Devotionals to draw us
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I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. -Psalm 119:11
By Brittney Smith (WITHIN Devotional Writer)
Some of the most encouraging scriptures in the Old Testament were written during a period of exile. Since the beginning of 2020, until now, there have been three main scriptures that have encouraged me along my way. They are all similar in that they each were written during the period of the Babylonian exile.
In my mid to late twenties, I read a lot of World War II books. I distinctly remember when my mom asked me why I picked such dark topics to read about. Funny thing is, I didn’t see it as only being dark. I primarily looked at them as inspirational readings. The darkness had become secondary to the light I saw in them.
So, it is with me and these scriptures. They represent hope in despair, light in darkness, courage in the face of opposition.
I think Matthew Henry’s Commentary explains it best, he says,
“Before God sent his people into captivity he furnished them with precious promises for their support and comfort in their trouble; and we may well imagine of what great use to them the glorious, gracious, light of this prophecy was, in that cloudy and dark day, and how much it helped to dry up their tears by the rivers of Babylon. “
2. Jeremiah 29:4-11 outlines instructions to the Jews on what to do while in exile. In this passage, God tells the captive nation of Judah to not stop living while in captivity. He doesn’t just encourage them to live, He calls for them to prosper! I come from a background of depression and anxiety. My emotions are usually my captivity. My anxious and worrying thoughts my oppressors. And guess what, as a Christian, my diagnoses don’t immediately absolve.
To this day, this scripture reminds me to not be paralyzed by fear, negativity or less than ideal situations. We can thrive right where we find ourselves, if we are willing to put in the work to overcome.
3. Isaiah 66:9 NCV “’In the same way, I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,’ says the Lord. ‘If I cause you the pain, I will not stop you from giving birth to your new nation,’ says your God.”
Indeed, the most rare and precious gems come from earth’s darkest corners. Faith and hope are no different. A beautiful thing can and will come out of whatever you have gone through so far this year. The pressure, the confusion and the hurt will not be in vain. As much as our misfortunes may seem random, they are not. There is a purpose to it all, God has promised.
The weekly devotionals seek to encourage you to dig deeper into Scripture as you take the time to daily read, meditate, and internalize the verses in the devotional, along with the passages provided below to give greater context. Take the time to read them throughout the week (repetition is important) and ask the Holy Spirit to help you grasp what God is showing you about Himself, about you, and how to live in light of these truths.
Passages to read/memorize/meditate:
Questions to Reflect on:
11/25/2022 02:22:19 pm
Grateful for sharing thiis
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