The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in Him." The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:22-26
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 Sunday 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
As Christians in the Middle East, we live in an era where we feel everything is working against us. You see, life in our region is full of challenges and difficulties. Among the special problems we face are the ongoing religious and political wars, as well as a rise in Islamic fundamentalist threats.
Looking at these frightening situations, all too often believers conclude they are alone, or they may soon find themselves in a position from which there is no escape and which can never be resolved. You can understand why with people being martyred every day, how some of the Savior's followers might think their personal future -- as well as that of Christianity -- must be very dark indeed.
This is why we need to constantly be reminded that God's compassion will not fail us.
The book of Lamentations beautifully reminds us of how God's graces are new every morning. A few thousand years ago, King David felt divine grace in his life. From Psalm 61 we are told how, when David was feeling down and very lonely, he used prayer to face -- and deal with -- his problems.
Let's see how David prayed.
The first thing David did was go to the Lord and lay out the situation before Him. The text says David "cried to God." There was no holding back; there was no foolish boasting that said "Lord, let's You and me handle this problem together."
No, David went to the Lord and shared his need with tears. He says, "From the end of the earth I cry to you." He adds, especially "when my heart is faint and feels weak; I'm going to let the Lord know how I feel so He can help me."
David's method is a good one.
It is so good that I encourage you, when you are facing hard times, to let God know how you feel, and let Him know you are counting on His help.
Maybe we can expand that to read that you are counting on and patiently waiting for the Lord's assistance and intervention. Yes, you can do those things with confidence because God has heard your prayer. Because of Jesus' sacrifice and victory, the Lord promises He will respond. That's why Psalm 27:14 gives us this encouragement: "Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart: wait, I say, on the Lord."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, no matter what type of problem or persecution we meet, may we trust in You. Because of the sacrifice of the Savior, we can be at peace and know that Your faithful people may be persecuted, but they will also be preserved. This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
Biography of Author: Today's international devotion was written by Fadi E. Khairallah. Mr. Khairallah was born to a Christian family in Baabda, Lebanon. He has attended graduate courses in communications and Lutheran theology at Concordia University, Seward, Nebraska. He is currently preparing his thesis for his master's degree in Islamic studies. At present he serves as director for Middle East Lutheran Ministry (MELM) in Lebanon, a position he has held since December 2001. Mr. Khairallah is married to Lara and has one baby boy. He and his family reside in Beirut, Lebanon.
Launched in 1950 in Beirut, Middle East Lutheran Ministry -- also known as LHM-Lebanon -- uses radio broadcasts to reach people in at least ten Arabic-speaking countries with the Good News. Assisting individuals in their Christian faith life in places as far away as Libya, Iraq and Egypt, this ministry center teaches people about Jesus with its Arabic-language Bible Correspondence Course (BCC). Through its Equipping the Saints (ETS) workshops, lay people are trained in how to better convey God's message of hope in their everyday lives. Many of this program's participants are students and young adults who are eager to share Jesus with their families and peers. Using the Internet (a website, text messaging), TV programming, and other video production, God's love and hope are shared with people throughout a region torn by war, oppression and other desperate circumstances. Holistic assistance is provided to many Muslim families and Bedouin communities through vacation Bible schools and programs that deliver clothing and school supplies to children. Emergency care is also given to people such as Syrian and Iraqi families who have come to Lebanon from their home countries as they flee various conflicts in their homelands.
Take a moment and check out how LHM-Lebanon is engaging non-Christians in faith-building Bible studies that point the way to Jesus and the salvation God offers through His Son. Also, read how this ministry center is giving much-needed relief to refugees in northern Iraq, especially those who have been driven from their homes in the Nineveh region by fanatical extremism.
You can find it all by clicking here to access LHM-Lebanon's blog.
To learn more about our International Ministries, click here or visit www.lhm.org/international.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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