Day 1 of 7

God's Love for Us is Sure and Strong


Matthew 14:22-33

22 Straight away, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and start back across the lake. But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away. 23 Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later that evening, he was still there. 24 By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves. 25 A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water towards his disciples. 26 When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming. 27 At once, Jesus said to them, “Don't worry! I am Jesus. Don't be afraid.” 28 Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water towards him. 30 But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Straight away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You don't have much faith. Why do you doubt?” 32 When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. 33 The men in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!”

"It can't be! Surely the doctor is mistaken!"

Perhaps this was your initial reaction to the news that someone you love has been diagnosed with a terminal illness. Denial is a very normal and human way of protecting ourselves from anything that is too painful to accept. It cushions us from the impact of distressing news and allows time to sort all the feelings that are stirred up.

Like all of us, the apostle Peter experienced doubt many times including the text above. In the TO KNOW MORE texts, you'll see that there are many instances in Scripture where people doubt, express anger, shock, frustration, and more. The level of honesty may be surprising.

REFLECT

How would you rate yourself on being honest with God? Are you able to express your feelings or do you try to avoid them?

RESPOND

Look through the texts listed below in TO KNOW MORE. Pick one that effectively captures what you are feeling (or that you have recently felt). Summarize it into your own words and pray those words to help you turn those feelings over to God.

PRAYER

God, there are many hard emotions involved in being a caregiver. I don't know how to deal with them all but I know that you can help me as I express them to you: (express as best you can what you are feeling). Amen.

TO KNOW MORE

Matthew 16:21-28

21 From then on, Jesus began telling his disciples what would happen to him. He said, “I must go to Jerusalem. There the nation's leaders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law of Moses will make me suffer terribly. I will be killed, but three days later I will rise to life.” 22 Peter took Jesus aside and told him to stop talking like that. He said, “God would never let this happen to you, Lord!” 23 Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Satan, get away from me! You're in my way because you think like everyone else and not like God.” 24 Then Jesus said to his disciples:
  • If any of you want to be my followers, you must forget about yourself. You must take up your cross and follow me.
  • 25 If you want to save your life, you will destroy it. But if you give up your life for me, you will find it.
  • 26 What will you gain, if you own the whole world but destroy yourself? What would you give to get back your soul?
  • 27 The Son of Man will soon come in the glory of his Father and with his angels to reward all people for what they have done.
  • 28 I promise you that some of those standing here will not die before they see the Son of Man coming with his kingdom.

Hebrews 4:13-16

13 Nothing is hidden from God! He sees through everything, and we will have to tell him the truth. 14 We have a great high priest, who has gone into heaven, and he is Jesus the Son of God. That is why we must hold on to what we have said about him. 15 Jesus understands every weakness of ours, because he was tempted in every way that we are. But he did not sin! 16 So whenever we are in need, we should come bravely before the throne of our merciful God. There we will be treated with undeserved kindness, and we will find help.

Psalm 6:1-9

1 Don't punish me, LORD, or even correct me when you are angry! 2 Have pity on me and heal my feeble body. My bones tremble with fear, 3 and I am in deep distress. How long will it be? 4 Turn and come to my rescue. Show your wonderful love and save me, LORD. 5 If I die, I cannot praise you or even remember you. 6 My groaning has worn me out. At night my bed and pillow are soaked with tears. 7 Sorrow has made my eyes dim, and my sight has failed because of my enemies. 8 You, LORD, heard my crying, and those hateful people had better leave me alone. 9 You have answered my prayer and my plea for mercy.

Psalm 13

1 How much longer, LORD, will you forget about me? Will it be for ever? How long will you hide? 2 How long must I be confused and miserable all day? How long will my enemies keep beating me down? 3 Please listen, LORD God, and answer my prayers. Make my eyes sparkle again, or else I will fall into the sleep of death. 4 My enemies will say, “Now we've won!” They will be greatly pleased when I am defeated. 5 I trust your love, and I feel like celebrating because you rescued me. 6 You have been good to me, LORD, and I will sing about you.

Psalm 73:21-28

21 Once I was bitter and brokenhearted. 22 I was stupid and ignorant, and I treated you as a wild animal would. 23 But I never really left you, and you hold my right hand. 24 Your advice has been my guide, and later you will welcome me in glory. 25 In heaven I have only you, and on this earth you are all I want. 26 My body and mind may fail, but you are my strength and my choice for ever. 27 Powerful LORD God, all who stay far from you will be lost, and you will destroy those who are unfaithful. 28 It is good for me to be near you. I choose you as my protector, and I will tell about your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 27:1-11

1 You, LORD, are the light that keeps me safe. I am not afraid of anyone. You protect me, and I have no fears. 2 Brutal people may attack and try to kill me, but they will stumble. Fierce enemies may attack, but they will fall. 3 Armies may surround me, but I won't be afraid; war may break out, but I will trust you. 4 I ask only one thing, LORD: Let me live in your house every day of my life to see how wonderful you are and to pray in your temple. 5 In times of trouble, you will protect me. You will hide me in your tent and keep me safe on top of a mighty rock. 6 You will let me defeat all of my enemies. Then I will celebrate, as I enter your tent with animal sacrifices and songs of praise. 7 Please listen when I pray! Have pity. Answer my prayer. 8 My heart tells me to pray. I am eager to see your face, 9 so don't hide from me. I am your servant, and you have helped me. Don't turn from me in anger. You alone keep me safe. Don't reject or desert me. 10 Even if my father and mother should desert me, you will take care of me. 11 Teach me to follow, LORD, and lead me on the right path because of my enemies.

