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Monday, August 24, 2015

Monday Morning Devo - Life Crises

And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5, NKJV

Everyone I know has gone through crises in their lives. Much as we'd like to live carefree lives, it just doesn't happen.

Crises can destroy you if you let them. They won't if you can turn to God to get you through them.

I don't subscribe to the idea that God causes terrible things to happen--car wrecks, severe illnesses, loss of spouse or child or parent, or that type of thing. I don't believe, either, that they're punishment. It just doesn't fit God's character.

However--if we let Him, if we will cling to Him, He will be right at our sides. Sometimes He heals the way we want, sometimes He offers comfort and peace beyond all logic.

In one of the readings last week from the Streams in the Desert devotional, there was a phrase that caught my attention: "God knows how to lead us up to this crisis, and He knows how to lead us through." Does he cause the crisis? No. So why do we have to go through this? Why did He lead us here? (Or why did we lead ourselves here, or why did someone else?)

The most compassionate people I know are ones who have gone through tragedy after misfortune after trouble. Also some of the most bitter people I know. What's the difference? Why does one person come through strong and another crumble?

I believe the answer is faith in God. When we cling to Him, He holds us up and gets us through. He brings people to us who know what we're going through. Then one day down the road, we get to help someone else.

One of the most gracious people I've had the pleasure of encountering was Diann Hunt, a well-known author who died of cancer almost two years ago. She was dying and knew it, but she clung to God and her family and the friends who knew how she felt and what to say. She left this earth, but she left behind comfort and peace for the ones who loved her.

There's a time for trouble, and there's a time to recover. Hang in there. God's got your back.

Father God, help us remember to turn to You and not to the circumstances. You alone are the author and finisher of our faith. You provide all that we will need to take us through. Thank You. Amen.
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