Pause

Understand—through the stillness.
Act—out of the stillness.
Conquer—in the stillness.

Dag Hammarskjöld in Markings (1964)

Still your body, mind, and soul. In the stillness, can you sense God’s hope waiting for you?

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Listen

Oh, that my words were written down, inscribed on a scroll with an iron instrument and lead, forever engraved on stone. But I know that my redeemer is alive and afterward he’ll rise upon the dust. After my skin has been torn apart this way— then from my flesh I’ll see God, whom I’ll see myself— my eyes see, and not a stranger’s.

Job 19:23-27a

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Think

The philosopher Karl Marx famously described religion as “the opium of the people.” This was part of Marx’s critique of religion — like a powerful drug, religion serves only to dull the pain people experience in a cruel world.

At first glance, this passage from Job seems to fit that description. With his family dead, his possessions lost, sickness wracking his body, and friends who were largely unhelpful, Job finds solace in religious belief. For a moment the clouds parted and hope broke through. This gives him the strength to carry on.

Faith may be self-serving at times, and it doubtless does help people cope with harsh realities of life. Yet is this all faith does? If the future hope that we are promised is real, it is not foolish to place our confidence in it. If God’s promises are true, drawing strength from the hope that we are promised is the most appropriate way to overcome the challenges we face each day.

Andrew Garnett

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Pray

God, I may face challenges today. I may find myself in difficult situations that I did not expect. Give me the confidence of Job, so that — regardless of what comes — I can hope in a Savior that I will one day see. Amen.

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Go

Go today to walk with a God who has been good in the past, who is faithful in the present, and who has prepared for you a future of overwhelming hope.

Andrew Garnett

Andrew Garnett is a minister at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, hiking, visiting historical sites, and playing board games — and the more complicated the board game, the better!

24 Preludes, Op. 28: No 4 In E Minor

Garry Bailey

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