TODAY'S WORD FOR Monday, November 26, 2018:
Loss of hope; having an urgent need; a state of mind caused by circumstances that seem too much to cope with.
We were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God.
II Corinthians 1:8-9.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Have you ever felt as desperate as the above scripture says? We get many emails from friends that read our devotionals telling us about their desperate situations. Thousands here in California, as a result of the fires, have lost their homes and many have lost family members. Certainly, they are feeling great despair and hopelessness especially those that have no hope in Jesus.
Paul had endured many hardships in his life, and although he does not give us a lot of details, he does indicate that he and his companions felt they were going to die. For them it was a desperate situation. Paul goes on to say that because they were helpless to help themselves, they had to rely on God.
Sometimes we have to come to the point of desperation before we realize our need to completely trust in God. We have talked to a lot of desperate people in our lifetime. For some it has been facing a desperate situation in their marriage. For others it has been a desperate situation with a child. Possibly you face a desperate health situation or financial crises?
The desperations that have concerned us the most involving family life is twofold. First, we have seen so many times parents who are facing desperation because of the actions of their children. Parenting is very difficult in today's society. Many times, problems with children develop when parents have not developed a lifestyle that honors God in their homes and have not been godly role models for their children to watch as they were growing up. Children must be taught from God's Word how to honor God, and how to honor their parents.
But we also have seen great desperation from what we consider wonderful Christian parents who ask us -- WHY? Their children have made choices in their lives that are the opposite of the way they were raised. They have chosen to rebel against God and their parents. We have only one answer for one facing that situation and that is to pray for that child, continue to love that child and continue to live your consistent Christian life. Sometimes it is necessary just to let go and let God do His thing. And He will do it in his perfect timing.
We have witnessed unbelievable desperation in third world countries. We have seen mothers crying because they have no food, milk or medicine for their dying child that they were holding in their arms. We have seen single parent families with no housing, no food and seemingly no one to help because the father had died or left the home. We have seen children orphaned because both parents have died of AIDS. They ask: What should we do? Where do we go? Who really cares for me? This is desperation.
Henry David Thoreau said: "Most people live today lives of great desperation." The feeling of desperation is often the result of choices one makes in life -- even years earlier. For others desperation comes due to situations that arise because of the location of where they were born and/or the culture they are in, the wars they have to face, poverty, persecution and other serious problems that a child, young person or adult has no control over.
But there is a solution for any person that is facing a desperate situation in life. The scripture says that we are to "cast all of our cares upon the Lord because He cares for you." You might respond by saying or thinking that is easy for us to say. We do not understand how bad the situation is. We may not but there is someone who does. Jesus understands and He cares.
Let us tell you and assure you that no situation is too hard for God to overcome. It is our lack of faith that causes us to doubt what God wants to do for us. When desperate situations get us down, the only way to look is up. As Paul tells, these things happen “that we may not rely on ourselves but on God.” God is waiting for you to bring your desperation to Him. You can rely on Him.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Psalm 33:8.
Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him.
Dear Lord, thank You for giving me the promise through Your Word that when I am feeling desperate and feel that no one cares for me, you are their waiting for me. All I have to do is to cast my care (desperation) upon You and You will care for me. Help me today to grasp what You say and give me the faith to accept that You are caring for me even when I am feeling total despair.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution and Ministry Director for World Bible Society, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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