Daily Devotional: Psalms 71:22-24
22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy one of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you--I, whom you have redeemed. 24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.
1 Peter 1:3-5
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
I once knew a man who had been convicted of murder, was a drug addict, and an alcoholic and had effectively sold one of his sons to a sexual predator. He studied the word of God and became a Christian. He was seeking to turn his life around and find peace with both God and with himself. But the changes did not come easily and he was discouraged because he thought that by giving his life to God, all of his troubles and all of his past temptations would go away. They did not!
Being a Christian does not mean we have no more troubles. In fact, those who serve the Lord will suffer trials (period). Temptations still haunt us every day and our past still lingers in our minds. We find ourselves doing things we have said we will not do and not doing things we know we need to be doing. In fact, the devil may spend more time on the Christian (and especially those recently converted) than he does on those who already serve him with impunity toward God.
So in many ways, being a child of God does not change anything. But what it does change is that in all this, God is with us to give us strength and he will continue to forgive us when we fail and we do sin. By accepting the forgiveness of God and knowing we are right with him allows us to forgive ourselves and to have a clear conscience and peace of mind. It is because of this that we can rejoice in the Lord always, worrying about nothing and praying about everything. The Lord is near!
I thank you and praise you O God for your love and your tender mercy. Thank you for your grace that allows me to have my sins forgiven and makes me your child in Jesus Christ. Help me be the best I can be in every relationship and responsibility you have given to me. I need your wisdom to know your will at times and I need your strength to accomplish what you want me to do. Increase my faith. Be with your people, especially those who are weak and those who are suffering because of their faith. Use me to help and encourage them. I pray in Jesus name.