From Despair to Cheer

“He plans to build you up, turn your mourning into joy and reward the work of your hands. Just place your hope for the future in his hands.”

Psalm 90:17
Let the favour of the Lord our God be upon us and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands.

When I sat down to have my morning devotions yesterday, I was feeling not a little despondent. I’ve recently endured some life-changing events in my work and ministry that have left me feeling demotivated. “Why the changes, Lord,” I prayed. “I’m very grateful for all you have given me and the great opportunities I have for ministry, but sometimes I feel there is no fruit to what I do.” Have you ever felt that way, like you’re slogging away at life, burning the candle at both ends only to go to bed at night feeling unrewarded? That’s how I felt when I prayed.

After complaining to God, I turned to the scriptures for my daily reading. I was reading from Jeremiah. Jeremiah 29:11 is one of my life verses. It reminds us that God knows the plans he has for us, plans for welfare, prosperity and peace; to give is a hope and a future. I was reading in chapter 31 yesterday. My eyes fell on the words, “I have loved you with an everlasting love… I will build you, and you shall be built… I will turn their mourning into joy… for there is a reward for your work…” and “there is hope for your future, declares the Lord.”

The Lord does have a plan for you, a plan for a blessed and successful future. Though you may feel despondent and demotivated at times, he never does. God has confidence in his plans for you. He has loved you with an everlasting love. His plans are to build you up, turn your mourning into joy and reward the work of your hands. Just place your hope for the future in his hands. Don’t give up, look up and fix your eyes on Jesus, the author of your life.

I thank the Lord that he lifted my spirits and restored my optimism as I prayed. When I read these words, he turned my despair into cheer.

God-tracking is placing your hope in the rewards of God.

READ ALL ABOUT IT
Jeremiah 29:11
Jeremiah 31
Hebrews 12:2

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PRAY

Thank you that you build me up, turn my mourning into joy and reward my work

“Dear Father, forgive me for taking my eyes off Jesus. Forgive me for allowing despair to creep in like gangrene, rotting my motivation. I choose now to not give up but to look up and fix my mind on your love, your peace and your eternal purposes for me. Thank you that you have an enduring plan for my life. Thank you that you are my exceeding great reward. Thank you that you build me up, turn my mourning into joy and reward my work. Thank you that you have turned my despair into cheer. Amen!”

If you prayed that prayer today, please email me – dudley@godtracker.co.uk

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Originally from South Africa, Dudley Andersen now lives in the UK where he heads up Sure Reality Media and pastors Cornerstone Family Church in Worcestershire. He is married to Karen-Leigh and has two children, Kerryn and Ryan. Dudley has a background in radio and has worked for Radio Pulpit, Impact Radio and Christian Vision. Since 2005 he has produced diverse content for various Christian stations. He is the author of God-Tracking Through the Year and Overflowing Hope and writes a weekly e-mail devotional called, GodTracker. Dudley is also a worship leader.

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