Your 50 Favorite Proverbs: #37 Morning by Morning

April 2013 |"Your 50 Favorite Proverbs" | Liz Curtis Higgs

When I woke early this morning, the sky was dark navy, almost black. The birdsong was lively, the air surprisingly cold for April. As I gazed out the window, the eastern horizon slowly grew lighter. If I watched without turning away, the change was too gradual to measure, but if I glanced down for a moment, then looked up again, the difference was remarkable.

Our spiritual growth? Just the same. Morning by morning, we may not notice much improvement in our thought patterns or behavior. But as we take in God’s Word, as we worship, as we pray, as we fellowship with other believers, as we serve God with gladness, as we give away our resources to help others, the light of his love continues to rise in our hearts until it shows in our words and shines on our faces.

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day. Proverbs 4:18

1The path of the righteous... Proverbs 4:18

The path of the righteous…

Very promising, that word path. God doesn’t expect us to get where we’re going all at once. Relief. This “road the righteous travel” (GNT), this “way of those who do right” (VOICE) is a step-by-step process. A path, not an expressway.

As to being righteous? That’s the Lord’s work entirely. Righteousness isn’t about our goodness; it’s about God’s kindness. We can’t become “right-living people” (MSG) on our own. It’s his Spirit in us that prompts us to say or do the right things—to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and disciplined. All that delicious fruit of the Spirit is produced by “those who are right” (NLV) with God.

Like the morning sun,... Proverbs 4:18

…is like the morning sun,…

That “first gleam of dawn” (NIRV), that “early morning light” (NLV) is not only pure, it’s also sure. It’s certain. The sun never changes its mind, never chooses not to rise, never goes back to bed. It keeps going, tracing a steady path across the sky.

Even when dark clouds hover over us, even when wild storms rage inside us, high above those storm clouds, the sun is still shining.

Because of God, we, too, are able to keep going. Because of his Son, the Light of the World, we too can “glow with light” (MSG), despite our circumstances.

We are still his people. He is still our God. Nothing will ever change that. Nothing.

You and I are counted among the righteous not based on how we act, but on whom we trust. “The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does” (Psalm 145:13). What he does is shine. In us.

Shining ever brighter...Proverbs 4:18

…shining ever brighter…

He who created light and called it “good,” created you and called you “righteous.”

If you’re thinking, “That’s fine, Liz, but things aren’t ‘growing brighter and brighter’ (EXB) at my house. I’m not ‘leading and shining’ (LEB) at work, and I’m definitely not feeling ‘brighter and clearer’ (AMP) with each passing day.”

I hear you. I’m with you. That’s why God calls us to lift our heads and look up. Rather than feel, he wants us to see what his Word clearly says: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:23).

Do you believe, dear friend? Then trust God for the “brightening” (YLT) that is sure to come. Don’t look in the mirror. Look in his Word. See? It’s coming.

Till the full light of day.  Proverbs 4:18

…till the full light of day.

When the sun finally crested the horizon this morning and the whole sky filled with light, east to west, a sense of satisfaction washed over me. No more waiting. No more darkness. No more night.

Jesus promised, “Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). His light. His life.

When do we reach “full light”? When we stand in God’s presence on that “perfect day” (ASV). Until then, we live “in the ever-brightening light of God’s favor” (TLB), with our faith expanding and our confidence strengthening.

One of the wonderful things about growing older is that we’re still growing. And, as Madeleine L’Engle said, “You don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.” Each day we begin with more knowledge, more wisdom, more experience. For those who love God, “the longer they live, the brighter they shine” (MSG).

The day will come—oh, just imagine it!—when we say, with our faces to the ground in awe, “Good morning, Lord.” May the anticipation of that glorious moment carry us through the gloom of Maundy Thursday, the heartbreak of Good Friday, the emptiness of Holy Saturday, to the jubilation of Easter morning.

When the hymns and praise songs rise to the rafters, and your heart is filled to bursting, may you exclaim with Mary Magdalene, “I have seen the Lord!” (John 20:18)

He is risen! He is risen indeed!

Proverbs 4:18

Now it’s your turn

  • How did this verse encourage you today?

