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The Way Forward: A 5-Day Devotional by Phil DooleySample

The Way Forward: A 5-Day Devotional by Phil Dooley

DAY 1 OF 5

Day 1: God is in control

Some era-defining words have entered the English language in recent times. A good example is the Collins Dictionary Word of the Year 2022: ‘permacrisis’ – defined as ‘an extended period of instability and insecurity’ and, many would say, a spot-on synopsis of the past few years. In the face of global uncertainties, we can’t help wondering: where is it all heading? And what will the future look like? Central to this 5-day devotional is another good question: how do we remain steady, unruffled, energised, and robust on the inside, no matter how crazy things get on the outside?

God has some questions of His own for the prophet Isaiah (in Isaiah 40:25–26 NIV): ‘“To whom will you compare Me? Or who is My equal?” says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of His great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.’

When was the last time you gazed up at the heavens on a still, clear night, far from urban light pollution? On such nights, here, in the southern hemisphere, where I live, the Milky Way spills across the sky, piercing it with the light of billions of stars. In the passage from Isaiah, we read that God ‘calls forth each of them by name’ and that ‘not one of them is missing.’ And that’s just a glimpse of God’s ‘great power and mighty strength,’ considering that these are only the stars in our galaxy, which is merely one of about 100 billion galaxies in the universe.

These verses from Isaiah are an awe-inspiring reminder that God is in control and that He cares about the details, down to the last star. This is very good news for us. It means we can stop worrying about everything we can’t control. The world may be sunk in a permacrisis, but God remains in control of everything that’s happening on the earth and everything that’s going on in our individual lives, down to the last detail. ‘God doesn’t abandon or forget even the small sparrow He has made,’ Jesus says. ‘How then could He forget or abandon you? What about the seemingly minor issues of your life? Do they matter to God? Of course they do! So, you never need to worry, for you are more valuable to God than anything else in this world.’ (Luke 12:6–7 TPT).

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