Today seems like a great day to remember some of my favorite things. Okay, they aren’t really things. They are some of my favorite inspirations. They are my run-to truths whenever I need to encourage myself or someone else. They have met me so many times in a place of need that I just HAVE to remind myself of them often. Now you can share them too.

1. Deuteronomy 31:8 (The Message) God is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; He won’t leave you. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t worry. You don’t even have to ask, God promises to go before you to make the way. On a particularly difficult day, I remember thinking of this verse in detail. I could imagine being in thick jungle with so much foliage around that I could hardly see the sky. And there He was. Jesus was ahead of me, with a machete in His hand, chopping down the vines and the bushes and the heavy grasses just for me. I didn’t need to wonder what to do, because His path beckoned me to follow. He stayed with me all the way through my dilemma, and I wasn’t ever left alone. There is comfort in that place.

2. Matthew 11:28 (NIV) Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. What an amazing promise! I can trade with God and give Him my heavy burden for His light one. I remember reading this verse in The Message Bible, and I felt the wonder and awe of it once again. Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me, and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with Me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. You have to take a deep breath after that one! Go on; do it. Breathe in that truth, and then exhale all the pressure you’ve been carrying. God’s love is so full of amazing perks!

3. 1 Samuel 30:6b (KJV) …but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God. The verses before this one explain that David was on the run from King Saul, who was trying to kill him; he was so jealous of David. Many warriors had come to support David while he was evading capture, and they all had families. One day when David and the warriors returned to their temporary home near the caves of Adullum, they discovered that an enemy army had come and kidnapped their families, flocks, and all their possessions. They were already exhausted, and they were beyond distraught. Some of them began grumbling against David and talked of killing him. There was no one to encourage David, and he was in a very low place. At the moment, he had no friends and no family to support him. So David encouraged himself in the Lord.

I imagine him spending time alone with God, pouring out his heart, reminding himself of the truth, and then pulling his boots on. I don’t know why that part is significant to me, but it is. I imagine him pulling himself up by his bootstraps and then going out to the camp full of hope and courage.

If you read on in the story, you’ll find that David led the warriors to go after their families. They chased the raiders back to their city, rescued all their families and flocks and possessions, and then completely destroyed the enemy. Not one person or possession that had been taken was missing.

So take courage, my friend. You are not alone; God is with you. He is on your side, and promises to help you. He goes before you to make the way. So remind yourself of the truths you need to remember, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, and seize the day! If God is for you, who can stand against you this day (Romans 8:31)?