Hope Shines Brightest When Your World Is Darkest
Jesus Today® was written during a very difficult time in Sarah Young’s life. Yet the words of Scripture and Jesus’ own Presence were ever near, bringing her hope and comfort for each new day.
Whether you need a lifeline to lift you out of discouragement or are simply longing for an encouraging boost in your day, this devotional—a sequel to the #1-bestselling Jesus Calling®—will speak powerful hope into your life. Based on truths in Scripture, it is written as if Jesus Himself is assuring you that He is in control, that He is good, and that a glorious future awaits all who anchor their hope in Him.
Reaching out with peace-filled reminders of Jesus’ Presence from the Word of God these devotions will intimately, quietly connect you with Jesus, the One who meets you right where you are.
About the Author
Sarah Young, the author of the bestselling 365-day devotionals Jesus Calling and Jesus Always, has sold more than 30 million books worldwide. Jesus Calling has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling, Jesus Always, Jesus Today, Jesus Lives, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling for Little Ones, Jesus Calling Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence, each encouraging readers in their journeys toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.
Read an Excerpt
Experience Hope Through His Presence
By Sarah Young
Thomas NelsonCopyright © 2012 Sarah Young
All rights reserved.
Put your hope in Me, and My unfailing Love will rest upon you. Some of My children have forgotten how to hope. They have been disappointed so many times that they don't want to risk being let down again. So they forge ahead stoically — living mechanically. Other people put their hope in problem solving, the stock market, the lottery, and so on. But I challenge you to place your hope fully in Me.
No matter what is happening in your life now, your story has an amazingly happy ending. Though the way ahead may look dark to you, there is brilliant, everlasting Light at the end of your earth-journey. My finished work on the cross secured this heavenly hope for you, and it is absolutely assured. Moreover, knowing that your story finishes well can fill your present journey with Joy. The more you put your hope in Me, the more My Love-Light shines upon you — brightening your day. Remember that I am with you continually, and I Myself am your Hope!
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May jour unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.
— Psalm 33:20 — 22
A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.
— Titus 1:2
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the commandment of God our Savior and the Lord Jesus Christ, our hope.
— 1 Timothy 1:1 nkjvCHAPTER 2
Relax in My Presence, knowing that nothing can separate you from My Love. The worst-case scenario in your life — that I might stop loving you — is not even in the realm of possibility. So rejoice that you don't have to perform well enough to earn My Love, or to keep it. This Love is pure gift, flowing out of My own perfect righteousness. It secures your connection to Me — your Savior — for all eternity.
Since the worst thing imaginable is not possible, you can relax and live more abundantly. When things are going well in your life, I want you to enjoy those good times fully — without worrying about what is on the road ahead. When you are facing tough times, I will help you and strengthen you with My Love. Even though you live in a world where trouble is inescapable, you can be of good cheer because I have overcome the world!
Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
— Romans 8:39
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
— John 10:10 NKJV
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
— John 16:33 NKJVCHAPTER 3
Sometimes My Sovereign hand — My control over your S life — places you in humbling circumstances. You feel held down, held back, and powerless to change things. You long to break free and feel in control of your life once again. Although this is an uncomfortable position, it is actually a good place to be. Your discomfort awakens you from the slumber of routine and reminds you that I am in charge of your life. It also presents you with an important choice: You can lash out at your circumstances — resenting My ways with you — or you can draw closer to Me.
When you are suffering, your need for Me is greater than ever. The more you choose to come near Me, affirming your trust in Me, the more you can find hope in My unfailing Love. You can even learn to be joyful in hope while waiting in My Presence — where Joy abounds. Persevere in trusting Me, and I will eventually lift you up. Meanwhile, cast all your anxiety on Me, knowing that I care for you affectionately and am watching over you continually.
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him.
— Psalm 32:1o
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
— Romans 12:12
You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
— Psalm 16:11 NKJV
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
— 1 Peter 5:6–7CHAPTER 4
When you trust in Me, you take refuge in Me. So trusting Me is much more than a matter of your words; it is mainly a matter of your will. As you go through this day, you will encounter many things that can make you anxious, including some of your thoughts. If you don't stay alert, anxious feelings can slip into your day without your noticing them. When this happens, you may wonder why you suddenly start to feel bad. Usually, you just ignore those feelings. Or you may try to numb them with food, drink, television, gossip, or other distractions. How much better it is to "catch" the worry-thoughts before they take hold of you. That is why I say, "Be on the alert!"
