Lesson 23: It’s on Us
Lesson 23, Devotion 1
“As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” - Psalm 42:1
Have you ever been so thirsty that your mouth feels like it is filled with cotton? What a gross feeling! The only thing that will quench that kind of thirst is a big glass of water. Imagine if you were that thirsty but couldn’t find water. What a miserable experience that would be!
Now read Psalm 42:1-11. The Psalmist begins by describing a deer panting, searching for streams of water. He uses this image to describe his great need for God. He is bummed out and feeling separated from God.
How does the psalmist say his friends responded? Job had a similar experience. If you recall, Job’s friends and his wife all tell him to give up on God. They blame God and suggest that Job turn his back on the one they believe responsible. However, Job continued to remain faithful to God. In the end, after all of the suffering, Job received God’s goodness.
The psalmist and Job did two similar things. First, they admitted their pain. They willingly admitted that they didn’t understand and felt like God had left them. Second, they both chose to trust God anyway. In their moments of desperation, like the deer in verse one, they knew the peace and hope God offered would be the only answer to what they needed. It all came down to a choice.
Think about this:
Which choice will you make when you find yourself suffering?
Will you turn away from God in anger or trust Him with faith?
Lesson 23, Devotion 2
Think about a time in your life when you or your family experienced suffering of some kind. Use a journal or note-taking app to draw a picture or a symbol, or even to write words that express how that experience made you feel.
What is something you learned during this time? Did something come from it that you are thankful for? Are there some things that maybe you still struggle with?
Spend some time today praying about this situation. If it is resolved and you can see how God brought you through it, thank Him. If you are still struggling, be honest with these questions in your prayers. Allow God to be the refuge you need.
Lesson 23, Devotion 3
Have you ever heard some of the clichés that come when people are suffering? One of them is, “Every cloud has a silver lining.” Sometimes it is difficult to think about good coming from suffering, especially when we find ourselves in the midst of this suffering.
Read Romans 8:28-29 and answer the questions below.
Does verse 28 promise we will only experience good things?
What does it promise?
According to verse 29, what is God’s purpose for His children?
How can suffering work to make a person more like Christ?
God desires His children to be more like Him. He is constantly at work in the lives of His children to conform them to the likeness of Christ. Sometimes this is painful, but we can trust that God does have a plan and a purpose for all of the suffering we experience.
But this is a process. While we wait for God to finish His conforming work in us, we must cling to Him and trust Him. Knowing there is an end purpose offers hope during these times. Trusting God is a choice we must make daily.
Think about this:
What are you going to choose today when you face a trial? Will you choose to trust God and look for the work He is doing?