UPDATED Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by the then (2013) staff of Kairos Christian Church in San Diego, is an updated version of their blog first posted on July 3, 2013.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Where is God When It Pours?”
Psalm 73:1-5, 12-14
Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. 2 But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. 3 For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. 4 They have no struggles; their bodies are healthy and strong. 5 They are free from common human burdens; they are not plagued by human ills . . . 12 This is what the wicked are like—always free of care, they go on amassing wealth. 13 Surely in vain I have kept my heart pure and have washed my hands in innocence. 14 All day long I have been afflicted, and every morning brings new punishments.
One thing the mainstream media will never report: as the gospel rapidly spreads throughout the world, persecution of Christians rapidly increases as well. More Christians have been martyred in the last 100 years than in the first 1900 years of the Church combined.
Even apart from violent opposition, Christians are not exempt from depression, unemployment, cancer and other difficulties and tragedies. When it rains, it pours on everyone, like the ongoing effect of COVID-19 in our daily lives.
Asaph, a psalmist of Israel, admits that his experience of suffering deeply challenged his faith in the goodness of God, especially in light of the prosperity of the wicked. Asaph envied the health and wealth that the wicked and arrogant enjoyed. He longed for their carefree attitude. In the midst of his confusion and envy, Asaph came to a place where keeping his heart pure before the Lord seemed to be useless and to even bring affliction.
In what ways may you be tempted to doubt the goodness of God today? Take a moment to reflect upon the evidence of God’s goodness to you in the cross. Pray that when you are tempted to doubt God’s goodness, He would prompt you to respond as Asaph did and bring your honest concerns directly to the Lord.
Prayer: Father God, I am faced with many challenges and my faith in your goodness is often shaky. Please rebuke the lies of the enemy and remind me that You are a good and faithful Father, even in the midst of suffering and pain. Lord, I thank You that You are neither distant nor unconcerned with the burdens on my heart but that You sympathize with me. Give me grace to trust in You over my circumstances and feelings. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: 1 Chronicles 3
Lunch Break Study
Read James 1:9-12 (NIV): Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. 10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. 11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. 12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
Questions to Consider
- In what can the believers in humble circumstances take pride?
- What is true of riches on earth?
- Who is a truly blessed person?
- How can you loosen your grips today over your earthly riches?
- The humble believer can take pride in his high position. The kind of trials that God may use to mature believers might include the following: a believer going without money for an extended period of time in order that he might be impressed with his eternal riches; a believer losing a lot of money in order that he might learn that temporal things don’t matter nearly as much as preparing for eternity.
- Riches of the earth will surely fade away just as the sun withers a plant with its scorching heat; earthly riches cannot guarantee anything.
- A truly blessed person is one who perseveres under trial because that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord promises.
- Personal response.
In what ways did the Lord remind you of His goodness in your life today? Are you growing in your trust in His provisions?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I ask that You free me from the “love of money” that is rooted in my soul. Amen.