Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Promises of God Part III

Adapted from Always True by James McDonald

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28  

This week we started a series of devotions based on God’s promises that He has made to us throughout the Bible. 

The first promise is God is With Me – (I Will Not Fear).  
The second promise is God is Always in Control (I Will Not Doubt).
The third promise is God is Always Good (I Will Not Despair)

When we face trials in life it is hard to not fear, not doubt, and certainly to not despair.  We are human and even though we know God’s promises, usually the first place we go is to the depths of despair.  When our struggles seem overwhelming we can let the promise of God’s goodness wash over us. 

Into the Depths
The dictionary defines despair as destitute of positive expectation.  When you are in despair, you see no good in life or your future.  You have no hope.  You can’t go back and do it over.  You can’t remove the circumstances because the chance to do so has come and gone.  Despair can set in quickly when we feel trapped or like there is no way things will ever get better.  Satan wants nothing more than to destroy a faithful follower.  Know that voice so that when he is trying to lure you into the depths of despair you can fight it off.  If we are caught unaware we can slip quickly into a pit that is very hard to get out of. 

  • Sometimes unexpected things occur when we think life is going in the right direction but suddenly an accident, incident, or argument blindsides us.
  • A severe loss brings about an invitation to despair.  Sudden loss of a job, loved one, or finances, and especially more than one at a time can overwhelm or ability to cope.
  • “Settledness” can lead to despair when we believe that our circumstances are permanent and irreversible. 
God is Good – All the Time!
God’s goodness is a constant part of His character.  It is not dependent on what we do or don’t do and it is not only good when everything is going smoothly.  Even when the world seems to be crashing down around you, God is still in control and He is still good.  During hard times we have to focus on what we know because what we feel is not going to get us through.  We feel alone, we feel despair, we feel discouraged, we feel hopeless.  But when we know God’s promises are true and cling to them – hide them in our heart – it will lead us away from despair and toward trust in God and His word. 
When you feel like you are falling into despair, cling to the promises of God.  Let them lift you up and give you hope because God responds to a heart of faith.  We may easily lose hope if our eyes are focused anywhere else but on the Lord. 

Part of our problem is that we have a shortsighted view of God’s goodness.  For most of us, “God is good” means He is good as long as everything is easy and I am not going through anything difficult.  God is too good and too great to be put in our little box.  He cannot be limited to our small and narrow expectations.  His promises help us to see His goodness.  We can find peace and refuge in His goodness.  Remember, if it is happening in your life, God is going to use it for good.  He is with you and working in your life.  He knows what He is doing and He is worthy of our trust. 

Scripture to Claim:
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Psalm 27:13

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