Devotional: May 17, 2021
Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching.
Hebrews 10: 23-25 The Message
Life is about holding on to some things, and letting other things go. Sometimes we can get ourselves into trouble if we hold on to the wrong things. If we cannot release anger, bitterness, gossip, and revenge, we will most likely become negative people. When we retain such negative memories, sometimes stewing on them over and over in our heads, we leave little room for the good promises of God's word.
Jesus told us to cast our cares upon Him. When challenging thoughts, memories and feelings overwhelm us, interfering with our daily routines, we need to turn to the Lord. Release the anxiety, fear, anger, tension, and other negative emotions holding you back. “Getting even”, or “paying someone back” for a wrong is never the answer. Nor is it usually truly successful. We need to recall the scripture: “Vengeance is mine, says the Lord.” (Romans 12: 19) While our desire for justice is understandable, we need to remember that God’s timing and our timing may not be the same. We may not ever see God take the action we desire, but we must trust the Lord. He keeps His promises.
Life is also about holding on to some things. We all want to hold on to good memories, but there are other positive things for us to keep in our hearts and minds. God’s promises should always be near and dear to our hearts. These verses from Hebrews remind us that the Lord always keeps His promises. With that truth in mind, God wants us to use our creativity when it comes to loving and helping others. He does not want us to find excuses to skip out on worshiping with other believers. When we all seek the promise of eternal life together, we all have something in common. This common goal and promise brings us together.
Here is the letter to the Hebrews, the author encourages us to keep a firm grip on the promises of God. Keeping those amazing promises of God in our sights, and on our minds at all times, can really help us make it through a hard day, or a challenging season.
Once I was given a small volume entitled, “The Bible Promise Book”, which was filled with hundreds of biblical promises (By some counts, there are more than 7,000 promises in the scriptures!) There are so many amazing and inspiring promises in God’s holy word.
Here are two of my favorites. The first is from the Old Testament, from the prophet Jeremiah…
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
Jeremiah 29: 11 NRSV
And then, from the New Testament, Jesus’ words to His disciples…
26But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.
John 14: 26-27 NRSV
May we always keep a firm grip on the promises of God, and give to the wind our fears, casting our burdens upon the Lord.
Why? You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity. Yes.
Philippians 4: 19-20 The Message
Gracious Lord, thank You for providing me with a path to peacefully and joyfully navigate my life. Help me to let go of the negative, and to focus on the positive. Forgive me when I forget Your promises, and attempt to do Your job. Help me to cling to You, rather than the things that pull me away from You. May my actions lead others to want to learn about You, and to desire a living relationship with you.
With an open heart, I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name, Amen