Our Daily Bread: Forwarded
- READ: John 13:33-38 Appended
David, after he had served his own generation . . . fell asleep. Acts 13:36
I have a dear friend who served as a missionary in Suriname for many years, but in his final years he was stricken with an illness that paralyzed him. At times he wondered why God allowed him to linger. He longed to depart and to be with his Lord.
Perhaps life is very hard for you or a loved one, and you are wondering why God has allowed you or your loved one to linger. When Jesus said He was going to heaven, Peter asked, Lord, why can I not follow You now?� (John 13:37). You, like Peter, may wonder why entry into heaven has been postponed: Why not now?�
God has a wise and loving purpose in leaving us behind. There is work to be done in us that can only be accomplished here on earth. Our afflictions, which are for the moment, are working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory� (2 Cor. 4:17). And there is work to be done for others if only to love and to pray. Our presence may also be for the purpose of giving others an opportunity to learn love and compassion.
So, though you may desire release for yourself or a loved one, to live on in the flesh can mean fruitfulness (Phil. 1:21). And there is comfort in waiting: Though heaven may be delayed, God has His reasons. No doubt about it! - David Roper
Not so in haste, my heart!
Have faith in God, and wait;
Although He seems to linger long
He never comes too late. - Torrey
Our greatest comfort is to know that God is in control.
John 13:33-38 (New International Version)
33 My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.
34 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
36 Simon Peter asked him, Lord, where are you going? Jesus replied, Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow
37 Peter asked, Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.�
38 Then Jesus answered, Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!
- READ: Psalm 31:9-15
Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body! —Psalm 31:9
Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on
September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental
images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and
the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives
was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of
security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will
always accompany the memory of the events of that day.
Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It
also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is
felt deeply within our family and
his circle of friends.
No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real
comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his
heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.
In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief. —Bill Crowder
We have a Friend
who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper
When God permits suffering, He also provides comfort.