Joni and Friends 15th September 2022 Daily Devotional, Thursday Message
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TOPIC: Because I Can’t Be Trusted
Near the end of my stay in the hospital, friends would try their best to “explain” why God hadn’t restored the use of my hands and legs. One friend said, “Joni, God knows he can trust you with suffering. He knows your character. He knows you’re a strong person and you’ll respond well to hardships.”
I hate to break anyone’s bubble here, but that idea’s about as flimsy as a bubble. In fact, the very opposite is true: I think God entrusts me with hardships because he knows very well that I can’t be trusted. I fully accept the fact that I am the least likely candidate to handle affliction well. Honestly, I know all too well how weak and stubborn I can be, how peevish, moody, and irritable. And this is why I run to God daily—hourly—for help! Oh, help me, Jesus. I can’t do this. I can’t face one more day of quadriplegia. I can’t handle one more hour of this chronic, razor-sharp pain. I can’t hold onto hope while the shadow of cancer lingers!
When I go to God with that attitude, he lavishes grace upon grace on me. Why does he do it? Because I’m very quick to recognize my weakness and reach out for a double handful of his strength. Joni and Friends 15th September 2022
One of David’s finest moments came at an unlikely spot on the biblical map called Ziklag. At this point in his life, he was an outlaw warrior, leading a rough-hewn band of fugitives, malcontents, and rebels. One day, after returning from a raid, David and his men found that their own town had been rifled, raided, and burned to the ground. Worse still, their wives and children had been kidnapped. The Bible says,
So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep. – 1 Samuel 30:4
Just that quickly, David’s rag-tag army turned against him, and talked about stoning him to death.
What did David do? He didn’t walk, he ran, into the arms of his God. The text says,
But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.
A short time later, he rose from his knees with courage restored—and with a fresh plan for victory.
That’s what I do. In my incredible weakness, I “strengthen myself” in the Lord. When despair threatens to overtake me, I immediately reach up for a double handful of hope from heaven. God can trust me to do that, and he never fails to respond.
If you desire the favor of God today, be swift to appreciate how out of favor you would be apart from Christ. If you want the strength of God, be faster than anyone else to realize how feeble and ridiculously needy you are without Christ. Joni and Friends 15th September 2022
When it comes to dealing daily with suffering, it really is all about Jesus.
By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight.
Hebrews 11:33–34 (NLT)
I am ready for anything through the strength of the one who lives within me. – Philippians 4:13, Phillips
No matter how weak, inadequate, clueless, or unworthy you may feel right now, you can fall before the Lord and reach out for a double handful of his strength, wisdom, and perspective. Don’t hesitate or hold back or live in a world of denial that insists “I can handle this on my own.” You can’t! RUN to Your Father for help.
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