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Tag: father

How God Can Turn Your Afflictions Into Good

The faithful man rejects despair and finds hope in the character of God

Written by GodLife on 18/06/2019

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: GriefHopeMercySovereigntyLoss


Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead?

2 Samuel 12:18

God’s Word has comforted millions of Bible believers for thousands of years. However, it’s a mistake to think that a fitting Bible passage can completely absorb the pain of losing a loved one in death. Even Jesus, though He embodied all the promises of God (2 Corinthians 1:20) and knew in advance that He would raise Lazarus from the dead (John 11:11), wept with sorrow at the grave of His friend (John 11:35-36). The loss of a child is especially painful because we invest our most selfless love and brightest hope for the future in our children. Even those who usually show calm, quiet strength in stressful situations can be twisted into grief-stricken outbursts or depressed withdrawal over the loss of their children.

This may have seemed the case with David, Israel’s most famous king. His servants were surprised by his actions during his child’s illness. So deep was his grief that members of his court worried about the impact of telling him the truth about his child. Read on to learn more about David’s suffering. If you’ve suffered a loss in your own family, may you draw some comfort from how he pursued his relationship with God.

Taking action — in God's direction

Though the prophet Nathan, God had predicted the first child of David and Bathsheba would die. David “sought the Lord” by praying, fasting and sleeping on the ground instead of in his kingly bed. This went on for seven days until the child’s death. David showed such a mournful, tormented attitude that his servants were afraid to tell him his child had died (2 Samuel 12:12-18). Why did David do this? He knew from experience that God is “good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon Him” (Psalm 86:5). He hoped God would mercifully save the child’s life. While there was something he could do, he did it — by humbly appealing to God instead of hopelessly remaining in self-pity. (See 2 Samuel 12:22)

Taking ownership of the situation

David knew the death of the child was his fault. Nathan had pronounced this as one of the many judgments on his household. He began his approach to David in a way that made David see his hypocrisy (2 Samuel 12:1-14). Contrast this with Cain, the first murderer: Cain attempted to deceive God by saying, “I do not know; am I my brother's keeper?” when asked about Abel (Genesis 4:9). When God pronounced judgment on him, Cain protested, “My punishment is greater than I can bear” (Genesis 4:13). David’s sin was far greater: he had abused his power to betray Uriah, a faithful friend. He had committed adultery with Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba. He had commanded Joab to allow Uriah to be killed to cover up the evidence of his sin. However, when Nathan confronted him, he admitted, “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Samuel 12:13). David’s punishment was also far greater than Cain’s. David’s grief and repentant attitude flowed out of his personal acknowledgment of guilt; it didn’t make him withdraw from the Lord. Instead, he trusted in God’s goodness and mercy, hoping, until the very end, for a reversal of the situation.

Taking initiative to comfort others

It’s common for grief over the death of a child to isolate a father and mother, adding to their pain. Men and women sometimes deal with their loss in very different ways and have trouble comforting one another effectively. This story ends with David taking steps to comfort his wife. Ultimately another son was born to them, Solomon. His name means “peace,” and a message delivered by Nathan led them to nickname him “Jedidiah”, which means, “loved by the Lord.” Despite the terrible way their relationship began, God made it known He had accepted David’s repentance and intercession. This brought healing and peace to the family. 

David’s strong faith in grief has been a source of hope for countless parents: “…I shall go to him, but he will not return to me” (2 Samuel 12:23). He expected their child to be awaiting them “in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6) where David himself expected to dwell.

Although even the most hope-filled promises can’t erase a loss like this one, we can nevertheless be comforted by them. How does a verse like Romans 8:28apply in this situation?

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

Despite the vast destruction and death brought on by David’s sin, God brought Jesus to earth through his union with Bathsheba: Jesus’ legal right to Israel’s throne was established because of Mary’s husband Joseph’s descent from Solomon (Matthew 1:6). He was identified as Son of David (Matthew 1:1) because of Mary’s descent from a later son of David and Bathsheba, Nathan (1 Chronicles 3:5Luke 3:31). In His sovereign mercy, God worked this miserable experience out to be the way of salvation for David and everyone who has trusted in Christ for redemption! He can work your affliction out for your good as well!


