If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT
This is the final devotional in our series A Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope and it’s so appropriate that we end with a quick review of lessons learned from Jehoshaphat. From Jehoshaphat we are reminded that we are in a marathon, not a sprint. No matter what systems we put into place with the hope that they become our “default mode” or “auto response” to life, we will still sin against God. Our sinfulness will take us on rabbit trails, far from the Lord. We will make bad choices and suffer consequences, but these consequences are designed to help turn our hearts back to our God.
We wanted to ask Jehoshaphat, “What were you thinking?” when he made the alliance with evil Ahab. Yet, we realized that the same question could be asked of each one of us when our sin results in consequences that impact others.
Although Jehoshaphat sinned against God, God did not abandon him. When Jehoshaphat cried out for help, God saved him. The child of God can rest assured that the Lord will not let go of His children. His discipline is designed to turn our hearts toward Him, the only sure source of grace and peace.
Where are you today in life’s pilgrimage? Are you struggling to stay focused on responding to life through the grid of Scripture? Is sin knocking on your door, and are you tempted to welcome it in? Are you suffering so deeply that you are willing to try anything to mend the broken places, even behavior that leads you further away from God’s peace?
As we wrap up this series, be encouraged that when rebuke comes from the Lord, the rebuke is a messenger of grace. Humble yourself before the Lord in repentance. Seek His wisdom, pray, ask others to pray with you and for you. Fill your heart with praise for God’s past faithfulness and present promises. Taste and see that the Lord is good and wait on Him to fight this battle for you.
Tomorrow we start our new series, What She Said! you will meet Sarah Ivill who will give us a bird’s eye view of six Psalms of Ascent. Years ago I memorized a couple of these Psalms as prayers for our children and grandchildren. I know the Lord will bless you through the life-giving words of Sarah.
STORE UP MORE TREASURES
At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview "Breaking the Chains of Sexual Abuse: A Conversation with Tom Stewart" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:
Tom Stewart experienced a decade of sexual abuse throughout his childhood by his Scout leader. His story is not easy to hear, but he pulls back the shades on decades of the cover up of horrific sexual abuse in a highly respected organization: The Boy Scouts of America. Through Tom’s sometimes excruciating words, other victims of abuse will hear a resounding declaration of help and hope, no matter how shattered by the actions of another.
Subscribe to Daily Treasure and have devotionals like this one delivered to your inbox.
Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.