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Devotional: June 12, 2020

There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

Romans 5: 3-5 The Message


There are blessings to be found in the midst of troubles. During this challenging time in our country, this can be a helpful truth to cling to. It is not an obvious truth. Many of us try to avoid trouble, because we know that it brings challenges, strained relationships, and often lots of energy and patience to conquer.


Yet there are two things to remember about trouble. The first is that troubles are inevitable. Sooner or later, everyone experiences them. There is no such thing as a trouble-free life, this side of heaven. As Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us, there is a time for everything, and every purpose under heaven. This includes a time to weep, and a time to laugh. In other words, there will be times of trouble in our lives.


The second truth about trouble is that we often discover and learn important truths when we face them. Sometimes, we even stumble upon blessings as a result of troubling times.


“What blessings have you discovered during this pandemic?” This is a question we considered recently on a Zoom call. The answers were varied, but every single person on the call was able to point to some blessing which had resulted from these challenging times.


I know that one of the things God is forging in me during this time is patience. While I am anxious to re-open the church for in-person worship, and yesterday’s announcement that we are now in a Modified Phase 1 is a hopeful sign, we are not quite there yet. Patience is a virtue which the Lord is growing in me, as a result of this pandemic. What virtues is the Lord growing within you through these challenging times?


Prayer


God of every circumstance,

You are so faithful and You never leave us, even during times of trouble. Thank you for Your constant presence. Help us to lean into You when we feel challenged. May we grow stronger, more patient, and more resilient as a result of our present trials.

We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen.


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