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Thanksgiving in Suffering – Devo Day 4

By November 30, 2023Daily Devotional

Hearing God’s Voice from His Word

James 4:8 says, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
Take a moment and turn your attention to God. Tell God that you desire to trust and obey Him. Ask God to speak to you from His word.

Psalm of the Day

Psalm 90
A prayer of Moses, the man of God.
1 Lord, you have been our refuge in every generation.
2 Before the mountains were born, before you gave birth to the earth and the world,
from eternity to eternity, you are God.
3 You return mankind to the dust, saying, “Return, descendants of Adam.”
4 For in your sight a thousand years are like yesterday that passes by,
like a few hours of the night.
5 You end their lives; they sleep. They are like grass that grows in the morning—
6 in the morning it sprouts and grows; by evening it withers and dries up.
7 For we are consumed by your anger; we are terrified by your wrath.
8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 For all our days ebb away under your wrath; we end our years like a sigh.
10 Our lives last seventy years or, if we are strong, eighty years.
Even the best of them are struggle and sorrow;
indeed, they pass quickly and we fly away.

11 Who understands the power of your anger?
Your wrath matches the fear that is due you.

12 Teach us to number our days carefully so that we may develop wisdom in our hearts.
13 Lord—how long? Turn and have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your faithful love
so that we may shout with joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us rejoice for as many days as you have humbled us,
for as many years as we have seen adversity.
16 Let your work be seen by your servants, and your splendor by their children.
17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us;
establish for us the work of our hands—establish the work of our hands!

Teach us, satisfy us, make us rejoice, let us see, let your favor rest on us, establish our work. These are the short prayers giving in verses 12-17. Personalize these prayers. Pray them back to God. Remember that HE hears. You are not uttering words into space. God hears.

Hebrews 12:1-3 – The Message
12 1-3 Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!

Copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson

Having God’s Ear through Prayer

  • Express thanksgiving to God.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you.
  • Confess your sin to Him and receive forgiveness.
    (1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sin He is faithful and just and will forgive our sins.”)
  • Bring your personal requests to God.
    (Psalm 62:8 “Pour out your heart before God”)
  • Pray for someone in your small group.
  • Join with others from River and pray for Christian Challenge as they have their last worship gathering of the semester. Ask God to speak to the hearts of discouraged students and give them strength to persevere. Ask God to reveal Himself to students who do not know Him.

Living as God’s People by applying the Bible

Scripture Reflection from the Sermon

The next part of our strategy is “to run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” Two things are tied together here. One is the need for endurance, which means to finish despite difficulties. The other is the need for perspective; this race we are to run is “marked out for us.” In regards to endurance, we need to focus our attention on long term faithfulness (a sustainable pace). Sure, there will be times of sprinting, but sprinting cannot be sustained long term. Beware of chasing quick fixes that promise to substitute for a long walk in a single direction. There will be no “gee whiz” new truth or special experience that will substitute for endurance. Tied to this idea of endurance is the perspective that this race is marked out by God. We cannot go looking for an easier path if that means getting off course from obedience to God. Running the course marked out for us means trusting the one who has marked the course. We must not be dragged down this path, fighting God’s will all the way. We must, like Jesus, for the joy set before us, learn to love obedience because we’re learning to love God.