July 2016

When We Can’t Feel God’s Love

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Scripture

Psalm 143:6-7 (NLT)

I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.

Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die.

Consider

Even King David, a man after God’s own heart, suffered from depression.

Anyone who has struggled with depression knows its paralyzing effects and tunnel vision. David was no exception. Why does he complain of thirst for God when God is ever present with life-giving water? Because David is in emotional distress so gripping that he cannot perceive God’s loving nearness.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Be Merciful

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Scripture

Romans 12:14 (NLT)

Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.

Consider

This might be one of the most difficult commandments to embrace. In this time of terrorist attacks and horrific evil in our very streets, it seems impossible to think kindly of the perpetrators. Yet Paul says we should do it. Why? Because Jesus said it first.

Blessing our enemies may sound like a good idea because kindness and love might soften their hearts and turn them from evil. And that may be quite true.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

Who Are “The Wicked”?

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Scripture

Psalm 36:1-2 (NLT)

Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are.

Consider

God’s Word commonly distinguishes between two kinds of people, the righteous and the wicked. Other labels make the same distinction: children of God and children of the devil, the wise and the foolish, the sheep and the goats, believers and unbelievers.

The wicked are the troublemakers, slaves of sin who selfishly pursue their own agendas and make life miserable for people who get in their way.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

God Who Delivers

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Scripture

Matthew 27:45-46 (NIV)

From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have your forsaken me?”

Consider

When Jesus cried out in anguish from the cross, in what way did his Father respond? Or did he?

God’s answer to my prayer may not be in the form I want or expect. Jesus, the beloved Son of the Father, suffered and died on that cruel cross. God did not stop his death, but he delivered him from death by raising him three days later.

in Devotional, Forgiving Day-by-Day

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