Sunday Devotional: Revelation 22:20-21

 “He who testifies about these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21)

These are the last words written in the New Testament.  The apostle John wrote these words while sitting in exile on the island of Patmos.  With all the struggles and the persecution that the church was facing at that time, John had hope.  Because he held firm to the belief that Jesus was returning.

We as part of the church today hold that belief as well.  We also know that God’s timing is not the same as our timing.  We do not know the exact day or hour but Jesus has promised He will return.  And as we go through living our lives and following the calling that God has for each of us individually and collectively, we echo the words that John wrote here: “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!”

This week, let us cling to that hope.  Let us in the midst of hardships and struggles cry out to God.  And let us share the hope that we have even in the midst of suffering.  Jesus is coming again.

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Sunday Devotional: Psalm 40

“I waited patiently for the Lord,
and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the Lord.

How happy is the man
who has put his trust in the Lord
and has not turned to the proud
or to those who run after lies!
Lord my God, You have done many things—
Your wonderful works and Your plans for us;
none can compare with You.
If I were to report and speak of them,
they are more than can be told.

You do not delight in sacrifice and offering;
You open my ears to listen.
You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering.
Then I said, “See, I have come;
it is written about me in the volume of the scroll.
I delight to do Your will, my God;
Your instruction lives within me.”

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
see, I do not keep my mouth closed—
as You know, Lord.
I did not hide Your righteousness in my heart;
I spoke about Your faithfulness and salvation;
I did not conceal Your constant love and truth
from the great assembly.

Lord, do not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your constant love and truth will always guard me.
For troubles without number have surrounded me;
my sins have overtaken me; I am unable to see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my courage leaves me.
Lord, be pleased to deliver me;
hurry to help me, Lord.

Let those who seek to take my life
be disgraced and confounded.
Let those who wish me harm
be driven back and humiliated.
Let those who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
be horrified because of their shame.

Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
let those who love Your salvation continually say,
“The Lord is great!”
I am afflicted and needy;
the Lord thinks of me.
You are my helper and my deliverer;
my God, do not delay.”  (Psalm 40)

In the midst of such suffering and pain that we are experiencing during these troubled times, it is important to remember that this is nothing new.  The world has dealt with tremendous pain and sorrow because of this being a fallen world.  David knew of this pain during his life.  Yet he trusted in the Lord to help deliver him.

David knew that that Lord was trustworthy.  He knew that the Lord would bring hope and salvation.  So he waited for the Lord to deliver.  Waiting is hard especially when the hurt is so great.  Yet we are called to wait on the Lord and put our trust in Him.  The good thing is that trust is not unfulfilled.  God is faithful.

This week, let us hope and trust in the Lord, even in the roughest and toughest of circumstances.  Let us wait on Him and trust He will deliver.

Sunday Devotional: Habakkuk 2:1-3

“I will take my stand at my watchpost
    and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
    and what I will answer concerning my complaint.

And the Lord answered me:

“Write the vision;
    make it plain on tablets,
    so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
    it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
    it will surely come; it will not delay.”  (Habakkuk 2:1-3)

There are times when we must wait.  God may want us to be patient in hearing from Him.  He may desire for us to learn in that time to wait on Him.  It may be that the appropriate time hasn’t arrived and we must wait for it to come.  Whatever it may be, sometimes we are to wait on the Lord.

The prophet Habakkuk knew this all to well.  He wrote about how He waited for God to speak to Him.  He stood watch waiting for God and was committed to wait no matter how long the wait was.  When God spoke to Habakkuk, He reassured Habbakuk that He was in control and that all things were going according to His plan.

It is hard to wait but God knows what He is doing.  He is in control.  We just need to trust Him that in His timing that what He wants done will be done.  This week, let us be like Habakkuk and set ourselves on the watchpost and be diligent in waiting on the Lord.

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

It is hard to wait.  I think this is a given fact.  No matter what it is, it is hard to wait.  Whether it is waiting for a relationship, employment, event, it is hard to wait.  And yet, we all go through seasons of life where we are called to wait.  It doesn’t matter how old you are or what stage of life you are in, we all have to wait.

Sometimes it is a short season of waiting.  Sometimes it is a long season of waiting.  Regardless, it is hard to wait.  But even in those times of waiting, God is still present.  He may seem to be quiet at times but He is still there.  He is still at work and though we may not understand it in the time of waiting, it is for our good.

I keep praying that this waiting that I’m presently going through will end soon.  But in the meantime, I just try to keep trusting in God to provide and get me through this.

There’s an old Tom Petty song that I think about when it comes to waiting.  It is aptly titled “The Waiting Is The Hardest Part”.  The chorus goes like this:

“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part.”

Keeping Patience

As I’ve said before, I’m not a patient person normally.  It is hard for me to wait.  I’m the type of person that wants things to happen.  So it’s not a surprise that right now in this season it is a test of patience.  It is not easy being patient.  It takes a lot of work to keep patience.  But it comes with the territory of trusting God.  His timing is not my timing that is for sure.  However, His timing is the right time.  So even though months may go by in waiting, to God it is but a moment.

The fact that I have the patience I do have comes from God.  He has grown my patience (and continues to do so).  I am ready to move on to the next season of life but I know that in the meantime God is working on me.  He knows I had to heal and prepare me for what is coming next.  So while I’m ready (and feel like I have been ready for awhile now), He knows best for what that next step is and will use this time of waiting like he will use all the good moments and the bad moments of my life for His glory.

Patience and Forgiveness

Patience.  That is a word that I struggle with very much.  As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a patient person.  I’m better than I used to be but still not what I want to be.  I want to go when sometimes I have to wait.  And sometimes that means waiting a long time, way longer than I want to but sometimes that is what is required.

I was pondering this today.  Showing patience and showing forgiveness are similar.  They are both hard to do but the the benefits are great.  When we show patience with one another, our relationships develop and grow.  We are able to work things out in a way that not showing patience allows.

We all know the Golden Rule (And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.  Luke 6:31 ESV).  I think we all want people to show us patience.  We should be mindful of this and show patience with others.  I think this is a lesson I’ve learned the hard way.  I want patience shown to me but sometimes I don’t in turn show patience with others.  It’s not fun on the other end of that equation.  Like forgiveness, sometimes you may show patience to someone and they do not show patience in return.  But that shouldn’t deter you from continuing to show patience just like it shouldn’t deter from forgiving someone if they do not forgive you in return.

This season in my life is making me learn patience more so than any other time in my life.  Not just patience for me to wait on the Lord for providing but also in showing patience to others.  No matter who you are or what stage of life you are in, that is a lesson to learn and apply.