A short devotion for 19th April

Opening

“Scripture speaks of ‘things beyond our seeing, prepared by God for those who love him’; and these are what God has revealed to us through the Spirit.” 1st Cor. 2:9-10

Opening Prayer

We are the people of God. Risen Lord, as we gather today, may we see you and hear you, may we feel you and touch you, may we know your presence with us now. Amen

Prayer of Confession

Lord most merciful, we confess that we have sinned, through our own fault, and in common with others, in thought, word and deed, and through what we have left undone. We ask to be forgiven.

By the power of your Spirit turn us from evil to good, help us to forgive others, and keep us in your ways of righteousness and love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bible Reading

  • Micah 4:9-5:5
  • John 20:24-31

Short Message: A Time of Crisis

The Text

Why do you cry aloud – have you no king? Has your counsellor perished, the pain seizes you like that of a woman in labour? Micah 4:9

Introduction

The late Noel Grant tells the story of a dear lady who had come to Christ and trusted Him as her Saviour becoming a keen follower of the Lord Jesus. Later, when laid aside in illness, she became greatly distressed and depressed. It can happen so easily when people are ill. One night, a great sense of loneliness came over her and she felt that even God had forsaken her. Just then, the silence of the night was broken by the sound of footsteps on the pavement outside. A man, wearing the clogs of a factory worker, was coming along singing, his soul full of joy. As he approached the house, the invalid heard the message so clearly: “Art thou weary, art thou languid, Art thou sore distressed? ‘Come to Me,’ saith One, ‘and coming,’ Be at rest!” The poor girl recognised it was a message direct from Heaven to her soul and cast herself completely upon the Lord. She doubted no more, but was immediately possessed with a lovely peace and calm.

Micah was a servant of the Lord, a prophet who lived in the countryside of Judah during the reign of Jotham. During Micah’s day there was a crisis, what it was we do not know, scholars differ as to what it was. Micah’s therapeutic suggestions for times of crisis can help us get through what we are facing in our lives.

KEEP YOUR PERSPECTIVE DURING A TIME OF CRISIS

We can’t get away from the fact that this country and in fact the world is going through a time of crisis. Yes history shows us that we have been here before, from 1919 we had the ‘Flu Epidemic’, ‘Bird Flu’ and ‘Mad Cow Disease’ to name a few. In Micah day it was that the people were in exile in Babylon, taken from Judah.

T.T. Crabtree gives us a warning that we should take very much to heart today in the crisis we face, No one should fail to look at the reality of the crisis. Sometimes people pretend there is no real problem. At other times they do not see where their actions would lead to a crisis to keep perspective during a time of crisis, recognize its reality. God will deliver us from this time of crisis. Micah refers to the woman who is about to give birth, as she was delivered so shall we be. Just like the dear lady in our introduction who was delivered from her depression. We will go through times of great crisis, and we know that Lord will bring us through, In Isaiah we read, “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;” WHY: We have the answer, “Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you…” Isaiah 43:1-2a & 4a. Times of crisis can be a great humbler. They show us how weak we are bringing us to the point to make us realise we are not the ones in charge of our lives. Take courage dear friends, God will not allow His plans to be stopped and will bring triumph out of this time of great tragedy. Crisis will happen from time to time in the world, just remember that ‘God has the power to take the bad experiences and build character from them.’

KEEP OUR EYES ON GOD DURING OUR TIME OF CRISIS

In Micah 5:1 we read of Jerusalem under siege. The leaders and the people suffered humiliation at the hands of the attackers. During such times the people of God suffer a great deal, our energy distorts our thinking. When we are isolated in our homes and only get out for a short time each day to do our shopping and some fresh air. When family and friends are suffering from the affects of the virus we feel so helpless. Depending on others to help us get us things from the shops, while in the past we would be the ones to be doing such things. How hard it must be for those who have no faith in God, who can they turn to?

Look at the situation Thomas found himself in after Christ’s resurrection, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” John 20:25. A week later the Lord appeared and Thomas believed for he seen the Lord and was rebuked by him for not believing. Take courage the Lord will bring this nation through and indeed he will bring the world through, we will have fellowship with each other again, and we will be in the House of Prayer again. Trust in Him for He will help His people. ‘He will give the strength and guidance you need. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1

Prayers of Intercession

Heavenly Father, we pray for wisdom to world leaders: our Queen, Presidents, Prime Ministers, politicians of all governments that they may strive for lasting peace and true justice. We pray for those in need of peace of mind: those weighed down by stress and strains of everyday life, who suffer with anxiety, or are oppressed by worry and fear; for those who find it hard to let go of things and simply trust.

In our prayers we bring before you all those who work in the NHS and put their own health and safety on the line for the sake of others. For our Missionary family and the students studying at others not known to us, but known to you, Lord in your mercy hear our prayer.

Blessing

May the Father strengthen and confirm your faith in Him,
May the Son heal you and bring you His peace.
May the Spirit of love cast out darkness from your hearts.
May the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit bless you
both now and always. Amen.