Daily Devotional – 1/24/17 “Promise not punishment!”

Sam was a young man who stayed in trouble. He was disrespectful to his mother and stayed in and out of jail. Every night she’d pray that this wasn’t the night she’d get the phone call to come and identify his body. She knew he was in a downward spiral and no matter what she did, it didn’t seem to work. Then one day Sam got arrested for shoplifting. When he went before the judge, he received a harsh sentence of five years that didn’t seem to fit the crime. He cried, his momma cried and even the district attorney shook his head. But Sam had done the crime. However, when he went into prison he realized it wasn’t punishment but that he was placed there for a purpose. See, while Sam was in prison, all of those boys he hung with either died or ended up in jail for life. Yet while he was there, he got his high school diploma and Associate’s Degree. Upon being released, after 3 ½ years, he walked out a new man. Two years later, as he stood to give the Student’s Address at his college graduation for his Bachelor’s Degree, the tears flowed as he recited his story. He closed by saying, “Sometimes what looks like a punishment is actually the process needed to get to the next level.”

And somebody reading this, you’re upset because you can’t seem to understand why it feels you’re being punished. You applied for a promotion, got turned down. Put in an application for a new apartment, they said no. Ask for a leadership position at church, they said not this time. Tried to start a business, it didn’t work out. Been trying to lose weight, nothing is working. House is in disarray, prayers aren’t manifesting. Marriage is failing, fasting isn’t helping. Constantly going to church, leaving worse than when you showed up. Then death had the audacity to show up, leaving you mourning and depressed. Well beloved, although it looks like punishment, it is part of your process to purpose. Yes, it hurts like you wouldn’t believe but how can your strength be measured or your faith verified if it’s not put to the test? You’ve have what it takes, do the time. You have the strength and faith, don’t buckle under pressure. God doesn’t work by punishment, He works by promise. “Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.” Romans 4:20-21

promise-not-punishment

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