devotionalWe rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)

I was 22-years-old and I was living a nightmare. I was in the middle of a divorce, a custody battle, and my life as I knew it was coming to an end. No more white picket fence and the 2.5 kids (or so I thought). I was suffering, and every day felt like a battle that couldn’t be won.

What I couldn’t see then, and what I do see now, is that in those moments of absolute distress, I was beginning to learn and grow as a godly man. It would take another 15 years before I would surrender my life to Him. However, the foundation of Christ was set during those times of my divorce.

God was shaping me and He was molding me. I was a rebel and He was using afflictions of this life to bring me closer to Him. My suffering was producing endurance, and as Paul writes, from endurance comes character and hope.

What a gift this is from our Lord! He knows our nature and yet He still adores us. He sees our rebellion and yet His faithfulness knows no boundaries. He allows times of suffering, as a loving Father, in so that we may find our way into His loving arms.

Father. We cry out to You in our times of suffering and afflictions. We say heal and we say change. Lord, we only want what is in Your will. Let us see the gift that You give us in our times of suffering. Open our hearts to turn back to You, Lord. In Jesus name, AMEN!

devotional glasses

devotional glassesMany people stop short of their destiny. They settle for someone else’s story. Grandpa was a butcher, Dad was a butcher, so I guess I’ll be a butcher. Everyone I know is in farming, so I guess I’m supposed to farm. Consequently, they risk leading dull, joyless, and fruitless lives. They never sing the song God wrote for their voices. They never cross a finish line with heavenward-stretched arms and declare, I was made to do this!  They fit in, settle in, and blend in. But they never find their call.

Don’t make the same mistake. Ephesians 2:10 says: “It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.” Your existence is not accidental. Your skills are not incidental. God shaped each person in turn.