When you share what’s on your heart, we all benefit from your honesty. Thanks for taking a moment to Post a Comment below.

Your Printable of Proverbs 4:18 will take just a few seconds to download. And you’ll find pins like the one above for all the Proverbs we’ve studied so far on Pinterest.

So grateful to celebrate his resurrection with you every time we meet!

Your sister, Liz
@LizCurtisHiggs #50Proverbs

Your sister, Liz Curtis HiggsBible Gateway Blogger Grid MemberApril 2014 Your 50 Favorite Proverbs

Mercy Like Sunlight: A Novella | Liz Curtis Higgs
P.S. Have you perhaps read my latest? Mercy Like Sunlight moves from winter to spring, from darkness to light, and from sorrow to a deep sense of joy. It’s an eBook exclusive, easily read in an evening, and (this is the best part) at $3.99, it costs no more than a venti chai latte from Starbucks. Bless you for giving it a look. “This novella is captivating and delightful and the perfect read for the Lenten season.”

43 Responses to Your 50 Favorite Proverbs: #37 Morning by Morning

  1. Susan Shipe April 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm #

    “…through the gloom of Maundy Thursday, the heartbreak of Good Friday, the emptiness of Holy Saturday, to the jubilation of Easter morning.”
    I absolutely love that – wish I had written it! Our hope truly is in Him. One of my favorite devotions in this Proverbs series.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Proverbs 4:18 has always been a personal favorite, so I was thrilled when it ended up in the top 50. Glad you enjoyed it, Susan.

  2. Retha Coleman April 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm #

    Oh how I needed those words today! I had just emailed a dear friend of mine this morning and said Here it is Holy Week and I have been anything but Holy. I have said and thought things at work today that I know better than to do and think! Thank You Jesus that when I fall off the path, He picks me up so I can start again. And as I learn, I will fall less often. Oh Thank You!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Faithful God, always delivering the message we need when we need it most. Blessings, Retha.

  3. jaime April 16, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    This is a beautiful verse and it takes me back to childhood. I’m sure you all will sing instead of read my next sentence. This little light if mine I’m gonna let it shine. He is our light and He wants us to let His light shine through us to others. One word or look can make or break someones day. Ever go to work and first thing when you punch in, someone gives you grief or attitude? It can wreck your whole day. By the same token, a smile or kind word can make a day great. We are to be that kind word, that sunlight, and let everyone we encounter see His light and love in us. To set the tone for our day, my family starts every morning the same. When my son wakes up, he gets out of his bed and gets in mine between me and my husband. He asks for “God music” on my phone’s music app. Before we even get out of bed we are worshipping and smiling. Something else from Sunday school- this is the day that the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it. I am so glad He made us and gave us light

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 16, 2014 at 4:43 pm #

      Lovely family tradition, Jaime. Truly the way to start the day!

  4. Kathy April 16, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

    Hey chicks! I just finished reading Liz’s words and oh my! I got excited! I’ve been a bit under the weather the last few days (snow again and oh my knee hurts!) BUT when I read ‘for those who love God, the longer they live the brighter they shine! I just saw Sonlight! Thank you Jesus, you are my Everything! That just got me all excited and happy! Thank you Liz, for your Bible study and the sunrise was amazing this morning! Happy Easter-He has risen indeed! K

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 16, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      Hooray for joy, Kathy! Hoping warmer weather (surely it’s coming?) will ease the pain in your knee. A blessed Easter to you!

  5. Jane April 16, 2014 at 4:52 pm #

    God is truly amazing…He brings us His message at just the right time. Thank you for being His messenger today! Your comments were very uplifting.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 16, 2014 at 10:20 pm #

      What’s even MORE amazing to me is how the Lord kindly brings each of us the message we need at just the right moment. Seriously, doesn’t that boggle your mind? Such power. Beyond understanding.

  6. Ginny Campbell April 16, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Thank you, dear Liz, for reminding me to take pleasure in how God is molding
    my life, step by step. Hindsight is wonderful vision and we need to use it
    sometimes to see where we have come in faith. May your celebration of
    God’s great love for you, in Jesus,
    be extra special this year!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 16, 2014 at 10:21 pm #

      Good reminder about looking back to see how far we’ve come, Ginny. I tend to focus on how VERY far I have to go. So much better to celebrate God’s victories, rather than focus on my defeats!

