21 Days of Prayer, Day 5

Read Romans 8:31-39.

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As the conclusion to a majestic chapter of Scripture, this passage speaks to a godly view of risk for Jesus followers. At Harvest, one of our distinctive relates to risk:

We don't play it safe, we follow Jesus.

Jesus never cast following him as a safe endeavor. Maybe you’ve believed that if you follow Jesus perfectly, he will ensure that no harm comes to you. While many people may subscribe to such a belief, it is not actually true. Jesus actually told his followers, “in this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).

If this is your belief, you’re doomed for a crisis of faith. Eventually, when something tragic or painful tears into your life, you’re going to do one of two things. Either you will determine you’ve failed to follow him so he’s punishing you, or you’ll question his goodness or fairness.

We like:

“If God is for us, who can be against us?”...
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”...
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” (Romans 8:31, 35, 37).

And yet Romans 8:36 quotes Psalm 44:22

"For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered."

More than conquerors and like sheep to be slaughtered. These two statements sound so contradictory don’t they? The reason they are not contradictory requires the right timeline perspective. God can turn everything, even suffering and death, into something good. Even “loss” becomes “gain” when Jesus is Lord.

Pray: Asking God for faith to take risks and (for you parents) to allow godly risk taking for your children.

Pray: For courage to do whatever God is calling you to do this year, remembering the seemingly contradictory risk-reward, pain-glory nature of following Jesus.

 

P.S. Let me give you a little bit more of Jesus’ statement quoted above:

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (‭‭John‬ ‭16:33‬ ‭NIV‬‬).

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