September 17, Thursday

Editor’s Note: The AMI QT devotionals from September 16-20 are provided by Pastor Shan Gian, who oversees the young-adults ministry at Symphony Church (Boston).

Devotional Thoughts for Today

2 Kings 19:14-19

Hezekiah received the letter from the hand of the messengers and read it; and Hezekiah went up to the house of the Lord and spread it before the Lord.15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord and said: “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. 16 Incline your ear, O Lord, and hear; open your eyes, O Lord, and see; and hear the words of Sennacherib, which he has sent to mock the living God. 17 Truly, O Lord, the kings of Assyria have laid waste the nations and their lands 18 and have cast their gods into the fire, for they were not gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone. Therefore they were destroyed. 19 So now, O Lord our God, save us, please, from his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that you, O Lord, are God alone.”

17For Hezekiah, these were the darkest of days.  The mighty army of Sennacherib was bearing down on Judah.  Defeat was knocking on his door.  The Assyrian messengers were already declaring victory over God’s people.  The end seemed to be near; there seemed to be no hope for Hezekiah and everything was out of his control.

There aren’t many things more disconcerting for us when life feels out of control.  We all face difficult times and trials in our lives like this.  I still vividly remember the day, over ten years ago, when I found out that my dad had a stroke.  It felt so dark and hopeless—and what made it worse was that there was nothing I could do.  When we get hit with things like conflicts, job loss, depression, sickness, family issues, in the moment, it feels hopeless and frustrating because there’s nothing we can do.  And in the bigger picture, when we look around at the spiritual landscape of our country and our world today, it seems so hopeless; and there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do.  It’s seems out of our control.

How did Hezekiah face the darkness of his time?  He remembered the One who was in control.  In verse 15 he prays, “O Lord, the God of Israel, enthroned above the cherubim, you are the God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth.”

It’s so easy to forget this simple truth when we go through the trials of life, but when we face darkness, and when life seems out of control, we need to remind ourselves of the sovereignty of God.  While we might feel like everything is crashing down all around us, God is not surprised by the trials in our lives and the darkness of our world.  He is the One who is in control as he is enthroned in heaven.  And just as He did with Hezekiah, when we pray and trust in His sovereignty, He will show himself to be faithful to us and respond.  This day, let us trust in the sovereignty of our God.  If things in our lives seem out of control, all the more, let us remember that He is in control.

Prayer

Father, help me to remember that You are in control.  I pray that I will trust in your sovereignty and love, especially as different trials and struggles may come.  Thank you for your sovereign hand in my life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 27

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Lunch Break Study

Romans 8:31-37

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Paul explain to us that “God is for us” in this passage?
  2. What does it mean to be more than a conqueror?
  3. How does this passage give you hope as you think about the trials of life?

Notes

  1. Paul explains to us that God has given us His own son Jesus Christ, showing us that He will graciously give us all things. Also, he reminds us that we need not ever feel condemned because Jesus died, was raised from the dead, and intercedes for us in heaven.
  2. Being more than conquerors mean that we can overcome any struggle or trial because of the love of Jesus in our lives. Paul’s main point in writing this passage was to encourage believers, because they were facing tribulation, distress, persecution, etc.; and as a result of these things, they felt condemnation and perhaps felt that God was not with them.  He encourages them that they are more than conquerors and that they can overcome all things because of the love of God shown to us through Jesus Christ.
  3. Personal reflection question.

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Evening Reflection

The sovereignty of God is such a simple and basic truth, but at the same time, it is so easy to forget.  Were you able to remember that God is in control today?  If so, how did that feel?  If not, take some time to pray and remind yourself of this simple, yet profound truth.

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