When I’m faced with trials and tribulations like the latest cancer news, there tends to be a number of steps or phase I go through … not all of them I’m sure as God desires. The good news is I am aware of where I falter and I have no doubt that God is working and growing me in those areas with every trial …
Maybe you can relate …
Oftentimes, at the onset of one of these trials my first response is laced with worry, anxiety, fear and doubt … either because it’s something I don’t understand, I really don’t want to go through or I just can’t visualize a ‘happy ending’ outcome. Next, comes a bit of withdrawal … maybe even a bit of a lockdown … the door of communication is closed to those around me who love me … specifically my wife and my Lord and Savior. Then both my wife and Jesus starts knocking at that door … knowing that where I currently am is destructive and accomplishes nothing. And then the dimmer switch on the Light in my faith closet begins to be turned up to bright as the Lord lifts me up out of myself and IN to Him and His love and presence.
The faith journey resumes once again … in conversation with my wife, in prayer with God, in reading the Scripture. As recorded in God’s word, revealed by the Holy Spirit, and even experienced in my personal life I sense myself being led to passages and verses on God’s attributes/character, God’s love, God’s promises and God’s expectations of us in the midst of trials and tribulations.
It would seem to me that my faith and hope is grounded in a constant reminder of those four aspects of God … and when I need them most is not the time to run away from them or from God … it is the time to run to God. And for me, this is usually easier said than done. But hopefully, in time, these will become my first responses. After all, Jesus has already won this battle … that truth just needs to become a living realization in my walk of faith.
Today just wanted to share another devotional from John Piper’s e-mail / app devotional Solid Joys. Read and consider the power of the promise found in Romans 8:28 … that is exactly what I’m doing today!
Devotional for April 2
Better Than Everest
We know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)
If you live inside this massive promise, your life is more solid and stable than Mount Everest.
Nothing can blow you over when you are inside the walls of Romans 8:28. Outside Romans 8:28, all is confusion and anxiety and fear and uncertainty. Outside this promise of God’s all-encompassing future grace, there are straw houses of drugs and pornography and dozens of futile diversions. There are slat walls and tin roofs of fragile investment strategies and fleeting insurance coverage and trivial retirement plans. There are card-board fortifications of deadbolt locks and alarm systems and antiballistic missiles. Outside are a thousand substitutes for Romans 8:28.
Once you walk through the door of love into the massive, unshakable structure of Romans 8:28, everything changes. There come into your life stability and depth and freedom. You simply can’t be blown over anymore. The confidence that a sovereign God governs for your good all the pain and all the pleasure that you will ever experience is an incomparable refuge and security and hope and power in your life.
When God’s people really live by the future grace of Romans 8:28 – from measles to the mortuary – they are the freest and strongest and most generous people in the world.
Their light shines and people give glory to their Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16)
Thank you Pastor Piper for the reminder … thank you Lord for your promises!!!
May it be Your will that I faithfully live inside the walls and promise of Romans 8:28!