Daily Devotion for November 4, 2012
(Daylight Savings Time ends in US and Canada; set clocks back.)
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, let me live this day as the gift it is, for You have truly blessed me to live it. And if I may suffer, I will carry with me the certainty that one day I will see You face to face, a day when all things will become clear and my pain will be made whole through the grace of Christ, my God. Blessed be you, oh Lord my God, and blessed be the day you have given me.
Prayer for Help with Our Troubles
O God, my help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the supplications of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner. Have mercy upon me; deliver me from all the troubles and tribulations of life. Deal not with me after my sins, I pray, but according to your measureless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness.
Grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace. Endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering. I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion; that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy. I exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
Finally, let me go forth in thanks for the victory I have been given through our Lord Jesus Christ. May I be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, and always remembering that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
"Unforgiveness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person dies."
~ Margaret Stunt
Joy to Come
Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, you will weep and mourn, but the world will rejoice; you will have pain, but your pain will turn into joy.
When a woman is in labor, she has pain, because her hour has come. But when her child is born, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy of having brought a human being into the world. So you have pain now; but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you. On that day you will ask nothing of me.
Very truly, I tell you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete."
Notes on the Scripture
Christianity is the ultimate expression of 'delayed gratification'. Many martyrs have given their lives for their faith in Christ, and anyone who believes in Christ will take some action in this life that is contrary to his self-interest in the world, because of his belief in the joy that will come to his eternal soul.
In today's passage, Christ speaks words of enormous comfort to the apostles, who are disconsolate at the approach of Jesus' cruel death. The example he gives, of a woman in labor, is wonderful; it is something that everyone can understand and appreciate, for birth can indeed be terribly painful (and in that time, dangerous) to the mother; yet the result is one of the happiest moments in the woman's life.
For most of us, Christ's burden is light and the reward is great. "Life is not fair" — but in this case the unfairness runs in our favor. We are given the same eternal salvation as those who were crucified, those who were thrown to lions, and those who spend their entire adult lives as monks and nuns, living in poverty and discomfort.
In fact, sometimes Christ's "burden" is an earthly blessing, especially for those who feel God's Holy Spirit in their lives. Every person's life is full of cares and woes. When we really can grasp the significance of our salvation, they do not hurt so much. Christ did say, "Come to me, those of you who labor and carry heavy burdens, and I will refresh you."
I hope that all of us can take this message to heart. True faith, especially letting the Holy Spirit enter our lives, takes an enormous weight off our shoulders. Whenever we are feeling down, we should take time to meditate and pray for this enormous blessing we can receive during our lives.