“Hopelessness and helplessness are not options for Christians who serve a God who will work his purpose for his glory.” —T.S. Ranier, “Church growth and evangelism in Acts”
Everlasting love is Ed M.’s devotional thought today, from Jeremiah 31.3. His final prayer is poignant:
You, O Lord, are infinite love. Thank You for Your care. Draw me. Lift me. Allure me. Bring me gently home. In Him, whose love knows no boundaries, Amen.
Focus question: In what ways do I shut out God’s love from shining in my life?
Do not look overly much for results. The desire for spiritual fruit from your labors is healthy. God wants that. But avoid the fallacy of immediate results. Let God bring them forth in his time. Focus on being faithful in your work. O Soul, keep working, and let God be God! Have faith in his power. Trust his wisdom. Know that he will use you for great things, many of which you will never know about. Did Abraham have an idea of all that God would do through him? He had the promise. And that was enough for him. Persevere, sow the seed, pray for wisdom and strength, keep moving forward. Grow in yourself, and God will mightily perform his will. Glorify him!
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.
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.
O Soul, plan for eventualities. In an instant, emergencies can happen. Be prepared for changes in your day and your life. Bring the grace and love of God to new circumstances. Accept what comes as a necessary step to using the moment for good. See where the flux of a situation can provide opportunity for service. Step forward in the breach of change. Show the way of faith to those who are caught in the doubt of tragedy. Assure yourself and others of God’s goodness, regardless of the suffering. Be the presence of God when others question it.
Many think of it in scary terms. God’s children rejoice in it, says Ed M. today in his devotional.
We rejoice in the omniscience of God. We welcome Him into the sanctuary of our thoughts. He is our Friend. We are happy for Him to abide in us. We have nothing to hide. We can hide nothing, Psalms 7:9; Jeremiah 20:12; Revelation 2:23.
Focus question: What can I do to welcome God more and more into my life? How does my consciousness of God’s omniscience enliven my soul and make it glad?
Someone has said that the devil can wall us in, but he cannot roof us over. We can always get out at the top. Our difficulties are but God’s challenges, and many times He makes them so hard that we must get above them or go under.
In the Providence of God, such an hour furnishes us with the highest possibilities for faith. We are pushed by the very emergency into God’s best.
Beloved, this is God’s hour.
—A.B. Simpson’s devo
Make God the center of all you are, O Soul. Let every thought, word, motive, action, and feeling revolve around him. The knowledge of him is sufficient. His strength powers every movement. His goodness draws the lines between right and wrong, good and evil. His love defines and transforms by the gift of grace. God is truly great and unifies your existence. He bridges this life and the next. Seek him and seize upon the eternal life that he is. No decision that brings you closer to him will bring regret.
Wait upon God and see his salvation, O Soul! Do not outrun God. Do not try to take up the slack you think you perceive in the divine action. The Lord does not sleep nor let your need escape his attention. He sees you. He is working on more planes and in more ways than you can imagine. He weaves an intricate pattern, which you see only a fraction of. The great Deliverer cares for you, and he cares for every person. He works for the good of all. Your moment will arrive. He is right now preparing great things for you. Be patient. Trust in God. Know that he will answer. Stand still and watch for the hand of God to move the world and lift up your face.