“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4, NLT
God is moving in hearts, communities, and nations all across
the world! In what ways has God been encouraging, sharpening, loving, and
challenging you through Scripture? Have you seen your faith and trust in him
expand? Have you loosened your grip on things you previously thought you could
control? Has your faith been impacted through troubles or pain or loss or new
wisdom or gratitude or a big or small victory? Has God changed your perspective
on anything? Has he been nudging you to share about the hope of Christ more
frequently or to serve him in a new way? How have you been obedient to God in
this season? What are ways God is convicting you? How have you seen God
transforming your life?
Our world is in a heightened season of reflection that was
brought on largely by fear—but also from isolation, loneliness, discouragement,
and desperation. Regardless of our personal circumstances, many people are
developing a keener awareness of God’s sovereignty and his very near presence
and faithfulness. Many have been asking themselves if they truly believe the
truths in Scripture, and if so, how should it impact their life and
choices—especially when it comes to dealing with our fear or suffering or
extended periods of waiting. God is on the move in mighty ways, and with
everything that we are going through, it can make our hearts fertile ground for
God to accomplish his good work in and through us. Let Christ transform your
life as you remain in him. Keep listening. Keep reading. Surrender. Obey. Wait
patiently. Hope in him. Trust him. Lean into God’s faithfulness with a grateful
If you’re looking for a place to capture your faith journey, you may be interested in picking up a journaling Bible. Journaling Bibles have lots of extra space in the wide margins next to Scripture to capture truths and observations, notes, learnings, meaningful verses, written prayers, or even for original art. Bible journaling has become a treasured way to express worship to God for his loving-kindness and faithfulness. The Inspire Bible is a special journaling Bible that is available in three unique editions, each with an exclusive set of over 400 illustrations: Inspire Bible,Inspire Praise Bible, and Inspire Prayer Bible. Upcoming new releases include Inspire Bible Large Print in July, the all-new Inspire Prayer Bible in September, and Inspire Catholic Bible Large Print in October.
The all-new Inspire PRAYER Biblehas even wider margins and over 400 line-art illustrations to color (including 94 full-page illustrations), plus prayer-themed features including prayer prompts and the beloved colorful vellum pages we first introduced in the Inspire PRAISE Bible. Coloring-book style editions are also available in Psalms and Proverbs, and there is an edition for Girls.
Though this COVID-19 crisis has caused many of us to physically isolate ourselves from people we love, we are finding comfort in remembering that God is always with us. For us here at Tyndale Bibles, a light that has shined through this darkness is the coming together of the community of believers to be innovative in sharing God’s love in a time when so many desperately need it.
If you follow us on social media, you will know that we have done several reading plans together these weeks. We also have created some additional free resources we wanted to share with you. Please continue to join us in reading God’s Word, praying, and bringing God’s hope. We are thankful for each of you and pray you feel God’s loving arms around you.
Combining Two Loves
For decades people who loved to color had to find excuses to
participate in their favorite pastime. Coloring with children or grandchildren
was considered acceptable, but coloring on your own—that’s for kids. At least it
was until research found that coloring as an adult isn’t childish at all. In
fact, it has great health benefits, including reducing anxiety and improving motor
skills, vision, focus, and even sleep habits. No one was happier to freely be
able to express herself through coloring than Lynnee.
“I just love coloring. I have always loved coloring,” said
Though coloring was giving her a sense of calm and she truly
enjoyed it, she still felt something was missing.
“I knew there were journaling Bibles with space to create art, and I was looking for one when I stumbled upon the Inspire Bible.”
As a Bible reading enthusiast, she was excited to see two of
her loves combined into one—a Bible that helped you meditate on God’s Word
through coloring and art journaling.
“This Bible is such an awesome tool of inspiration and just
keeps me going back for more of God’s Word. It has brought me deeper in my
understanding,” said Lynnee.
While Lynnee colors a verse, she meditates on it, asking God
to speak to her through his Word. Then she reads the broader passage to gain a
deeper understanding by reading the verse in context.
