God opposes the proud. We often run after fame and fortune, wanting to see our name in lights. We want positions of importance and power. We seek glory and honor. Even the apostles were not exempt from this desire. They constantly argued among themselves about who was the greatest…
Today, we will talk about how we should pass out some bandaids when we see people hurting. People are in a lot of pain. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in our misery that we fail to see that almost everybody around us is also miserable. Focusing our attention on somebody else would serve several purposes. It would distract…
Today, we will talk about how we should ask God to give us a new song if life seems like an old tune. Life can get monotonous. Every day might seem like a repeat of the day before, and even the weekends are an encore of the previous one. When it looks like we are playing the same old tune…
Today, we will talk about how we shouldn’t give up praying because our prayers are about to be answered. Does it sometimes feel like God is deaf to our prayers? We have been praying for a life partner for the longest time, the gift of a child, or healing from a long sickness, but our prayers are not being answered.…
Today, we will talk about how we should be content with what we have if we want to be happy. Discontentment is another adjective that describes the human race well. There are very few genuinely contented human beings on this planet because almost every single one of us appears dissatisfied with life. Why? Because we compare ourselves with others and…
Today, we will talk about how we should be reflective, not reactive, people. We are generally reactive people. When tragedies strike, when circumstances become difficult, when conversations become heated—even when miracles happen—we tend to react rather than reflect. There is usually very little to be gained by this; on the contrary, reacting often worsens a bad situation. I am sure…
Have you ever got angry and then got upset with yourself for getting angry — because you felt you shouldn’t? Or found yourself fearful about something — and then scolded yourself for being cowardly? Or experienced sexual desire — and then berated yourself for feeling the emotion? I am sure we all have experienced anger, fear, desire—and several other emotions—and…
Life can wear us down, especially when we get stuck in a rut. The bank loan isn’t approved, so our business can’t expand. The promotion doesn’t come through, so our career goes into limbo. The relationship has lost its charm, so our future with the person becomes uncertain. Consequently, all the joy we once experienced when we started the business,…
Have you noticed how people are fine as long as we are on the same level as them, but their attitude changes the moment we move up the ladder? Instead of improving themselves and rising along with us, they will try to take us down. They will resort to backbiting, slander, and numerous other things to halt our progress or…
Every once in a while, we will encounter a challenge so formidable that we believe defeat is inevitable. It will stare down at us as arrogantly as a giant named Goliath once stared down at the Israelite army, challenging them to take him on. We can be daunted like King Saul and his soldiers were. Or we can see it…
Friends are important in our lives. They not only provide the love, encouragement, affirmation, and support that we all need from time to time but also help us achieve our goals. No architect has ever constructed a building on his own! However, we can become dependent on friends to the point where we cannot function without them. Therefore, God might…
We all do things we shouldn’t do, and we all regret doing them. We want to put them behind us and forget they ever happened. However, from the moment we wake up until we fall asleep, a voice in our head reminds us of all our mistakes, failures, and sins. It tells us that we are terrible people, that we…
God allows challenges in our lives because he needs us to be equipped to fulfill the great plans he has for us. He wouldn’t let anything come our way if he didn’t have a purpose for it. Sometimes, these challenges can be people standing in opposition to us. Sometimes, they can be obstacles strewn across our path. They are there…
If there is one Bible story that we all know, it is probably the parable of the prodigal son. Jesus told this story of two lost brothers (yes, two, not one!) to illustrate God’s great love for us and point out something important that we often miss in the telling: We are children of God, not slaves! After squandering his…
Francis Thompson was a poet who lived in the 19th century. He wrote a poem about God titled “The Hound of Heaven.” Although the title is shocking, when we read the poem, we realize that it accurately portrays God as someone who follows us like the hound follows the hare, pursuing us with his amazing grace! Were it not true,…
In the early days of the computer era, GIGO was a word we often heard. It stands for garbage in, garbage out. In computer science, it is the concept that if we input flawed data, the output will also be flawed. This principle is true for us humans, too. We want to lead productive and joyful lives filled with happiness…
If we want good things to happen, we should *expect* good things to happen! That may seem like a self-evident principle, yet, in my experience, many of us expect the worst to happen in any given situation! Some of us believe that if we say we expect something good to happen, we will jinx it! Isn’t this true? Even those…
