As Christians, we have God’s promise that He will watch over us, but last night, instead of sleeping, I gave God most of the night off! Instead of praying and trusting Him, I stayed up for hours worrying about one of our grandchildren. The peace that Jesus had promised me seemed far away and I didn’t know why. Then after tossing and turning till the early morning hours, Jesus reminded me that true peace is only in Him. He has not promised me a peace that is like a personal possession. His peace only becomes real in my life as I choose Him to be my life. The million-dollar question is; how does that work? Now the answer is almost as amazing as the promise. It is by faith and that faith is both a gift and a miracle. God gives us this faith so that we can choose to put our lives in the hands of Jesus Christ. There in His hands, our lives are hidden in Him no matter what life throws our way and in Him is a peace that comes and carries us through till morning!
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:4 ESV
As we had multiple Christmas Eve services, our church was closed yesterday so we decided to attend a smaller church not far from our house. We knew a few folks there and were so blessed by the pastor’s simple message that ended on the idea that we should thank God even in the detours of life. That got me to thinking over our lives as we have moved so many times that it seems that most of it has been a detour. If that is how you feel, then I hope today’s devotional would be an encouragement for you.
Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, Philippians 4:11-12a ESV
Our two boys were in their early teens when we moved for the fifth time in our marriage. We had just found a local church that we enjoyed attending and there met an older couple named Dick and Chickie. Their children lived far away so they adopted our kids as honorary grandchildren. Whenever they invited us over for coffee and pie, we loved listening to their stories. My favorite was how they met in the hall in Junior High, when Dick slipped a note into Chickie’s hand asking if she would meet him after school. Well one thing led to another and not long after high school they were married and moved six blocks down the street from the school into the house where Dick had been born. Now, I had moved six times by the time I graduated from high school, so when people asked where I was from, I had to decide which place to claim. Just about all my life seemed like a detour and I longed to belong anywhere that would be willing to claim me. But whether we have lived in one house all our lives or moved a million times, today’s verse encourages us to be content. Wherever we are or whatever we have is never the key to our happiness or contentment. What matters is knowing that in every situation we are exactly where God has chosen and have all that we need for now. We just need to remind ourselves that He is our true destination, and He has designed our detour to lead us straight to Him!
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? …Romans 8:35
I have always loved this verse, though holding on to it at times of trouble has seemed elusive at best. Usually when the going gets tough in relational conflict, under financial pressure or sickness I forget about God’s love and revert to anxiety or stressed out overreactions. But God’s love is supposed stick to us like superglue; so what are we missing?
Maybe our common weakness in situations needing God’s love is expecting to find the source in ourselves; and when that is failing we fall back into fear, stress or shame. But this morning I noticed how this superglue love that sticks through every possible circumstance has nothing to do with me or you. Its holding power is linked to who Jesus is and where He is in the previous verse.
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Romans 8:34 ESV
Yup…that superglue love is all about Jesus interceding for us with the Father right there in heaven. Remember He told us, “I and the Father are one.”? His love for us superglues Him to that place in Heaven. No situation of life or death, sickness or persecution can unstick His love or make Him give up on us. His love is superglued right to the throne of God and nothing in creation will ever separate us from the amazing….unbelievable…all powerful and wonderful, love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord! Now that gives me hope and puts a drop of God’s superglue love in me!