This post appeared on DaySpring's (in)courage blog one year ago, and now it is part ot a new devotional - "Take Heart - 100 devotions for seeing God when life is not okay." This power packed devotional tackles the hard feelings and experiences we are all dealing with like anxiety, fear, fatigue, loneliness, depression, uncertainty, doubt, suffering, and wondering where God is in all of this? Most of all, it offers hope and vital encouragement to hearts that are not okay.
I'll give you information as to how to preorder and get a free book of prayers to share. But first, here's a sneak peak of what you can expect when you pre-order "Take Heart"...
Are We There Yet?
We thought we were pretty "high tech" cruising down the road some twenty plus years ago in our Pontiac Transport minivan (lovingly known as the dustbuster on wheels). For long family road trips, we were among the first to have a "deluxe" video tape player that plugged into the cigarette lighter.
Cell phones and video games had not yet burst onto the scene, so when my kids invariably asked, "Are we there yet?" I would put it in terms they would understand. "One more Winnie the Pooh [thirty minutes] and we'll stop for something to eat." "One more Sandlot [ninety minutes) and we'll be there." This along with a Mary Poppins bag of treats and toys that came out at crucial moments, is what got us through those long ventures.
As an adult who is cruising toward sixty, I find myself asking God "Are we there yet?"
God has been so faithful to answer prayers in ways that I would have never imagined. Some prayers went on for over twenty-five years, and it's beginning to dawn on me that some prayers will not be answered on this side of eternity. We are drawn into thinking that this life is all there is and prayers need to be answered during this limited time we have on earth.
For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
God's promises, however, go far beyond our short life spans. His focus is an eternal one and He calls us to get on the bandwagon with this way of thinking. In a seminary class I took, one of the things they had us focus on in Scripture was repitition. When God really wants to make a point, the point is often repeated several times.
Psalm 136 chronicles God's steadfastness throughout biblical history, and after every point the psalmist makes, the chorus is repeated. "His faithful love endures forever" is repeated twenty-six times.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.
His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1)
I think God is trying to get the point across that His love is not just for this world, but will be especially present in eternity - what hope, what joy awaits us!
The Bible talks a lot about forever, and eternity, and life everlasting. The gospel's main theme is that man is not doomed forever for his sins, but by grace, can have life everlasting, and salvation in paradise forever.
I am convicted that I need to adjust my lens for a more eternal setting.
This life is not all there is.
So, when I want to ask God, "How long, O Lord?" it's kind of like I'm asking as a child, "Are we there yet?" As I try to patiently wait upon the Lord, I take heart that even if my prayers aren't answered on this side of the pearly gates, they will certainly receive a glorious answer in eternity.
I thank You and praise You, God, that this life is not all there is. Thank you for sending Your Son to die for me so that I may live forever in eternity with You. Help me to be patient through these trials and periods of suffering, because I know they are building my character for eternal puposes. Help me to look not just to the end of this lifetime, but to the blessing of eternal life, where all unanswered prayers will finally be answered once and for all. Grant me the patience until I am with You forever. In Your eternal name I pray. Amen.
Now for the FUN!!! Here's how to get 3 books - one you pay for and two for FREE!
1. Pre-order "Take Heart" devotional (above) before OCT. 15th and you will get a FREE book "Prayers to Share." After you go to the link below, be sure to fill out the REDEMPTION FORM in order to get the FREE Prayer book.
2. Enter a FREE Giveaway of (in)courage's first devotional - "A Moment to Breathe." (it contains 2 devotions I've written). All you have to do to be entered is SUBSCRIBE to my blog. To do this, go to the SUBSCRIBE TAB above and enter your contact information. BE SURE TO LOOK FOR A CONFIRMATION LINK IN YOUR EMAIL INBOX to complete the Subscription. I never share my email list!
3. Get a second entry on the FREE Giveaway by pre-ordering "Take Heart" devotional and then leave a comment below that says, "I want to take heart!"
Drawing for "A Moment to Breathe" to be held Sept. 26th. US and Canada residents only for Giveaway. Thanks for reading...don'f forget - subscribe to win!