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5/17 Reading Portions: Numbers 26; Psalm 69; Isaiah 16; 1 Peter 4
Listen to the audio devotional above, and/or read the written devotional below.
But I am afflicted and in pain; let Your salvation, O God, set me on high! Psalm 69:29
I’ve suffered some physical afflictions and pains over the years. It’s been a rollercoaster ride since late 2006— neurological deficits brought on by latent-onset diving decompression sickness. The imbalance, coordination loss, and dexterity problems come without warning. I fell down and hurt myself so badly a few years ago that I needed 14 weeks of therapy to recover. Moreover, from a career of diving before the Lord called me into ministry, my joints are severely arthritic. It’s what the VA calls “degenerative joint disorder.” Yet I’m not discouraged. The Lord’s salvation has set me on high! My affliction, my pain, is nothing compared to what our Lord went through in suffering God’s wrath, zealously bearing our sins and reproaches (Psa 69:7, 9); He was stuck in the sinking mire of Almighty fury and judgment for sins He did not commit (Psa 69:14). Jesus, dehydrated from the cruel physical torments of beatings, scourging, and crucifixion, would only be given wine mixed with myrrh to drink (Psa 69:21). He who knew closer fellowship with the Father than any man, Jesus experienced the desolation of God’s abandon like no other soul ever will (Psa 69:17). Christ Jesus suffered spiritually, mentally, and emotionally with intensity far beyond our comprehension— which, multiplied His physical sufferings to an exceedingly greater degree than those of any other. No one has ever suffered as Jesus suffered— nor ever will. And because others would be saved by His affliction and pain, God set Jesus on high (Heb 1:3).
Some of you, perhaps all of you, have suffered afflictions and pain far greater than I have experienced. Yet when we consider our salvation purchased by Christ, you and I will agree with David (Psa 69:29) and Paul (2 Cor 4:17), that our afflictions and pain are light and momentary when compared with the eternal reward of Christ’s great salvation. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Disease and death remind us
That Jesus must come back
To re-create the universe,
For in Christ there’s no lack.
Every day is a gift. Thankyou lord.