Devotional Thought for Today
Psalm 25:16-21 (ESV)
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 18 Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins. 19 Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me. 20 Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. 21 May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Henry Thoreau is famous for his statement that “the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation”. The general context in which this quote is written deals with the plight of the common man who has no time to pursue anything of significance and is relegated to living life as a machine.
The vast majority of us live at such a hectic pace that we simply feel like we don’t have the time to deal with the emotional wounds that linger deep within. Everyone goes through seasons of life where loneliness, distress, affliction, and anxiety are acutely felt but never examined. When life seems to crash in from all sides, it is easy to distance ourselves from our emotions and bury our heads in our careers or families. Eventually, these emotional wounds will catch up to us if we don’t take the time to deal with them at the spiritual level.
The psalmist understands that God is the guardian of our souls and the healthiest response to our troubles is to turn to Him for protection and forgiveness.
So, this morning, identify some of the negative emotions you have been dealing with recently. Turn to the Lord and pray for protection and deliverance.
Prayer: Lord, help me to pray daily for your protection and deliverance so that I can be aware of feelings and thoughts that are a result of enemies working in my life. Give me the strength to deal with all my wounds by turning to you in prayer. In the end, it is the healing found in your grace and forgiveness that can restore my soul and bring me the peace that surpasses human understanding.
Bible Reading for Today: Matthew 14
Lunch Break Study
Read John 16:33 (ESV): “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
Questions to Consider
- Why did Jesus say this to the disciples (John 16:32)?
- Is the Christian life devoid of trouble and grief (John 16:33)?
- What is the ultimate source of peace that Jesus promises (John 14:26-27)?
- Jesus said these things because he knew that his death on the cross would lead to anxiety and discouragement amongst the disciples. Many would fail him and lose their sense of purpose but in the midst of all the confusion, Jesus promises that he would never leave them nor allow the enemy to snatch them out of his hands. (John 10:28)
- In the Gospel of John, the troubles that come with discipleship are plainly laid out for the reader. Although the health and wealth movement has misled many people in regard to the true blessings of God, John spells it out very clearly that believers will have trouble in this life. Though we are not of this world, our presence in this suffering world is God’s ways of communicating the Gospel.
- The peace that God offers us is found in the Jewish understanding of shalom. It is not simply an absence of turmoil but a restoration to wholeness in every aspect of our being. As Jesus tells the disciples about his departure (ascension into heaven), he reveals that the Father will send a Helper, the Holy Spirit, to teach and guide the believers afterwards. The believers will have a newfound peace in their reconciliation with God and the ministry of his Spirit.
Did you make the most of your time and the opportunities that God gave you today? Write down any convictions that God has placed on your heart.