Daily Devotional – 10/31/18 “Life!”

Today, someone is celebrating a birth and someone is grieving a death. Someone is celebrating the remission of cancer and someone is just being diagnosed. Someone is dying while someone will live from the donation of their organs. Someone is contemplating suicide while someone else is celebrating this being the best time of their life. Someone is closing the doors of their worship center and a new one is opening. Someone is being fired while someone else is being hired. Someone is looking at the darkness of despair while someone is enjoying the light of happiness. Life and man, life is hard. And while you want to figure it out, truth is, you cannot. While you try to research it for understanding, truth is, it’ll only leave you with more questions. Questions like, why do children die, why does God allow the innocent to perish, why does bad things happen, why can’t cancer be cured and etc.. I wish I had the answer or even the direction to point you in but … life! Beloved, this didn’t just start happening. Sickness, violence, death, hardships and disappointments have been since the beginning of time and you cannot lose hope, now. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it leaves us confused. Yes, it leaves us angry. But life!

We may never understand what makes a husband/boyfriend murder his wife/girlfriend. We may never understand why cancer keeps causing death. We may never understand why our organs stop working. We may never understand why some wombs are shut. We may never quite understand life but life is life and sometimes it can get hard. Sometimes, life can be hard. Sometimes, life is hard. Yet we have to hope that one day it will not be. We have to hold out hope that one day life will not be this hard. We have to hold out hope that one day we won’t have to shed tears, visit doctors, get stuck with needs, go through chemo, dialysis or radiation. We have to hold out hope that one day we will never have to say goodnight to loved ones. We have to hold out hope that one day our battle will be over. Until then we have to scuffle with this thing called life but “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13”

Dear God, give us strength to hope. Give us strength to hope in expectancy of the day when all of our troubles will be over. Give us strength to hope even when it doesn’t seem like it’ll work out. Give us strength to hope even when it doesn’t work out the way we thought. For we know if we place our hope in you, there has to be joy that overflows. Hold and comfort us, letting us know we are not alone. We can stand, sit, sleep and wait in hope. Amen.

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Daily Devotional – 10/29/18 “Pray specifically!”

On yesterday, while talking to my daughter and niece about prayer, I said to them they need to start praying, specifically. Specifically is defined as a way that is exact and clear or precise. See, when you pray, specifically, you tell God what it is you need, exactly. When you ask, specifically, you are being detailed in what you are expecting to get in return. In the middle of us talking, my husband calls and my daughter ask him to get her some hot fries and a dr. pepper from the store. I hang up from him and go back to our conversation. I tell them that a lot of times we send out a blanket prayer, “God bless me,” when God is already blessing us when He wakes us up, when He keeps us under His arm of protection, when He allows us to sleep in peace and etc. And sometimes, we find ourselves getting angry at God because we feel as though He isn’t giving us what we ask for. Well, what did you ask? In walks my husband. He hands my daughter a bag of hot fries and a dr. pepper. Her face forms into a frown. Why, well the hot fries he got wasn’t the hot fries she wanted. But get this, he got what she asked for because she wasn’t specific in her ask. Yes, she got what she asked for even if they weren’t what she wanted but had she asked, specifically, she would have gotten what she desired. What are you asking for?

Please understand something though, God will work with our prayers, however He will never give us something we aren’t ready for or capable of handling and He will not give us what doesn’t match with the purpose on our life. Nonetheless, you need to pray, specifically. In Mark 10:46, Bartimaeus is sitting on the side of the road yelling, “Son of David, have mercy on me.” Jesus heard him and called Bartimaeus to Him asking in Mark 10:51, What do you want Me to do for you?” In which he replies, ““Rabboni,” said the blind man, “I want to see again.”” Jesus needed to know what exactly Bartimaeus was in need of in order to meet His request. What are you asking of God and are you being specific? “God, I need you to come and see about me.” God does, every moment of our life, what specifically do you need Him to come and see about? “Oh Lord, have mercy on me?” God already has mercy on you, what else do you need? “God, bless our worship center.” God does, what else? “God, bless my finances.” God does when He doesn’t allow you to be without. Oh, you wanted Him to increase your finances? Oh, you wanted Him to heal the cancer and the migraines. Oh, you wanted that car or house? Oh, you wanted that kind of spouse? Oh, you wanted that type of blessing? Then baby, you need to pray, specifically.