Words from the Heart
A daily e-devotional sent to your inbox every morning.
Words from the Heart is a daily e-devotional brought to you by Bob Beasley, Bible League Canada's Chief Ministry Officer.
Each morning you will receive a daily verse, short reflection point, as well as a 3-minute podcast and written devotional. All in one email!
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We pray this e-devotional encourages your daily walk with God as you start your day with Words from the Heart.
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Pastor Bob Beasley
Chief Ministry Officer,
Bible League Canada
You can listen to a sample podcast right here:
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4 (NLT)
Those Who Mourn
Marked annually in Canada on April 28, the National Day of Mourning is dedicated to remembering those who have lost their lives, or suffered injury or illness on the job or due to a work-related tragedy. It is also a day to collectively renew our commitment to improve health and safety in the workplace and prevent further injuries, illnesses and deaths. Traditionally on April 28th the Canadian flag has flown at half-mast on Parliament Hill and on all federal government buildings.
It doesn’t take long in pastoral ministry to recognize the privilege it is to walk with brothers and sisters as they deal with grief. Standing with a family in a hospital room as they say goodbye to a loved one, or counseling someone as they deal with divorce, or wayward children, or financial challenges is an honour. Grief affects everyone – Christian and non-Christian alike. After all, even Jesus wept when He stood outside the tomb of His friend Lazarus. There is a foundational difference, however, between the grief of those who know Jesus and those who don’t. In a word, the difference is hope. As 1 Thessalonians 4:13 says, we do not grieve as those who have no hope.” We alone have the assurance of eternal life. So Jesus taught in Matthew 5:4 “God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” We who walk with Jesus have two things the world knows nothing about: eternal life and the abiding presence of Jesus, our Comforter. He draws alongside us as we mourn, keeping His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us – that He will be with us even to the end of the age. This is a Kingdom of God principle.
These have been words from the heart.
“God is not a God of confusion but a God of peace. This is the rule for all the meetings of God’s people.”
1 Corinthians 14:33 (ERV)
All across Canada decisions are being made about how we are to deal with the pandemic. Politicians and medical authorities are giving advice, setting guidelines and issuing edicts on a regular basis. Sometimes it feels like just when we are getting used to one new regulation, another is given that seems contradictory. And just as we are understanding what the rules are for one level of restriction, they change the level of restriction and we have to learn all the implications of the new level. No wonder confusion often reigns in our daily lives and relationships.
How in the world do we deal with all of this?
The Bible is clear that God is not the author of confusion. In 1 Corinthians 14:33 Paul writes: “God is not a God of confusion but a God of peace.”
How does this help us deal with the confusion that too often marks our world today?
The context of this verse is the use of spiritual gifts in the church. Reading 1 Corinthians 14 we can infer that the worship gatherings in the church in Corinth were totally out of order – pandemonium is not too strong a word. So, Paul calls these young believers, who had come out of the uncontrollable, demonic worship of the local deities, to Holy Spirit-directed orderly worship. This would be a witness to the non-believers in Corinth that the God who has been revealed through Jesus Christ, is not a God of confusion but of peace.
God is not just the God of peace in the Church, however. While in this particular context Paul is speaking about God’s nature being that of peace and not confusion within the Church, the principle is universal. In fact, just look at the laws of nature to see just how orderly the Creator is.
In the midst of these pandemic days, when there is so much confusion and craziness in our world, we who follow Jesus Christ must live our lives in a way that manifests the peace that only God can bring in the midst of confusion.
What exactly does that mean? Christians can be just as confused about how we are supposed to act, where we can go, with whom we can be, as the non-Christian.
There are two responses to that question. First, we are to be peacemakers. It is so easy to continue to add fuel to the fire, to respond to everybody’s latest idea about every implication of the pandemic. Instead, we must ask ourselves “how can I bring some peace, some sanity, to all that is happening on our world.” Jesus said in Matthew 5:9 “blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” How can you bring the peace of Christ to others who are overwhelmed with confusion during these challenging times?
Second, lay your confusion at the feet of Jesus. In 1 Peter 5:7, the Amplified Bible invites us to “[cast] all your cares [all your anxieties, all your worries, and all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares about you [with deepest affection, and watches over you very carefully].”
You can’t bring peace to others until you have experienced Jesus’ peace in your own heart. So, cast your confusion, your anxiety, your cares, your worries on Him. And the peace of God will fill your heart, helping you to think clearly and to bring His peace to those around you who are desperate for it as well.
I’m Bob Beasley, and these have been words from the heart.