Pause

Life is full of disappointments. There's enough sadness around for everyone to know the hardest times that humans can experience.

The way of faith doesn't deny suffering and struggle, it simply recognizes that difficult experiences are not the end of the story.

No, God's way of "doing business" is to redeem every situation, to lift us up, to teach us, to help us grow. No matter your circumstances today, these gifts are available to you now.

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Listen

The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the strangers; he upholds the orphan and the widow, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 146:7c-10

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Think

The psalmist reminds us that God works to bring justice to those who are oppressed. When we read this list, however, we may be confused as to who the righteous are. It takes us a second to remember that God’s righteous people are often the same ones described here — those who are in prison unfairly, who are blind, who are strangers, who are widows, who are bullied, who are experiencing pain, and more.

We like to think of ourselves as righteous people, and it’s true that we work hard to follow Christ. But the ones identified as righteous in this list serves as a reminder that following God does not mean a carefree, easy life. We will have hard times and struggles, but throughout those moments God will stay close.

Even righteousness can be painful, but God is a God of justice.

Chris Cherry

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Pray

God of all righteousness, I think I know who I am. I work hard to follow you and to be one of your righteous. Lord, draw near to me because trying to be righteous is not easy. Still, I know that you love me. Help me to feel your love. Amen.

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Go

Resurrection is an every day kind of thing.
We celebrate it at Easter, each Sunday,
And, in fact, all the days in between.

Place no limitations on God's determination
To redeem your life, regardless of circumstance.
Live into the kind of faith that anticipates redemption.

Chris Cherry

Chris Cherry serves as the minister to students at St. Andrews Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina. He has served as a Bible study leader on a PassportKids team and two Passport Youth teams. Chris graduated from Georgetown College in 2009 and McAfee School of Theology in 2013. He is engaged and will be married to Tory at the end of this month.

Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life

Ken Medema

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