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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Higher Ways

April 12

(Isaiah 55:6-11 NIV) ""Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. {7} Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon. {8} "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. {9} "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. {10} As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, {11} so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.""

(2 Corinthians 4:7-18 NIV) "But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. {8} We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; {9} persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. {10} We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. {11} For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. {12} So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you. {13} It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, {14} because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in his presence. {15} All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. {16} Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. {17} For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. {18} So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

The biggest battle that most of us will fight in our lifetime is surrendering our wills to God. When we fight against God’s will, we become like that child in the doctor’s office who struggles against the parent trying to hold them still for a shot of antibiotics. We cry out, “No! Please don’t! It hurts!” We get angry with our parent. It feels like a betrayal. We struggle and try to pull away, but their grip is firm, and in the end we get what we need to make us well. They know the shot hurts, but they know our life may be in danger if we don’t get it. They see further ahead than we do. This may be difficult for us to grasp, but sometimes pain is a provision of the Lord. We often mistake it as a lack of caring by God, but in reality, it may be the ultimate in care. It may benefit us and protect us in the long run. God’s ways are higher than our ways, but there will certainly be times when it doesn’t feel that way. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

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