“It has brought reading the Word of God to a whole new level for me,” said Lynnee. “It is such a cool way to journey through Scripture in an artistic way. So grab one and start your colorful journey with Jesus.”
She walked up to theInspire Bible booth, touched the pages of my Bible, and looked up at me with wide-eyed wonder. “I didn’t know this is what I needed until just now.”
This year, in addition to the workshops hosted through churches and bookstores, the Inspire Bible TOUR has had a booth and a workshop at 12 Stamp and Scrapbook Expos across the US. We still have four more stops to go in Arizona, Colorado, and California. This new aspect of the TOUR has allowed us to share about the Inspire Bible and this beautiful way to respond to God’s Word through art in the margin with people who are already using their creativity for scrapbooking and card-making. Bible journaling is the perfect crossover, as it becomes a conduit of creativity to document faith. Over the past several years on the Inspire Bible TOUR I’ve enjoyed sharing about how Bible journaling is one of the ways we can study and respond to Scripture. It’s worship in the margin, it’s documenting a season of faith, and it becomes a legacy piece for decades to come.
So many curious creatives have stopped by the Inspire booth to ask questions, share their experiences, and begin their journey into creating worship in an Inspire Bible. Over the course of the past three years of leading Inspire Bible TOUR workshops, and especially at the Stamp and Scrapbook Expos, I’ve had so many questions and comments that I’d love to share with you because they might be some of the same things you are wondering. Here are some of the most popular questions:
So, this is a coloring book, right?
The Inspire Bible is a Bible. It’s the inspired Word of God. But . . . it has blank margin space, illustrations, and vellum inserts to help you respond to God’s Word. It’s the Bible first and foremost.
I’ve got so many craft
projects to do, I don’t need another thing.
When you sit down and spend time in the Bible, that time is
sacred. It’s not a craft project, it’s a study of God’s Word. It’s a chance to
come before the Lord and grow in your faith. We can approach Scripture with the
expectation that the Holy Spirit will speak to us as we read and reflect on the
inspired Word of God.
I’ve never done anything
like this before. How do I get started?
When I sit down and open my Inspire Bible, I focus on 4 things (pray, read, ask, respond). I open with prayer. I invite the Holy Spirit to challenge, encourage, and sharpen my faith. I then read a portion of Scripture. This seems obvious, but I admit, there are times I just want to color and not read the words. But because this is more than a coloring book, I keep the Word central. As I’m reading, I’m asking three questions: What stands out? What does this passage tell me about God? What does this passage tell me about how to live? THEN, I respond in the margin. I use the margin to answer one of those three questions. I keep it as simple as possible because I want to be able to read, respond in the margin, close my Bible and live out what I’ve learned! I want to be able to remember what I read and processed. It’s a life manual that invites you to respond with creativity in the margin.
I want to do this! What
specific Bible journaling supplies do I need?
Use what you already have and go from there. Most people believe you have to have specific art supplies for Bible journaling, but you don’t! You can use any of the stamp and scrapbook supplies you already have, even your children’s art supplies. You don’t have to break the bank to get started using the Inspire Bible.
I don’t want the ink to
bleed through to the other side of the page or shadow. So what should I use on
the Bible pages?
There are certain supplies that will bleed through the pages. While the pages of the Inspire Bible are thicker than traditional Bibles, alcohol-based inks will cause bleed-through. You can use gesso to prep your pages, but I personally don’t use it. I’m okay with a little bit of bleed through. I typically will just incorporate it into the illustration on the other side of the page. Many people buy an Inspire Bible but are afraid to start. They are stuck worrying about ruining the pages or not having the “right” supplies. Use the last few pages of the Inspire Bible (the index) to try out your art supplies and then JUST START. Once you get through your first few pages, your bravery will grow. Start to see your trip to the art store as a way to ask “Can I use this in my Bible?” Think outside the box. I’ve used nail polish, maps, napkins, Instax photos, and even a voting sticker in my Bible!
