Daily Devotional from Pastor Mary 8-31-21

1 Peter 2:19-21 (NLT)

19 For God is pleased when, conscious of his will, you patiently endure unjust treatment. 20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.

21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps.

Many people are suffering injustice these days; we have been witnessing an egregious worldwide abuse of power on an escalating scale. I know, in my life, witnessing unjust treatment (violent or neglectful) of the innocent [those who cannot protect themselves] has forced me to forge a deeper trust in God and pray without ceasing (1 Thes. 5:16). True justice means we live in right relationship with God, one another, and all of creation; justice flows from the very nature of God. “Has the LORD ever needed anyone’s advice? Does he need instruction about what is good? Did someone teach him what is right or show him the path of justice?” (Isa 40:14). Evil seems to be lurking around every corner, so we should not be surprised when we encounter it! According to Scripture, injustice is manifest from the evil intentions of the unredeemed heart (Mark 7:21-23). “Jesus, the world needs you!”

For the past few days, my heart has been heavy for our wounded and fallen military heroes and their worried and grieving families/friends. These young men and women took on their mission of securing justice for their fellow Americans, as well as those most vulnerable to harm. They selflessly laid their lives on the line to protect others; therefore, evil attacked. Evil hates goodness and justice. These precious servants did nothing wrong and they did not deserve the treatment they received, yet they knew their mission was about doing what was right as he/she represented One Nation Under God.

May we never forget their sacrifice while learning from it. May one day Christ place upon the head of each of those military servants the Crown of Life—bestowed to those who have not been afraid what they may suffer; faithful even to the point of death (Rev. 2:10). May God bless and honor the fallen, as well as heal our wounded! And, may the eyes of the world be open and the Truth proclaimed to the glory of God! Now, with military troops evacuated, I invite you to pray with me for God’s angels to surround and guard our remaining American citizens in Afghanistan. Also, let’s pray for those who face loss in the path of Hurricane Ida. May hope sustain them until help and restoration arrives.

Prayer: Father God, in love and trust we lift our hearts to you, today. We pray to receive comfort, encouragement and hope for the days ahead not only for our lives, but for the lives of your children globally. Every heart that proclaims the name of Jesus and your goodness belongs to you. Cover every heroic rescuer with your mighty wings of love and protection, set your warring angels against evil, and however long it takes, please bring every American and our friends home from Afghanistan. Lord, we await further news about those who are facing loss from the hurricane and we pray for you to sustain them with hope and support from the north, south, east, and west of this amazing country filled with your children. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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