Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesdays With Traci

I came across this devotional when I was grieving my father's death. It was a great comfort for me. I thought there might be some of you going through a season of waiting and/or tears and could use some encouragement. It is from John Piper’s book, A Godward Life, Part II. I highly recommend it if you haven't read it.

2 Samuel 7:15

"The old proverb says:
No sweat, no sweet: No pains, no gains: No mill, no meal.

It is the same in heavenly things. God’s usual rule is to make us pray before He gives the blessing and to make us fervently pray before great mercies are given. When God makes us knock at mercy’s gate, it is a great blessing. When we plead with God and have not realized success, we become more earnest and more intent and our hunger increases. If we obtained the blessing when we first asked, we would not have a sense of mercy’s value. Standing outside mercy’s gate, we grow more passionately earnest in our pleading. First we ask, then we seek, and finally we plead with cries, tears, and a broken heart.

I never would have been able to comfort anguished seekers if I myself had not been kept waiting for mercy. I have always felt grateful for distress because of the results afterward. Many saints whose experiences are published could never have written those books if they had not waited hungry and thirsty and full of soul sorrow. The spade of agony digs deep trenches to hold the water of life.

If the ships of prayer do not speedily return, it is because they are heavily loaded with blessings. When prayer is not immediately answered, it will be all the sweeter when the answer arrives. Prayer, like fruit, is ripened by hanging longer on the tree.

If you knock with a heavy heart, you will soon sing with the joy of the Spirit. Therefore, do not be discouraged because the door is still closed."

Another wonderful devotional book is by Charles Spurgeon, Morning and Evening. There are numerous places online where you can read this, answersingenesis.org, is just one that I found. February 23 AM devotional was really awesome! If you need some additional encouragement about God being for you and "never forsaking you" make sure to read this excerpt.

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