Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
UNIVERSAL SALVATION IN CHRISTRuth 1: 20-21
Don’t call me Naomi, call me Mara because the almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full but the Lord has brought me back empty. The Lord has afflicted me.
Have you ever been upset with God? Have you cried out in desperation for being unable to have things as you wanted and made it known to God? The lyricist puts this feeling and the solution to the despair beautifully in the song- ‘What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear, what a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer.
Naomi had experienced several hardships. She had left Israel married and with riches in plenty, but returned widowed and poor. She changed her name to express the bitterness and pain she felt; however, she was not rejecting God by openly expressing her pain. She seems to have lost sight of the tremendous resources she had in her relationship with Ruth and with God. However later in the book of Ruth, we know how God goes on to bless Naomi and Ruth bountifully.
If we only think of God as one who will always bless us with good things if we live for him, when persecutions or suffering comes, we will be blindsided. In those challenging times, we must reach out to God with honest prayers and God shall welcome them. Do not overlook the love, strength, and resources he provides in your present relationship. And do not allow bitterness and disappointment to blind you to your opportunities. Ruth was a Moabite, but that did not stop her from worshipping God nor did it stop God from accepting her worship and blessing her richly. God accepts all who worship him earnestly. He works through people regardless of their race, sex or nationality. And we must believe that God can use every circumstance to build his kingdom.
Dear God, I pray that you strengthen our faith so that we can be persistent in our prayers and work with fervor to establish your kingdom here on earth as you desire. Enable us to look over our trials and understand your greater plan in the adversaries we face. Amen
Thought for the Day
Your salvation depends on what Christ has done for you, not on what you do for him. It isn’t your hold on God that saves you, It’s his hold on you.