Friday, August 01, 2008

4 Minute Devotions: Real Success

I discovered real success today at the funeral of a lady who overcame hardship, and transformed her children's lives into something positive.

Podcast version here

Psalm 71:20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up.

Today, I led a funeral for a lady who was abandoned by her husband when her children were still young. It happened at a time when single mothers were shunned by “polite” society, so she had to start her life afresh in a new community. It was a hard choice to make because it meant leaving behind most of her family and friends, but this lady was determined to do the best that she could for her children, so that they would not be defined by the trouble in her life.

At the funeral, her family spoke of their gratitude and appreciation of her fortitude and determination. Her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren were all there to respect her memory and celebrate her life. It was a wonderful opportunity to express their delight in her life and the success of her choices. The troubles she experienced decades ago paled into insignificance as the beauty of her achievements were honored and remembered.

Life can be hard for all of us at times. We each go through seasons of loss and sadness, frustration and fear, anguish and anxiety. That’s when the promises in the Bible can be our foundations for something better in the future. I know that when I go through tough times, I rely upon God’s Word like nothing on earth. And even words from the psalms, which were written three thousand years ago, give me the hope and encouragement that I need.

So, whatever you’re currently going through, or whatever trouble you’re experiencing, hold on to God’s blessings and promises for the future. Like the psalmist, you may see some trouble and bitterness, but God will restore your life again. He will bring you up from the depths of despair.

Prayer: Lord God, our lives go through so many changes and difficulties at times, but You are the One Constant in our lives that we can completely depend upon. You inspired people thousands of years ago to express their faith in the midst of their fears. We thank You that even today, we can find comfort, solace, and hope through the very same words. Be with us and bless us in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

John Stuart is the pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. If you would like to comment on today’s message, send him an email to

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