Our Daily Bread
- READ: Acts 16:9-31
Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. —Acts 16:25
Have you ever been stuck in an airport? For 24 hours? In a city where you
can’t speak the language? Four thousand miles from home?
It happened to a friend recently, and we can learn from his response.
While most of us would find such an inconvenience intolerable, my friend John saw God’s hand in his delay. As he waited out his forced stay, he
looked for opportunities to connect with fellow passengers. He
“happened” to find some fellow Christians from India—and in talking to
them he heard about a ministry they were involved with. In fact, because John’s interests matched his new friends’ ministry, they invited him to India to
participate in a short-term project.
How often do we experience delays, changes of plans, and redirections and
treat them as intrusions? It could be that God is detouring us so we can do something different or new for Him. Consider Paul’s trip to Philippi in Acts 16. He had gone to Macedonia because of a God-directed vision
(vv.9-10). How could he know that he would end up in prison there? But
even that trip to jail was God-led, because He used Paul to bring
salvation to a jailer and his family (vv.25-34).
God can use inconveniences in our lives if we look at them as divine appointments. —Dave Branon
Change one letter, then I see
That the thwarting of my purpose
Is God’s better choice for me. —Young
God can turn obstacles into opportunities.
- READ: Psalm 22:1-8,19-26
Those who seek Him will praise the Lord. Let your heart live forever! —Psalm 22:26
Do you know which psalm is quoted most often in the New Testament? You may have guessed the familiar and beloved 23rd Psalm, but actually it is
Psalm 22. This psalm begins with David’s poignant, heart-breaking words
that were quoted by Jesus on the cross, “My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?” (Matt. 27:46; Mark 15:34).
Imagine the situation David must have found himself in that caused him to cry
out to God in this way. Notice that he felt forsaken and abandoned: “Why are You so far from helping me?” (Ps. 22:1). He also felt ignored: “O
my God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear” (v.2).
Ever been there? Have you ever looked up into the heavens and wondered why
it seemed that God had abandoned you, or was ignoring you? Welcome to
David’s world. But for every plaintive cry David expresses, there is a
characteristic of God mentioned that rescues him from despondency.
Through it all, David discovers that God is holy (v.3), trustworthy
(vv.4-5), a deliverer and rescuer (vv.8,20-21), and his strength (v.19).
Do you feel forsaken? Seek the Lord. Rehearse His character. And “let your heart rejoice with everlasting joy” (v.26 nlt). —Dave Branon
Lord, sometimes I feel as if You don’t care about
my life. When those times come, please remind me
of Your character as You did David. Help me to
lean on You again and know that You are there.
Even when we don’t sense God’s presence, His loving care is all around us.