I can’t believe you would
write in a Bible. Why would you do that?
My Inspire Bible is my “art response Bible” not my everyday reading Bible. I keep one NLT Bible (it’s duct-taped and falling apart) that I don’t cover the words in. Everyone has what I call the “Spectrum of Coverability” level. On one side of the spectrum are those who would never write in a Bible, and on the other side is full coverage of art. Everyone has a particular level. For example, those who carry their Bible with them to church to use as their primary reading Bible will likely not want to cover the words. Ultimately, Bible journaling has been around since the Word was written. Kings and Queens would invite artists to depict stories in Scripture through art, especially for those who were unable to read. They even used stamps (carved in wood) and real gold to foil in the illustrations. Ultimately, the Inspire Bible was created so that you have margin space to write, journal, and create illustrations that help you visualize what you’ve learned.
Wow, I can’t create such
beautiful pages. You must be an artist, right?
I’m a Bible preacher, not an art teacher. We are all creative in
our own ways. Bible journaling is worship in the margin. Think of it as drawing
a picture and giving it to God, who turns and puts it on his refrigerator. He
is praised by our creative mess when we keep the Word central. Ultimately,
while my pages might be beautiful, I want my life to be a more beautiful
reflection of Christ based on what I’ve learned through Bible journaling. So,
don’t be concerned about the art; be more in tune to what the creativity is
cultivating in your heart. Are you being sharpened, challenged, and encouraged
by the Word? Is God honored by your time and creativity? These are questions I
ask myself to make sure my focus is less on “Instagram likes” and more on worshiping
We have just a few more stops on the Stamp and Scrapbook Expo schedule. Would you pray for those who walk by our booth or take the workshop? We’ve sold women their very first Bibles (ever), prayed with women who are battling heavy life situations who picked up an Inspire: Psalms, and engaged with moms and daughters about journaling in theInspire Biblefor Girlsduring their quality time together. We’ve seen people experience the Holy Spirit’s “aha” moments about getting creative for Christ and encouraged others who saw the Bible as intimidating to begin their journey to learn about God. People have even prayed for and encouraged us in the booth! Isn’t it amazing that God would put creativity in our hearts so that we can worship him? Let us live INSPIRED as we read and respond in the margins of our Bibles.
What’s the Greatest Gift for Mom This Mother’s Day?
by Kim Adetunji, Bible Brand Manager
You, of course! Your time, your smile, your kindness, a note,
a call—or in some circumstances, your apology or forgiveness. That’s probably the
absolute best gift you could give
this Mother’s Day!
If you’re like me, you’re always looking for a meaningful gift to give Mom—so we pulled together a list for you:
5 Reasons a
Bible Is the (Second) Greatest Gift for Mom on Mother’s Day
#1: Your Mom deserves the very BEST, and what gift could be
better than the living and powerful Word of God? (Plus, there are so many
options to choose from that you are bound to find one that she’ll love!)
#2: What other gift—besides prayer, maybe—connects Mom so
directly to God than the Bible? When Mom (or you or I) reads through the Bible,
God speaks to her (and us)!
#3: It will be a gift your Mom will cherish for a very, very
long time—and not just because it’s from you
(which is a really huge reason!), but also because being a student of the Word
and growing in knowledge of God and his plan for us is a life-long journey. We
will never fully mine the riches and depths of this treasure house that is the
#4: No matter where your Mom is (or isn’t) on her spiritual
journey, a new (or first!) Bible could be the fresh inspiration she needs to make
spending daily time with God a (new or renewed) priority in her life.
#5: As Mom reads her Bible and reflects on its truths, the more she will become transformed into Christlikeness. The Bible promises us that time spent in God’s Word will never return void! (We saved the very best reason for last!)
Over 500 all-new Scripture line-art illustrations to color,
wide margins for journaling, plus 32 beautiful full-color vellum pages
(pictured below). It’s the only Bible with vellum pages! Now available in large
Our latest addition to the line, the beautiful rose gold
Inspire Catholic Bible has over 450 Scripture line-art illustrations to color,
plus wide margins for journaling.
