Devotion for January 12, 2024

“Keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 21)

The news hasn’t gotten any better today. Not only are nations still hating each other, destroying the planet, and putting money before people, but people are also laughing about God.

It’s not easy being a Christian today. There are so many varieties that you have to define yourself, so people know which “camp” you are in! And people are laughing about — and at — God. What hope is there? Well, as yesterday’s verse told us, love, mercy and peace are yours!

And that’s re-iterated at the end of this short letter from Jude. Remain in God’s love; wait for the mercy of Jesus. But perhaps our immediate thought is that of the many psalmists: How long, O Lord? How long do we have to wait? How many tragedies, disasters and wars must occur before your mercy arrives and takes over?

I take great comfort in the fact that Jesus only lived as a human being on earth for 33 years, and his ministry took place in three short years. It would seem to me that there would have been a bit of waiting at that time. Waiting for the opportunity to use his divine power. Waiting for the disciples to get it! Waiting for the Pharisees to become humble. Waiting to be arrested (and sweating blood while praying, in the meantime). Waiting to die!

How are you at waiting? I’m not so good (although hopefully I’ve improved as I’ve aged!). Waiting can be painful. Waiting can be the pits. Waiting can seem useless. How long, O Lord? But waiting reveals mercy. Waiting allows for re-creation. Waiting brings new life. Waiting brings hope. Waiting brings peace. Waiting reveals love in action.

In fact, waiting lets us know that mercy has been present all along. God has been walking with us — waiting with us (or perhaps for us). Jesus did die eventually! And, of course, rose again, so the mercy he had demonstrated during his time on earth could continue to be a sweet salve for each of us for all time.

Prayer

Lord, I thank You for Your promises, and I wait for the fulfillment to come. Be merciful to me and strengthen my faith to come to each day in expectation and joyfully receive Your blessings! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Stay encouraged!

Pastor Mike

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