Joni and Friends 11th September 2022 Daily Devotional, Sunday Message
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TOPIC: Certainty at the Center
Joni and Friends 11th September 2022 MESSAGE
I can’t begin to describe the feeling that swept over me, shortly after my diving accident, when I realized I was a quadriplegic—that my paralysis was total and complete. Devastation? Depression? Denial? None of those terms even come close. The permanence of my condition was almost too much reality to bear.
It didn’t help that my friends were going off to college, getting jobs, and going on dates while I was stuck in a hospital bed. My future? In a wheelchair? I couldn’t bear to contemplate it. I cried out to God. I wanted reassurance that my world wasn’t ripping apart at the seams. I longed for someone to promise that everything would be okay.
This is the heartfelt plea of anyone who suffers. We want assurance that somehow, some way, things will work out in the end—though we can’t imagine how. We want to know that our world is orderly and stable, and not spinning off into nightmarish chaos. We want to know that God is at the center of our suffering, not only holding our lives together, but holding us. Joni and Friends 11th September 2022
In Romans 8 we have the massive promise of that assurance.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28 (ESV)
In other words, the Lord is so supremely in charge of the world that everything that touches our lives as Christians is ordered in such a way that it serves our good. This is true whether we face cancer, broken relationships, job loss, bankruptcy… or even a broken neck at age 17. The strong hope of the believer is not that we will escape “bad things” in the course of our lives, but that God will transform every one of our hardships into an instrument of his mercy to do us good.
That assurance goes way beyond the promise that “everything will be okay.” Romans 8:29 reveals a far more stunning, mind-boggling purpose than that: Through our sufferings, we are being shaped into the very image of God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
You need not panic—or be swept away by devastation—over your problems and setbacks. Paul says that your sufferings are small and short, when compared with the weight of glory they are accruing for you in heaven. So bear with the heartbreak and hardship a bit longer—these things are stretching your soul’s capacity for more joy, worship, and service in heaven than you can begin to imagine. Joni and Friends 11th September 2022
But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently. Romans 8:25 (NLT)
Wait and trust in the Lord. Your present hope and expectation will not disappoint you.
In face of all this, what is there left to say? If God is for us, who can be against us? He that did not hesitate to spare his own Son but gave him up for us all—can we not trust such a God to give us, with him, everything else that we can need? […]
I have become absolutely convinced that neither death nor life, neither messenger of Heaven nor monarch of earth, neither what happens today nor what may happen tomorrow, neither a power from on high nor a power from below, nor anything else in God’s whole world has any power to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord! – Romans 8:31–32, 38–39 (Phillips)
Don’t allow today’s trials and worries—large and intimidating as they might appear to be now—to overwhelm the reality of God’s care, his ability to transform your situation, or his unshakable plan for good in your life.
Thank you for reading Joni and Friends 11th September 2022 Daily Devotional Message