Heading into the New Year, this devotion will be of help to you.
What is to be our resource in the hour of affliction and sorrow?
(George Everard, “Family Sorrows” 1882)
There is one passage of Scripture that has been to me an anchor of hope and strength in many a dark and sorrowful day, and I desire that it might be cherished in the memory of each reader, and its guidance followed when trouble comes: “Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.” 1 Peter 5:7 (Amplified version)
Go then to the mercy-seat in the Savior’s name, and bring your whole care and sorrow, and leave it at your Father’s footstool.
Consider His Fatherly HEART. “He cares for you.” As a father pities his children, yes “as one whom his mother comforts”–so tenderly does the Lord deal with those who fear Him and trust in Him.
Consider His Fatherly HAND. It is the hand of love that smites. It is the hand that has bestowed our every mercy–which holds the cup of sorrow. It is the same hand that in due season will remove our trials, and lift us up from our depths of distress, and set us again on the rock of safety and peace.
Consider His Fatherly EYE. It is ever upon us for good, and not for evil. He knows our sorrow, and beholds every affliction and calamity that befalls us. “Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear Him, upon those who hope in His mercy.”
Consider His Fatherly EAR. He hears every sigh, every moaning, every cry. He bows down and inclines His ear to every petition. “His ear is open to our prayer.”
Consider His Fatherly PURPOSE. Read the twelfth chapter of Hebrews, and see how He wills only our good. He would make us “partakers of His holiness.” He would purify us from the dross of our corruptions, and make us fit for His presence.
Consider His Fatherly PROMISE. He has promised that He will “never leave us nor forsake us.” He has promised that He will make “all things work together for good to those who love Him.” “He who spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Ah, Christian, trust yourself wholly to your Father’s care, and He will not disappoint your confidence!
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001