Blogger Bill's Note: This morning's message and devotional seemed very pointed to me in timing and personal pertinence. I hope it means something to you as well.
Study from God’s Word… Psalms 126, 128, 132, 147, and 149 … Passage for Reflection: Psalm 126: 5 – 6 … NIV Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.
My Journal for Today: You’ve heard it before, … “No pain, … no gain!” And to some extent it’s true. Those who’ve experienced a lot of pain in life and have recovered to become a better person know the truth in this old saying. It is a truism; but, as Dr. Smith points out in his devotional for today, some people never come out of the pain and realize the gain. And then there is the matter of what it seems like when one is in the midst of the pain. Don’t you agree that it’s hard to see the truth of Romans 8: 28 when one is going through the pain of chemotherapy and lives under the cloud of a terminal diagnosis.
It’s easy to see the gain which comes from pain in retrospect; but in the midst of the pain, it sometimes becomes hard to see the rainbow and find the sun in the midst of the storm. But for those Jews, who had gone through the seventy years of exile and the captivity of Babylon and other nations, faithfully hoping in the prophesies of men like Zechariah, and then moving back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, the sunrise of God’s promises must’ve been the gain on the other side of pain. It must’ve been soothing for these faithful children of the Old Covenant to hear the songs I read this morning, called “psalms of ascent.” Many of these loyal, faithful Jews had certainly experienced the pain; … now, the remnant was about to experience some of the gain. And ultimately those who believed in the promise of the Messiah would realize an eternal gain on the other side of their pain.
This morning is the last full day of our family vacation; and we’ve been experiencing rain, rain, rain. Oh, we’ve had cloudy respites where we could play in the surf of Myrtle Beach, SC; but mostly it has been a cloudy, rainy time here. But this morning when I woke up to come here and be with God for my “quiet time,” I looked out off the balcony of our 10th floor condo and noted that the sun was rising to what would be a blue sky [see foto below]. And then, as God’s timing would have it, I was brought to the words and truth of today’s highlight text; and I realized that God was saying to me, … “Bill, there will always be a sunrise, even when you have trouble seeing it; and if you stay faithful with Me long enough, My sunrises will one day bring you a Light which makes up for all the storms of life.”
And all I could say, looking at the sun rising so beautifully over the surf, was “… Lord, thank You for Your gain which always follows the pain.”
My Prayer for Today: Hallelujah; and praise You, Lord. Amen