Daily Devotional: Psalms 37:8-13
8 Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil. 9 For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. 10 A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. 11 But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. 12 The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; 13 but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming.
1 Thess 5:13-18
14 And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. 15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
How can we be joyful when things are going badly? How can we give thanks when we are facing some tragedy in our lives? Was Jesus rejoicing in the Garden when he was praying and drops as blood fell from his face because of his anguish?
The joy that we are told to have and the peace that God gives is not related to the circumstances of life. It is an inner peace and joy because we are right with God and we can depend on him. Even facing torture and death, death for sin that he had not committed, Jesus prayed that God’s will be done and not his own.
No matter if others prosper or if we seem to be left out or even mistreated, God will take care of us and provide for us. God gives what is best for us, even though we may not understand why it is what we need. It may be that he is keeping us from being proud or shielding us from putting our trust in things. Not only does he limit the evil and the temptations that come our way, he gives blessing that are in tune with our abilities to handle them also. As we grow, he can give more.
We must keep in mind that his will for us is to come home to him when our work is done and this life is over. He has told us to run the race and fight the fight. We are to be diligent and work his will in our life. This life is constant effort to please him and live for him but he has promised a place of rest in eternity.
O Lord God who loves me and takes care of me, I am so thankful for all you do and all you give to me. Give me wisdom to use it to your glory and to remember that every good gift comes from you. Instill your love in me so I will love others and love you above all else. Fill me with your compassion and the ability and the willingness to be forgiving, kind and tenderhearted. Be with those who are taking treatments and facing surgery. Give your strength to those who are serving you in the face of persecution. Use me to bring honor to you. I pray in Jesus name.