REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Barry Kang who heads Symphony Church in Boston, was first posted on April 26, 2013. He is a graduate of Stanford University (BA), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Do Not Forget in the Darkness What the Lord Revealed in the Light”
Psalm 42:5-6 (NIV)
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and 6 my God. My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
There’s an old saying, “Do not forget in the darkness what the Lord revealed in the light.” When the Psalmist sought to console his downcast soul, he had to remind himself to put his hope in God. Hope is medicine for the downcast soul. And hope comes as we remember what God has done.
The book of Psalms is littered with remembrances of God’s faithfulness to the people of Israel, most notably during the exodus from Egypt. Interestingly, here the Psalmist does not recall past salvific acts of God but certain places where he personally experienced the presence of God. Hope comes as we remember not only how God manifested Himself to us in the past generally, but also how the LORD has worked in our past personally.
I remind myself of all that you’ve done
and the hope I have because of your son
Love came down and rescued me
Love came down and set me free
I am yours, I am forever yours.
-Brian Johnson (“Love Came Down”)
One way that we can actively recall the faithfulness and character of God is through songs of worship. Today, let us take some time to worship God and remember what he has done.
Prayer: Father, I thank You for Your faithfulness and provision. When I lack the vision to see Your love in the present, help me to recall Your love for me in the past. I thank You that You rescued me, for I was that lost sheep that You searched for, leaving behind the ninety-nine sheep, and found. I thank You for Your love displayed on that cross. No matter what happens in my life, I know that the cross stands for me and proves Your love for me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 37
Lunch Break Study
Read Romans 8:18-25 (NIV): I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. 22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
Questions to Consider
- What contrasts does Paul draw between the sufferings and glory of God’s children?
- What does Paul mean by creation and what is its destiny?
- How are we to wait?
- For Paul, our present sufferings and future glory are inextricably linked. First, in verse 17, we are told that we must share in Christ’s sufferings in the present so that we might share in his glory in the future. Second, the future glory cannot be compared with the present suffering (v.18) for the future “far outweighs them all” (2 Cor 4:17). Third, the suffering and glory concern not just God’s children but affects all of creation.
- By creation, Paul means not only our world but the whole universe and all that it contains (apart from people). Paul tells us that creation was “subjected to frustration” (v20). Theologically, the repercussions of sin not only affected humans but also the physical creation as well. The hope we have is for the redemption of both children of God and all of creation. Indeed, Paul tells us that creation will be liberated from “bondage to decay” and brought into “the glorious freedom of the children of God (v21).
- We are to “wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (v23). Of course, we have already been adopted, and the Spirit assures us that we are his children (v16), yet we await an even deeper and richer child-Father relationship that will come. We are also to wait patiently (v25) for we have confidence in God’s promises. How are we to do both? As one commentator writes, “We are to wait neither so eagerly that we lose our patience, nor so patiently that we lose our expectation, but eagerly and patiently together.”
Our hope is not just based on the past works of God but also on our expectations of what God will do for us in the future. One day, an amazing glory will be revealed in us. All of creation, though groaning now, will one day be liberated. Our bodies will be redeemed and our adoption as God’s sons completed. Let us think on our future hope even as we remember what God has already done. Until that day comes, we wait eagerly but also patiently. In the words of the early church, maranâ thâ, (O, Lord, come)!
Reflect upon this week. How have you experienced God’s presence/blessing/faithfulness? In our journals, let us give thanks for each and every instance of God’s presence.