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What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us Romans 8:31

There are times in life when we feel the whole world is against us. The alarm doesn’t go off and we’re late for an important meeting; the kids miss the school bus and sets our entire schedule for the day off by one hour; the doctor brings us a report that drives us to our knees; the phone call in the middle of the night and the following trip to the morgue. Life can be more than we can handle.

Even as an adult there are times when I long for the ability to just ‘let mom and dad take care of it’!

Sometimes people let us down and the relationship we thought would stay passionate forever turns cold and full of hate. We hurt someone deeply (and unintentionally) and not only do they refuse to forgive us, they spread the word to others of our thoughtless deed.

Where do you turn in times like that? Some turn to external comfort like drugs or alcohol. That usually leads to more problems. Others change relationships or jobs hoping that this time the disappointment and loneliness won’t come, or if it does, it won’t hurt so badly. We can spend our lives blaming others and building walls of anger and bitterness. We turn inside ourselves and become silent time bombs ready to explode at the next infraction in our lives.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you had one person to stand beside you? One person who could stand with you against all the odds and support you in the good and the bad? Someone who loved you and understood that you are doing the best you can. Someone who wouldn’t seek revenge for your faults?

Here’s the good news. You have someone like that. Think for a moment on the four little words in today’s verse ‘God is for us’. Personalize it now, change just one small word.

God is for ME. Let that thought melt the calluses of your heart. Allow it to soften the pain of rejection and frustration. Let it be as soothing oil on the open wounds of your soul.

GOD IS FOR YOU. Regardless of how you got to the place you are in life-God is for you. Regardless of the failures you’ve done-God is for you. No matter how many people are against you-God is for you. Regardless of how many changes are occurring in your life (for the good or the bad)-God is for you.

And, if the God of the universe is for you. If he is the one holding your hand and walking by your side. Who or what can possibly keep us from being all we were meant to be.

PRAYER: Father God. There are days when life seems stacked against me. There are bills to pay, fires to fight and trials to endure. There are times when I am so happy with my accomplishments and no one takes the time to notice. Thank you that you are here with me. Thank you for being for me today as I go through all life has for me. In Jesus name, Amen.


Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

One of the great cripplers of society is stress. Stress seems to attack us at ever opportunity, robbing us of our joy, our physical health, our self-image and our relationships with others and God. Divorce, financial ruin and a whole lot of other issues can often be directly or indirectly attributed to stress.

Stress is a complicated issue dependent on each person’s circumstances, perspective and background. However, one of the causes of stress in our lives is our desire to get what we want. Who can fault us for wanting a nice home; for providing for our children or retirement; for having as successful business? But too many times the desire to attain those things leads to spiritual, physical and emotional turmoil…or stress.

The writer to the Hebrews closes his letter with a prayer for his readers and for each of us. He prays that God’s peace would be at work in us. It’s an easy prayer to make. Our Heavenly Father’s purpose for sending Jesus, for raising him from the dead and promising us present blessing and eternal life was to provide peace for us.

Many times, in the dark, honest moments of our lives we need to ask ourselves this question: “Am I doing all this for my good or for God’s good?” God wants to give us things to relieve our stress. God wants to give us peace. God wants to equip us for a successful life. His equipping is so that the things we do are for His glory and not our temporal earthly comfort. Those things may come as a result, but they are not a prerequisite to God’s good work being done through us.

What does God want for you? Peace. Peace gained through doing the things he wants us to do with the gifts he’s given us for his glory. It may be as a pastor or a server at the local coffee shop. The important thing is that you are doing the right thing for the right reason with the gifts God has supplied for you.

PRAYER: Father God, stress seems to be an ever-present part of my life as I strive to survive and succeed in life. I pray that you would help me to use the gifts you have given me for your glory and not my comfort. Place me where you want me so that I can do the work you have for me. Remove the obstacles that cause unneeded stress in my life. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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