Week of August 25th

Prayer:  Father God we praise you for the ultimate gift of love in your Son. What a marvelous light of hope you have given to our dark world. We thank you for fulfilling your law perfectly in Jesus Christ when not one of us could. We confess that we cannot save ourselves, and we are grateful for the good news of salvation in Christ alone. Please embolden us with the Holy to bear witness to Jesus. It is in his name and for his sake that we pray, Amen.                   Luke 2:22-35

6th week of “Asking for a Friend”

We answer the question, “Why Do Bad Things Happen.”  This week’s scripture lessons are focused on helping us continue to develop our faith and grow, even when it is sometimes difficult. 

MONDAY- 1 Corinthians 10:11-13

This text by Paul doesn’t try to answer the question of why.  It simply promises believer that no matter what the temptation, God will never abandon them.  Paul asserts that temptation can make us stronger.  Consider the prophet Job.  Do you agree?  Could you share a testimony of how you overcame a temptation and were stronger for it? 

TUESDAY- 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

How does the Lord protect us from the evil one?  The context indicates protection through prayer.  When Jesus was attacked and tempted by Satan, He spent his 40 days in prayer.  We too would be best served spending time in prayer. 

WEDNESDAY- Isaiah 4:8-10

Why did God comfort the Jews after all they had done?  God called the Israelites to be His people from the time of Abraham to the time of their captivity.  His love for them was based on his own redeeming character and was not lessened by the sinful acts of his wayward children.  Whether in judgment or comfort, he sought their good. 

THURSDAY- Psalm 5:8-12

“all who take refuge in you be glad” are reminders that we will be tested.  Having Christ in your life is not insurance that problems will not happen.  It’s insurance that you’ll never be alone in challenging times. 

FRIDAY- John 10:25-39

If these people were Jews, why weren’t they His sheep?  Although these people were descendants of Abraham and should have been included in the “sheep pen” of faith, their unbelief excluded them.  Simply being a descendant of Abraham is not enough; likewise, being of a different ethnic background doesn’t keep one out of God’s “sheep pen.”  Those who believe in Jesus — whether Jew or Gentile — are his sheep. 

SATURDAY- Psalm 121:1-8

We rightly understand that at every moment, God is watching over us. God is with us, caring for us, even in times of hardship and suffering. In a sense, God is keeping us, even though we are experiencing difficulties. God will ultimately take away from us all suffering and sorrow. As Psalm 71:20affirms, “Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life.” This restoration happens, however partially, in this life, and fully in the age to come.Consequently, when we hear the good news that God keeps us from all harm, we can celebrate all the ways God does protect us right now. We are invited to rejoice in the fact that, no matter how difficult our lives might be today, God is with us now and forever. Our future is secure in God’s strong, gracious hands.