July 24, Wednesday

Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor Mark Chun (Radiance Christian Church) was originally posted on March 6, 2013.

 

Devotional Thought for Today

“Despair Not”

Psalm 22:1-2; 19 (ESV)

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?  Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?  2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer,  and by night, but I find no rest. 19 But you, O Lord, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!

There are times in our Christian life when God seems distant and when there seems to be nothing but silence in answer to our prayers.  During those seasons, there is always a temptation to give into our doubts and believe that God has stopped listening or that it’s useless to continue seeking Him. We may feel alone in these circumstances but this is an experience that is common to all believers.  Everyone goes through those valleys in their spiritual walks with God.  

Knowing that Christ endured through a much greater abandonment can be a source of comfort in the midst of our distress.  We know that Christ uttered these exact words from the cross (Matthew 27:46) revealing that even the Son of God was not excluded from the isolation caused by sin.  But because we know that he endured the scorn of the cross and overcame, we can have hope that God’s help is not too far off. 

In our own times of despair, it’s easy to believe that we are alone but the cross reminds us that we have a Savior who not only knows our pain but has suffered through so much more.  To Him, we can cry out and place our complete trust even in the darkest moments.

As you prepare for another day, does God’s presence seem close or is there a distance?  Does it bring you comfort to know that Jesus knows exactly how you feel? Think about how Jesus identifies with our everyday struggles.  

Prayer: Jesus, I take peace in knowing that you have experienced the pain of unanswered prayers and the sense of being forsaken.  But more than that, help me to realize that you endured the rejection and the abandonment at the cross so that I would never have to relive that experience in full.  Give me faith to believe that you are with me through the daily struggles of life and that I can come to you, knowing that you completely understand and identify with me.     

Bible Reading for Today:  2 Kings 6


Lunch Break Study

Read Hebrews 4:15-16 (ESV): For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  

Questions to Consider

  1. How does Jesus function as our high priest? (Hebrews 5:1, 7)
  2. What allows Him to sympathize with all our weaknesses?  (Hebrews 2:17)
  3. As our high priest, how does Jesus give us hope?  (Ephesians 4:10)

One of the great comforts of the Christian faith is the belief that we have a high priest who is constantly interceding on our behalf.   We are never left to fend for ourselves and made to feel like no one is on our side. Jesus weeps as we weep and rejoices as we rejoice.   

Note

  1. Jesus functions as our high priest by acting as both a gift and sacrifice for our sins (Hebrews 5:1).  In addition, he offers up prayers and intercessions on our behalf before the Father (Hebrews 5:7). Jesus even now stands in the gap for each of us.  
  2. Jesus is able to completely sympathize with all of our struggles and failures because he is made like us in every way.  The humanity of Christ is one of the most comforting doctrines of the Christian faith because it assures us that God doesn’t stand outside of our suffering but has actually entered into our pain.  
  3. However, unlike an earthly high priest that can sympathize with us but gives us little hope, Christ provides for us hope for today through his resurrection and ascension into heaven.  Just as he overcame the trials of this world and even death itself, we can overcome our trials through the power of the Holy Spirit.  

Evening Reflection

Were you aware of the love of Christ today?  Is your heart warmed by the fact that His love is deeper, wider, and greater than you can imagine?  Has there been a tangible experience of God’s love recently in your life? Write about these things.

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