  7. Susan Ireland April 17, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    “The path of the righteous – (how we set our path for others to follow, people in other lands, with dreams on their hearts for a better day), is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter, till the full light of day.” I love this proverbs, I think of Christians in other lands, and we have to be strong, we have to know in our hearts, The day will come—oh, just imagine it!—when we say, with our faces to the ground in awe, “Good morning, Lord” (Liz Curtis higgs) you are awesome Liz , you open our eyes and hearts to so much knowledge and hope. Thank you, Susan

  8. Cris April 17, 2014 at 7:00 am #

    I was encouraged with the part about getting older, and still growing.After joining a Bible study at a friend’s church and meeting ladies I had not known, whose faith was expressed in ways different from my friends , I have grown considerably . The new perspective has drawn me closer to the Lord and his word. One example is memorizing scripture. I was convinced I was too old for that. After hearing Liz speak at Women of faith I signed up for her emails.
    Thank you for the Proverbs challenge. At first I hesitant to accept the challenge . Now I look forward to the email on Wednesdays and open it as soon as I get home for work.
    It is so true ladies, growing older is not all about our physical bodies slowing down. Spiritual growth never ends.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

      Good for you, Cris, memorizing our Proverbs verses. Never too old indeed!

  9. Barbara Peterson April 17, 2014 at 7:42 am #

    This weeks verse encouraged me because it makes me remember that my righteousness does not depend on my behavior or lack of behavior; but it depends on what Christ has done for me on the cross and only because of that will his light be bestowed upon me and will his righteousness resurrect into my life. Thank you Jesus for your precious light you send new each day by your mercy and that your mercy to us is only because of your shed blood on the cross which forgives, is forgiving and will forgive us so that your Father and our Father God sees your righteousness in us because of your love and sacrifice for us. May you shine ever brighter in each of us as we allow you go grow us. Amen I am grateful for your words of truth.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

      Bless you, Barbara, for letting us “listen in” to your thank-you letter to the Lord!

  10. Kath April 17, 2014 at 8:45 am #

    I really needed to read these words:
    If you’re thinking, “That’s fine, Liz, but things aren’t ‘growing brighter and brighter’ (EXB) at my house. I’m not ‘leading and shining’ (LEB) at work, and I’m definitely not feeling ‘brighter and clearer’ (AMP) with each passing day.”
    I hear you. I’m with you.That’s why God calls us to lift our heads and look up. Rather than feel, he wants us to see what his Word clearly says: “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:23).
    Thanks for your encouraging words and ministry.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

      Clearly “I really needed to write those words” too, Kath! We’re all in this together, learning and growing. Bless you for spending time with us in God’s Word each week!

  11. Cynthia Stevenson April 17, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I love early mornings and seeing first light. There is just something, beyond words to describe, the feeling of peace, wonder, and thankfulness I receive. Now this Proverbs Scripture will be remembered.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 2:58 pm #

      Like you, Cynthia, I’m a morning person, so I LOVE watching the sun rise. Not every day, of course (smile), but on those quiet days when I wake up before dawn, it’s a real treat to start the day in silence with the Lord and his creation.

  12. Tebby Coffer April 17, 2014 at 11:40 am #

    Thank you Liz as always for your encouraging message. How blessed we are to be Easter people, who know how the story ends. I am reminded of that beautiful “Hymn of Promise” …”In the bulb, there is a flower, in the seed, an apple tree…In cocoon a hidden promise, butterflies will soon be free…In our end is our beginning, in our time infinity…In our death, a resurrection, at the last a victory, unrevealed until it’s season, something God alone can see. All made possible, by the love, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We mourn the suffering of our Savior and we rejoice in the victory over sin and death. Happy Easter. Thank you Liz for the hope in Christ, your messages give, and the encouragement from one woman to another. We are blessed by your life.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

      Such sweet words, Tebby. Yes, we sing that song in our church too. I confess, I’m more enamored of the old (like 17th, 18th century) hymns, but a contemporary song now and again adds a freshness to our singing. Happy Easter, beloved!

  13. Tammy April 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    This moved me to tears, hopeful, joyful tears. Some days my heart feels like the itty bitty one that The Grinch has in the Christmas movie. It is so frustrating to be a Christian who loves life and our dear Lord to the fullest and yet can still feel like that. Our days should not go minute by minute in how we feel, but be guided by the everlasting love that shines before us and within us through Christ Jesus. The dawning of each new day should renew our strength and our hope in all of the blessings The Lord has in store for us. You have eloquently put these words together to help each morning be beautiful if we let it, no matter our earthly circumstances. Thank you, and Happy Easter,

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

      Even my joyful tears have a touch of sorrow in them (“Oh, Lord, how have I missed this truth?”), so it’s all good, dear Tammy. Whatever makes us weep, God stores every tear, they are so precious to him. Bless you for sharing your heart with your sisters here.

  14. Julie Sunne April 17, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Oh, Liz, these:
    “Rather than feel, he wants us to see what his Word clearly says.” Such wisdom. Yes, look up – always look up!

    “Each day we begin with more knowledge, more wisdom, more experience. For those who love God, ‘the longer they live, the brighter they shine’ ” (MSG). Who can help but delight in our Lord and in each day as we draw nearer to glory! Beautifully expounded.

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      So appreciate you, Julie. If I can work up the courage, I’ll write a blog on maturing (NEVER on growing older!), and expand on that second bit you mentioned. I believe with all my heart we shine brighter for Christ with each passing year, yet some days I struggle to see beyond the thinning hair and the saggy second chin. And so, the cry of my heart: “Lift my head, Lord Jesus. Help me keep my eyes focused on you!”

  15. Bonnie Roof April 17, 2014 at 2:48 pm #

    Hi, Liz!!

    I SO appreciated your comments re: aging yet continuing to “grow” in knowledge, wisdom, and experience!! You’re SO right – one never stops “growing” in those areas, if so – I wouldn’t continue to “grow” in my relationship with my Lord and Savior, something SO needed before reaching my “full light” – one day!! Thank you, Liz!!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 3:08 pm #

      Smiling, Bonnie. See my comments to Julie above! Continuing to pray for you, my sister.

  16. Susan Gruener April 17, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    Another good enlightening message on a wonderful verse. I am praying that I will “shine brighter” as you wrote, the longer we live. Somedays I don’t feel so “shiney”. 🙂 I’ve been a Christian for 48 years, and feel I should be way beyond where I am today… 🙂 I should be able to have a better attitude on my ‘bad’ days, and be able to contain my frustration at my husband of 40 years, when he’s being ‘frustrating’. 🙂 I’m trying to ‘die to the flesh’ every day and let the Spirit of God have His way, but alas…I still fail. I’m so glad Jesus knows all about us, knows our heart, and knows we don’t want to stay the way we are, but want to continue to ‘grow’ and look more like Him. 🙂
    Thanks for some great insight and encouraging words today!
    Bless you Liz!
    On the journey,

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

      You said it, Susan: “on the journey.” We all fail. Almost all the time. When we succeed, that’s Jesus shining through us. Praising God today for his patience with us!

  17. pauline maclean April 17, 2014 at 7:36 pm #

    these words today were exactly what i needed to hear. my road of recovery from emotional abuse has at times left me feeling like i’m not doing enough. it was so wonderful to read that i might not see the progress because i’m in the midst of it but progress is being made. i lead a group of wonderful women who have grown so tremendously in their recovery that i sometimes forget that God is still working with me too. each morning is new and another chance to become closer to him. i am so thankful for new mornings and growing “older” with God.
    Your sister in Jesus, Pauline

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 3:13 pm #

      So grateful you are on Recovery Road, Pauline. I think it’s pretty common to see growth in others, yet not see it in ourselves. This is God’s kindness, or we’d get prideful about our maturity and take two steps backward! Praying for your journey, sis.

  18. Linda H April 18, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    So thankful to be reminded that the path is a step by step journey. Loved your comment about growing more as we grow older, and that we don’t lose the years we’ve lived. Thankful there is still time to shine, even when the skies are dark and storms rage inside, His shining light is still going. Because of Him I can face tomorrow. Looking to each morning as the dark turns to light for a blessed opportunity to shine for Him♥ Have a blessed Easter! He is Risen!!!

