Monday: Genesis 7
Tuesday: Matthew 7
Wednesday: Ezra 7
Thursday: Acts 7
Friday: Genesis 7, Matthew 7, Ezra 7, Acts 7
Monday, Genesis 7: I think they skip that part in the children’s story – that Noah was inside the ark for seven days before even a drop of rain started to fall. People must have thought he was crazy, maybe he even wondered if he was crazy, to trust these seemingly strange words of God in a land that had never even seen rain before. I’ve been here before, too, blindly trusting God long before seeing the “rain.” But God answers! The earth and sky burst open with flood waters and God keeps Noah safe in the ark. He will answer us, and ultimately, we will be safe from any storm in Jesus.
Are you waiting on Him for something right now?
Is there something you thought He has calling you to, but you are still waiting to see the fruit of your labor and wondering if you even heard Him correctly?
Beloved, we are safe in Jesus just as Noah was safe in the ark. We can trust in God to fulfill all His promises, even when we can’t see the end result.
Tuesday, Matthew 7: We ask, we seek and we knock, and then we must wait with patience on the Lord to give us what we need. He does always give us what we need, even when He doesn’t give us what we want. God always gives good, even when it doesn’t look like what we expected. The road may seem narrow and long and harrowing, and yet, when we are seeking Him the road will lead us to Him, and to eternal life. Jesus is indeed our firm foundation. Though the storms rage and the winds blow, we will not be shaken when our faith is in Him.
Is there an area in your life where you can see that He gave you what you needed, even if it wasn’t exactly what you wanted?
Is there something specific you are asking Him for in this season? Do you believe that He will give you good, even if He doesn’t answer that specific request in the way you are imagining?
Wednesday, Ezra 7: After 70 years of exile, God’s people are badly in need of instruction, but of course, their faithful God does not leave them in their desperate condition. God raises us Ezra to begin the four month journey to His people, placing His hand upon him all the way. Our God, who can use anything or anyone, even moves the heart of the king to keep Ezra safe and provide for him on his journey. I love the way Ezra blesses the Lord for His rich provision at the end of this chapter. God works out every detail, extends to us His steadfast love, and because of this we take courage! Take courage, dear one, He is with you on this journey and giving you all you need!
Are there people in your own life God uses to share His instruction when you are downtrodden, or to provide for you on your journey? Take a moment to pray for those people, or reach out and thank them for the gift they are to you.
Thursday, Acts 7: As I have been pondering this week the God who keeps us safe in all of life’s storms, I am all too aware that my definition of safe isn’t always the same as His. I like when safe lines up with Ezra’s experience – lavishly provided for with silver and gold at the hand of the king. But what about Steven? It would be easy to shake our heads and say that God didn’t rescue him. But as I read it again, I see that God gave him the courage for the task at hand, the most important work of his life, to share the Gospel, and even as Steven is stoned and meets his death, he calls out for the Lord to receive his Spirit, and the Lord brings him safely, securely into eternity.
When our hope is in an eternal God, there is no danger that can truly harm us, because our eternal future is ever secure. Take some time today to name the things in your life that feel unsafe or uncertain. Allow some quiet space to let those things feel small in comparison to the knowledge that your eternal future with Jesus is secure no matter what.
This is our God – the God of Noah, of Ezra, of Abraham and Joseph and Moses. This is the God who keeps us safe on all life’s journeys and through every raging storm. It is not lost on me that in the very same week that we read about the flood waters overtaking the earth and destroying all of God’s creation as Noah and his family rest securely in the ark, Jesus warns His followers of other storms that will come and wash away houses – anything – not built on the firm foundation of His Word.
The rain fell.
The floods came.
The wind blew and beat against the house.
But the house did not fall, because it was built securely on the rock. And we will not fall when we have put our trust fully in Him.
As I read again the words of Steven, I see this truth written all over Scripture. God gives His promises to Abraham, and even as God takes him out of his homeland and all that is familiar, even as Abraham has no children in his old age, He trusts in the firm foundation of the promises of God. There was no inheritance that Abraham could see, just like there was no rain when Noah shut himself in the ark. God promises Abraham that his offspring will indeed suffer, but ultimately that they will be safe in Him.
Then God’s hand is on Joseph, keeping his safe through the devastating hatred of his brothers, through false accusations and persecution, through famine and hardship. God uses even the bad in Joseph’s life for good as Joseph will later testify to the very brothers who sold him into slavery.
Again, God’s people are oppressed and again, God sends rescue, this time through Moses. When Moses should be killed by Pharaoh’s decree, God protects him through adoption by Pharaoh’s own daughter, later raising him up to lead His people out of captivity.
Though His people mess up, hurt each other, turn from Him, God still faithfully shepherds His people, leading and guiding them into His promises. And those who are faithful wait on Him.
Did you see how many years of waiting there are interspersed throughout these stories? After Noah waits seven days for the rain to start and through 40 days of flooding, the water prevailed on the earth for another 150 days. That’s a long time to be in a confined space with a lot of animals. Abraham’s wait is much longer! Isaac is born at least 15 years (maybe many more) after God first promises Abraham that he will have many descendants, numbering more than even the stars in the sky. The second part of this promise, that Abraham will become a great nation, is fulfilled several hundred years after Abrahams death. Joseph waits for years in slavery and then years in prison, all the while believing that God will give him good in the midst of the trials and redeem his situation. The Israelites spend decades in slaverly, Moses waits for 40 years in Midian before returning to his people, and then they spend 40 years in the wilderness before entering the promised land. For centuries, God’s people wait and wait on His promised Messiah. And yet, God never removes His hand from His servants.
Sometimes the storms feel long, dear one. Sometimes, we can’t imagine the promises of God could be true for us, in the midst of days or years or decades of waiting. And yet, here we are, safe in His loving hands. The Lord gives us courage to endure the journey, to face the storm. He is our unshakable foundation.
- What are you waiting on in this season?
- How can the stories we read this week encourage you to wait in great hope, your future secure in Him.