Many of us live our lives constantly looking over our shoulders into the past, recalling our mistakes, failures, or other bad things that happened to us. Or we look forward into the future, fearful or anxious about what will happen. The result is that we cannot enjoy the blessings that God is pouring upon us today! We need to shift…
We all suffer injuries as we journey through life. Who hasn’t fallen as a child and scraped a knee? However, many of us have suffered from deeper wounds, perhaps due to an accident or surgery. Although the wounds have healed and the pain has stopped, the scars are visible even today. We also carry invisible scars resulting from emotional injuries…
We love miracles, don’t we? We often seek them, especially when we face serious challenges. When we are very sick, traumatized by a rocky relationship, struggling to overcome an addiction, or trying frantically to keep our business afloat, we long for a miracle. We keep asking God for one, but it doesn’t happen. Why not? Because we might need to…
When we are struggling with the burdens of life—be they spiritual, emotional, physical, financial, or whatever—we tend to get on our knees and pray desperately for relief. Praying is a good thing, but there is something better we can do while we are at it: pray for others! Not only will it take our minds off our problems, but our…
It is a natural instinct to retaliate when we are hurt, and the temptation to exact vengeance can be tough to resist. At such times, it might be a good idea to pause and reflect upon something that the apostle Peter said: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because…
Yes, I know it hurts. When people close to us turn their backs on us, especially during our moments of greatest need, there are no words to describe the heartache. But God teaches us one of the most important lessons of our lives through this, and the lesson is this: Don’t depend on people; depend on God. We tend to…
God has many blessings in store for us, but the question is: do we want to be blessed? That sounds like a rather dumb question. But, before he blessed people, Jesus often asked them if they wanted the blessing! For instance, one day, Jesus went to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals (see John 5:1-15). He spotted a man…
We all want to succeed, but very few are willing to pay the price. We want success to fall into our laps, but unless we are born into wealth, we will have to attain it the hard way. One of the keys to success is pursuing our goal relentlessly. We can learn a lot from Paul, who, at the end…
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free,” Paul declared in his letter to the Galatians (5:1), but most of us don’t live a free life. We may not be alcoholics or drug addicts, but other addictions are equally harmful, if not worse. We gossip at every opportunity, slander people without thinking of the damage it causes, engage…
Do you like yourself? It’s a serious question. Do you? I wouldn’t be surprised if you said you didn’t because very few of us think well of ourselves. We focus on our faults, our weaknesses, and our sinfulness and feel we are terrible people. We keep replaying our mistakes and beat ourselves up, believing we are useless and good for…
We have all been blessed with beautiful gifts by a very generous God, but unfortunately, many of us don’t use them, or if we do, not quite enough. We are afraid we are not good enough and will fail, but the real failure is not trying. Besides, it is only when we start doing something—and doing it often!—that we become…
We often believe other people are responsible for messing up our lives, sometimes beyond repair. For instance, a jealous co-worker or an unfair boss has prevented us from growing and sabotaged all our career prospects. Or, a dishonest customer or devious partner has destroyed our business and set us up for financial ruin. Or an unfaithful friend or two-timing spouse…
You may not realize this when flying to your destination, but your plane is often off course! Bad weather, air pockets, wind turbulence, and other factors cause it to keep veering off track. The pilot, however, receives constant feedback from air traffic control that allows him to make the necessary course corrections so you arrive at your destination safely and…
We live in a culture that says the more we have, the happier we will be. So, we keep piling on things—often things we don’t need—and then get so attached to them that we can’t bring ourselves to throw them out or give them away. What’s the result? Closets are in complete disarray. Stacks of dirty dishes pile up in…
Have you ever become frustrated that all your attempts to be a certain type of person have come to nothing? Perhaps you should stop trying so hard because it isn’t going to work! Why? Have you heard the song, “Change my heart, O Lord”? The chorus goes: “You are the potter, I am the clay. Mold me and make me;…
It is human nature to want to belong to a community. Unfortunately, if we want to be a part of a group, we have to do what everybody in the group does. So when they gossip, we gossip. When they give rein to their addictions, we join in. When they want to gang up on somebody or ostracize them, we…
Have you heard the saying, “Shoot for the moon; even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”? It essentially means that if we aim high, although we may not achieve our intended goal, we will still end up doing something pretty awesome. This advice generally holds true for all humankind, but even more so for the Christian believer because…
