Monday, August 21, 2017

Daily Devotion August 21, 2017 "No Matter the Circumstance ~ Count on Christ!"

Count on Christ! That's the message of our lesson for today.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Rev. Dr. Gregory Seltz, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour

"No Matter the Circumstance ~ Count on Christ!"

August 21, 2017

Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession." Jesus did not answer a word. ...

Count on Christ! That's the message of our lesson for today. In this lesson we see a woman who is at the end of her rope. She's a loving mother who had a very sick daughter, and the Bible says that her daughter was troubled by a demon. Her world was in chaos.

When the world in all its chaos gets very real, then the uniqueness of Jesus shines even more clearly. That's what this lady understood. No matter what she was facing, Jesus was here, and that made all the difference for her.

Her faith in Him made all the difference too because in her mind He would do what was best for her and for her daughter. To that end her persistent faith demonstrates that you can count on Jesus, even when you can't count on anything else.

You can count on Jesus when all else fails; you can even count on Him when He seems silent for a time. Why? The cross and the resurrection demonstrate publicly what He thinks about you and what He wants for us.

So even when Jesus is silent, or even when He appears to be unconcerned, the woman of this text says don't you believe it. He loves you and will do what is best.

Back to the lesson. Hey! In fact, what about Jesus' responses? He seems to put her off; He seems to mildly insult her. Why would He do such a thing?? It seems so unlike Him.

Some say His silence -- or later His even somewhat rebuke -- some say that was to deepen her faith and trust in Him.

I say no it's much more than that. It's to exhibit her faith, to demonstrate her faith for all to see -- especially those of us today who might be having a hard time with what we think God is doing for us or not doing for us at the moment.

Her faith was a shining example for those present and for us today. She was in essence saying, "Whatever you do for me, Jesus, it will be best for me. I can put my trust in You alone. So I'm committing my life, my daughter's life, to You. Period."

Some people think the woman's faith caused Jesus to act. That misses the whole point too. She knew the depth of the mercy of this Jesus who stood before her. He was the one that David longed to see. He was the one that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob yearned for. He was the Lord, the Master who brings God's mercy to her and to all.

She was bold in her response. She said, "I have a Master who treats me with mercy!"

Jesus, You know, if You want to call me a house dog, I'm okay with it. It means I'm a part of Your house. You're my Lord, I'm with You. I'm no stray. I'm not on my own. I'm with You, and that's all right."

You see everyone in the world, we all have a master, but most people go searching for love and peace and happiness in other sinful people or in inanimate things. They try to go it on their own, but they don't realize His crumbs are better than everyone else's filet mignon.

• Lord, if only Your crumbs -- that's enough for me.
• If only Your loving touch -- I will rest secure.
• If only Your simple word -- I will be satisfied.

Wow! I wish I could have seen Jesus' face. I think He couldn't wait to bless her trust in Him. Jesus is overjoyed at such confidence in Him, and that's what He wants for you today, too!

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, let this woman be an example to all of us of faith's persistence to engage You as the source of our very lives, now and forever! Amen.

Use these devotions in your newsletter and bulletin!  Used by permission; all rights reserved by the Int'l LLL (LHM).

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