Daily Devotionals
Week of September 16 through September 21, 2019

MEMORY VERSE

Psalm 23:6
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
 

MONDAY                                     Job 7:11-16

What is the Christian response for someone who has taken their own life? This is a very difficult and tragic event. First of all: It is NEVER God’s will for someone to take their own life. In the U.S., once every 15 minutes someone takes their own life. Women are 4 times more likely than men to attempt suicide, but men are 3 times more likely to have taken their own life. More than 865,000 people in the U.S. attempt suicide each year, that’s 1 every 38 seconds. The largest demographic is white males age 45 to 64. The largest cause is clinical depression. We serve a God who came to save the hurting, the lost, the broken! So, to even consider that God would abandon us during our time of deepest need is unthinkable. God is with us, and them, that is what Emmanuel means. The only unforgiveable sin is to deny the existence of God – That is what blaspheming the Holy Spirit means.

Prayer: “Jesus, you came to shine light into our darkness. Thank you for surrounding us with your light when we can’t see it for ourselves.   Amen.”

 

TUESDAY                                          Psalm 13:1-4

King David is one of the greatest heroes of the Old Testament. He stood up for the Lord and defended God’s righteousness and God’s people from enemies all around. On more than one occasion, King David was known to suffer from extreme depression and contemplated taking his own life. That’s why In Psalm 34:18-19 David proclaims “The Lord… saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous…” Elijah – The greatest prophet of them all wanted to end his life (1 Kings 19:4), Moses became so overwhelmed and depressed that he prayed to end his life as well (Numbers 11:14-15). Most of the greatest heroes of scripture at one point in their life contemplated ending their suffering rather than continuing on another day.

Prayer: “God, you hear our cries, you know our suffering, you feel our pain. Help us to find your strength when we need it the most.  Amen”

 

WEDNESDAY                                     Matthew 27:3-8

There are 7 stories in scripture where people have taken their own lives. The most famous is the story of Judas. After he had betrayed Jesus, he realized what he had done and felt he couldn’t live with his betrayal. I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if he had just waited 3 days. If he had waited, he would have seen the risen savior and I know Jesus would have forgiven him. Can you imagine how powerful Judas’ witness would have been for the kingdom of God if he had just waited 3 days.

Prayer: “Jesus, teach me how to help others see beyond their pain so their lives can be a witness for you.   Amen”

 

THURSDAY                                         Ezekiel 34:11-16

“I will rescue them from all the places to which they have been scattered on a day of clouds and thick darkness.” (Ezekiel 34:12b) We all end up in places of clouds and thick darkness at one point or another in our lives. God promises to rescue us from those places. We have to have faith that God is with us. For those whose darkness was too overwhelming for them, God promises to be there for them too. God will not abandon us when we need him the most.

Prayer: “God, you love us so much that you sacrificed your only son so we could find light in our darkness. Help us to be your light for those who need it the most.  Amen”

 

FRIDAY                                                 Job 42:12-17

In our scripture passage from Job on Monday, we saw Job in the depths of his despair wanting to end it all. Job had lost everything, his family, his possessions, and even his health. His wife even told him “Curse God, and die” (Job 2:9b). Job finally emerged from his darkness and today’s passage shows the blessings of God for his perseverance. Moses, King David, and Elijah all persevered through their darkness as well and they were not only blessed because of it, they became a blessing for countless others. The most powerful witnesses in history have all emerged from some of the darkest places imaginable. God can take our broken lives and turn them into something amazing if we will let him.    

Prayer: “Jesus, you were wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon you was the punishment that makes us whole.   Amen”

 

SATURDAY                                      Romans 8:28

“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” The San Francisco Bay bridge has had more than 2,000 people jump to their death. Only 36 people have survived the fall. Kevin Heins is one of the survivors. Kevin was suffering from severe depression and was hearing voices that were telling him to kill himself. He believed he was nothing but a burden to others and the world would be better off without him. He said the instant his hands left the rail, the voices stopped, and he regretted his decision and prayed to live. All 35 of the other survivor’s report regretting their decision the instant their hands left the rails. Kevin’s witness has helped to save thousands of lives.

Prayer: “God, you don’t cause bad things to happen, but you can use them for good. Take our darkness and turn it into light. Amen”