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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
Life is short and full of trouble, Job laments in his closing remarks. Sickness, loneliness, disappointment, and death cause Job to say that life is not fair. Even in Job’s gloom, he hoped for the resurrection of the dead. If this is true, then Job understood the one truth that could put his suffering in perspective. God’s solution to believers who live in an unfair world is to guarantee life with him forever. No matter how unfair your present world seems, God offers the hope of being in his presence eternally. Have you accepted this offer?
When we must endure suffering, we have an advantage over Job. We know that the dead will rise. Christ arose, and we have hope based on Christ’s promise. (NLT)
Job 14:1-14 – “How frail is humanity! How short is life, and how full of trouble! Like a flower, we blossom for a moment and then wither. Like the shadow of a passing cloud, we quickly disappear. Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature and demand an accounting from me? Who can create purity in one born impure? No one! You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer. So give us a little rest, won’t you? Turn away your angry stare. We are like hired hands, so let us finish the task you have given us.
“If a tree is cut down, there is hope that it will sprout again and grow new branches. Though its roots have grown old in the earth and its stump decays, at the scent of water it may bud and sprout again like a new seedling.
“But when people die, they lose all strength. They breathe their last, and then where are they? As water evaporates from a lake and as a river disappears in drought, people lie down and do not rise again. Until the heavens are no more, they will not wake up nor be roused from their sleep.
“I wish you would hide me with the dead and forget me there until your anger has passed. But mark your calendar to think of me again! If mortals die, can they live again? This thought would give me hope, and through my struggle I would eagerly wait for release.
A person’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed. – Job 14:5 (NIV)
Jonathan David Redding (Tennessee) titled his story “SIMPLY THERE;” here is a portion of Jonathan’s story:
“My nephew is now healthy and energetic, but that has not always been the case. When he was born, the hospital staff quickly took him to the neonatal intensive care unit to resolve some complications that the doctor assured my brother and sister-in-law were minor. However, that did not stop our family from experiencing anxiety and doubt. I felt helpless and worried that my minutes-old nephew had reached his ‘determined days’ before they had even begun.
“I began to ask God how something like this could happen. I also asked my mom, an experienced nurse, and Dad – a pastor – if we could do anything to help. Mom said, ‘I cannot do much, but I am praying simply that God will be with him and the doctors.’ Dad responded, with tears in his eyes, ‘Sometimes praying is all we can do.’ I felt powerless and empty, but in that moment, I did not feel alone.
“. . . Though the words of Job 14 haunt me, I can take refuge in God, who is always there.”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – When praying is all I can do, that is enough.
Prayer: Dear God, you are with us always. Help us live in a way that reflects your eternal presence. Amen.
To read the rest of the story in The Upper Room, click on the following link: http://devotional.upperroom.org/
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