Today’s Instamessage:
Tomorrow is the start of school - it’s a time of newness and uncertainty. There will be stress and doubt and perhaps dread.

But through it all, the One who is all goodness as love is with you.

In times of stress and pain and suffering, the love and peace of God can be felt all the more. Trust that when you need him most, he is there. And trust that there is goodness in your every moment, and a path is laid beneath your feet.

The love and peace and grace and mercy of God is ALWAYS available. It’s there for the taking, and it’s absolute.

So whenever you need it, you can lift your eyes to seek His face, and know that he is with you.

Each week, along with the the verse and message, there will be an opportunity to exercise your faith. Take the time to rest and reflect on what you’ve read, and really ingest it for the week to come. Go for it!

Exercising Faith:
To personalize this verse, take thirty minutes to write down all the things that you feel separate you from God’s love. (List them in a column on one side of a piece of paper.) Maybe it’s something that distracts you daily, like texting or video games. Maybe it’s a bigger stress, like SATs or applying to college. Maybe it’s just the weight of anxiety or fear, which a lot of people feel in this day and age. Or maybe it’s a relationship that makes you feel forgotten or unloved. Maybe you wonder how God could be in any of it.

After writing, take a look at the blank space in the other column, and write a prayer about each thing listed. Ask God to reveal himself in every instance, and do your best to lay all those burdens on him. He can handle it all!

And at the bottom of the page, write today’s verse, substituting your own name in it. Through the week, return to it when needed, always turning back to God when you feel he’s forgotten you. He is still there, even then.

Closing Prayer:
God of all mercy and grace, we live in troubled times. Our minds and hearts are sometimes heavy with anxiety and uncertainty. Help us to see that you are in our every moment, shaping us through our struggles, and bringing it all to good. Thank you for your steadfast love. Teach us to see and feel it always. In Jesus’s name, amen.