If you are watchful and alert, you can choose to take refuge in Me whenever anxiety comes at you. A refuge is a place that provides protection or shelter: a safe haven. It is something you turn to for help, relief, or escape. I am eager to be your Refuge, and I am with you at all times. Nonetheless, you must exert your will by turning to Me for help. Thus, you make Me your refuge, demonstrating your trust in Me. Blessed — happy, to be envied — is the one who takes refuge in Me.
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
— l Peter 5:8 NASB
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by.
— Psalm 57:i NKJV
O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.
— Psalm 34:8 AMPCHAPTER 5
I will restore you to health and heal your wounds. I — am with you, within you, all around you — continually at work in your life. When your awareness of Me grows dim, My Presence continues to shine brightly upon you. This Light has immense healing Power. So dare to ask great things of Me, remembering who I am. I am able to do exceedingly abundantly above all you ask or think. Pondering My limitless ability to help you will strengthen your faith and encourage you to pray boldly.
Praying in My Name — with perseverance — can accomplish great things. Learn from the parable of the persistent widow, who refused to give up. She kept bringing her petition to a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men. Eventually, her persistence wore him down, and he gave her what she sought. How much more will I respond to My children who cry out to Me day and night! Though you may have to wait a long time, do not give up. For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds.
"But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds," declares the Lord, "because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares."
— Jeremiah 30:17
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us ...
— Ephesians 3:20 NKJV
He said: "In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God nor cared about men." ... "And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night?"
— Luke 18:2, 7
"For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened."
— Luke 11:10 AMPCHAPTER 6
Learn to live from a place of resting in Me. Since I — the Prince of Peace — am both with and within you, you can choose to live from this peaceful place of union with Me. This enables you to stay calm in the midst of stressful situations by re-centering yourself in Me. We can deal with your problems together — you and I — so there is no need to panic. However, the more difficult your circumstances, the more tempting it is for you to shift into high gear and forget My peaceful Presence.
As soon as you realize you have wandered from your place of Peace, return to Me immediately. Call upon My Name, for this reconnects you with Me and helps you feel safe. Don't be discouraged by how often you wander from Me. You are endeavoring to form a new habit, and this takes time plus persistent effort. The rewards, though, are well worth your efforts. The more you return to Me — to our resting place — the more peaceful and joyful your life will be.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
— Isaiah 9:6
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
— Philippians 4:13 NKJV
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.
— Proverbs 18:1o NKJV
Waiting with hope is very difficult, but true patience is expressed when we must even wait for hope. I will have reached the point of greatest strength once I have learned to wait for hope.
Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen jour heart, all you who hope in the Lord.
Psalm 31:24 NKJVCHAPTER 7
I want you to love Me, listen to My voice, and hold fast to Me — for I am your Life. This is the way of wisdom. I am training you to stay close to Me as you walk along perilous paths. In any close relationship, listening and loving are vitally important — and they are interconnected. Listen to Me as I rejoice over you with gladness and quiet you with My Love. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you receive My glorious Love in full measure. This will dramatically increase your love for Me.
The world is full of dangers, so it is wise to hold tightly to My hand. Listen — through My Spirit and My Word — while I talk you through tough times. Pour out your heart to Me, remembering that I am your Refuge. As you stay in dialogue with Me, I help you handle whatever is before you. Hold fast to Me, beloved, for I am your Life.
[Choose life] that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
— Deuteronomy 30:20
The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.
— Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.
— Psalm 62:8CHAPTER 8
I am the Foundation and Focus of your life. I am a firm Foundation: one that will not be shaken. Before you knew Me as Savior, you had nothing to build your life upon. Every time you tried to create something meaningful, it would eventually collapse — like a house of cards. Without Me, everything is ultimately "Meaningless! Meaningless!" Ever since I became your Savior, you have been building on the Rock of My Presence. Some of the things you've worked on have flourished and others have not, but you always have a firm place to stand — on the foundation I've provided for you.
