2 Thessalonians 1:1-8 (NIV)

1 Paul, Silas and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.3 We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing.  4 Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.  5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you  7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.  8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.       

2 Thessalonians 1:7 (NIV)

7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels.   

DEVOTION – Martin Wiles (South Carolina)

A hiking stick is a hiker’s best friend.  On hikes in the mountains over steep trails covered with rocks and roots, my hiking stick relieves knee pressure while I am going uphill, slows me down while descending, and keeps me from falling when my feet slip on roots and rocks.  Once, when my hiking stick slid down a mountain, I didn’t hesitate to slide down after it to retrieve it.

Some believe God is a crutch to lean on when we can’t handle life’s pressures, but I readily admit I can’t handle Life’s pressure alone.  I can do all things with Christ (see Phil. 4:13), but I can make a mess on my own.

I have learned to lean on God for rest, guidance, strength, and wisdom to take the next step and to know how to respond.  It also reminds me that this world is not my home.  One day I’ll live in an eternal heaven where God will relieve the pressures I face now, but until then I must lean.  When pressures come, we can stretch upward and lean forward toward God.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Burdens are always lighter when we share them with God.

PRAYER: Merciful God, thank you that no burden we bear is more than your shoulders can handle.  Help us always to turn to you in faith.  Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: SOMEONE BEARING A HEAVY BURDEN

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