Crowder - Neon Steeple Devotions

Day 1 of 7 • This day’s reading

Devotional

“My Beloved” Devotional

Crowder

In the Bible, Jesus makes many promises to us. Probably the least popular of these promises is tribulations. He says in John 16:33, “In the world you will have tribulation.” Notice the absence of the word “if” or “might.” He doesn’t say, “In the world, you might have tribulation” or “if you have tribulation in this world.” No, it is as sure as the Second Coming that we will suffer here. Unexpected tribulations will come at you fast. A child dies, cancer shows up in the family, the debt just won’t go away, the guilt over the past keeps you up at night. If life is hard right now, don’t be surprised. Jesus warned you about this a long time ago.

But what does Jesus say right after he promises tribulation in John 16:33? “But take heart; I have overcome the world.” This is an instruction, a command. Jesus says we are to take comfort in our suffering because he has overcome sin, death and sorrow.

No more sorrow, no more pain / no more darkness weighing down on me

Maybe not today, but at some point you will begin to feel joy in your suffering. It is a strange thing and not something a non-believer would understand. But, as James says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

There’s a sun coming up in my soul, Lord, in my soul/ I see the light, I see the light, I see the light, I see the light

It is this knowledge that shifts our perspective in the suffering. It is this that allows us to feel the sun rise in our souls when we had begun to believe it never would. And it is a miracle when we wake up one morning and feel joy rather than the pain and sadness of the last months, or even years. For it is nothing that we do that causes the change, but rather Christ in us. It is grace and the promise of eternity that allows joy in the suffering. Eventually, suffering points us heavenward.

My beloved, for You I’ll wait/ With You here ‘til forever face to face

In hard times, we are forced to look beyond this world and realize what it is we are truly longing for: home. And home has been promised to us like trials have. As Paul and Barnabus encouraged those of the early church: “through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22).

Written by Andrea Lucado