The key to steadiness in your life is to set Me always before you. When you make Me your Focus, you can walk steadily along your life-path. Many distractions will vie for your attention along the way, but I am the Guide who is continually before you. So keep looking ahead to Me. See Me beckoning you on — step by step by step — all the way to heaven.
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
— Ecclesiastes 1:2
The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let God be exalted, the Rock of my salvation!
— 2 Samuel 22:47 NKJV
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.
— Psalm 40:2
I have set the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
— Psalm 16:8CHAPTER 9
Look the right way! In the world around you, there are vistas of bright beauty as well as dark, ugly wastelands. When you look the right way — toward what is true, noble, lovely — you are encouraged and strengthened. I created you with a great capacity to enjoy beauty and goodness. Your soul resonates with these blessings, drawing strength from them.
As you go through this day, you will encounter things that make you cringe, things that are wrong or ugly. Deal with these as you must, but do not let them become your focus. Remember that I am with you, and listen to Me. Hear Me saying time after time, "Look the right way."
There is beauty not only in the visible world but also in what is unseen. This world in its fallen condition can never satisfy you fully. You yearn for perfection, and I am the fulfillment of that deep longing. I am perfect in every way, yet I am able to stay close to you as you walkthrough this sin-stained world. So look the right way — toward blessings, toward Me — and the Joy of My Presence will shine upon you.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things.
— Philippians 4:8 NKJV
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me."
— John 10:27
The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you.
— Numbers 6:25 NKJV
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
— Psalm 16:11 ESVCHAPTER 10
Trust Me here and now. You are in rigorous training — on an adventurous trail designed for you alone. This path is not of your choosing, but it is My way for you. I am doing things you can't understand. That is why I say, "Trust Me!"
The jungle is thick, and you cannot clearly see what is before you, behind you, or beside you. Cling to My hand as you follow this trail in shadowy darkness. Although you cannot see Me, My Presence with you is rock-solid reality. Find hope in Me, beloved, for I am taking care of you.
Focus on enjoying Me and all that I am to you — even though your circumstances scream for resolution. Refuse to obsess about your problems and how you are going to fix them. Instead, affirm your trust in Me. Wait hopefully in My Presence, and watch to see what I will do.
Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.
— Isaiah 50:10
Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence.
— Psalm 42:5 NASB
Therefore I will look to the Lord; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me.
— Micah 7:7 NKJVCHAPTER 11
Use your trials and troubles to draw closer to Me. U Whenever you start to feel distressed, turn that around by talking with Me. Let pain and problems remind you of your constant need for Me. Create a collection of brief prayers, such as: "Help me, Jesus. Fill me with Your Peace. Show me Your way." These requests are spiritual nutrients — soul vitamins. The more you use them, the healthier and happier you will be.
When you view troubles in this way — as reminders to draw near Me — you can actually rejoice in your trials. Of course, this requires training your mind to move quickly from problem mode to prayer mode. It is crucial to have your arsenal of prayers ready to use. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you in your preparations, helping you form prayers that will flow readily out of your heart. Then practice saying them to Me until you're intimately familiar with them. When you encounter trouble of any kind, reach into your arsenal of prayers and speak one or more of them boldly. The enemy will retreat, and I will draw near.
Teach me your way, O Lord; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.
— Psalm 27:11
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.
— James 1:2 NASB
Excerpted from Jesus Today by Sarah Young. Copyright © 2012 Sarah Young. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Started reading the sample today and I can already tell I will buy this book! Her writing is transparent and she makes herself vulnerable to readers as she shares the journey of daily trials that are part of her earthly journey. In the Holy Bible hope means confident expectation and I can tell she knows God's meaning of having hope in Him rather than the world's meaning of hope as a flimsy kind of iffy thing. Will have to wait until payday but I am absolutely buying this book! Janet F. Broyles, Oklahoma
Once I started reading the purpose for this book it spoke to me. Then I continued to read everything there was before the real book started and was still amazed at how it just seemed to keep me held within its pages of introduction, dedication etc. I then noticed that I was reading Chapter One. Sarah Young is a very talented writer and through the way she writes it's as though God is speaking to the reader that makes it so much more personal. It does not matter the day or the chapter I read, it just FITS into what I am struggling with at that particular time, that blows my mind. Like God knows. I may read one chapter or several. I pick it up at random times but most times when having a difficult time with a particular issue or situation. I may follow the chapter format or just open the book to a specific chapter. It all works out for what I need. Thank you Lord God for using Sarah's writing skills through you so that so many of us who need an extra understanding on certain issues on everyday issues, has one more resource to go to. To Sarah, thank you for allowing The Lord to use you through your writing to help people like me understand His word in a clearer way. God Bless You and keep up Your writing working for your health andalso your continued honor to share it all with your fans who also benefit in so many ways as well. Blessings
I really loved Jesus Calling, so I purchased Jesus Today thinking that it would be my devotional for 2014. I had not realized that it only contains 150 devotions (or five months worth). What content there is though is excellent; I can feel Jesus speaking to me through it. If you're looking for a complete, year-long, daily devotional though, this will not work for you.
