"Tested by Fire"
July 25, 2014
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
The salvation story of Jesus Christ reaches around the world. So that the readers of our Daily Devotion may see the power of the Savior on a global scale, we have asked the volunteers of our International Ministry Centers to write our Friday devotions. We pray that the Spirit may touch your day through their words.
In Christ, I remain, His servant and yours,
Kenneth R. Klaus
Speaker Emeritus of The Lutheran Hour
When I married, I was still very young.
We lived one and a half years with my in-laws until my husband and I finally moved to our own home. After we had lived four months in that new house something most unexpected happened: our home caught fire. There was no explanation or reason, but our home, with everything we owned, was engulfed in flames. When the fire was out, there was nothing left to salvage.
You can understand when I tell you that fire had a tremendous impact on our lives.
For a whole month I had a lump in my throat, I knew I should not blame God for what had happened to me, but I could not understand how He had allowed this catastrophe. Although today I am ashamed to confess it, honesty forces me to confess: I was angry with God. I found myself unable to pray. Indeed, there were moments when I wanted to leave God.
Thankfully, things did not stay that way.
Gradually things began to change, and with that change came one of the greatest lessons of my life. After that fire, in His love, the Lord sent His people, His representatives, my brothers and sisters in Christ. With them they brought gifts. Yes, there were gifts of things that helped us economically, but these folks, reflecting the love they had received from the Savior, also brought themselves and emotional support too.
It was a test which made me realize that we should not cling to earthly things, especially if those things get in the way of the Lord's relationship with His beloved children.
Today I am happy to acknowledge my many debts to God almighty, the Creator of the whole universe, the Redeemer of the world. Although constant struggles say it will never be easy to live in this world, we can be confident He is with us. In those times when we feel overwhelmed by the pains and problems of this world, the Lord is there.
Jesus, knowing our situation in this sinful life, did all that was necessary to bring us salvation. His life, death and resurrection are proof of God's grace. It is why we can believe Him when He says, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (John 14:27).
Jesus has done all that was necessary to save us. Now He sends His Holy Spirit who will keep us until Jesus comes again and will take us to be with Him. Confident of the Savior's power and care, I know that when my new house burned, Jesus was still with me and trying to let me know that God had not forsaken me.
It is my prayer, that in no matter what situation you may find yourself, you know that God is there with you too.
THE PRAYER: Dear God, thank You for helping us through difficult trials. We rejoice in the forgiveness of sins, which is given to all who are brought to faith in the Redeemer. Now we ask that You will, in every situation, give us a heart to trust in You. We praise You for rescuing us and giving us eternal life. This we ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Lutheran Hour Ministries has always stood for bringing Christ to the Nations, but we also want to share the Savior with those who are close by. If you would like to know more about how you can be prepared to bear witness to the Savior, we are having an outreach conference called SENT, in Detroit, from July 24-July 27. You can learn more at www.lhm.org/conference.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Lidia Mathias. She was born in Paraguay on July 27, 1971. She is a member of the Lutheran Congregation of San Buenaventura, and is married to Mario Mathias. They have been blessed with two daughters and a granddaughter. Lutheran Hour Ministries-Paraguay was established in 1999 in Asuncion, the capital of Paraguay, a South American country of approximately seven million people. This ministry center's staff and volunteers make personal visits, host rallies and lectures, and visit churches to share the Gospel. Using a variety of social media tools as well as radio broadcasts, this center stays connected with individuals throughout the region. For outreach training, Equipping the Saints (ETS) is available to assist people in speaking their faith, while Bible Correspondence Courses (BCC) are offered for instruction and growth in Christian doctrine. To find out more about the work being done in Paraguay, check out its blog at cptlnparaguay.wordpress.com.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhmint.org.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries