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Daily Devotional

Friday, October 19, 2018

Hope in Suffering

We know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us.      Romans 5:3-5a

In our culture, suffering, struggle, and trial are experiences to be avoided at all costs. We have succumbed to the belief that if it is uncomfortable for us, it must be bad for us. However, our God can use even the deep and heart wrenching challenges in our lives to produce something of lasting value in us: endurance, character, hope.

Do you remember a time when you suffered?

Lord God, I long for everything to go well in life, but that is rarely the case. I find I am often beset by hardship, disappointment, and anxiety. I pray that you will indeed use my present affliction to strengthen my faith, my resolve, and my hope in you. In Jesus’ name, I pray. AMEN.


Living the Word

read: Psalm 2

I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.     Psalm 2:8

What if we decided to live by God's word? What if we took God's commands seriously? What if we obeyed the council of God? Is it possible that the blessings that would follow would span the globe? Love our enemies. Don't covet our neighbor's possessions. Remember the Sabbath. What if God's rules were truly for our benefit, and what if living by them led to our prosperity? Could it really be that simple? The truth is, we follow God's word when it is convenient for us. We are willing to obey God's commands if it doesn't cost us too much. We will consider God's counsel if we see some immediate benefit in it for ourselves.

The truth is, we are selectively faithful. We never really give all of ourselves over to God, so we never receive all the blessing God is prepared to share with us. Give little, get little.

What would happen if you truly began to live God's word?

Lord, I believe I know best. Or at least I act like I do. I call the shots in my life and I only turn to you when I get in a pinch. I know that is no way to live. I should first seek your will for me and then chart my course. I suspect if I did that I would be surprised by how easy life might be. Help me. In Jesus' name I pray, AMEN.