We continued another week in “Awaken” by Priscilla Shirer, which brings a timely word for these moments we are living …
There are so many who are hurting right now. Much of the news moves us to tears as the pain and sadness of others is seen. The sight of their pain moves us to pray for those we know, and for some we will never meet.
Priscilla Shirer explains the purpose of pain:
“It becomes a teacher exposing us to lessons that only the hurting can understand. Pain is ironically the key to being spared even worse discomfort. Because when we feel it, we make beneficial, needful adjustments.” (from page 80)
Hebrews 12:11 explains:
“No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening””it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.” (Hebrews 12:11)
The Passion Translation uses the wording, “it will produce a transformation of character”.
That is something to ponder … What transformation of our character is being developed in us through what we are experiencing at this time? How are our lives being realigned so that we develop right living?
And the devotional asks: How are you hurting the most acutely today? What adjustments should you make in response to it? How should it inform and enhance how you relate to God? What growth are you experiencing because of it?
God is with us in the painful days, so that through these painful days so that we all experience growth.
It was a hard week as many governors announced school closings for the rest of the school year. The announcement joined the long list of disappointments and closures which have occurred over the last few weeks for us all.
In reading 2 Corinthians 5:1; Hebrews 11:6; Colossians 3:1; and Matthew 6:20; our thoughts turned towards the eternal. Anything here in this life will leave us wanting and needing something else, or more. Nothing found in this life will satisfy us fully.
But all of these imperfect, and less satisfying things, can remind us to keep on pursuing Jesus, the only One who truly satisfies.
“They desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11:6)
Amen? Just think of all politicians promise to deliver. They want to improve our environment, our paychecks, our freedoms, our healthcare, etc. We long for a society where there is no injustice, and no inequity. No sickness, no hunger, no death.
Only Jesus can make that promise to us. And one day, He will fulfill that promise!
The study asks us to: List the things that have left you feeling unsatisfied lately. How do these imperfections point you to Jesus?
We closed the week with discussion of treasures. More specifically, the act of treasuring. Treasuring, as defined by the dictionary, is to regard as precious, to cherish or highly prize.
With so many things in life being “disposable”, we truly have lost the art of treasuring. Old houses are often torn down to build a new one on the lot. Cars are traded in as soon as the loans are paid off. Even people are not treasured the way they should be as many are overlooked.
“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
His Word – eternal – is worth our time and effort to treasure.
Reading this verse brought back to mind a precious memory. This verse was hand painted in our church by our pastor before I was even born. It was to the left of the pulpit. There was never a time that I didn’t see it when I was in church.
May we not grow casual with His Word – so used to it, or familiar with it – that we skim right over it. May He thrill us in His Word and by His Word to hold His words close to our hearts.
Pain is a teacher which can transform our character,
pointing us to the eternal Word of God,
which stands forever firm.