Dear Devotional Readers: Today’s devotional is a reminder that you already have all you need even in the worst circumstances. Blessings, SandyC
JUST LIVE LIFE
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
But though He had performed so many signs before them; yet they did not believe in Him. This was to fulfill the word of Isaiah the prophet which he spoke: “Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?” John 12:37-39
We’ve all experienced receiving bad news which sometimes steals our dreams or hopes. We’ve felt that sick, sinking feeling inside the pits of our stomachs as the bad news penetrates our realities. We may respond with questions like, “How could this happen?” or perhaps, “It’s not supposed to be this way.” We may sink into despair or even depression as no way out is the only option. The thief has come and stolen from you or killed your dream or destroyed your future. That’s bad news.
Bruce experienced one of those bad news days recently. He has been hoping and faithfully waiting for a kidney transplant. He got a call just a few days prior for a transplant, but the donor organ wasn’t viable. The upside was that he knew he was at the top of the transplant list and another organ would become available within a few months or even weeks. However, all his hope of this happening was dashed when the doctors discovered that he had developed cirrhosis of the liver. This disease process made him ineligible for a transplant. All the years of waiting and hoping meant nothing. He wasn’t going to get a transplant.
The enemy had tried to kill Bruce many times, but the Lord had always protected him. The enemy has destroyed so much of the things that he loves to do by destroying his health. Now, he had stolen his hope of a transplant. Jesus said this could happen in John 10:10, but He had an answer for it. He said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Right after telling us what the enemy is capable of doing to us, He told us what He is able to do in response to it. He said that He was going to give us abundant life.
In your darkest hour it may be hard to grasp this promise. All you can see is the destruction around you. However, God is never defeated by anything that the enemy can do. He always has a plan to do good for you. So, if Jesus promises abundant life and God is never defeated by the plans of the enemy, what should our response be to a bad report? The Apostle Paul gave us his take on a bad report
In Philippians 3 and 4:
But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ. 3:7-8
I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. 4:12-14
In other words, the only thing worth holding on to in this life is Jesus. It would be great to receive a new kidney, but that is not what Bruce’s life is about. If he lives only for a new kidney, then he misses out on everything else God has planned for him. We don’t always understand the ‘whys” of God, but we do know for certain that God is in control of the life of a person submitted to Him.
Bruce and I have chosen to just live life. We don’t look at man’s rejection of him as a rejection from God. We don’t see man’s inability to give Bruce a kidney as having anything to do with God’s ability to perform miracles. So, where is our hope? It is right where it was before the bad news came. It is in Jesus Christ who said that He has given us life abundantly. This means that healing is ours. This means that our needs are met. It means that even bad reports will work out for our good. As a child of God, we don’t see man’s no as God’s no. All His promises are yes and amen. That means if He has promised something, then He will do it. God didn’t promise a transplant, but He promised healing by the stripes of Jesus. That’s enough.
So, if you find yourself face to face with a really bad report, remember that God is for you. He loves you and Jesus died to fulfill every promise God has ever made to His children. All you have to do is stand in faith, holding on to your hope and trusting in the One who not only created it all, but keeps it running in accordance with His divine will. Just continue to live your life in the abundance of Christ and who knows what miracles God has planned for you in the future.