Monday, February 22nd - Psalm 75
Tuesday, February 23rd - Amos 5:18-27
Wednesday, February 24th - 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Thursday, February 25th - Revelation 22:8-20
Friday, February 26th - Hosea 10:1-8
Saturday, February 27th - Luke 11:1-4
Lord God, we ask You to keep Your family, the church, always faithful to You. Let us lean on the hope of Your promises and gain strength from the power of Your love; through Your ; Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
17 It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.
29 From whose womb comes the ice? Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens.
6 He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
9 The tempest comes out from its chamber, the cold from the driving winds. 10 The breath of God produces ice, and the broad waters become frozen.
“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. (Matthew 5:4) It seems a strange thing to say that those who suffer are blessed. Every instinct within our human selves rises in disbelief and confusion. It seems illogical and contradictory. How can anyone who has lost something or someone much loved be blessed? Is that not a misfortune or a curse? Yet, God declares that people who believe God are privileged in the midst of every sad and painful circumstance. How can that be?
Change Is not something most of us eagerly anticipate, especially if it is not our plan. Grief brings about abrupt change. What was comfortable and familiar yesterday becomes horrifying and different today. Life can be re-categorized—there is BC (before change) and AD (after death or loss).
When we grieve the loss of something dear to us our faith is often tested. We are told in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13) of four areas where seeds fell and subsequently grew. Three areas could not sustain the plants that sprung up—only one could. Going through grief can reveal our spiritual soil type. God made soil to be a natural medium for the growth of plants and we are the God-designed medium through which faith is cultivated.
We might not think that grieving would be an appropriate word to use for the Israelites after they left Egypt. They had been in the land for many years and it had been welcoming and a prosperous time. But under a new Pharaoh life changed drastically. The bible tells us that the Egyptian masters worked the Israelites “ruthlessly” (Exod. 1:13, 14) and made their lives “bitter” (Exod. 1:14) with “hard/cruel” (Exod. 1:14; 6:9) service. As a result, Israel languished in “misery” and “suffering” (Exod. 3:7).