July 12

Written by Bill Grandi on July 12th, 2023

Disclaimer: longer than normal devotion.Β  πŸ™‚

As I sat down this morning in my familiar chair at my familiar table to have my Encounter Time (time alone with God), I had an idea for my devotion this morning. Actually two. Jo, Tami, and I went to the fair last night at the Owen County Fairgrounds. We like to walk around and see the displays, talk with the kids and vendors (least I do) and eat. We did the first two but only Tami the latter. It was like 89 degrees and I think we were all ready to find some A/C. I thought about writing about the “pride” I take in each of the church’s young people.

I also thought about writing that Ryan, our youth pastor, and his family (a family of 5)Β  leave today for their “Easts meets West” trip-a 4 week excursion out west with stops at many of our national parks.Β  Today begins his 7 week sabbatical. I was going to write about making memories and ask you to pray for their safety. (I guess I just did!) πŸ™‚

But then I read Psalm 69 & 70 for my OT reading; 2 Corinthians 6:3-10 for my NT reading and I was stopped dead in my tracks. I think common to all of us are questions like, “I wonder what’s next?” “I wonder if I’ll get through this?” “I wonder how long this will last?” “I wonder if God will show up?” My one or two word answers to those questions are “Don’t know.” “Yes.” “Don’t know.” “Yes.” I know…not very sufficient and it does seem like the easy way out, but honestly, can you give any other answers?

In Psalm 69 & 70, David seems almost mercurial. On one hand he seems in distress (69:16-18); on the other hand totally okay with it all (69:29-30, 34). He for sure knew where to go to get the help he needed (70:5).

The Apostle Paul wasn’t mercurial but confident. In verses 3-10 he gives his experiences as a follower of Jesus. In verses 8-10 he says, “Our sole defense, our only weapon, is a life of integrity, whether we meet honor or dishonor, praise or blame. Called ‘imposters’ we must be true, called ‘nobodies’ we must be in the public eye. Never far from death, yet here we are alive, always ‘going through it’ yet never ‘going under.’ We know sorrow, yet our joy is inextinguishable. We have ‘nothing to bless ourselves with’ yet we bless many others with true riches. We are penniless, and yet we possess everything.” (Phillips)

I especially like that last phrase. After writing what it looks like vs. the reality, Paul says, “We are penniless, yet possess everything.” Appearances can be deceiving on so many levels. In this case, what appears to be heartache and hardship, is not; it is instead a testimony to God’s goodness. David said it well, “But I am afflicted and in pain; letΒ  your salvation, O God, set me on high! I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” (69:29,30)

What appears just might not be; the reality might be something totally different.That goes especially for those who are going through tough times and wonder if God-or anyone for that matter-cares.


10 Comments so far ↓

  1. gail says:

    I have a friend whose husband is fighting leukemia, and it’s really tough situation. I have been sending them Bible verses daily and a pray that I pray for them. These devotions today are hitting me hard, since some days it’s hard to know which verses to send and how to pray. I feel like God has just been really guiding me on both. God is taking me into a deeper dive on what seem hopeless, and may have an ending that seems hopeless, yet has such a deeper meaning than what appears on the surface. This lesson for me has such an amazing perspective, I cannot totally explain it in a quick note.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      I’m taken back that you take the time to send them a verse and a prayer Gail. What a wonderful, God-thing to do. He has promised His Word will not return void. Be faithful and He will give you the words to say and pray. Blessings my friend!

  2. Wonderful and thought-provoking post today, Bill. We will all suffer at some point in this life, but let us never forget the reality of God’s daily presence. He is the essence of all.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      You hit on it Martha. “the reality of His daily presence. He is the essence of it all.” Well said.

  3. Linda Stoll says:

    I can only trust in His faithfulness, His character, His promises.

    I might have had to wait longer than I wanted, but He’s never failed me yet.

    Thank You, Jesus.

    • Bill Grandi says:

      It is because He is always the same that we can trust those characteristics Linda. And yes, it sometimes means waiting longer than we want.

  4. Ed says:

    This reminds me of the Beatitudes.
    It’s just amazing, after all these years that the Bible does have every answer to every question we could ever have.

  5. Cheryl says:

    Wow! What a powerful devotion this morning, Pastor Bill! I know I am many days late in reading this, but I have found that God always knows which of your devotionals I should read on the day they will most minister to me. I JUST finished emailing a dear friend trying to encourage her in her current fiery trials. Then I came here and read this, needing so much encouragement myself. Sometimes we pray for those who are less afflicted than we are. Sometimes we try to encourage others while going through such hidden trials ourselves. God is always faithful to give us what we need to press through our own situations to reach out to others. I wanted to share a song I shared with her, in case you haven’t heard it. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqjiKSHnI64

    • Bill Grandi says:

      Thanks for your encouragement Cheryl. I am glad I was able to do that even though it is a couple weeks gone by since i wrote that devotion. I went back and read it myself just so I would know what you were talking about. πŸ™‚ i will listen to your song at another time when I have time to sit and listen. Thanks for the suggestion.

      I listened Cheryl. Although not my cup of tea the message was good. Does that come in a rock version? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