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DAILY DEVOTIONAL – Monday, August 1, 2016
Today’s scripture reading:
It is easy to lose heart and quit. We all have faced problems in our relationships or in our work that have caused us to think about giving up. Rather than quitting when persecution wore him down, Paul concentrated on the inner strength that came from the Holy Spirit. Don’t let fatigue, pain, or criticism force you off the job. Renew your commitment to serving Christ. Don’t forsake your eternal reward because of the intensity of today’s pain. Your very weakness allows the resurrection power of Christ to strengthen you moment by moment.
Our troubles should not diminish our faith or disillusion us. We should realize that there is a purpose in our suffering. Problems and human limitations have several benefits: (1) They remind us of Christ’s suffering for us; (2) they keep us from pride; (3) they cause us to look beyond this brief life; (4) they give God the opportunities to prove our faith to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power. See your troubles as opportunities!
Our ultimate hope when we are experiencing terrible illness, persecution, or pain is the realization that this life is not all there is—there is life after death! Knowing that we will live forever with God in a place without sin and suffering can help us live above the pain that we face in this life. (NLT)
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
The psalmist wrote, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” –Psalm 51:10 (KJV)
Jacob Schneider (Maryland) titled his story “FROM THE INSIDE OUT;” here is a portion of Jacob’s story:
“. . . our human bodies are susceptible to a variety of ailments – and sooner or later, we all discover how vulnerable our bodies are. But the apostle Paul tells us that though our bodies may waste away, our spirits are continually renewed. Through Bible study, daily prayer, and a desire to please God, we cultivate lives of faithfulness and obedience. When we nourish the spirit, we can find eternal life. . . .”
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY – God renews my spirit each day.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your grace and loving-kindness. Help us to care for our spirits by spending time daily with you. 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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