Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Evening Devotion 4/27/10

Christ as the Man of Sorrows,
by The Master of the Presentation, 1420

“Praise be to the LORD, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses.”
1 Kings 8:56

We may not always understand…

There are going to be times in our lives when the promises of God, they seem foreign to us as the struggles and challenges seem so near at hand. There are times when the assurances of God, they seem insufficient to us as we look to the trials and the tribulations that have come into our lives and we struggle, finding that we just can’t seem to find a reason or a purpose in all of this. It’s in these times that life is hard and God seems far removed from our lives, as if He is just watching or He’s not there as difficulties come upon us.

We want to believe that He is moving for us, that He is contending with us, but how can we when we feel the weight of the world bearing down on us and it just seems like it is so much, like it is too much for us to bear. The chains bind us and they are so strong that it feels that we will never be free from the sorrow that grips us, from the pain that has such a hold over us as darkness seems to encompass our lives and our hearts crack, and then break.

At the time we may not see it, because our struggles are so overwhelming, and this world’s bondage just feels so great, but the truth is that, in whatever we face, whatever we are forced to endure, God is there, just as He has been in the most ancient of days, moving in and through the course of our lives, the course of human events to stand firm and true to the promises that He has made unto His children in the love that He has for them. Bound to His promises He has never failed in them before, nor shall He ever forsake them in the future.

Our nature is to worry, it is to feel the weight of this world bearing down on us and to find that we are crushed by it as our spirits break and our souls are wounded. Yet we can always rely on God to bring the healing that we need and to contend with our cause in the love that He has for us, even when the meaning and the purpose of our struggle or our challenges escapes us and it seems like deliverance is so far away. Our Lord, our Heavenly Father shall move heaven and earth to strengthen us, to give us hope, to bring us hope and, with time, show us a meaning and a purpose in all of it so that we know that it wasn’t all for naught.

Even as the confining judgment of our present ordeal overwhelms us, we have to look to the cross of Christ and the promises of God, and know that even the greatest of things that humanity has been forced to face has been carried from them as He set to flight the deepest spiritual challenges that we were to face. How much more then can He do against the temporal struggles of this age and the enduring trials that wage their war against our hearts and souls?

Hold fast to His promises, keeping them near to your heart and know that He shall remain faithful to them even when it seems like all the world has risen against you in the love and the mercy that He has for you. No worries, no challenges, no adversity will then be able to touch you for the grace and the promises of God shall forever be a shield around you.

Lord, grant this unto us all.

Let us pray:

Your ways transcend our understanding O Lord, Your will surpasses our wisdom and our knowledge as we journey through this world and in this world of struggle and challenges. Yet, even through that, even in that, we know that Your promises stand through the ages, moving through the course of human events to stand for us in the love that You shall forever have amidst the compassion of Your mercy.

To these promises then do we flee O Lord, seeking and imploring Your grace, seeking and imploring Your mercy in the lives of Your people, that hope shall be restored in even the most hopeless of situations and love is brought to bear in the lives of all prisoners and hostages, all captives and slaves, that the bitter tyranny and oppression that now holds them shall be set to flight and they shall be brought to rest in the wonders and the miracles of Your blessed peace.

Rise up O Lord… rise up and deliver Your people in the promises You have made of Your deliverance. Let not persecution and hatred, intolerance and oppression, poverty and destitution, sickness and disease, captivity and slavery rob their lives of the intrinsic value that You have assigned to it, but through Your mercy and love move to break all chains that bind Your creation that freedom shall reign in their lives and liberty shall be restored to their souls.

Show unto us Your nature rightly amidst the justice of Your righteousness that love shall once more restored and Your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven, as our praises are poured forth in the love that You have shown unto Your children.

In the name of Your Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the Kingdom, one God, world without end, Amen.

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