Inspirehas drawn people of all ages and stages of faith deeper into God’s Word.
Word of God Inspire You.™
All Scripture is
inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize
what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to
do what is right. – 2 Timothy 3:16, NLT
Who You Talkin’ About?
by Carolyn Larsen, taken from the Inspire for Girls Bible
“If wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die.” Ezekiel 18:21, NLT
So who’s wicked? You are. What? Scripture tells us that all people are wicked. We are all sinners, so you are also a sinner. That means that you are prone to disobey and disappoint God, even if you don’t mean to or want to.
But there is hope. When you talk to God, admit your sins and tell him you are sorry. He grants forgiveness and second chances to those who sincerely believe and are sorry.
Don’t give up hope for your own redemption from God just because you mess up big time. When you recognize your need for forgiveness and ask God, he will forgive you. Don’t get so filled up with pride that you don’t think you need God’s forgiveness. Be honest with God and yourself. Admit that you mess up. Admit that you need his forgiveness. Ask God to forgive you and to help you do better. He promises to forgive you and to help you learn to obey him.
Dear God, I need your help. I can’t obey your commands without your strength and help in my life. Please help me. I want to obey you! In Jesus’ name, Amen
Read Caroline’s Story: Hosting the Inspire Bible TOUR Was a Life-Changing Event
Caroline is our youngest Inspire Bible TOUR host yet! Amber Bolton told us it was wonderful to work with Caroline and to see the passion she put into it.
Hi! My name is Caroline Fisher. I am 15
years old and am a sophomore in high school. Of course, homework and chores
occupy alot of my time. However, when I’m not doing these, I enjoy
yoga, reading, photography, art, hanging out with my friends, and of course, Bible
journaling! I am left-handed, which some people say adds to my creative spirit.
I am extraordinarily blessed with an incredible family, including two adorable
kittens, and I am very involved in my school and church. I am a part of Team
LEAD, a mentoring program for middle schoolers. I am also in Concert Choir,
Spanish Club, and Educational Helpers, and I am usually a part of the dance
team but recently had to take a season off. And I actually have a job at my
church! I am the Sunday School Assistant each Sunday, helping out with children’s Sunday School. I love kids, so this job suits me
perfectly. Every Sunday is an adventure that I so look forward to. I also go to
youth group, which meets every Wednesday night. Before youth group, we usually
go to a coffee shop—we’re all very close friends!
I have attended church my entire life.
Currently, I attend Valparaiso First United Methodist Church. I have attended
this church since I moved to Valparaiso nearly fourteen years ago. My church is
truly a wonderful place and I am so lucky to have it. Being in high school, my
faith is constantly challenged. Most of my peers are pretty accepting, but it
can be tough when less than 10 percent of the student body regularly attends
church. With this challenge, though, my faith has grown much stronger. When you’re part of a
minority, it can be easier to grow your faith more securely because it’s something unique to
you, making it more fun and inviting to explore. One of my many life verses is
Philippians 4:13: “I
can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I have been Bible journaling for almost seven months now. I am so glad that I have discovered and expanded on this creative outlet. My favorite part about it is decorating the page and being able to really connect with Scripture. Journaling helps the verse(s) to really sink in and helps me to truly believe the Scriptures. I first found out about the InspireBible TOUR after stumbling across Amber Bolton on Instagram. As I fell in love with her work, I began to explore workshops and hoped that one would show up near me. After months of wishing, I decided to make my dream a reality. Hosting a workshop had never occurred to me before, but I realized that there was nothing really stopping it from happening. My highlight from hosting the workshop was probably seeing all the smiling, excited faces ready to learn and praise the Lord. I loved seeing how joyous and fulfilled everyone was.
As the host, I organized everything
between my church and Amber, found funding, set up decorations, and spoke at
the event. There was a lot of work involved, but that’s right up my alley!
