Plea for Grace

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1Peter 5:6-11 ESV - 
6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 
7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 
8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 
9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 
10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 
11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Suffering is humiliating. The loss of independence. The loss of control. It is in our nature to want to grab on to any shred of dignity and autonomy that we possibly can.

But godly wisdom says to humble myself; acknowledge that God is in control, not me. His purpose will stand, and my plans must submit to His. If suffering puts me in the background, then that is where I will serve my God. If suffering diminishes my physical “productivity” then I will serve my Lord with my prayers, with my praise, with my encouragement.

What a gift of mercy that this Sovereign God who has authority over everything tells me to throw ALL of my anxious thoughts at His feet, because He cares for me. He knows that an uncertain future is scary; He knows that the loss of independence is frustrating; He knows every prideful temptation to grab control . . .

I must think rightly. I must believe truth. I must reject lies. Many lies have some truth nestled in them, which is why it’s so easy to be deceived. The message I received (whether spoken or not) even from a very young age was that everyone has a part to play and everyone needs to contribute. It was true in family (we all had chores and responsibilities for the family to thrive); at school (everyone in class had chores and responsibilities beside the studies); even in church. How many times had I heard “20 percent of the people do 80 percent of the work” when recruiting for child care or cleaning crew . . .

It is right and good to work. It is right and good to take responsibility. But notice where the “participation and contribution” is focused — the physical, the “doing things.” So what happens when the “doing” is diminished? In a culture where worth is tied to production, if you cannot “pull your own weight” your value is diminished.

Here is where the truth gets muddied with the lie, and why we must be sober-minded and watchful. Unlike us, God does not have only one type of participation and contribution. God has purpose for every one of His children, but those “assignments” do not all look the same. I do not matter less to God because I can no longer teach a class for an hour or sing on a stage. If God is Sovereign (and He is) then He also has the authority to change my assignment for His purpose and His glory and my good. If my assignment (area of service) is now “background” it is not because God has deemed me less valuable. Humbling myself under God’s mighty hand means that I joyfully submit to the task that He assigns.

Pray for the Persecuted Church–OpenDoorsUSA

Pressure on Christians in Ethiopia intensified in 2021. In some places, Islamic extremist groups attacked
churches. Meanwhile, political violence in the country—focused largely on the conflict in Tigray—has also taken its toll on Christian communities, with many Christians killed and churches destroyed

Day 1: Pray for wisdom and provision for the Ethiopian
government as they lead a country greatly affected by
war, drought, plagues and political instability

Daily Wisdom
Psalm 119
Proverbs 26
Isa 40:25-31 ESV -
25 To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. 
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing. 
27 Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, "My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God"? 
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 
31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Don’t try to compare the incomparable. God not only made every star, He knows them by name and He knows where they are in the vastness of space. Even the ones that our human telescopes have not discovered and never will see . . .

Despite the “everything-ness” of God, we still will ask the question — God, do You really see me? God, do You really care?

The answer is a resounding “yes” to both questions. God Who has all strength and might can give strength to a weary soul who comes to Him. God who is all wise can give wisdom to those who ask in faith. God will never reach a limit to His wisdom; He will never run out of energy or strength. He is the Lord, the Everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth . . .

Pray for the Persecuted Church–OpenDoorsUSA

Day 7: Pray that persecuted believers in Cuba would
deeply sense and know the truth of Romans 8:37—that
they are “more than conquerors through Him who
loved us” (Romans 8:37).

Daily Wisdom
Psalm 112-118
Proverbs 25

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