A Perfect Peace For A Perfect Storm
Day 1: Last Friday’s devotional was on Romans 8:28-29. Read it one more time. Here is an excerpt from Friday, “God is working for our good toward a purpose. All things contribute to us being formed to the likeness of His Son. It is a call to remember, like communion, that God is with us, in us, knows us, and loves us. Even in a storm, we can be assured. We are not forgotten or misplaced.” Where in your life can you trust that God is working for good? Declare it. Write your response or share it with a friend, spouse or a parent. Here’s a third option. Say it aloud in a prayer to God. Does this affirm your trust in Him? This is moving away from worry into worship.
Day 2: Read Genesis 15:1-6. Two realities are at work here. Abram (same as Abraham) recognized and even verbalized to God, “You have given me no children…” He was old. Decades had come and gone. Many other men and women in his tribe had children maybe even grandchildren. Yet the conversation (actually a vision) with the Lord goes on. Abram was having a defining moment, and God was real. As Abram is looking up at the stars, a second reality sinks in. He believes that God is going to give him descendants – many of them! What situation at school, work or at home are you faced with two realities? Have you simply decided on a logical, rational path or outcome? How about entertaining an alternate perspective? Have you heard from God on the subject through prayer, some scripture passage or through a conversation with a Christ follower? It may or may not address a specific outcome, God may simply give clarity about an attitude or behavior to possess in the middle of your storm. Can you find contentment and trust in what He has given you?
Day 3: Pick up from yesterday’s reading. God gives Abram a vision and tells him that he is going to have many descendants. Immediately he makes a sacrifice to God. Abram acts on this new hope and belief, he steps onto its path. Yet years go by and no child. Read Genesis 16:1-4. Sarai and Abram decide on how he can have many descendants. Sarai offers him her servant to have a child. They took God’s promise into their own hands after years of thinking and worry. Believing they were doing right, they veered away from faith. At the time, it seemed like a great idea but probably not one they ran passed God. They acted out of their worry and assumed. When was the last time you stepped forward, made a decision, spoke up and realized that it wasn’t helpful, maybe even hurtful to someone or yourself? What did you learn from that situation? Did you learn it, or simply feel bad for it?
Day 4: Do you know the Old Testament story of King Jehoshaphat? Before we get to that, do you think this guy had a nickname? As king maybe not, but growing up I’d guess some neighbor kids wanted to shorten that one. I digress. Several nations are plotting to attack Jehoshaphat’s people. Serious trouble is on the horizon. Read II Chronicles 20:5-12. Like the day two’s devotional there are two realities; The enemy is upon them, and God is powerful and mighty to overcome any army. The king chose to believe and trust that God was going to work for good and he acted on it. Recall and read I Peter 5:6-7. Whatever threatens your peace, what brings you peace? Offer your current worry to God in prayer. And if you find no relief, ask a friend to pray for and with you. There are times when the worry is so loud that you need support from others (trusted friend, small group member, a pastor, a counselor) to believe that peace can come to you even if you can’t believe it for yourself.
Day 5: This week we’ve been considering the what if circumstances of life, verses the love and care of God. This is Faith 101. I’m not saying that we should all have graduated from this course, but that this idea is at the core of our following of Jesus. We will continue to journey on this road. How can we engage in life with a perspective of faith? Philippians 4:4 says for us to rejoice in the Lord. Open to this passage in the Bible. Having a perspective of faith can look like verses 4-9. If you’re like me, you’d love to live this way but often drift in and out of it. Keep reading verses 10-12 more help will be revealed. Again, this would be an amazing way to live, above the circumstances. Wow, how can one achieve this kind of life? It’s in verse 13!! Did you catch it? Yes, trust in who and how God is. We don’t have to live this life on our own trying to achieve any of this. We start by trusting Him! Write “Trust Him – Phil. 4:13” on your dashboard, mirror or hand. Let’s just do that today and we will have a chance at living out the first 12 verses of that chapter. In addition to this response, consider coming to the night of worship on Sunday at 6:00pm to declare your trust in the one who is trustworthy.