Lent Week 4 – Promise
Every week during lent we will be posting a short devotional thought which we hope you will find a blessing.
Standing on the promises
‘And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled’. Romans 15:4
I went through a hard time a few years back. I had been experiencing chronic pain from a back problem for over three years and had become clinically depressed as a result. Coming out of it, but still experiencing the pain, I found it hard to hold on to a sense of hope.
I was lucky, or I should say, blessed in having good friends and a loving family to support me. One of them said one day, ‘Don’t forget God’s promises to you; stand on the promises.’ I think she was quite brave in saying that to me, but then she is one of my best friends, and has always told me the truth as she sees it. The quote comes from a beautiful old hymn by Russell Kelso Carter, which I remember from my childhood.
‘Standing, standing, standing on the promises of God my Saviour,
Standing, standing, I’m standing on the promises of God.’
Some may think it sacrilegious, but I decided to take this literally, so I wrote two Bible verses on small pieces of paper and put one in each shoe. Every day from then on, I was literally standing on the promises of God. It served to remind me of God’s words to me in spite of apparent circumstances.
As time went on, I changed the pieces of paper for other verses, and found I was coming out of the darkness. My faith had survived. I have a feeling that God would like us to take Him a little more literally. At least some of the time.
Jenny Hawke – Extract from ‘Elephants in the Rush Hour’
Lord, thank you
that in the hardest times
you were there, through the tears and despair,
you brought me through
to a better place.
For surely I have a delightful inheritance
and the lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places.
is life to me.
There is no-one but you.
Pain, loss of hope, depression and darkness. Chronic situations and illness such as leprosy, together with the fears and stigma of other people, can cloud our vision, making it hard to sense God’s love and hope in the midst of the circumstance we find ourselves in.
In places across Nigeria where people affected by leprosy were forced to live, IDEA is giving people who had no hope or opportunity the confidence to stand up for themselves and improve the lives of everybody in their community, overcoming years of prejudice and despair.