October 26, Thursday

The AMI QT Devotionals from October 23-29 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church, Los Angeles. Charles, a graduate of UC Riverside and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, and they have three children: Chloe, Noah, and Camden.

Devotional Thoughts for Today

Genesis 16:2: 

Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”

Sometimes we can be become obsessive over something: Maybe it’s something that happened at work, or it’s something someone said that kind of irked you—you keep replaying the scene in your mind over and over again.  You’re thinking about the perfect comeback you wish you had, or what you need to do next. Why do we sometimes let things bother us long after they happen, and why is it so difficult to stop the cycle of stressing, obsessing, and stressing and obsessing? Why is it so easy to fall into this negative cycle?

Psychologists call this “rumination,” and it happens to be a source of stress for many people. It starts out innocently enough—you’re attempting to make sense and move on from a frustrating situation—but rumination can catch you in a circular, self-perpetuating loop of frustration and stress. When you’re dealing with chronic conflicts in your relationships, you may experience stress from too much rumination.

This is essentially what Abram and Sarai are doing. They have been promised by God that they would father many children and become a great nation (Genesis 12:1-3). Unfortunately, he and his wife were getting old with no signs of this promise coming to pass. Instead of trusting in God and His promise, they grew impatient and begin to ruminate on what they can do about it. Out of these negative thoughts came a horrible consequence. The decision to rectify this obsessive feeling would cause much pain and hurt in their family, and really, for the story of humanity. Of course, God does eventually and miraculously fulfill His promise, and they have a child. But not before the damage is done.

Have you become so obsessed with a thought or an idea that you forget to actually trust God for it? Instead of relying on God, are your thoughts and time so consumed with chasing this promise that you forget everything else around you, even God? Consider what you are struggling with today, whether it be negative thoughts that you are bringing into reality. Surrender them to the Lord and ask God to make His promises anew today.

Prayer:  God, help me to trust You. Keep me from making decisions out of my impatience. Let me give You all my anxieties, trusting that in Your perfect time, You will fulfill Your promises. Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 19


Lunch Break Study

Read Romans 8:18-24: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

Questions to Consider

  1. What is all of creation waiting for (verse 19)?
  2. What is all of creation groaning for?
  3. In light of where we are ultimately destined for, how can you practice hope today?

Notes

  1. Creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.
  2. To be set free from decay and to be redeemed in glory.
  3. Personal reflection.

Evening Reflection

We win at the end.  How do you know that?  “I’ve read the last page of the Bible. It’s all going to turn out all right” (Billy Graham); so, live like a victor, in Christ.  Pray that tomorrow will be an incredible day in the Lord in experiencing His resurrection power (Eph. 1:19).

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