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Iron Sharpens Iron
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Endurance for the Journey, Featured

I cried out to God for help;
I cried out to God to hear me.

“Will the Lord reject forever?
Will he never show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever:
Has his promise failed for all time?”
PSALM 77:1,7-8 (NIV)



Saint John of the Cross, a sixteenth-century Spanish mystic, described in a famous poem the experience of a believer who draws close to God through the agonies of desolation and despair. He teaches that one who patiently accepts trials can attain a communion with God unavailable in any other way.


Those who find themselves in such a dark night of the soul often become convinced that God has abandoned them and cast them into darkness – to wander alone in the blackness for weeks, months, even years. But John testifies that such a dark night may lead to brilliant light in the very bosom of God.


Psalm 77 appears to picture just such a dark night of the soul. The psalmist cries out to God – and hears nothing. His soul refuses to be comforted. He wonders when God will again show him favor. Finally he makes a decision: to recall the Lord’s mighty works of the past. He dares to believe that God will again work in his life. And that thought begins to bring him hope. Not light, perhaps not yet – but hope. And hope works even in the dark.



We can rejoice, too,
when we run into problems and trials,
for we know that they help us
develop endurance.
And endurance develops strength of character,
and character strengthens
our confident hope of salvation.
And this hope will not lead to disappointment.
For we know how dearly God loves us,
because he has given us the
Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
ROMANS 5:3-5 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured

Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into deep waters;
The floods engulf me.
I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
PSALM 69:1-3 (Of David) (NLT)



The waters have risen to your neck, you’re sinking fast, and your throat is cracked and dry from yelling for help. You scan the horizon for any faint hope of rescue – and your eyes come up empty.


Are you among the cornered, the desperate? If you are, you’re in good company. Many of God’s children have felt the same noose around their necks – and yet they made it through to sing of their salvation.


One comfort for the cornered is the knowledge that they are not the first (nor will they be the last) to endure such desperate hours.


God often waits until the last moment, the final second, to accomplish our rescue.Then it becomes plain that our predicament turns out to be both a test (Will we trust him?) and an opportunity (How can we gain strength from this?). It helps to know that others like King David, the psalmist, have been there before us.



The Lord hears his people
when they call to him for help.
He rescues them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;
He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.
The righteous person faces many troubles,
but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.
PSALM 34:17-19 (Of David) (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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Endurance for the Journey, Featured

O God, you are my God,
earnestly I seek you;
my soul thirsts for you,
my body longs for you,
in a dry and weary land
where there is no water.
PSALM 63:1 (NIV)



When we get thirsty, we simply throw cold liquid down the hatch and presto! We’re not thirsty anymore. The body, however, thinks of thirst in a much different way. The hypothalamus is the region of the brain primarily responsible for monitoring the body’s level of water, sensing an increased concentration of salt in the bloodstream.


Our soul experiences its own kind of thirst. Those deep, inner longings we feel are simply the soul signaling to us that it needs something – comfort, affirmation, love. Our soul was designed to consume one thing, and one thing only: God (v.1).


All other earthly pursuits to quench our thirst do just the opposite. The things we think will quench our thirst are simply laden with more “salt” of self-doubt, covetousness and pride. Only God is pure, clean and deeply satisfying to our soul. Only God meets every need. Only God ends the hopeless search for the soul’s true comfort, affirmation and love.


Only God. Keep those two words echoing in your mind today.
JONI EARECKSON TADA



Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you
and who you are speaking to, you would ask me,
and I would give you living water.”

“But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket,”
she said, “and this well is very deep.
Where would you get this living water?”

Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water
will soon become thirsty again.
But those who drink the water
I give will never be thirsty again.
It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them,
giving them eternal life.”
JOHN 4:10-11, 13-14 (NLT)



On the journey with you,
Jan & Dave Dravecky

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