14th July 2018

Be Still and Know - 'You Encourage Me By Giving Me Strength'

(from www.premierchristianradio.com)

 

Welcome to our daily devotional. We hope you will be blessed by Dr Micha Jazz's inspiring thoughts.

 

Psalm 138:3 NLT

 

'As soon as I pray, you answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.'

 

We live in an increasingly instant age. If I want something, I want it now; not next week or next year. From essentials made instantly available on credit to luxuries purchased in the moment and paid off over time, advertisers promise me access to all my dreams today, with no invitation to consider the reality of my subsequent indebtedness. Unsecured consumer debt in the UK, that is, debt that is not backed up with any means to pay it off, averages £13,000 per UK household (this excludes mortgage debt) and is predicted to reach 47 per cent of household income by 2021 by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

In a culture conditioned to expect instant material gratification, do we expect the same of our life with God? Do the promises in scripture invite us to treat God’s grace as a form of unrealised credit so we might have all our wildest prayers met? Life suggests this doesn’t happen. Indeed, some grow disenchanted with God, even bitter, when prayers are not answered in the terms in which they’re prayed.

Life is full of challenges, so how can the psalmist state so boldly that prayer is answered as soon as it is prayed? Jesus says much the same (Luke 11:10). The problem is that my appeal to God can become confused with my specific request of God. Jayne has a life-impacting chronic pain condition. I pray and I would love that condition to be removed in its entirety. Yet, I may not have clarity from God that this is the prayer I may make. So I carry Jayne into God’s throne room of grace and hold her before the Lord. This is prayer – to act as a go-between or to intercede. I carry someone and hold them before God. I know God receives them and hears my prayer. I draw encouragement and strength, while thankful for the opportunity to approach God.

I have slowly learned to be thankful. The act of prayer, presenting the challenge to God, provides the strength to continue to keep going, while highlighting my humanity and where I need to discern the grace of God today for myself.

 

QUESTION: How do you react if God makes you wait for something?

 

PRAYER: Lord, help me to trust in your ways when I am impatient.


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