Sharon W. Betters
If My people who are called by My name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land (2 Chronicles 7:14, NLT).
This is the final devotional in our series A Pilgrimage Fueled by Hope and it’s so appropriate that we end with a quick review of lessons learned from Jehoshaphat. From Jehoshaphat, we are reminded that we are in a marathon, not a sprint. No matter what systems we put into place with the hope that they become our “default mode” or “auto-response” to life, we will still sin against God. Our sinfulness will take us on rabbit trails, far from the Lord. We will make bad choices and suffer consequences, but these consequences are designed to help turn our hearts back to our God.
We wanted to ask Jehoshaphat, “What were you thinking?” when he made the alliance with evil Ahab. Yet, we realized that the same question could be asked of each one of us when our sin results in consequences that impact others.
Although Jehoshaphat sinned against God, God did not abandon him. When Jehoshaphat cried out for help, God saved him. The child of God can rest assured that the Lord will not let go of His children. His discipline is designed to turn our hearts toward Him, the only sure source of grace and peace.
Where are you today in life’s pilgrimage? Are you struggling to stay focused on responding to life through the grid of Scripture? Is sin knocking on your door, and are you tempted to welcome it in? Are you suffering so deeply that you are willing to try anything to mend the broken places, even behavior that leads you further away from God’s peace?
As we wrap up this series, be encouraged that when rebuke comes from the Lord, the rebuke is a messenger of grace. Humble yourself before the Lord in repentance. Seek His wisdom, pray, ask others to pray with you and for you. Fill your heart with praise for God’s past faithfulness and present promises. Taste and see that the Lord is good and wait on Him to fight this battle for you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Sharon W. Betters is a mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, pastor’s wife, and cofounder of MARKINC Ministries, where she is the Director of Resource Development. Sharon is the author of several books, including Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness, and co-author with Susan Hunt of Aging with Grace. She is the co-host of the Help & Hope podcast and writes Daily Treasure, an online devotional.
For more from Daily Treasure please visit MARKINC.ORG.