Anxiety is running high these days—riots in the streets, political confusion, and a silent virus  infecting the world. It’s enough to make anyone lose sleep. But Jesus reminds us to cast all our cares on him (1 Peter 5:7). He also invites us to ask for anything in His name (John 14:14), and He will grant it.

In a world that seems hopeless, Jesus is our hope. In a world that seems helpless, He is our helper. In a world of anxiety, He is our peace.

As I’m reading Bible verses and devotions to help me listen to God, I have been coming across many verses on thanking God. Thanking Him in all circumstances. Thanking Him in the midst of trials. And thanking Him as I bring my prayers and requests to Him.

I’m pretty faithful in bringing my “to-do” list to God. I’m never shy about asking God for what I need. But I am learning to add thanksgiving to those prayers. When I tell God what I need, or ask Him to resolve pressing issues, I add, “Thank You that You hear me. Thank You that You will answer. Thank You that Your timing is always right.”

Does this mean my prayers will be answered faster? No. It means that when I pray with thanksgiving, God replaces my anxiety with peace.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV).

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is a bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 books for children and adults. She is a lyricist for children’s piano music, contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine, and presenter at writers’ conferences. Her newest book is releasing soon, I Love You to the Stars—When Grandma Forgets, Love Remembers.

 

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Watch how much hearing her own songs meant when Crystal Bowman hears a young pianist play for her.

Crystal writes children’s books and lyrics. You can find out more about her at

https://ChristianAuthorsNetwork.com/Crystal-Bowman/

 

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We are living in uncertain times. A global pandemic is not something we are used to coping with. When life changes quickly it often causes anxiety and fear. But the one constant we have is that our Almighty God never changes. Knowing and believing that God is greater than our circumstance gives us hope and peace.

In Psalm 150:2 the psalmist writes, Praise Him because He is greater than anything else. That means God is greater than our worries and fears. He is greater than our circumstances. And He is greater than a global pandemic.

One of the best antidotes for fear is praising God. When our focus is on praising God for His power and love, our fears slip away. Many verses in the Bible remind us that all of creation gives praise to God.

Isaiah 55:12 says, Mountains and hills burst forth in praise and trees of the field clap their hands. In Psalm 96:11 we read, Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound and all that is in it.

If all of creation praises God, then we, who are created in His image, can praise His name even in uncertain times. Let’s lift our praises to God today and let Him be greater than our circumstance.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord. (Psalm 150:6 NIRV)

 

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books. She is a speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

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Our winter season in Michigan has been mild. No subzero temps or newsworthy blizzards to report. I am grateful for that.

But the heavy, gray clouds that linger for days and even weeks, make me feel like I am trapped in a colorless dome.

Last week we flew to Texas to visit my daughter’s family. Shortly after takeoff, the plane penetrated the thick mass and ushered us into an atmosphere of endless blue sky and brilliant sunshine. It was a mood-altering moment that brought joy to my soul.

Most of us face difficult circumstances now and then. The weight of our problems can make us feel like we are engulfed in a heavy, dark cloud. But when we give our concerns to Jesus and trust him to guide us through our struggles, he will usher us into his light.

Jesus is the light of the world. When we follow him, he will remove the darkness and restore our joy. No matter how heavy your problems are today, remember there is blue sky above the clouds.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life”  John 8:12 (NIV).

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. Her non-fiction books include Mothers in Waiting—Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms. She is a speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

(Photo by Thomas Urquhart on Unsplash)

 

 

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For fourteen years our home in Florida allowed me to escape the bitter Midwest winters. But due to a health crisis, my husband and I are now back in the Midwest, bracing ourselves for some bitter temps.

When I look out my kitchen window, I no longer see palm trees standing tall against a clear blue sky. I see a blanket of white on the ground and pine needles laced with snow crystals. I no longer see lizards scurrying across the backyard patio. Instead, I see squirrels gathering nuts for the long months ahead.

My environment has changed dramatically, but what hasn’t changed is my awareness of God’s presence and revelation through his creation. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1).

No matter where I am in God’s Universe, his power and glory surround me. Whether it’s mountains or oceans, sunny skies or storm clouds, or a flock of noisy geese flying south, God’s handiwork is on display. He made all things and sustains all things—including you and me.

God is everywhere and his love follows us wherever we go. As all of creation praises him, let’s join the chorus and honor our Creator today.

“Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it. Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy” Psalm 96:11-12 (NIV).

Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Mothers in Waiting by Crystal Bowman

Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children. She’s also written three books for women, including Mothers in Waiting–Healing and Hope for those with Empty Arms. She is a speaker and mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and teaches at writers’ conferences throughout the U.S. She is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music.

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