A devotion from Lutheran Church Charities
Seven Scriptures You Should Stand On
Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.” Psalms 118:2
Do yourself a favor – read Psalm 118! 1) ‘In my distress I prayed to the LORD, and the LORD answered me’ (v. 5). What are you battling today? A destructive habit? A crippling fear? A sense of worthlessness? God wants to set you free.
2) ‘The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear’ (v. 6). Your future doesn’t rest in the hands of people, but God; a good God who has good plans for you.
3) ‘He will help me. I will look in triumph at those who hate me’ (v. 7). When people try to put you down, God will raise you up. When they withhold from you, He will supply all your needs.
4) ‘I will not die; instead, I will live to tell what the LORD has done’ (v. 17). We will all die someday; but you don’t have to die before your assignment is complete and you have brought glory to God.
5) ‘The LORD has punished me severely, but he did not let me die’ (v. 18). Is God correcting you? Rejoice; His correction is not rejection. It’s protection against future mistakes.
6) ‘This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it’ (v. 24). Whether yesterday was a triumph or a tragedy, God is giving you a new day. Seize it. Rejoice in it!
7) ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever’ (v. 29). You may experience days without enough money, but you will never have a day without God’s mercy.
These seven Scriptures are for you, so stand on them today.
Heavenly Father, forgive me when I stand on my own understanding and not on You and Your Word, which is the only rock to stand on. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
1 Peter 1:3-9
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
Sever persecution for faith is not something most of us have had to endure in the United States of America. We may be ridiculed, rejected or even treated unfairly, but up to this point in time physical suffering, imprisonment or even death has not been a typical experience for those of the faith.
This is not the case in many places on this Earth, because believers are brutally oppressed for their faith.
No matter what negative treatment may come our way, the Bible consistently recommends to us a response of patient endurance filled with joy in the Lord.
Jesus said anyone mistreated for His sake is actually blessed, “Blessed are you when people hate and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets” (Luke 6:22-23), and Peter points out that from God’s point of view, such oppression is designed to prove our faith genuine, In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, to that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:6-7).
Every time the church is persecuted, it is purified because those who remain are dedicated followers of Jesus. Persecution can have a similar purifying effect on our personal life.
The effect of having our comforts, pleasures and/or our idols of this world stripped from us is that we are driven to the Lord for strength and grace.
It is when pride, self-centeredness, selfishness, self-confidence lose their grip, and our weaknesses, we recognize God and His eternal inheritance as our only hope.
Though oppression is certainly nothing you or I would desire, we can take heart knowing that even in such extreme situations there are blessings that lead to rejoicing in Christ.
"Choose Your Company Wisely"
Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm. (Prov. 13:20)
The Lord desires that we spend our time in the company of those who are wiser than us. His desire is that we frequently converse with them privately concerning spiritual and experimental things.
The Lord also desires that we walk with them in public in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord. Those who do this will grow wiser and wiser and gain a large stock of spiritual knowledge and experience.
This is actually good in both natural and spiritual wisdom. A person of any capacity at all will improve by keeping wise company; but a companion of fools will suffer harm.
The Latin Vulgate version of this text renders it ""shall become like them"; be a fool as they are, and grow still more and more foolish. The Septuagint version is, "shall be known"; known by the company he keeps to be a fool also: or rather, "shall be broken"; ruined and destroyed.
1 Corinthians 15:33 says, "Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.”
There is an old saying that goes something like this: "If you hang around 5 confident people, you will be the sixth one. If you hang around 5 wise people, you will be the sixth one. If you hang around 5 millionaires, you will be the sixth one. If you hang around 5 fools, you will be the sixth one.
The bottom line is this brothers and sisters, "Choose Your Company Wisely".