Scripture: Isaiah 48:10 -
Tested and tried Believer, there is comfort in knowing that our God is the One who refines and tests us. These words are like a fresh spring shower putting out the flames of life’s fiery fires of daily afflictions. We must practice the very principles we teach and preach. Let afflictions come; God has chosen me. Let poverty knock, God is still in my house; He has chosen me. Sickness may be the intruder, but my balm is God who has chosen me. Whatever may come my way in this valley of tears and fears, I know that God has chosen me.
In this life of much discomfort, there is comfort in knowing and remembering that Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Almighty God is with us. He is with us just as He was with Daniel in the fiery furnace. In your silent room, there is One sitting beside you who loves you though you have never seen Him. It is He who makes your bed, smooths your pillow and comforts you in your afflictions. Yes, even to the poor and lonely, the God of mercy and grace is gracious. Isn’t it calming to know that He will meet us in our desolate and distant places? He is always close, even when we cannot feel His presence. If we listen closely, we can hear the sound of His voice softly speaking in our ear. Rest in my arms, “Cast your cares upon me, for I care for you” (I Peter 5:7). Even when we walk through the valleys and shadows of life’s uncertainties, He has said to us “Fear not, for I have chosen you. Be not dismayed for I am your God” (Isaiah 41:9-10).
Do you recall the great speech from Julius Caesar? “Fear not, you carry Caesar all his fortune.” Well, “fear not” dear Christian, one greater that Caesar is with you. His presence is both our reassurance and our safety in all of our fiery trials. He will never leave one saint that He has chosen for His own.
When we are in the furnace of afflictions, His word of promise is: “Fear not, I have chosen you and I am with you.” Today, take hold of Christ’s promise and say, “Through the floods or flames of this life, if Jesus goes with me, I’ll go anywhere; where He lead me I will follow!”
— Catherine Raphael
Scripture: Hebrews 13:20-21
When we ask God to work in us and accomplish His will, He answers our prayer. Scripture teaches that God hears and answers when we make requests according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). Although our Father is always faithful to guide us in specific situations, He also wants us to know His big goals for us, which are described throughout His Word. Today’s passage from Hebrews 13 is one such example.
With regard to both character and deeds, God’s purpose for believers can be summed up in these two requests from Hebrews 13:21:
- • His goal is to “equip [us] in every good thing to do His will.”He wants us to depend fully on Him to accomplish the good works He planned beforehand for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). These include righteous living in obedience to His Word as well as fruitful service in His name and to His people.
- • God is “working in us that which is pleasing in His sight.”As the Father shapes us into the image of His Son, He is transforming our character so we’ll have a heart bent toward pleasing Him. Otherwise, all our good works are useless.
When you ask God to accomplish these two things in your life, you can be sure He will.
THIS MONTH'S SCRIPTURE READING
A prayer you can pray for the pastor of your church, or pastors you hear/watch preach elsewhere:
"Lord, remember my pastor as You care for those who need You most. I pray that You will keep my pastor strong. I pray that You will keep him vibrant in Your word. And that You will keep him close to You so that he can lead me and others to be the people that we’re supposed to be. Strengthen my pastor and give him rest of mind and heart as well as the ability to carry on the burdens of ministry. Help him not to become discouraged. Show me how to encourage my pastor so that he’s not feeling alone. Help me also to be sensitive to the other people and other demands and all that he has to do to serve the congregation so that I don’t seek to dominate his time.
Father I pray for my pastor that he will be kept vibrant and that he will not succumb to the pressures and stresses of ministry. Guard him from the struggles of ministry as well as the loneliness of ministry. Keep my pastors’ family strong so that the ministry doesn’t become a competition to his home life. Create a home culture for them in that his children don’t develop a negative concept of ministry because of the involvement of the pastor for the ministry. Father, cover my pastor fully and may I never lose sight of praying for him and his wellbeing. In Christ, Amen"
Prayer from a Facebook Post by Dr. Evans: https://www.facebook.com/drtonyevans/photos/a.145696625443446/2092375597442196/?type=3Dr. Tony Evanshttp://tonyevans.org/