The Upper Room devotional reflection for Thursday, November 19, 2020 comes to us from Doug Lim of California
1 Peter 4:12-19 12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
1 Peter 4:12 (NIV) Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.
There is a legend about a cook preparing a meal one night about 2,000 years ago. As he stirred together a few ordinary kitchen ingredients, the mixture suddenly exploded, which led to the invention of fireworks.
Similarly, the unexpected hardships in my life have often led to the invention of something new in me. Though I may never fully understand why financial troubles or health issues arise, my hardships have humbled me and strengthened my character They have opened my heart to see God’s loving actions in my life, which time and time again have brought comfort and hope. I have learned to surrender more of myself to God when I face seemingly impossible circumstances. In turn, God has provided the guidance I desperately needed.
God knows how to blend the messy circumstances in our lives to help us grow. When we trust the Master Inventor to create something new from the explosions that disrupt our lives, personal growth can take place.
Prayer Focus: Inventors
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for your kindness and guidance through the unforeseen circumstances in our lives. Amen.
Thought for the Day: Today I will look for evidence that God is creating something new in me.
— Doug Lim
In the midst of the struggles of this pandemic, I have found some very unexpected blessings. When I was sick and in need of a great deal of help, my friends where not working and were able to support my process of recovery. Of course, it is difficult to find good news when people are not able to work, but still they were available to be of great help to me.
I have heard many stories about people finding new and creative ways to be of service at this time of great need in our world. Have you heard similar stories that inspire you, even in the midst of all these struggles?