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Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Word Remains Forever: Day 34

1 Peter 5:7-9 ...casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.
Christians throughout the world are suffering for their faith. We praise God that we do not face violent persecution in our country. But, we must recognize that the devil has raised all kinds of evil against our brothers and sisters throughout the world. Our fellow citizens in the kingdom of God suffer for their faith. Because of this, we suffer as a church together. “If one member suffers, all suffer together” (I Corinthians 12:26).

What can we do for our fellow members of Christ’s body while they suffer so far away? The devil would have us think that we are incapable of helping. The devil would have us think that God will not help. The devil would have us give up. But, God would have us pray. The devil wants to devour us by removing our hope. But, God cares for us and calls for our prayers for the sake of the church. He promises to answer.

We may feel that we can do nothing for our brothers and sisters who suffer. But, God can. He has promised to hear our prayers and to answer them. Thus, prayer is no small way of helping. In fact, though supporting missionaries and going on trips to aid those who hurt is of inestimable value, prayer accomplishes more than we can hope or imagine. God will ultimately grant relief and resurrection to those who suffer. He will make all things right.

So, when others suffer, we pray. If the Lord sees fit to allow us to suffer with our brothers and sisters, we pray. In the midst of our sufferings, they will pray for us. Most importantly, God listens to all of it and answers for us.

+PRAYER+
Father, grant your Holy Spirit to those who suffer for the sake of your Son Jesus. Strengthen their faith through their trials and raise them with Christ forever. If we are to face such trials, keep us ever faithful in your Son, who suffered for us. AMEN!

*The symbol on the top of this devotional stands for “Verbum Domini Manet in Aeternum.” It is a Latin phrase which means “The Word of the Lord endures forever.” This phrase, based on I Peter 1:24-25, served as the battle cry of the Lutheran reformers as it reminded them that God’s Word alone was sufficient to teach them God’s will. The symbol was on flags, banners, uniforms, and even swords as a sign of unity among those who suffered for confessing their faith in Christ alone. *

Pastor Bob

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