Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces, and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.
God is not a God who desires his children to live in pain or to suffer from distress. God has announced over and over again beginning in ancient times that pain, fear, loneliness, heartache, guilt, loss and regret are not to be the last word for our lives. Even when it seems as if our difficulties and disease will never go away, God reminds us that there will come a day when all our brokenness and anguish will be overcome with healing and relief beyond anything we can imagine today.
May the day of sweet relief we seek, dear Lord, begin in some real way today. Help us to feel your presence and know your healing even now in our imperfect way. Amen.
O Lord, you will ordain peace for us, for indeed, all that we have done, you have done for us.
It is in our own minds where peace is kept away. While God has given us the ability to know perfect peace, we allow negative thoughts, self-doubts, unchecked worries and boundless anxieties to run through our minds and seize the day. We have been given the gifts of assurance and strength from God, invaluable components of peace. We must decide constantly throughout every day to give no voice to the thoughts that bring us down into depths of distress and despair. We must open our minds and spirits to the assurance and strength God provides instead.
My own thoughts are my worst enemy, O God. I need help keeping my negative thinking at bay. Guide me, I pray, to be open to accepting your guarantees of peace. Amen.
My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.
How well do you create times and moments of respite and calm in your life? How often do you make an effort to seek refreshment of your mind, your body and your soul? How much do you step back to be still, to listen and watch to know that God is here and that God is good? Be mindful today of the time you take to restore your thoughts, your physical self and your spirit to a more positive place. Make certain it is enough to put you in touch with God’s goodness within and around.
There is no need for me to ever be so depleted that I cannot see and feel the goodness you have given me, O God. Help me – every day – to renew my trust and hope in you. Amen.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms, and carry them in his bosom, and gently lead the mother sheep.
In our distress, God comes to us like a loving, protecting shepherd. God nourishes us. God surrounds us with comfort and love. God lifts us and holds us close. God guides us and those caring for us in the right ways to go. God is indeed with us through every moment of this journey, no matter how dark the night or frightening the fight. We are not alone. With God we never will be.
I need your protection, dear God. I need your help and your tender care every day. I am glad you are always there. Amen.
You have heard; now see all this; and will you not declare it? From this time forward I make you hear new things, hidden things that you have not known.
While there are undeniably untold numbers of challenges that cancer can bring, many also point to its potential for blessings. When we allow it, cancer can teach us to make new and better priorities. It can reveal new strengths within us. It can show us new and healthier ways of living. It can foster new depths to our relationships. It can provide us a new understanding of our spiritual natures and of God. It can create in us a new level of wellness we had never known before.
There are new things I am learning day by day, dear Lord. Help me to reflect on these new things and allow them to bring new meaning to my life. Amen.
For the Lord has comforted his people, and will have compassion on his suffering ones.
Throughout the scriptures is woven the thread of God’s compassion for us. In verse after verse and story after story, we can see astounding evidence of God’s mercy, healing power, forgiveness, grace and infinite love. In moments of deep discomfort and draining distress we need to turn to these words and promises of compassion to bring us comfort and relief. God will not, does not, leave us to face our anxieties alone.
From ancient days to now, you have proven your care and blessings upon your people, O God. I ask for that understanding to be constantly present in my mind as I face any challenges I will have today. Thank you for caring for me even when I forget you do. Amen.
Trust in the Lord forever, for in the Lord God you have an everlasting rock.
Throughout the scriptures we are reminded that God’s timing, understanding and will are not ours. That is, God has a way of acting in our lives and in this world that is far greater, supremely better and infinitely more perfect than anything we can imagine or design. It is when we connect with those
ways – God’s timing, God’s understanding and God’s will – that we ultimately find the strength and ability we need to affectively face every challenge that comes before us.
I know that my own limited attempts at overcoming my difficulties and rising above my weaknesses are never going to save me. But I also know that when I place my trust in your ways, I can find answers and help I never knew existed. Thank you for supporting me in my weakness, O God. Amen.