Sarah Young has used her life situations to write insightful and encouraging words to show God's presence in her life as she deals with her health issues. I could easily relate to the devotionals, as if they were written about my own personal struggles. She seems to put the words together so well, for the things I have trouble expressing. This book is inspiring and encouraging and touched my heart. I'm enjoying it!!!
This has been a powerful source of comfort and hope for our family. Each day I read I feel like the message was written just for me and my family. Adversity is something we all experience and this devotional helps us see the hope and peace that comes through a faith in Jesus Christ. There is nothing we experience that Christ hasn't experienced and overcome. This book was so powerful in my life that I have shared and continue to share it with family and friends.
I loved and still LOVE Jesus Calling...getting ready to purchase this. God is LOVE and that is what our society is lacking. That and humilty....among other things...
Sarah Young spoke to my heart in Jesus Calling. No matter how many times I read it, I find something new. This is her new book she wrote while going through many trials of her own. Good for those who need hope in times of trouble.
Love the daily devotionals, it is as if they were written just for me. They help me go through life's ups and downs. Thank you Sarah Young for sharing.
This is a good book.This book helped me in many ways.I think people should read it.
As "Jesus Calling" does, these devotionals alway seem to focus on exactly what I need to address!
I was pleased with Jesus Today it helps me stay in touch with my Heavenly Father daily
I can't wait to read this devotional each morning. I love how it reads like Jesus is talking to me Himself. Each day it feels like He knows how I'm feeling and says to me the words that lift me up and encourage me. Some messages seem to touch me more than others those I mark with a self stick page mark so I can easily find them later.
Good book :)
I’m always looking for new devotionals that I can read either in the morning to start the day or right before bed. What pulled me toward this book first was the artwork on the cover. I love the distressed look and the dove with print is beautiful. On the hardcover this bird is slightly raised and glossy which gives it another eye appeal. With most books I don’t care as much about how they are abound but with anything I’ll be reading daily for a long term period this matters. I’m happy to report that this devotional impressed be. It’s a hefty little book and has excellent binding that will surely last through multiple readings of the 150 included devotions. Inside the book, it just continued to impress me. The paper used in this edition is both thicker than I expected and glossy. I found the downside to this beautiful paper to be in the additional weight. Also included in the binding is a ribbon to mark your place daily which comes in really handy. The end papers are beautiful enough to make me want scrapbooking paper in that style. The devotions themselves are all two page spreads with artwork at the top. One side has a devotion and the other has scripture that goes along with it. I’ve read through about half of the devotions now and really enjoy them. I appreciated the introduction where the author explains the health issues she was experiencing while writing the book. In the very back of the book you’ll also find an index of scripture. What I appreciated most about this devotional compared to some others I have is that it’s not dated. I get a little weird about not reading the ‘correct day’ and this solves that problem. If I miss a day or two I’m not ‘behind’, and I can start whenever. Overall I really do like this devotional though I have to admit it’s not a perfect fit for what I’m looking for. I can’t really put my finger on why though and do think others would probably adore this.
I really enjoy this book. I read it every day and have red it through for several years. There are days that seem like it is speaking to me directly and Jesus is ministering to me. I also have "Jesus Today and enjoy this devotional daily as well.
Sarah Young offers an exceptional compellation of her writings which offer insight into the words of Jesus and guidance as to how His words can help us live our lives today.
The the book Is very great to read or like