Pray this week:

Father, I am sorry for doubting your goodness. I know that you can and will turn my afflictions to good. Help me see and understand when you do this. AMEN


Christians are told to “bear one another’s burdens.”

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Jesus Can Heal Addiction

You can be free from addiction.

Written by Lois on 24/05/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: AddictionForgivenessFreedomGraceSin


The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand.

1 Corinthians 10:13 (NLT)

We all have wrong desires and are tempted, but God has given us an Advocate who will help us resist sin if we are willing. Are you tired of being addicted to alcohol, sex, drugs, pornography or greed? Jesus has made a way for you to be free. This is how you can resist temptation and allow Jesus to heal your addiction.

There are countless people who are enjoying an addiction because they have not faced consequences yet. Galatians 6:8 tells us if a person “sows to please his own wrong desires, he will be planting seeds of evil and he will surely reap a harvest of spiritual decay and death; but if he plants the good things of the Spirit, he will reap the everlasting life that the Holy Spirit gives him.” There is no peace or freedom found in loving an addiction or sin. If you want to be healed, you have to turn away and renounce the addiction or sin.

Resist the Temptation

2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to “Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

  • Temptation happens to everyone; no one is being singled out
  • Learn to recognize the people, things and situations that overtake you
  • After recognizing the tempter, resist him
  • It’s your choice, so choose to do what pleases God
  • Pray for Jesus to help you
  • Seek friends who love God, have resisted temptation and can help you

There is Healing

Jesus is able to heal every kind of addiction, even those we willfully sought out. Jesus is able to "restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten" (Joel 2:25), even if suffering is His chastisement to a person for sinful behavior. God's purpose is never to tempt us to sinful despair but to make us holy and useful. (James 1:13Hebrews 12:11-13) David, who knew something about God's chastisement, said, "Oh, give me back my joy again; you have broken me—now let me rejoice." (Ps. 51:8) Ask Jesus to heal physical or emotional pain from an abusive parent, the brokenness of losing a child, the loneliness of the death of a spouse, or being orphaned.

An addiction is not going to heal you. Letting a sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting God’s Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6


Pray this week:

Father, this sin is wrecking my life. Will you help me? In Jesus’ name, amen.


Are you addicted to something and need healing from Jesus?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Relating to God the Father Son and Holy Spirit

Who are you in relation to each person of the Trinity?

Written by GodLife on 14/02/2016

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: ClosenessIdentityWorship


There are different kinds of spiritual gifts, but the same Spirit is the source of them all. There are different kinds of service, but we serve the same Lord. God works in different ways, but it is the same God who does the work in all of us.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

If you have come to trust Jesus as your own Savior, you are in a relationship with God that can't be broken. He's beyond what we can imagine. He lives forever and does not change. Big as He is, He is also personal. He is near to us. He created a great variety of people. And He wants us to be close to Him. In a way, variety exists in His own nature. Father, Son and Holy Spirit have a relationship with each other. They also have perfect unity. God teaches us to relate to Him in lots of ways. Learn how biblical worship of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit affects how we understand ourselves.

In relation to the Father

When I think of the Father, I remember His right to direct me. Because of what Jesus did, God is also my adoptive Father. He loved me so much, He gave His Son to keep me from perishing. (John 3:161:12Galatians 3:26)

To the Father, I am a beloved son worth recovering. For a picture of this, see the story of the Prodigal Son. (Luke 15:11-32)

In relation to the Son

When I think of the Son of God, I remember I’m meant to look like Jesus. (Romans 8:28-29)