  19. Christine April 19, 2014 at 12:26 pm #

    Never posted before , but just wanted to let you know Liz what a blessing this study has been. My heart said amen when you reminded us our righteousness is not based on our behaviour but on whom we trust. Easter blessings to all!

    • Liz Curtis Higgs April 19, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

      Really appreciate your taking time to share your good thoughts with us this Holy Week, Christine!

  20. T J Herron April 20, 2014 at 2:57 am #

    Happy Easter morning to everyone. He is Risen! He is Risen! There is Joy in the Morning! He is our joy in the morning! I can’t help but be joyful when morning comes as I nearly died from a hit and run, drunk driver accident (he was driving an estimated 90-95 mph) and I was thrown from the small truck that I was a passenger in. Praise His Holy Name that I was ejected (part of His Plan for me that evening) as the roof of the truck was smashed clear to the seat that I was riding in! Long (very long) story short, 3 broken vertabrae (one smashed to cracker crumbs), broken right femur and ankle with part of my foot torn off and too many other injuries to name! Despite all the happens that evening to me and how my life changed forever, my Lord and Savior had a plan for me! His Plan! I had strayed from my faith but He had not strayed from me! I knew that He had me in His Holy Hands! I trusted Him completely that whatever came next, He was in control! I kept telling my husband that I was going to be ok. The doctors were telling him that I wouldn’t live through the night! The Holy Spirit gave me my Lord and Savior’s Blessed Assurance that yes, I was going to live through the night and more! I am so very grateful for that wreck and for each day since then. It is a testimony that I can share with whoever He leads me to! The accident was in 1996 and in each day since then, my Lord and Savior has held me in His Hands. I live in pain each day, some days worse than others but I continue to think of the pain he suffered with for my sins while being savagely beaten and nailed to that cross (with nails that I helped put there with my sin). He loved me first before I ever loved Him. He knew that accident was coming and had me in His Holy Hands, kept me from so much more than what happened to me! I just Praise Him daily for His Joy in the Morning for me! When I think I can’t go another day, The Holy Spirit says yes you can! The Holy Spirit says take His Hand and let Him Guide you on! I do and He does! He loved me despite my sin, despite my unfaithfulness, despite each day that I don’t live completely for Him. I give it all to Him and beg His Forgiveness again and again and He continues to be faithful and Forgive me! On the worst days of my chronic pain, I give it all to Him again and again and He Blesses me! He gives me Joy in the morning…..His Joy! I am a Miracle just by surviving that accident by His Grace, His Love for me and His Forgiveness daily! Lord Jesus, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we celebrate that You have Risen and are in Heaven watching over us daily! I Praise Your Holy Name! Liz, I just found your books recently and began reading them! My Lord and Savior has given me so much by reading them! Seeing faith in action! Seeing redemption and forgiveness in the characters and teaching me throughout the books! I am so grateful for His Guidence in leading me to your books! Stay faithful, keep sharing His Word and giving us books we can joyfuly read and not be ashamed that we did but can share them with others. Gratefully and in His Blessings, TJ

  21. fannie April 30, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    It’s great to read your post and I’m working on a sermon for mother’s day on “Looking up
    with faith- Rahab” Thanks for your wonderful understanding of God’s word. I’m so grateful to be able to connect spiritually with you from Louisville. 2 weeks ago, a had such a blessed trip to visit a girlfriend in Montreal and we used to study in Southern Seminary together and we talked so much about Louisville. In His timing, I want to visit Louisville again .

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  24. Regina June 2, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    I needed this reminder. That we’re not expected to get where we’re going in one day. It’s a path. It’s progressive. And it get’s brighter. Sometimes by the smidgiest of smidgens. Sometimes direct and sometimes filtered through the clouds. But ever brighter till the full light of day. I find that incredibly encouraging.

    It reminds me of a lyric from an old hymn: “Sometimes it’s good to look back down. We’ve come so far, we’ve gained such ground. But joy is not in where we’ve been. Joy is who’s standing at the end.”

    Joy is who makes the journey with us too. Regardless of the weather and into glorious light.