PASTORS' DAILY DEVOTIONAL
Return, Remember, and RejoiceJustin Smith
Hebrews 10:34-36 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
Have you ever prayed for something, whether it be a family member’s salvation or a change in a situation, for weeks, months, or even years to seeminglyhear no answer, to see no divine move, and to feel no peace? The fervor you once prayed with begins to dwindle, as your faith begins to sink. Your passion and trust begin to wane with each passing day, and the voices of doubt and giving up have gone from a whisper to a shout. It’s in these moments that we must return, remember, and rejoice. The author of Hebrews has laid out the promises and faithfulness of God, he has displayed his superiority to all that has been taught before, and he has laid a foundation for the listener’s faith. Having revealed the Truth, the author then exhorts the people of God to remember and rejoice that they might continue to patiently endure the trials before them. He encourages them to stand strong in faith and hope, knowing that God’s love is steadfast and his promises are assured. He says, Remember those times you suffered, when you were thrown in jail and everything was taken from you? Do you remember how you gladly accepted those times in joy, knowing that God had a plan and better things awaited you, eternal things. Return to that trust in God, remember His promises, and rejoice in your present trials, as your eyes are fixed on the eternal. Do these things that you might be filled with the patient endurance that you need now, so that you might not stray from the path and plan He has you on.
This is one of those, “easier said then done” devotions. We know this. We know the right answers, and we know what we’re supposed to do, but in all honesty, we just don’t want to. We know we’re supposed to have joy in the midst of the storm, we know we’re supposed to find love in the midst of the loneliness, we know that we’re supposed to be grateful for what He has granted, but finding the strength can seem like mission impossible. The key is taking it one step at a time. When you’re getting worn down…return. Return to God’s Word, return to your relationship with Him, and return to prayer. Then remember, remember Jesus’ love that pursues you, remember His grace that forgave you, and remember the hope He granted you. Remember His faithfulness through previous struggles, and remember how He has never let you down. As you return to His presence, and as you choose to recall the goodness of God, His joy will fill you and that joy will strengthen you with the patient endurance you desire. So often we want the endurance, but we are unwilling to take the time and effort to return and remember. His promises, His plans, and His timing are all perfect, and they are yours for the taking IF you choose to remember, return, and rejoice.
Lord, I praise and thank you for your faithfulness, your Sovereignty, and the grace you abundantly grant. Forgive me for allowing myself to get overwhelmed by the situations before me, for taking my eyes off of you, and for straying from complete reliance on you. I will choose to return to simple and pure devotion, I will choose to remember the greatness of my God, and I will rejoice in You. I will find great joy in living for You!