To Jesus, I am His sheep (John 10:27-30), and no one is able to snatch me from His hand. For a picture of this, read about the Good Shepherd Who gave His life for me. (John 10:11-16) He even says I am His friend. (John 15:14) He is unashamed to call me His brother. (Hebrews 2:11-18)

In relation to the Holy Spirit

When I think of the Holy Spirit, I remember that He is a Helper to me as I desire and serve God. (John 14:16-17) He makes up for my limitations. And His constant presence in my life is a taste of what I will eventually fully inherit. (Ephesians 1:142 Corinthians 1:22)

To the Spirit, I am His home. Because God Himself lives in me, I am home base for his earthly ministry. Read 1 Corinthians 6:19 for an explanation of this: “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself” (1 Corinthians 6:19) As God floods my heart with His love, (Romans 5:5) my life produces His fruit in response. (Galatians 5:22-23)


Pray this week:

Father God, please show me your will and make my life count for eternity. Lord Jesus, because you live, I live also. Make me over into your most holy image. Holy Spirit, give me the desire and the ability to glorify Jesus. It’s in His name that I pray, AMEN.


When you think of God, is He both infinite and personal to you?

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member

Do Not Fear

Living in Confidence Because God is With Us

Written by Dan Lee on 19/09/2017

Series: Weekly Devotional

Tags: FearConfidenceFaith


Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.

Deuteronomy 31:6

What’s the most common command in the Bible, appearing in one form or another, more than 300 times?

“Don’t be afraid.”

Why should we not be afraid? Because, as God told Joshua in Deuteronomy, if we are a follower of Christ, God is with us. In fact, one of Jesus’ titles is “Immannuel,” meaning “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14)

What or who do we often fear the most? People. But God’s word says we should fear God, not people.

Proverbs 29:25 says, “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.”

Here are some different kinds of fear, and how God’s word helps us combat them:

People can insult us

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.” (Matthew 5:11)

Jesus says that we are BLESSED when people insult us for His sake. Why? Because it means we are following Jesus in a way that people actually notice, and that some will react against (see also John 15:18-191 Peter 3:14)

People can harm us

In Acts 5, the Apostles were put on trial for preaching the gospel. They were sort of acquitted, but then they were beaten. Then “they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name” (Acts 5:41). And what did they do right afterward? “Every day . . . they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus” (Acts 5:43).

People can kill us

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

These words of Jesus were not just theoretical; most of His disciples wound up being martyred.

Even today, in rare cases, people can be killed because of their Christian faith. But in light of eternity, as long as we are headed for Heaven, even losing our life is not that bad. And dying for Christ’s sake is a high honor.

In Matthew 28:18-20, when Jesus commanded the disciples to take His message to the end of the world, he reassured them (and us) by saying, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

What are some other fears that can hinder us?

Fear of imagined circumstances

“The sluggard says, 'There is a lion outside! I shall be killed in the streets!'” (Proverbs 22:13) Our fears are often much worse than what actually happens. A “sluggard” is a lazy person; so this verse tells us that yielding to imaginary fears can actually be a way to avoid responsibility.

Fear of displeasing people

Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”

The bottom line is, when we are fearing people, it’s because we are insecure about ourselves. Strangely enough, insecurity about ourselves stems from pride — being preoccupied with what others think about us.

And yet, our issues usually go unnoticed because most people are too busy thinking about themselves. It’s like a teenager who thinks everyone is staring at a flaw on his face, when actually most people don’t even notice or care about the flaw.

When we truly have confidence in our right standing before the Lord, we won’t give much thought to what people think about us. Passages like this will describe us:

“So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:6)

And finally, one of my favorites. Pray this for your friends and ask them to pray that the Holy Spirit would make it true in your life as well: “The righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1b).


Pray this week:

Father, thank You that You are always with me. Thank You, Jesus, that You are Immanuel, God with me. Help me to live in the confidence that comes from knowing that You will never leave me or forsake me. Amen.


How has fear kept you from accomplishing what the Lord wants you to do? 

Alan Zibluk Markethive Founding Member