As a general rule, we are not patient people. We are always in a hurry to get things done. We try to beat the clock by doing too many things at once or doing things too fast. Not only does this result in shoddy work much of the time, but we also place tremendous stress on the mind and body…
Expectations lead to disappointment. Disappointment leads to hurt. Hurt leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate, of course, is the opposite of love. And, as love is something we all need to practice, we’d do well not to hate. Ergo, don’t expect anything from anybody! This is easier said than done because we tend to have expectations of others.…
People can often be very intimidating, especially when they are in positions of dominance or authority. We can be intimidated by our spouses, by our employers, by cops, by politicians, and anybody with a loud voice and a louder attitude. Situations can be intimidating as well. We can feel very anxious whenever new challenges come our way, like a new…
Have you ever felt as though you were under siege? I am sure there are times when we feel as though everything and everyone is coming against us. Nothing seems to be going right; everything is going wrong and terribly so. Well, let us take hope from Paul’s words to the Romans: “If God is for us, who can be…
Every now and then, God brings us to a complete halt. This allows us to take stock of our lives and think about where we are headed. It also teaches us to depend on God, become humble, or learn some important lesson. God’s foot remains on the brake until we have done what we are supposed to do. So, if…
Have you heard the term “couch potato”? It is used to define a person who sits around watching television all day long, getting little or no exercise. So what’s the image that comes to mind when you think of such a person? An obese slob sitting in his underwear guzzling beer, right? Now, why would anybody want to be that?…
Have you ever been in a real desert? Well, even if you haven’t, you have undoubtedly seen it in the movies, and you know it is very bare, very barren. There is only sand as far as the eye can see, with nothing—not a tree or even a shrub—to break the monotony of the landscape. If we get lost in…
Have you ever driven your car into a dead end? It seems like we are left with no option but to change direction. When going through life we often come across such dead ends: doors that slam shut in our faces or obstacles so formidable they halt us in our tracks. They stand like mountains in front of us, mocking…
We have all experienced situations in life that are distressing. From relatively minor things like being stuck in traffic and missing the bus to major things like the loss of a job or ending up in jail, we have all gone through “bad” things. They are often very painful. We try to pray them away, but God doesn’t seem to…
We live in a world where image is everything. We are expected to exude confidence, smartness, holiness, and although we are confident, bright, and holy for the most part, there are times we fail. But we don’t want to let anybody know that because the image gets dented. Consequently, we find ourselves wearing masks, pretending to be people we are…
Revenge is a very popular movie theme. From Death Wish and Carrie to Mean Girls and Django Unchained, everyone seems to love these stories of vengeance because it fulfills one’s own desire for revenge. We have this innate nature that wants to see people pay for the pain they have caused us, don’t we? Now we may not pick up…
We have a tendency to be filled with things that are negative. Worry, doubt, bitterness, hatred, contempt, resentment, and anger are just a few such things. The problem is that when we are filled with things that are bad, there is no room for the good, because our hearts are like containers. Their capacity to store things is limited. Let…
You may have heard the saying: Nothing is certain but death and taxes. Well, you can add “storms” to that because we are sure to face them as we journey through life. Ill health. Rocky relationships. Financial burdens. Job uncertainties. Wayward children. Errant spouses. You name it! Some of these storms can be small, like little gusts of wind that…
We have all suffered the terrible consequences of other people’s wicked actions, be it a result of anger, jealousy, enmity, or pure spite. However, it is one thing when we suffer because of what other people have done, and another thing when we suffer because of what we have done. We all do silly things, stupid things, and worst of…
I know some of us feel cheated in life. We think that when God was dishing out blessings, he served us a raw deal. And then there is the constant grind of daily life. We work hard in our jobs, but we receive no rewards. Despite all the effort we put into our relationships, we don’t see any results. Even…
In our journey through life, there are several times we find ourselves in difficult situations where there are two equally unpleasant choices before us. No matter what option we choose, it is going to be terrible. What are we to do? The ancient Israelites found themselves in such a situation one day in the wilderness. After Pharoah gave them their…
How often have we used these phrases: “Oh, I’m simply buried in paperwork!” Or “I’m getting crushed by the weight of responsibilities.” Or “I’m in such a dark place, I feel suffocated.” Have you ever said these things, or variations of them? I’m sure we all have. There are times in life when we feel like we are being buried,…
