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Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

"Bad Nights, Good Nights"

August 30, 2005

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The LORD will keep you from all harm--He will watch over your life. Psalm 121:7

Many a story promising an eventful plot has begun with the line, "It was a dark and stormy night." The Bible narrates many night events, all relating to God's story of our salvation.

It was a dark and eventful night that the trembling Jesus spent in the Garden of Gethsemane. He prayed fervently, was strengthened by an angel, and bravely yielded Himself to His enemies to begin His suffering for our salvation.

Previously Jesus had at times carried on his healing and teaching ministry at night. In Capernaum He healed the sick and the demon-possessed "that evening after sunset" (Mark 1:32). It was a dark but revealing night when He conversed with Nicodemus concerning His kingdom, bringing His teaching to a climax with the Gospel in a nutshell: "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16).

The apostle Paul did much of his teaching and testifying at night. It was a dark and painful night when he and Silas, with their backs beaten and their feet in stocks, sang hymns in a Philippian prison. It was a dark but enlightening night when the apostle "kept on talking until midnight" (Acts 20:7) to assembled Christians at Troas. There the young man Eutychus, sitting in a window, went to sleep and fell to the ground. Saint Paul brought him back to life. It was a dark and tearful night--but one filled with love--when he met with the elders of Ephesus, who "wept as they embraced him and kissed him" (Acts 20:37), knowing they would not see him again.

We all have nights that may be described as "dark and stormy," as certainly Saint Peter had when he denied his Lord. But God is with us in dark nights, just as He is on calm, sunlit days, as Psalm 121 declares. He gives hope and joy. The closing lines of a hymn say it well: "And soon the night of weeping shall be the morn of joy."

PRAYER: Lord God, I know that my times--my days and nights--are in Your hands. Thank You for the words and work of Your Son, Jesus. Amen.

(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)

Today's Bible Readings: 2 Chronicles 13-14    2 Corinthians 4

Change Their World. Change Yours. This changes everything.

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