Monday, January 16, 2017

January 16, 2017 ... Shadowed Blessings

Berry Patch Devotions in 2017 - Day 16 

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK …  Please take the time to take in a YouTube video of images and lyrics from Laura Story singing her song … Blessings … poignantly singing the reality of God so often giving us blessings in disguise … those times our Lord is always there to deliver us from the trials of life … bringing us our greatest blessings.

Highlight Verse[s]: 2nd Chronicles 20:9 [NKJV] … 
9 ‘If disaster comes upon us—sword, judgment, pestilence, or famine—we will stand before this temple and in Your presence (for Your name is in this temple), and cry out to You in our affliction, and You will hear and save.’ 
… Jehoshaphat cries out to God for His deliverance.
Highlight Passage [context]: 2nd Chronicles 20:1-22 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… God’s people learn that God brings His people from the shadow of oppression into the light of His love.

Reference Passage #1 [NKJV] : … Psalm 23 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Sometimes our greatest blessings are when we discover God is with us all along when we come through the valley of the shadow of death (see photo).

Reference Passage #2 [NKJV] : … Isaiah 41:10 [NKJV] … 
10 Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, … yes, I will help you, … I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 
… Yes … for all of God’s elect.

Reference Passage #3 [NKJV] : … 1st Peter 5:7 [NKJV] … 
7 … casting all your cares on Him because He cares for you … 
… True, … but do we?

My Devotional Journal: Today's ODB author, Jennifer Benson Schuldt, used an OT biblical story to illustrate how God is always with us … even when things appear dire or deadly. The OBD author wrote: Becoming ill, losing a job, or enduring heartbreak are examples of what some call “being in the valley,” where dread overshadows everything else [see photo]. The people of Judah experienced this when they heard an invading army was approaching (2 Chron. 20:2–3). Their king prayed, “If calamity comes . . . [we] will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us” (v. 9). God responded, “Go out to face [your enemies] tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you” (v. 17). 

I truly love the song I’ve used in this journal entry, and in others past, to highlight/illustrate what this ODB devotional teaches; because Laura Story wrote her song when she was in the “valley of the shadow of death,” and when she and her husband, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, were discovering that God often shows us his greatest blessings when all appears lost.

And aren’t the most astonishing blessings which we recall are those when God seemed so far away, … but then He delivered us from that valley of shadows into the light of Christ?   So, if any of us is going thru one of those valleys, as were Jehoshaphat and God’s people in the highlight passage today, take heart in the truths expressed above.

My friend, you may be, like me today, searching for God’s blessing, … because He seems so far away; but taking in the reference passages above, we must see God as our Good Shepherd, our Deliverer, and the One to Whom we can take our cares … because we know He truly loves us and is the only one Who can lift us up.

My Prayer Today: Heavenly Father, … Lord, … You are my Deliverer and the only One I can come to in my time of need. Bring me thru this dark valley, Lord, into Your light. ... Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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