I absolutely loved hosting. I saw God a lot throughout the weeks leading up to
the workshop. One way that he particularly surprised me was with the turnout.
Being a relatively small church, I figured we’d be lucky if we had 25 participants, but it ended
up being over 50! And there were people from all different walks of faith
those who could memorize the book of Psalms to those who didn’t know what a Bible
was! Another thing I did not expect was how quickly the workshop would fly by.
I ended up being at my church for over 6 hours that day, but it did not feel
over 2! I would say I knew almost half of the people who attended. The
community outreach I did was extensive! I designed posters and put them
everywhere. And it was great to see so many faces I did not recognize. I was dramatically
impacted by hosting the workshop and by attending it. It was
so rewarding to be able to put so much effort into preparing and organizing the
workshop and then actually get to sit down and attend it as a participant.
The workshop itself was phenomenal. Even
as a somewhat “experienced” Bible journaler, I
learned so much and absorbed everything
Amber had to share. I keep describing that day to people as “life-changing”—and it truly was! It
was surprising to discover how much work goes on behind the scenes for an
event. Much more work went into the workshop than I ever would’ve fathomed as a
participant. It was almost like Christmas: The day was built up, anticipated,
and talked about so much, and then it was over in an instant. But God was
unquestionably smiling upon the faces of everyone who was at the workshop. We
talked, smiled, laughed, prayed, and bonded over the experience.
God certainly used this experience to
stretch me. It gave me hope, purpose, and, of course, involvement in a
wonderful activity. I’ve grown in my faith through this experience and
have found myself closer with God. To those of you scrolling through the TOUR
website, deciding if you should pursue this “crazy” idea—do it! I would never hesitate to tell someone to
host a workshop. Although it’s hard work the reward is so worth it, much
greater. My time in God’s Word has most definitely changed for the
better since the workshop. I learned so much and was able to apply it to my
journaling. I feel like I am more mindful and aware as I read, and can really
take the verses and passages to heart. And my church started a monthly Bible-journaling
group! Every second Monday, we spend the afternoon at Starbucks unleashing our
I was inspired in so many ways through this workshop. It was truly a transformative experience. I will never forget this life-changing event and will be forever thankful to God for leading me to do this and blessing me with the successes it has brought.
In 2016 Tyndale House Publishers formed a partnership with avid Bible journaler, Amber Bolton (of Instagram’s @biblejournaling). Since then, Amber has traveled across the country offering two-hour-long InspireBible TOUR workshops. She also offers frequent Facebook Live Bible studies using her 4-Step Bible Study Process.
InspireBible TOUR workshops are booked through Amber at email@example.com, and Tyndale helps get the word out. Often, new people are drawn into local churches through these workshops. And Bible-journaling groups are frequently formed out of the workshops, as Amber encourages participants to keep meeting as a community of Bible journalers.
Amber was an early adopter of this practice after discovering it on Pinterest before it became widely known and appreciated. She champions artistic Bible engagement as a beautiful way of worship and of reflecting on God’s Word. As a youth pastor she has a passion to see people reading, digging into, engaging with, and living out God’s Word.
Her introductory workshop offers participants the opportunity to explore God’s Word creatively and to experience a fresh approach to Bible reading. She guides people through hands-on activities to inspire creativity in their daily walk with the Lord. The workshop is designed to focus participants’ hearts on Christ as they learn to color, paint, draw, and letter their way through God’s Word.
As the Brand Manager of Tyndale’s New Living Translation journaling Bibles, I’ve had the immense joy of hearing firsthand how God has been moving in people’s lives through Bible journaling over the years. It has brought so much hope and peace and healing and conviction and encouragement and truth to so many—it has even drawn those who were far from God close to him. It has been so rewarding to see how Bible journaling has increased people’s engagement with God’s Word and has gotten people through bouts of depression, grief, hopelessness, and trials. It offers a whole new way to approach Bible study and interact with Scripture beyond note-taking, highlighting, or traditional journaling.
