Theme of the Week: God Weaves Purpose into Our Pain
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
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Key Bible Verse: "You planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good." (Genesis 50:20, The Message)
Dig Deeper: Genesis 37, 39-50:20
Lieutenant Sam Brown was on his first tour of duty in Afghanistan when an explosive turned his Humvee into a Molotov cocktail. He remembers rolling in the sand, running in circles, and finally dropping to his knees. He lifted flaming arms and [called] on his Savior to take him home. He assumed he would die.
That was September 2008. By the time I met him three years later, he had undergone dozens of painful surgeries. Yet in the midst of the horror, [he met Amy Larsen—the dietitian who] monitored his nutrition intake. She didn't flinch when she saw him.
After several weeks, he gathered the courage to ask her out. The two continued to see each other. Early in their relationship Sam brought up Jesus. Amy was not a believer. Sam's [testimony] stirred her heart and he led her to Christ. Soon they were married and they [now have a young son]. Sam directs a program to aid wounded soldiers.
Who can imagine the torture of repeated surgeries and rehab? The emotional stress has taken its toll on their marriage at times. Yet Sam and Amy believe this: God's math works differently than ours. War + near death + agonizing rehab = wonderful family and hope for a bright future.
—Max Lucado in You'll Get Through This
My Response: How might I apply God's math to a situation I'm currently facing?
Thought to Apply: God uses chronic pain and weakness, along with other afflictions, as a chisel for sculpting our lives. Felt weakness deepens our dependence on Christ for strength each day. The weaker we feel, the harder we lean. And the harder we lean, the stronger we grow spiritually.—J. I. Packer (Canadian theologian, writer)
Adapted from You'll Get Through This by Max Lucado (Thomas Nelson, 2013; thomasnelson.com) by permission. All rights reserved by the copyright holder and/or the publisher. May not be reproduced.
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Prayer for the Week
Heavenly Father, you tell me in your Word that you can bring good out of the worst situations (Rom. 8:28) and that nothing can ever separate me from your love (Rom. 8:35-39). Help me to believe and cling to these truths and promises, especially when major disappointments and devastating news come my way.
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