Monday, February 25- Psalm 75
Tuesday, February 26- Amos 5:18-27
Wednesday, February 27- 1Thessalonians 1:1-10
Thursday, February 28- Revelation 22:8-20
Friday, March 1- Hosea 10:1-8
Saturday, March 2- 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.
Joel 2:12: “Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,[a]
24Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.
25 For whoever wants to save their life[a] will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.
“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).