Pause

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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Listen

Lord, change our circumstances for the better, like dry streams in the desert waste! Let those who plant with tears reap the harvest with joyful shouts. Let those who go out, crying and carrying their seed, come home with joyful shouts, carrying bales of grain!

Psalm 126:4-6

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Think

There is an enormous amount of pain the world. Maybe right now there is an enormous amount of pain in your life. Why God allows suffering in the world is one of the great questions in life – and there are no easy answers.

Still, God does provide hope. This passage is a prayer for all who are suffering. God does not promise we will not experience difficulty, but that evil, sin, and pain never have the final word. Death does not have the final word. Tears will turn to joy.

When has this been true in your life? When has God taken a time of sorrow and turned it into a time of joy? Write it down, and when you are going through a difficult time, remind yourself of God’s faithfulness by reading it over.

Michelle Terry

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Pray

Lord, thank you for all the times you have changed my circumstances for the better. For all those suffering now, let their tears turn to joy. Be with all who need hope, and help me carry that hope into the world. Amen.

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Go

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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