TODAY'S WORD FOR Tuesday, January 23, 2018:
Loss of hope; hopelessness; a state of mind caused by circumstances that seem too much to cope with; a sense of futility.
For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great in His unfailing love. Lamentations 3:31-32.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
Most of us at some time in our life will experience despair which is a state of mind caused by circumstances that seem too much to cope with. Despair can be felt in many ways. As we communicate to friends who read our devotionals, we reply to those who are so poor that they do not know where their next meal is coming from. For others the loss of a job brings despair. We hear from many single mothers who experience the feeling of despair as they are left to be mother and father to their child or children. For so many the feeling of despair brings on the feeling that God no longer cares for them.
We all have read the story of the mother Naomi in the book of Ruth. She was in deep despair and for a good reason. She had lost not only her husband but her two sons. The following account is given us about Naomi. Naomi along with her husband and two sons had to leave their home in Bethlehem and move to Moab because there was great famine in Judah, where Bethlehem is located. Her husband died in Moab, her two sons married and later died leaving Naomi, a widow, with two daughters-in-law to fend for herself in a foreign land. In those days widows without a family were destined to a life of poverty. This is the reason for the great despair that had overwhelmed Naomi.
Naomi was like many single moms today. She felt she had no hope for the future and had become bitter. She decided to move back to her homeland and one of her widowed daughter-in-laws went with her. When she arrived back in her homeland those who knew her greeted her by her name, Naomi, which means pleasant. Her despair and bitterness welled up in her and she soon let it all out by saying, do not call me Naomi but call me Mara, which means bitter.
Although Naomi had faith in God her despair had so permeated her heart and mind that she lashed out at God and blamed God for allowing all that had happened to her. When circumstances make us bitter we seem to blame God, especially if we cannot blame someone else. Just as Naomi did not see a happy ending to her life, we feel the same when we are fighting despair. Despair makes us think God has forgotten us.
Naomi’s sad story does have a happy ending. God had not forgotten her just as He will not forget us. God in His divine providence had a purpose and a plan. Through her daughter-in-law Ruth, God brought hope not only to Naomi but to all of us today.
When you read the book of Ruth you will find out that Boaz married Ruth and they have a son named Obed. And then Boaz and Ruth became the great grandparents of David. More importantly, God chose to bring His Son Jesus into the world through the line of descendants of David, Obed and Boaz.
When God allows grief or hardship to enter our life we should not despair. We need to remember that our God is a God who is a compassionate God and because of His great and unfailing love for us, He hears us when we call upon Him and rescues us from all of our troubles.
Our memory verse for this week is found in John 16:24.
Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.
Thank You for Your great compassion and unfailing love. Help me to remember that when I feel despair that I can call on You and that I will know that You hear me. Help me to remember that I can trust You to not only hear me, but deliver me from what troubles me.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, 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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