Tides is a simple resource to help you develop a regular rhythm of bible reading. You will find today’s daily email below and if you wish to register to receive these emails, you can do so here.
This week’s Tides introduces “These three remain…” an initiative of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to draw congregations and their members together in God to express his life and witness in this moment. Content will also appear on the PCI website and social media in the coming days to resource the church for its continuing ministry and mission.
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
These words crack open the most troubling of all puzzles. When terrible things happen, where is God? In such moments we need to develop Spirit-sight to help us see what He is actually doing.
Suffering produces three precious things (3-4); perseverance, character and hope. There is only one way to get these three qualities – through suffering. When you see these things in another believer, show respect. These traits haven’t come cheaply. Don’t ask God for them lightly, because he might answer your prayer.
Hope, as the last of these, does an amazing thing (5). It softens the scars of suffering, eases away bitterness, is a balm to bereavement, by pouring love into the hearts of the broken. And this hope-filled love doesn’t just make us feel better. It is the very Spirit-Presence of God Himself, coming right beside us, within our infected souls, to heal us.
Trust him for this, no matter what lies ahead.
1 Workman of God, O lose not heart,
But learn what God is like;
And in the darkest battle-field
Thou shalt know where to strike.
2 Thrice blest is he to whom is given
The instinct that can tell
That God is on the field when He
Is most invisible
Workman of God (Frederick William Faber).
:: As churches do not meet in their usual buildings, pray that the congregations would still have a community heart and concern for one another. Pray that people would be able to find a way to worship meaningfully during these challenging weeks.
:: Pray for church leaders as they offer insight and wisdom to their congregations and communities. Ask God to give them opportunities to be voices of reason, clarity and grace.
:: Pray that God would calm fears and that his people would be reminded we have a different identity – one of boldness, not of fear. Pray that the church would be a calming presence and radiant light in the face of so much confusion and darkness.
:: In this time of great anxiety, pray that God’s people would be ready to meet the world with the comfort and hope that only the good news of Jesus Christ can offer. Pray that we as God’s people would be reminded of our hope in Christ and the truth that our Saviour who died and rose for us has already overcome the world.