We often forget we are in a war, a war with the devil. It is a war for our souls, waged even before we were born. Although it is a spiritual war, it is as brutal as any fought on earth; perhaps more so. And like in any war, we get wounded, sometimes severely. When this happens, we can be…
We all like to be admired. We love it when people say nice things about us. We preen when they praise us; we glow when they adore us; we bask in their adoration. This is understandable because, let’s admit it, who doesn’t want to be admired and appreciated? However, this is dangerous because people are fickle. They will applaud us…
Disappointments are a part of life. So is failure. So, also, is rejection. It hurts when we experience it. When things don’t work out as planned; when we fail in something, be it an exam, a career, or a responsibility; or when someone we love dumps us, it hurts. Sometimes it hurts like crazy. Getting upset or sad or angry…
We need to avoid judging others simply because we don’t have enough information about them to judge them. Consider this little anecdote. During one of my missions several years ago, I was invited to minister to a group of youngsters. They began the session with prayer, and at one point, each one took turns thanking God. When it was her…
Yes, I know it hurts. When people close to us turn their backs on us, especially during our moments of greatest need, there are no words to describe the heartache. But God teaches us one of the most important lessons of our lives through this, and the lesson is this: Don’t depend on people; depend on God. We tend to…
When we journey through life, we are filled with zeal at various points, burning with passion, and eager to realize the many dreams that we have. We hope for a great career, a wonderful spouse, and amazing opportunities to come our way. We believe wonderful things are at hand. But when time passes and nothing remarkable seems to happen, when…
There’s a famous saying that goes: “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” Well, it’s true. We constantly hear about superstars in the entertainment business falling from pinnacles of fame and success. We hear of the same thing happening with powerful and influential men and women in other industries. They all come crashing down. Bada boom! However, falling isn’t…
Life is full of disappointments and setbacks. Some of these are of our own making, but many are not. When we are unfairly laid off at work, when a lover walks out of a relationship without reason, when we are cheated in a business deal, we are often left broken and miserable. We can become angry and bitter, resentful and…
Who among us has not been guilty of sin? Our lives are full of it before we come to know our Lord, but many (most?) continue to sin even afterward. We engage in sexual immorality, impurity, debauchery, idolatry, and witchcraft. We are given to hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, and orgies. All are…
There are times in life when everything appears to be at a standstill. We all experienced this during the recent pandemic. During such times, everything appears frozen. All doors get slammed shut, and no new doors seem to open. Things that once were exciting now seem tedious and boring. It feels like we are treading water or jumping in one…
There is not a single person among us who hasn't struggled with a major calamity in life. It may have been a severe illness that left us bedridden for weeks. It may have been a broken relationship that shattered our hearts into pieces. It may have been an addiction that we couldn't break. It may have been the loss of…
Have you ever dropped a water glass and watched it shatter into a million pieces? Our lives can seem like this. Long periods of illness, poverty, unemployment, heartache, miscarriages, addictions, abuse—the list is endless—can make us feel like shattered glass, broken beyond salvage. Like Humpty Dumpty. Yet there is hope for us because, while all the king’s horses and all…
All of us have experienced failure, and the impact of the fall is directly proportional to the height we have risen. Very often, those who reach the pinnacle of success believe they are untouchable, even though history should have taught us that no one stands so firmly he cannot fall. If you are one of these people who has fallen,…
I find Peter one of the most fascinating characters in the Bible. He was a very impulsive man, often letting his heart guide him instead of his mind, and it is perhaps one of the reasons he was able to accomplish as much as he did. I'm pretty impulsive, too, so let me explain how this works by telling you…
Let me tell you a story. An eagle's egg once rolled out of its nest and came to rest among the eggs of a chicken. The mother hen didn't realize she had an extra egg among her own and sat on top of them until they hatched. If she thought there was something strange about a black bird in the…
One of my favorite shows is America's Got Talent because it showcases some of the extraordinary gifts that God has given his children. However, that is not the only reason I like it so much. It also tells the stories of people who have reached there despite tremendous odds. These stories offer immense hope, which is something all of us…
Hello and welcome to The Hope Podcast, a brand new series to bring you hope and encouragement in difficult times. I’m Aneel Aranha, an author, preacher, and evangelist. Today, we will reflect upon the temporary nature of the human condition. Let me tell you a little story to begin. Many years ago, there was a king who told his advisers…