In the Lord I'll be ever thankful,
In the Lord I will rejoice!
Look to God, do not be afraid.
Lift up your voices, the Lord is near,
Lift up your voices, the Lord is near.

from Communaute de Taizé

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I will repay you for the years that the cutting locust, the swarming locust, the hopping locust, and the devouring locust have eaten— my great army, which I sent against you. You will eat abundantly and be satisfied, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has done wonders for you; and my people will never again be put to shame. You will know that I am in the midst of Israel, and that I am the Lord your God—no other exists; never again will my people be put to shame.

Joel 2:25-27

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“Is God punishing me? Her? Him?” When bad things happen, a common response is to wonder – and worry – about if it is because God is punishing people. The Bible cites numerous instances of God’s judgement leading to lost battles, lost crops, lost lands… even today’s passage cites the locust as God’s great army, sent against the people.

Yet. Even when God sent the locusts, God promised repayment – they would eat abundantly and be satisfied; they would never again be put to shame. God would be in their midst.

During difficult times in our lives, whether we worry they come from God or not, this passage reminds us that God’s grace is bigger than any and all suffering. This is not meant to dismiss hardships but to provide hope in the midst of them – better days are coming. God promises us.

Michelle Terry

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Gracious God, in the midst of difficulties, worry consumes me. Help me to hold tight to the promise that your grace is greater than anything else, and to live in that hope. Amen.

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Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:16b-17

Michelle Terry

Michelle Terry is a pastor of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In addition to serving Jesus, she enjoys spending time reading and spending time with her family and friends.

Advent Waiting: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence – Wondrous Love

David Burroughs

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