Devotion – April 2023

Joyful Tribulation

Last year the Lutheran Women Vic/Tas Convention was held at Laverton, and I had arranged with three other committee members to carpool. I was looking forward to a road trip with these ladies; we planned to meet at my house for lunch before we headed off. The car we were travelling in was a beautifully maintained 1990 Toyota Cressida that my friend’s husband recommended we take. It reminded me of Dr Who’s Tardis small on the outside but roomy on the inside. I was amazed by the size of the boot as it easily housed all our luggage, the interior of the car was immaculate and roomy, plenty of space for all those legs. Before leaving we prayed for a safe trip and a blessed weekend, and it wasn’t long before we were settled in happily chatting and sharing some laughs.

Life has many twists and turns. Little surprises can crop up quite unexpectedly, and so it was for us as we cheerfully journeyed along. About three quarters of an hour into our drive our immaculate little car showed its temper by getting a little hot under the bonnet – we watched surprised as steam poured out from the front of the car. Quickly my friend pulled over, doors flung open as we bundled out. After the initial shock, deliberations, fascinations, and contemplations, we realised we were alone on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere! Like clockwork we all began to call our husbands, eventually it was arranged that my husband would bring our car and when he finally arrived, we were joyful to see him!

It’s remarkable how quickly circumstances can change, one minute we are on cruise control down life’s highway oblivious to any trouble ahead, then without warning we are plunged into situations that are quite unexpected leaving us vulnerable. Jesus warned us about these roadblocks when he said, “In this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33 NKJV). Tribulation indeed! Yet he doesn’t leave us stranded continuing, “But take heart; I have overcome the world”.

Jesus promises to be with us through our tribulations, however he doesn’t promise to take them away. When we were stranded on the side of the road, our prayer was answered. Although inconvenienced, Jesus was still with us. We were not harmed, we knew that our husbands would come to our rescue, and we were joyful when we were back on track.

Yet this joy is nothing in comparison to the joy we have in Jesus, the closing verses of Jude give a beautiful glimpse of this joy. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding JOY”. We have a loving Saviour who keeps our road safe and straight so we do not stumble, we are assured of reaching our final destination where he will present us faultless before the presence of his glory no less! This amazing grace produces in us joyful fruit, everlasting peace, and a clear road ahead!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, how deep and unfathomable your love is for us! You did not leave us stranded in our sin, instead you rescued us despite of our wretchedness. Thank you for your all-encompassing love for us through Jesus. Amen

About the Author

Dee Simons

I was born in the Wimmera district of Victoria (Minyip) and raised in the Western District of Victoria. My husband, Bruce, and I have been blessed with three children. We have recently been gifted with our first grandchild. Our home is situated in the scenic township of Dunkeld and we are members at Trinity Lutheran Church, Warrayure. During the week you will find me behind the front desk at Good Shepherd Lutheran College in Hamilton. I have worked at the college over the past 17 years. I wish to acknowledge my family – often the first to hear a new devotion, and all those people who encouraged and inspired me to keep writing, giving me opportunity to share these words. Finally, I thank and give all glory to God, who I know, without any doubt or hesitation, is the one who holds my pen. Often after I finish a devotion and read back over the words, I am flabbergasted that I actually wrote them. I know that there is a higher power directing my thoughts to paper. The Holy Spirit is at work here and I am always emotionally touched when I think that this God would even contemplate to use me to do his work. That is the true miracle. My prayer is that God will bless you through these devotions.

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