the word for today

Today’s Reading

Navigating life’s losses (1)

‘A time to gain, and a time to lose.’ Ecclesiastes 3:6 NKJV

God’s Word neither ignores nor minimises the painful realities of life. Inevitably, we, and our loved ones, will experience life’s losses: illness, ageing, death, divorce, disability, loss of independence, unemployment, financial reversals, etc. Today’s culture prepares us for gain, but not for loss; to dance, but not to mourn (see Ecclesiastes 3:4). Major losses throw us into uncharted territory. So, we need to understand the dynamics of our loss in order to help us through it and back to living again. Life-changing loss begins with bereavement – the agony of feeling that something or someone indispensable to us has been ripped away, leaving us feeling robbed. Then comes grief – searing emotions of overwhelming sorrow that are often accompanied by anger, distress, confusion, and helplessness. Next, we move into the mourning stage and begin to express our grief and loss. This is the hard work stage of tears, memories, and heartrending spasms of weeping that shake us to our very core. We feel guilt and remorse over what we have said or done or not said or done. Our heartache gives those around us the opportunity to respond, offering the comfort and reassurance we need to begin healing. This is God’s protocol for healing broken hearts. At the age of 120, Moses, the Israelites’ beloved leader died leaving behind him a grief-stricken nation (see Deuteronomy 34). God allowed them thirty days to mourn their loss and to comfort one another before resuming the business of life. So take the time you need to do the work of mourning your losses because Jesus said, ‘Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted’ (Matthew 5:4 KJV).

SoulFood: 1 Kings 6-7, Matt 16:1-12, Ps 36, Pro 5:21-23

Renungan Hari Ini [The Word for Today] is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

Are you being sifted?

‘Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.’ Luke 22:31-32 NIV

When Jesus told Peter, “Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat,” it raises the question in our minds, Lord, did you have to say yes? A good sifting brings glory to God, such as when Job continued to praise his Maker when things seemed lost and even his wife was telling him to give up on God. It probes your weaknesses. Where you’re still thinking, ‘I can,’ a good, swift sift will push you to say, ‘I can’t, but God can.’ It allows God to scrape away the distractions that could hinder you from fulfilling His purpose in your life. Peter’s sifting would scrape away all his stomp-and-snort bluster, revealing a heart that’s teachable and willing to welcome Cornelius and his Gentile clan into the family of God. Notice, Jesus didn’t say, ‘Get ready for a whirlwind of hurt, Peter. I know you’re going to let Me down!’ Instead, He pointed to the future. Peter would survive the sifting; he would return humbled but stronger and with a purpose to strengthen his brothers and sisters. The Lord said yes to the sifting to transform Peter from a leader who serves to a servant who leads. And that’s a significant shift from the thinking of men to the thinking of God. You may have days when you wonder if God is letting Satan sift you. You can take a God-view of it, knowing He is always in control. Remember, ‘“greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world’ (1 John 4:4 KJV).

SoulFood: 1 Kings 3-5, Matt 15:15-39, Ps 33:13-22, Pro 5:15-20

Renungan Hari Ini [The Word for Today] is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright ©

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Renungan Hari Ini (The Word for Today) online edition is available in the following translations English, Indonesian and Tetun.

The printed edition of Renungan Hari Ini is available in Indonesian only.

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