Many of us are drawn to Bible journaling because it appeals to our God-given creativity. And yes—we all are creative! Just ask any kid if they are creative. They don’t say, “Well, Suzy is more creative than I am, so I must not be” or “Bobby’s art looks nicer than mine, so I’m not really creative.” They simply say YES! Our social sharing of Bible journaling pages is great on so many levels, and it brings so much encouragement to others. But sometimes we can allow an underlying sense of unworthiness or dissatisfaction of our own creativity to settle in and discourage us from continuing. We can start thinking that our worship is inferior to others’ or that we aren’t worthy to worship God through our creativity. The truth is: God isglorified through your act of worship—no matter the skill or the lack thereof! God doesn’t operate the way we do. If he did, my singing during worship would be absolutely unacceptable to him. I connect with God best when I worship him through song—but that doesn’t mean I’m great at it. Believe me, I’m no Lauren Daigle. But God accepts—and loves—my worship. I know it sounds simple, but it is important to recognize this so negative thoughts don’t trickle in and hinder your ability to connect with God through Bible journaling. The tendency is to criticize ourselves or to stop doing something that brings us immense joy and connection to God because we don’t feel good enough. Let’s make a pact to stop seeking perfection and comparison and to allow our thoughts be focused on seeking God alone!
Bible journaling—and coloring Bibles—have been a popular way to study and interact with God’s Word in recent years, but more and more people are discovering it even today! In fact, Amber Bolton of Tyndale’s nationwide Inspire Bible TOUR just led a workshop in Indiana last weekend where she discovered that only 5 of the 50 workshop participants had tried Bible journaling before!
Here are some of their comments about how they felt inspired after the workshop:
I am inspired to spend more “worship” time by being creative in my Bible.
A new and creative way to worship him and be in the Word.
Excited because the journaling really helps me get the Word in my mind and stay there.
I am inspired to reflect more deeply on the Word of God.
I never thought God wanted my artwork like I would want a child’s for my fridge. Never have I thought of mine as worthy. Thank you!
I was inspired to reach out and build my relationship with God in a totally new and different way!
The importance of thoughtfulness regarding the Scripture—how to process, to see the Scripture, importance of responding.
The beauty of God’s Word comes to life as we pray, read, ask, and trust in him.
I’m creative even though I thought I wasn’t! God made me special!
This will help me dive deep into the Bible more often. This is a fun way to stay connected with God.
I was inspired to become more religious through Bible journaling because I am not a religious person.
I am inspired to see how God’s Word evolves through me as I share this process with my kids, husband, and friends.
I’m inspired to share this with a friend who is going through breast cancer so she can journal and use it to hear what God is saying through Scripture.
I am inspired to think through colors, a word, and image around a biblical text.
I am inspired by everyone’s eagerness to Bible journal!
It helped me to focus and connect with God better—to see him more clearly and to see how he relates to my life.
I’m inspired by the way that I was able to lead others to God by hosting this workshop.
Teach my daughters and friends to sit, slow down, and soak joyfully in the loving peace of God through color.
I was inspired by learning how to apply Scripture to me personally writing and combining Scriptures to speak to me in a personal way.
I was inspired by witnessing how God has led my new friend and me into a life of peace.
I was inspired by God reminding me to be still!
I was inspired by the 4-step process to help me remember to keep my focus on God when Bible journaling. Inspired to think outside the box.
Inspired to do the journaling process—get comfortable with it, go in depth, and remember the insights.
It’s incredible to read through those comments, isn’t it? I love getting a glimpse into some of the ways God is moving in lives through Bible journaling. It’s fun to be a part of a community of people inspired to creative engagement with God’s Word. The reality is that when we are reading and engaging with the Bible, God can work in our hearts and prompt us to action, lead us, correct us, and move us toward fuller trust and obedience to him—and so much more! Let’s keep on reading, reflecting on, studying, applying, scribbling on, doodling in, highlighting, painting, washi-taping, tabbing, and expressing our worship creatively in our Bibles. To God be the glory!
