Mission Devotional - November 20, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

Opening Prayer: Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalm 118:29)

Scripture: Psalm 34:1-22

Journal: Do you truly believe that God is good? What makes you say that? How do pain and suffering and struggle affect your perception of God's goodness? What is the relationship between your perception of God's goodness and your circumstances?

Reflection:

good

in the midst of
the pain and chaos of life
the temptation arises to ask
am I being punished somehow
is that how it works
are you really good, o god
and what does that even mean

it is an epic struggle
to truly believe
in the goodness of god
especially in the presence
of the great sadness
it is a struggle indeed

but your goodness o god
is much bigger than
my circumstances
it simply has to be

your goodness
is not dependent upon
or determined by
my perception of
whatever is going on
in my life at the moment
for if it is then
heaven help me
i am in for
one hell of a ride

your goodness
must be deeper
and more substantial
than any circumstance
life could hand me
for it is rooted
in eternity
and thus
not easily seen
this side of heaven
unless of course
we are given eyes to see

you are good
o lord
and that is that
when i choose
to believe
in your goodness
in spite of appearances
there is a rootedness
born in me
a solid place
from which to live
on rock on which
to set my feet
in spite of whatever
storms might come

help me
o god
to believe
in your goodness
help me
to see
all of life
not as
right and privilege
but as
gift and gratitude
for you alone
o lord
are truly good

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Ron and Amy Barber are equipping the next generation of church planters. Their ministry at International Graduate School of Leadership (IGSL) in the Philippines prepares students for ministry in cross-cultural contexts around the world. Pray today for students that Ron is teaching from Vietnam who are planning to connect with unreached people groups in the northern hill country after graduating.

The Cedar Springs Refugee Ministry, under the leadership of Almaz Gemechu, assists with resettling international refugees who arrive in Knoxville. There are many opportunities for volunteers to help with this mission. Pray today for Almaz and all the volunteers with the Refugee Ministry. To see an ongoing list of opportunities to serve, go here.

Closing Prayer: O Lord, you are good all the time, and all the time you are good. Help me to fully believe that it's true, and to never allow my circumstances to influence or determine what I really believe about you.