Praise Him in the Storm

Tim Savage

"As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." He fell to his knees, shouting, "Lord, don't charge them with this sin!" And with that, he died." (Acts 7:59-60)
This morning we read about 2 men who both suffered for doing the right thing. Both Job and Stephen loved God and lived lives in service to Him, but ultimately they paid a huge price for their beliefs. We're taught that God is love and that He protects us, but often we have the wrong definition of love and protection - we imprint the world's definition of these traits on to God and expect that He operate in a way that we are familiar and comfortable.

God didn't love them any less because He allowed them to walk through the fire. Quite the opposite, as we see in the conversation between God and Satan. Job was a sterling example of someone who loved and worshiped God for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer. He understood the relationship between man and an all-powerful God, creator of the universe - he understood that we must simply submit to our Creator's will.

Stephen also understood the reason for his persecution and attack and his response, like Job's was admirable and inspiring. He knew the possible consequences of his bold words to the council and yet he didn't back down or compromise the message and in the chaos of the riot that broke out, his faced shined with the brightness of an angel and he prayed to God that these murderers be forgiven of their actions.
What can I learn from these 2 extraordinary men? I need to ask the Lord to strengthen my character. When I'm tested and stressed what comes out? Do I have integrity and honor under pressure? Would I worship and praise my Lord and God under mental, spiritual or physical pain? I must strive for a mental toughness that can withstand temporal ups and downs, while not losing my compassion for those around me. These are qualities that will help me be a better leader and a better servant.
Dear Heavenly Father,
May I praise you in blue skies and in storms. Please create in me a depth of character that will please You. Thank You for the many blessings in family and ministry. May I represent You well.

In Jesus name,

Devotions for October 17

Job 1,2
Acts 6,7

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