28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Philippians 4:1919 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 4:20-2220 My son, pay attention to what I say; turn your ear to my words. 21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; 22 for they are life to those who find them and health to one’s whole body.
From: Our Daily Bread
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done. Genesis 50:20
Jay Bufton turned his hospital room into a lighthouse.
The fifty-two-year-old husband, father, high school teacher, and coach was dying of cancer, but his room—Room 5020—became a beacon of hope for friends, family, and hospital workers. Because of his joyful attitude and strong faith, nurses wanted to be assigned to Jay. Some even came to see him during off-hours.
Even as his once-athletic body was wasting away, he greeted anyone and everyone with a smile and encouragement. One friend said, “Every time I visited Jay he was upbeat, positive, and filled with hope. He was, even while looking cancer and death in the face, living out his faith.”
At Jay’s funeral, one speaker noted that Room 5020 had a special meaning. He pointed to Genesis 50:20, in which Joseph says that although his brothers sold him into slavery, God turned the tables and accomplished something good: “the saving of many lives.” Cancer invaded Jay’s life, but by recognizing God’s hand at work Jay could say that “God intended it for good.” That’s why Jay could use even the ravages of cancer as an open door to tell others about Jesus.
What a legacy of unwavering trust in our Savior even as death was knocking at the door! What a testimony of confidence in our good and trustworthy God!
Lord, difficult things come into our lives so often. Please help us to trust You enough to see that nothing is beyond Your control. Help us to tell of Your love even in the tough times.
By God’s grace, we can have our best witness in the worst of times.
The Key to the Master’s Orders
The key to the missionary’s difficult task is in the hand of God, and that key is prayer, not work— that is, not work as the word is commonly used today, which often results in the shifting of our focus away from God. The key to the missionary’s difficult task is also not the key of common sense, nor is it the key of medicine, civilization, education, or even evangelization. The key is in following the Master’s orders— the key is prayer. “Pray the Lord of the harvest….” In the natural realm, prayer is not practical but absurd. We have to realize that prayer is foolish from the commonsense point of view.
From Jesus Christ’s perspective, there are no nations, but only the world. How many of us pray without regard to the persons, but with regard to only one Person— Jesus Christ? He owns the harvest that is produced through distress and through conviction of sin. This is the harvest for which we have to pray that laborers be sent out to reap. We stay busy at work, while people all around us are ripe and ready to be harvested; we do not reap even one of them, but simply waste our Lord’s time in over-energized activities and programs. Suppose a crisis were to come into your father’s or your brother’s life— are you there as a laborer to reap the harvest for Jesus Christ? Is your response, “Oh, but I have a special work to do!” No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, “a servant [who] is not greater than his master” (John 13:16), and someone who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do. Our Lord calls us to no special work— He calls us to Himself. “Pray the Lord of the harvest,” and He will engineer your circumstances to send you out as His laborer.
Facing Life’s Worries With Truth
|October 16, 2017
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37‑39 (NIV)
Everyone has assumptions about life.
Many are useful and constructive. We know the sun will rise and set each day. We assume storms will pass, and food is available.
Some assumptions, however, are toxic. Even worse, they are contrary to the truth. Unhealthy assumptions include false thoughts like these:
I’m unworthy. I don’t deserve to have good things happen to me.
People abandon me.
When people come to know the real me, they leave.
It’s all my fault. I’m to blame for every bad thing that happens to me.
No one has my back, which makes me vulnerable.
Something bad is going to happen.
The world feels dangerous.
Many false beliefs were formed in the early years of our lives when we did not have the ability to challenge them. So their roots run deep, and such false assumptions create an anxiety-ridden life.
God’s solution? Truth. Face worries with truth. Take “captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5b, NIV). One way to do this is to correct faulty thinking with accurate thoughts:
I matter to God. He made me, knows me and has a plan for my life.
I am worthy of love. I’m not perfect, but I have abilities and God-given gifts.
I’m not responsible for all the bad things. I’ve made mistakes, but I am learning and growing, and, most of all, I am forgiven by God.
I’m protected. It is a dangerous world, but I serve a mighty God who knows and loves me.
Listen to yourself. Monitor your beliefs about yourself, about God and about the world. Don’t allow false assumptions to take up any space in your mind. Immediately treat them with truth.
I’m either my own worst critic or greatest cheerleader. Either I tear myself down or build myself up. The words I say can usher in fear or faith. I’ve learned to ask: Are you against you? Or are you for you?
The truth is, God is for you. He has cast His vote. In His opinion you’re worth the death of His Son. You are valuable, purposeful and important. “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine” (Isaiah 43:1b, NIV).
If God is for you, shouldn’t you be for you? I’ve learned it doesn’t make sense to be against myself if God isn’t. Calling myself dumb, ugly or poor … saying there is no solution, hope or promise in life. If I decide I have no talents, friends or future … these words have power.
Saying something often enough can become my version of the truth! Those offhand negative remarks aren’t harmless; they are toxic. They actually agree with the devil. They give him a foothold. “The soothing tongue is a tree of life, but a perverse tongue crushes the spirit” (Proverbs 15:4, NIV).
Hold fast to the promises of Scripture and speak truth. The apostle Paul modeled this for us in today’s key verse: “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:37-39).
Be for you! God is.