Daily Devotion: March 25

John 16:33
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”     

I always wanted to fly! I thought everybody wanted to. What do You think: why do we want to fly so badly? Why did Daedalus and Icarus strap wings to themselves? Why did the Wright brothers construct a plane? Why do we like to fly in lucid dreams? What did we fly to the Moon for? Why is there such a psychological flaw in us? Why do we, land animals, want to be birds? I presume, we were angels once upon a time, but God took our wings back after the first sin. Well, I really don’t think that but I do hope that when I get to heaven I will be able to soar in my new body.

BUT I still remember the very first time I experienced severe turbulence on a flight. Not as a crewmember but on a commercial flight. It felt like the plane was falling out of the sky and I went into panic mode. I’ll never forget the elderly woman sitting next to me at the time, tenderly placing her hand on mine and saying, “First time flying, young man?”

Fast forward almost forty years later and multitudes of flights behind me, I am much more poised when turbulence comes. I never feel anything but what to do next to reduce the turbulence! Last year while on an international flight, the pilot came over the loudspeaker and told us with pinpoint accuracy when to expect the turbulence. He cautioned us before we even left the ground that we should expect a “rough patch” about an hour and a half into the flight. And guess what? It happened just as he predicted—exactly when he said it would happen. Unlike my very first experience with turbulence four decades earlier, I was ready for this one. Seat belt buckled, relatively composed, and prayed up in the “Holy Spirit!”

What made the difference in my composure? I trusted that the aircraft was made for that kind of turbulence, that technological instruments equipped the pilot to be prepared for these situations with tremendous precision, and that he was skilled and adept to get us through the rough spots.

We have hit a turbulent time in our world today. How are you handling this bumpy ride called life? Are you composed? Spiritually poised? It’s inevitable that trials will come, but how we handle difficulty and adversity speaks volumes about what we truly believe about God.

Just like I came to trust that an airplane is built for turbulence, we as followers of Jesus Christ need to grow into a faith that trusts God’s design for our lives, and more importantly His sovereignty over all of life. He has built us for adversity, yes even the COVID-19!

Jesus told his disciples: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 ESV)
In other words, you were built for endurance. You are hardwired to overcome hardship. And the other part of that promise is that we can have peace in the storm. Yet nowhere in scripture is this peace afforded to those outside of a relationship with Christ.

James exhorted us to “Count it all joy… when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4 ESV). James didn’t say count it all joy “if” you meet trials, but “when” you meet trials. That sounds like a man ready for turbulence.

The Psalmist said, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. (Psalm 34:19 ESV)

To the believers in Philippi, Paul wrote a letter from a prison cell. Talk about a difficult ride! While jailed up in a hole for being faithful to Jesus, he said, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 ESV)

Now as we find ourselves in the turbulence of life we need to try to remind ourselves of two things: No matter how hard or difficult this situation is, we were made for this. We weren’t built for smooth seas; we were built for the fierce stuff of life—violent waves, tumultuous winds, and all the chaos that comes with COVID-19. We are not some cheaply thrown together vessel, lacking structural integrity, which will fall apart at the first storm encountered. God made us for the hard weather. And the second thing we need to remind ourselves is that no matter how helpless the circumstances may appear, He’s got this!

Over and over again throughout the course of my life, God has proven Himself faithful. He’s sustained me through all the ups and downs, all the fiery trials, and all the battering adversity. He is faithful.

The man who led me to faith in Christ once said, “God has brought you through the ocean, He won’t let you drown in the bathtub.” And that’s why I love this promise in Isaiah: “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3 ESV)

As we encounter the storms of life, remember two things: We were made for this and He’s got this. Think about that as you abide in Him today. You’re not some cheaply thrown together vessel, lacking structural integrity, which will fall apart at the first storm encountered. God made you for the hard weather. And He’s got this!

QUESTIONS
  1. Who do you turn to when storms hit your life?
  2. Do you have someone to help you calm the turbulence in your life?
  3. Can you reach out and help someone in the mist of violent waves?
  4. What passage or verse do you turn to in times such as this?
  5. Who comes immediately to your mind you can pray for?

FOR YOUR KIDS
Get to Know Your Kids
  1. Where in the universe do you want to go for a visit?
  2. Where do you think is the best vacation destination?

Devotional Questions
Hardship
  1. What things in life do you think are easy?
  2. What things in life do you think are hard?
  3. Is God with you through the easy things? (Yes)
  4. Do you think God leaves when things get hard? (No)
  5. Do you think there are problems too hard for God? If yes, what are they? (Take time to unpack why they might think certain things are too hard for God then explain why God is still bigger.)
 
Have fun adding hand motions to this verse. This will make it fun and easy to remember.

Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t worry about anything, but pray and ask God for everything you need, always giving thanks for what you have. And because you belong to Christ Jesus, God’s peace will stand guard over all your thoughts and feelings. His peace can do this far better than our human minds.
 
Pray
Take time to pray with your kids.

Have Fun
Travel Trivia
  1. Have your kid name as many states and countries possible in 60 seconds. Every place equals 1 point.
  2. Take that same list and ask your kid to find each place on a map. Every place equals 1 point.
  3. Whoever has the most points at the end wins!

This is a great way to refresh your kids on geography and teach them new places! You can make the winning prize something fun like a new travel kit or a globe to put in their bedroom.

Travel Kit 
Puzzle Globe

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