Calming words.

“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:1-11 

There were numerous times when my mother would provide me with calming words before I was about to begin one of this world’s trials; she prepared me with a fundamental foundation that I would ultimately find some positive value in having gone through this experience.  Her faith had brought her through the sudden death of her husband, raising two children and the grief my sister and I must have placed upon her plate during our teenage years.  Being calm when facing life’s hardships is of God as we are confident in His Word as we endure painful trials that will produce maturity which leads to reflect our love of our Heavenly Father.  While looking for a photo for this devotion the attached caught my eye.  I don’t recall where I took this but given the date, the desks, the color of the children’s uniforms and the fact that these children are praying for their daily meal it must be in the Artibonite District.   

Perhaps not knowing where makes it that much more special as when I write a check to Trinity/HOPE today as I generally don’t know which children will be receiving a meal because of my donation; it doesn’t matter because they are all His children.  They are all facing hardships and that plate of food on their desk is from Him and provides a sense of calmness in a country where there is so little hope.  In 1846 a hymn titled ‘I heard the voice of Jesus say’ was written by Horatius Bonar and the words provide a calming effect for the trials of this day. 

“I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Come unto Me and rest; lay down, thou weary one, lay down, thy head upon My breast."  I came to Jesus as I was, weary and worn and sad; I found in Him a resting-place, and He has made me glad.  I heard the voice of Jesus say, "Behold, I freely give the living water; thirsty one, stoop down and drink and live."  I came to Jesus, and I drank of that life-giving stream.  My thirst was quenched, my soul revived, and now I live in Him.  I heard the voice of Jesus say, "I am this dark world's Light.  Look unto Me; thy morn shall rise and all thy day be bright."  I looked to Jesus, and I found in Him my Star, my Sun; and in that Light of Life I'll walk till traveling days are done.   

Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.  Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.  Amen.  

May God be with you…Jay