Do not believe that your life is in the hands of men. It may seem like our well-being depends upon governments and businesses. You might feel helpless before the forces at work in the world. There seem to be plenty of people working against the gospel and the truth, without inventing wild conspiracies. Do not despair! If you follow Christ, O Soul, your life is in God’s hands. He is sovereign. He has control over every government and every power. Nothing can withstand his will. He moves forward with his plan, and no one can stop him. Rest in his omnipotence. Find peace in his governance. Your hope is in his word of might.

Begin every day, O Soul, with new thoughts, motives, and love. God renews his mercies every morning. Arise from bed with new determination. Get up with new purpose. Declare forgiveness to self and others. Start again with a clean slate. God will give this to you, if you but ask. Make every day a new year, so to speak. You can restart at any time, morning, noon, or night. Your heart and mind can do a reset right now. You may need to repent to do this. You will certainly need prayer. Reading the Word will redirect and empower you, as you get away from influences of the world and the flesh. Start now!

You know your own struggles. Others, too, are engaged in inner conflicts. Do not add to their anguish. You do not know what battles others are facing. O Soul, speak with kindness and humility. Treat each person with due consideration. Seek to encourage. Point everyone to the grace and love of God. Be the example of these before others. Live the faith you profess. Let your own struggles be seen as you move forward with hope. This may be to others the greatest encouragement of all.

O Soul, God will hold you together. He gathers up the loose threads and stray pieces of your life. He unifies all of your existence. From your experiences he weaves a beautiful tapestry. The world tears at you to rip you apart, but God will do more and greater things in you. He is building you into a tower of integrity. Be patient and place your life in his hands, so that he may have his way with you and form you into the image of Christ.

Learn something new, O Soul. Never cease studying. Do not rely on yesterday’s knowledge, as solid as it may be. Ask new questions. Build on what you already know. Do not let entertainment sidetrack your mind. Grow in knowledge and wisdom. Advance in the grace of living. Learn better how to serve others and share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Adapt to new situations and stages of life. Give up this quest only when you take your last breath.

Your idea of serving or helping may not actually help someone. Make sure, O Soul, that the object of your help feels that he is being helped. What is helpful to one may be an irritation or distraction to another. Sometimes you may have to ask or discover. Be a student of those around you, so that you may help in helpful ways.

O Soul, the world lies before you. All is yours, because you are God’s. Life and death. The present and future. Power and glory. Word and action. Doing and accomplishment. The meek inherit the earth. The humble harness the glorious gifts of God. To his people belong eternal life. You are one, but you are not alone. You are small, but not helpless. The Word in your heart and prayer on your lips make you an effective servant full of hope.

The waves toss wildly. The winds tear at our clothes and bring tears to our eyes. The fury of the storm causes us despair. The low, dark clouds oppress with their heavy burden. The screeching and banging deafens our ears. O Soul, prove your faith by trusting in the Lord in the midst of the tempest. Trials will end and suffering will cease, but God’s love is everlasting. His calm is in the eye of the storm.

O Soul, do not trust in self. You do not have the strength nor wisdom. You cannot know yourself. Your heart is deceitful, even to yourself. From the heart rise evil thoughts. Sin lurks ever near the surface. The father of lies controls this world and the hearts of men. Trust in the Lord. Forsake your self-confidence to seek his power and truth. Call every day upon him. Let him see your tears. Let him hear your pleas. Confess your weakness. Admit your ignorance. Place every need within his hand. He will care for you. Obey the Lord, and he will give you peace and love.

A person’s name is one of his most precious possessions. To call a person by his name, to remember his name after you have met him, shows that you value that person. Many will be impressed that you remember. They will see it as a sign that you care. O Soul, remember names as a first step into a person’s life. The respect you show others by doing this may allow you to know the person behind the name. This is true, of course, of God, and no less true of human beings.