And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. (Rom 5:3-6)
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel. (Psalm 69:6)
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Today is a day of prayer.
Over the last 48 hours I find that God keeps bringing me to pray for several who are facing their first Christmas without a mom, dad, or spouse. I think of Diane, Scott, Wanda, Greg, Gary, and others. I rememer how Jesus was often moved with compassion. I pray for that same compassion to be felt within the heart for these saints.
Also I am compelled as others may have lost someone in recent years and are still saddened by the loss.
Though not a family member, I lost a significant friend this year also. She was 99. We won't be caroling at her house this Wednesday. Nor will she greet us with cookies right from the oven.
I am also burdened to pray for and encourage many whom are battling cancer, facing the season of giving without anything to give due to job loss, and those who struggle in difficult divorce situations.
But I can offer hope. For this is a season about birth. It is about all things new. It is a season to remember the covenant of God through His Son. As my son Ben and I were talking last night, this world is a world of great pain. Because of sin and separation from God, no one goes for long without scars and wounds. These truths are painful. Yet our hope is not here. Our hope lies in the Peace announced by the angels. That though we were captives, Christ can set us free. And one day, a glorious day, all this suffering will be past. I will see grandma and grandpa again. Grace will be seen in its true value. I will relish in the joy that God has made up for me the wrongs that I inflicted upon others. I will never again be separated from God and the gospel will have been fulfilled.
Though we suffer now, for a little while in comparison, we have this hope, His name is Immanuel. God is with us.