Standing Firm Men's Devotional

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Thank you for reading Standing Firm, a weekly men's devotional written by Dennis Wingfield for Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.

This Week's Standing Firm Men's Devotional

Saturday, December 13, 2014
Small Beginnings, Big Results

A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  Isaiah 11:1

These words of the prophet Isaiah speak of the promised Messiah who will gather God’s chosen people from all of the far off places where they have been scattered. Salvation comes from something minute, fragile and vulnerable, unnoticeable in the vastness of this world. God, the Creator of the universe, comes to us in smallness, weakness, and hiddenness.
 

In that day you will say: “I will praise you, Lord…you have comforted me. Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord himself, is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”  Isaiah 12:1-2
 
This is a message of hope. God cares for His people. He wants to comfort you in the midst of your trials and difficulties. God wants to break into your life and calm your fears. You may be expecting God to come in magnificence and extraordinary ways to convince you of His saving power, but spectacles, power plays and big events are the way of the world. The temptation is to be distracted by the showiness of the world and be blind to the “shoot [that] will come up from the stump.”
 
When you lack eyes for the small signs of God’s presence in the world – a glorious sunset, the grandeur of a magnificent mountain range, the prayers and words of encouragement offered by friends – you will be tempted to despair. You need to see God in the little things of life. This requires that you slow down, spend time with God in prayer and meet Him in Sacred Scripture.
 
Jesus asks for your full attention, in the small child of Bethlehem, the anonymous young man of Nazareth, the rejected preacher and teacher in Galilee, and in the beaten and bruised man on the cross. The work of salvation takes place in the midst of a world that continues to shout, scream, and overwhelm us with its outrageous claims and outlandish promises. But the promise of salvation is hidden in the shoot that sprouts from the stump, a shoot that hardly anyone notices.
 

Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.  Isaiah 40:1
 
The prophet Isaiah witnesses to the mercy and tenderness of God which speaks to those who are downtrodden, discouraged, and lacking hope. God speaks tenderly to you and desires to console you. He wants to guide you on the path of freedom and salvation. He wants to restore you with the care and tenderness of a shepherd who cares for His flock. He will give unity and security to the flock, they will graze and the scattered sheep will be gathered up safely into His fold. He pays special attention to the most fragile and weak.
 

A voice of one calling: “In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”  Isaiah 40:3-5
 
God wants you to experience His consolation in prayer and in His Word. God spoke to me so tenderly through Sacred Scripture. He encouraged me, giving me strength and courage to endure the long battle for the restoration of my marriage. I am a witness to God’s mercy. I pray that the mercy He has shown me will ignite the fire of hope in you. May you experience the joyful consolation of the Lord!
 

Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:28-31
 
Allow yourself be consoled by the Lord. He is rich in kindness and mercy. Praise Him for all that He is doing to restore your one lost sheep back to the fold. Thank Him for His loving tenderness and compassion. May your marriage be blessed in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
 

For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Do not be afraid…  Isaiah 41:13-14
 
Peace my Brother,


Dennis L. Wingfield
Rejoice Marriage Ministries, Inc.
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