This week Tyndale released the latest in the bestselling Inspire line of Bibles, the Inspire Catholic Bible! It is filled with art to color and wide margins for journaling and has all of the beloved features from the original Inspire.
Next month, the long-awaited Inspire PRAISE Bible Large Print edition will release—just in time for Christmas! It is filled with over 450 all-new line-art illustrations to color, large readable text, extra-wide margins for journaling, plus the one-of-a-kind beautiful full-color vellum journaling pages everybody loves from the full-size edition!
We all want to hide Scripture in our hearts, and sometimes interacting creatively with it can help us better remember what God is teaching us. We invite you to try it!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Or at least a little. We’ve already had our first snowfall in Chicago, and with mixed emotions, have begun bracing ourselves for the wintery season ahead. Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner, and the holiday season is upon us. Soon we will gather with friends and family to celebrate our gratefulness to God for the blessings in our lives—both grand and small. Then next month loved ones will gather again to celebrate the joy of Christ’s birth, and a week after that we will celebrate the closing of one calendar year and the promise and hope of the new one. It is indeed a wonderful time of the year.
And yet, along with all of the blessings and joy and celebration, many of us are also harboring heartache deep within. We may be going through a very difficult season of life or have recently lost a loved one. It could be that our circumstances aren’t what we’d hoped they would be. Or maybe we are suffering from debilitating depression. Perhaps a relationship desperately needs mending or one has just been painfully severed. These—and so many other heartaches—leave a gap in our hearts, and the ache is palpable.
Yet there is hope in the midst of our heartache. Our hope comes from a powerful God who not only created us but who knows us intimately. He is present with us. He is our comforter. He loves us perfectly. We never have to doubt God’s sovereignty or whether he is in control or if he is good. He is. And he will sustain us through whatever we face.
Over the holidays, there seems to be a keener awareness of the loss, hardships, grief, health battles, financial difficulties, troubled relationships, and other heartaches in our lives. We often long for simpler times—before these difficult realities entered the scene. As we enter into a season of reflection, this can draw a myriad of emotions to the surface. No matter what happened in the previous year or what lies ahead in 2019, each new day is an opportunity for us to put our trust ever more fully in God.
We can choose to embrace all that God has for us in this very moment. It’s certainly a choice. We could harbor resentment or anger in our hearts, or we could stubbornly refuse to turn to God through it, or we could try to numb it with our favorite “numbing” mechanism. It would be a whole lot easier to suppress it, at least in the short term. But why? God is trustworthy. We can open our hearts fully to him and offer him our pain, unknowns, uncertainty, loss, and troubles—all while recognizing the gifts and blessings and favor he has bestowed upon us. We can live in those two realities—joy and heartache—simultaneously. We may not know what tomorrow holds, and we often can’t see the purpose in the pain, but when we hang on to the truth that hope is not lost—that it is real, and present, and available—despite even the worst of circumstances, we can rest in that assurance.
Though the ache may linger, hope is an anchor. We can let hope be the strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls, as Scripture says. It’s not just lip service. It’s the Word of God. Our loving father in heaven knows our hearts—all the valor and all the murkiness that lurks within. He sees each tear that falls, and he hears our deepest heart’s cry even when it is unspoken. Trust him in the midst of whatever storm you are being thrown about in. Draw on the eternal hope that surpasses all understanding.
“Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. Jesus has already gone in there for us. He has become our eternal High Priest in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 6:18-20).
Let that sink in: This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. An anchor that holds strong through the storm that rages. An anchor that steadies. May you weather the wintery days of your soul with as much beauty and hope and joy and trust as you have on the summery blue skies days of your soul.
Your Bible is already the place you turn to daily for a word from God. Why not record all that you are learning and how you are growing or being challenged or are seeing God’s love and faithfulness in your life in your Bible? You read it consistently—or you strive to—and what better place to capture your faith journey than in a soon-to-be-cherished legacy Bible. If you’re looking for something new to refresh your Bible-reading in 2019, consider getting a New Living Translation journaling Bible.