Today's Devotional

An Invitation and a True Promise (1 August)

When he finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Push the boat out further to the deep water, and you and your partners let down your nets for a catch." "Master," Simon answered, "we worked hard all night long and caught nothing. But if you say so, I will let down the nets."
Luke 5:4-5

God calls to those of us who are weary and troubled to come and rest, whether our weariness is emotional, physical, or social. No matter how burdened or sad we feel, he is able to heal us and carry our burdens. "He endured the suffering that should have been ours, the pain that we should have borne. All the while we thought that his suffering was punishment sent by God. But because of our sins he was wounded, beaten because of the evil we did. We are healed by the punishment he suffered, made whole by the blows he received. All of us were like sheep that were lost, each of us going his own way. But the Lord made the punishment fall on him, the punishment all of us deserved." (Isaiah 53:4-6)

Sometimes you hesitate to ask people for help because they would only make you feel worse and offer you crumbs that would not satisfy you. Other times you seek to get encouragement from people and find that they only frustrate or criticize you.

Sometimes it seems that everyone is just looking out for their own comfort. Samson lay in the arms of his beloved Delilah, but she deceived him and betrayed him to his enemies. King Ahab sought the advice of his evil wife Jezebel, who was ultimately responsible for his destruction. Eli the priest heard of the wrongdoings and wickedness of his sons, but he did nothing to stop them, and so they died. What about us? Do we look for the wrong solutions to our problems and continue to suffer in consequence? Or do we seek the Comforter when we are tired? Can we say with Simon Peter, "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life." (John 6:68)

He is faithful, just, and able to show us how to behave and what to say. He gives us patience and consolation and helps us to carry our light cross. He says, "Call to me when trouble comes; I will save you, and you will praise me." (Psalm 50:15).

His invitation to come near to him is for everyone. Let us go to him even if we have worked hard all night and haven't caught any fish. Indeed, the Lord our God is the God who compensates us for all that we have lost! He is able to grant us peace even in the midst of the fiery furnace, just as he did with the three young men. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We need not fear.

"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) (NLT)

- 1 AUGUST -

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