Today’s readings: Ruth 1:1-14; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11; Matthew 5:1-12
Who may we rely upon when we are afflicted? Shall we turn to family and friends, depending upon their aid? Should we try harder, trusting in human wisdom and strength? Various afflictions will come our way, so we must know where to find true comfort. Ruth was unable to depend upon family, though she remained faithful to them when they had nothing left to offer. Paul was greatly afflicted for the gospel but found comfort in the sufferings of Christ.
We too, may find hope and healing in the suffering of Jesus for us (1 Pet 2:24). When we grieve over our greatest affliction—sin—and acknowledge our poor spiritual condition, we find the truest comfort, knowing that despite all these troubles, the kingdom of heaven has been given to us. When problems arise, as they will, we find comfort in Christ, so that we may comfort others in their afflictions with the same comfort which has comforted us. In all this, we learn to rely upon God alone, just as Ruth learned to do in Bethlehem so long ago.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, turn my eyes upon Jesus so that the things of this world may grow dim in the light of glory. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Mark Ryman, Communications Coordinator for the NALC and Pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Advance, NC.