OK, here's the plan (if God is willing):

1) Every day will be a new devotional. I have enough devotionals for every day for three years

2) Also as I can, I'll be posting on my new political blog (see bottom of page).

Some other housecleaning:

A) If you'd like to just get new postings sent to your email, just submit your address in the box on the left just below. There's just one possible downside, though. Occasionally I'll add a music video at the end that's relevant to the devotional, and you won't get them in the email sent to you. If I add a video though, I'll make sure to mention in the posting, so you'll know to come to the site to see it if you'd like.

B) I actually finished writing new blog posting for the TAWG at the end of 2016. So what I'm doing now is at the beginning of every month, I'll move the earliest month from 3 years ago ahead so that a "new" posting appears every day. That's why you won't find any postings for January 2014, for example.

C) When I started this Blog, I was using the 1984 edition of the NIV, and that’s what I linked to on the Biblegateway site. However, in 2011 Zondervan updated its edition and thus reworded a lot of the NIV translation. Therefore, all the links which went to the 1984 edition now redirect to the 2011 edition, which often has slightly different wording. Thus, part of my editing process has been to update my Scripture quotes in my postings. But I might have missed some, in which case you might see my quote in the posting as a little different from what comes up when you click on my citation link, since that redirects to the 2011 edition on the Biblegateway site. It's a good thing that we realize that the work of translation never ends, but it can be a kind of a pain on a site like this. If you see any difference in verbiage between my quote and what shows up as a link on the Biblegateway site, or if you hover over a link and it has "NIV1984" at the end of it, please notify me and I'll correct it.

D) I can't believe I have to say this, but here goes. At the end of every posting is a suggested short prayer that has to do with what we discussed. This is actually what I've prayed when I finished writing it. In no way am I asking you to pray the exact verbiage of my suggested prayer. It's just a springboard for your own prayer, nothing more. Quite frankly, I've never been a fan of praying rote prayers written by someone else. As with everything else I do here, to the degree it helps, great; to the degree it doesn't, chunk it.

As always, thank you so much for reading, even if it's to read one post. God bless.

[April 02]—Do You Trust Me?

Today we’re going to take one more look at this passage. I think it’s so rich that you could spend a lot more time on it, but this’ll be enough for now.

The author of this little book—presumably Jeremiah—is looking at the remains of his old life and everything he’s ever known. The nation he lived in, the temple he attended, and the people he knew are all gone. This book is an attempt to sort through and work through all this and come up with some answers.

What it all comes down to, as far as he’s concerned, is one clarifying question: “Do you trust God?” Do you really think he knows what he’s doing, and do you still believe he’s good and still in charge? The answer to that will direct the course of your life and pretty much everything in it. 

To the author, the answer to that is a resounding “Yes.” But today’s passage is more than a beautiful statement of trust in the Lord while in the middle of calamity. There are some practical ways you can show that trust:

1) Wait patiently for him (vs. 26, 28). I know that when experiencing grief, most people try to keep busy so they don’t have to think about what they’ve lost. If you’ve lost someone close to you, the last thing you want is to sit around and think about it. And to a much lesser extent, this would apply to any other huge loss, like the loss of a job or one’s home. 
Of course you don’t want to sit around and wallow in the loss. But that’s very different from what the author is counseling here. There’s a difference between just sitting around in grief and waiting patiently for the Lord to come to you. Cry out to him. Read through the Psalms, especially those written by those going through extreme hardship like yourself. Take a moment to grieve and wait for his comfort.

2) Along with this, be silent and listen. He might be trying to say something to you. "The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him." Among other things, seeking him means listening to him. 

3) Know and fix it in your mind what kind of God you’re serving. We can argue back and forth how much of a direct hand the Lord had in your suffering. At the very least, he allowed it to happen, and he did so for good reason. But "[He] does not willingly bring affliction or grief to anyone." He doesn't enjoy seeing anyone suffer, much less one of his children. Like Job, you might not know in this life why he’s doing what he’s doing, but you can know him, which will be good enough.

4) Finally, you can focus on the fact that this is not the end of your story. For every redeemed child of God, it can truly be said that the best is yet to come. The author hints at it: “"For no one is cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love." Just to be clear, this is referring to believers, not to those are outside of Christ. There will come a day when those are still under his wrath will be cast off forever. 

But for those of in his redeemed family, we can know that suffering is not the end of our story. Though he brings us grief in this life, we can know that eventually we’ll see the full measure of his unfailing love. And that won’t be worthy to be compared with the suffering we might experience in this sin-wrecked world.

So then we come back to that clarifying question: Do I trust him? And if so, do I show it?

Lord Jesus, I do trust you. Not nearly as much as I should. Can you help with that, please? “O for grace, to trust [you] more.” 

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