Psalm 130:1-6

1 From a sea of troubles I call out to you, LORD. 2 Won't you please listen as I beg for mercy? 3 If you kept record of our sins, no one could last long. 4 But you forgive us, and so we will worship you. 5 With all my heart, I am waiting, LORD, for you! I trust your promises. 6 I wait for you more eagerly than a soldier on guard duty waits for the dawn. Yes, I wait more eagerly than a soldier on guard duty waits for the dawn.

Psalm 121

1 I look to the hills! Where will I find help? 2 It will come from the LORD, who created the heavens and the earth. 3 The LORD is your protector, and he won't go to sleep or let you stumble. 4 The protector of Israel doesn't doze or ever get drowsy. 5 The LORD is your protector, there at your right side to shade you from the sun. 6 You won't be harmed by the sun during the day or by the moon at night. 7 The LORD will protect you and keep you safe from all dangers. 8 The LORD will protect you now and always wherever you go.

Psalm 25:1-10

1 I offer you my heart, LORD God, 2 and I trust you. Don't make me ashamed or let enemies defeat me. 3 Don't disappoint any of your worshippers, but disappoint all deceitful liars. 4 Show me your paths and teach me to follow; 5 guide me by your truth and instruct me. You keep me safe, and I always trust you. 6 Please, LORD, remember, you have always been patient and kind. 7 Forget each wrong I did when I was young. Show how truly kind you are and remember me. 8 You are honest and merciful, and you teach sinners how to follow your path. 9 You lead humble people to do what is right and to stay on your path. 10 In everything you do, you are kind and faithful to everyone who keeps our agreement with you.

Psalm 25:15-18

15 I always look to you, because you rescue me from every trap. 16 I am lonely and troubled. Show that you care and have pity on me. 17 My awful worries keep growing. Rescue me from sadness. 18 See my troubles and misery and forgive my sins.

1 Corinthians 10:13

13 You are tempted in the same way that everyone else is tempted. But God can be trusted not to let you be tempted too much, and he will show you how to escape from your temptations.

Matthew 14:22-33

22 Straight away, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and start back across the lake. But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away. 23 Then he went up on a mountain where he could be alone and pray. Later that evening, he was still there. 24 By this time the boat was a long way from the shore. It was going against the wind and was being tossed around by the waves. 25 A little while before morning, Jesus came walking on the water towards his disciples. 26 When they saw him, they thought he was a ghost. They were terrified and started screaming. 27 At once, Jesus said to them, “Don't worry! I am Jesus. Don't be afraid.” 28 Peter replied, “Lord, if it is really you, tell me to come to you on the water.” 29 “Come on!” Jesus said. Peter then got out of the boat and started walking on the water towards him. 30 But when Peter saw how strong the wind was, he was afraid and started sinking. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 31 Straight away, Jesus reached out his hand. He helped Peter up and said, “You don't have much faith. Why do you doubt?” 32 When Jesus and Peter got into the boat, the wind died down. 33 The men in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You really are the Son of God!”

John 20:19-29

19 The disciples were afraid of the Jewish leaders, and on the evening of that same Sunday they locked themselves in a room. Suddenly, Jesus appeared in the middle of the group. He greeted them 20 and showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they became very happy. 21 After Jesus had greeted them again, he said, “I am sending you, just as the Father has sent me.” 22 Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone's sins, they will be forgiven. But if you don't forgive their sins, they will not be forgiven.” 24 Although Thomas the Twin was one of the twelve disciples, he wasn't with the others when Jesus appeared to them. 25 So they told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But Thomas said, “First, I must see the nail scars in his hands and touch them with my finger. I must put my hand where the spear went into his side. I won't believe unless I do this!” 26 A week later the disciples were together again. This time, Thomas was with them. Jesus came in while the doors were still locked and stood in the middle of the group. He greeted his disciples 27 and said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at my hands! Put your hand into my side. Stop doubting and have faith!” 28 Thomas replied, “You are my Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said, “Thomas, do you have faith because you have seen me? The people who have faith in me without seeing me are the ones who are really blessed!”

2 Corinthians 4:18

18 Things that are seen don't last for ever, but things that are not seen are eternal. That's why we keep our minds on the things that cannot be seen.

2 Corinthians 5:1-11

1 Our bodies are like tents that we live in here on earth. But when these tents are destroyed, we know that God will give each of us a place to live. These homes will not be buildings that someone has made, but they are in heaven and will last for ever. 2 While we are here on earth, we sigh because we want to live in that heavenly home. 3 We want to put it on like clothes and not be naked. 4 These tents we now live in are like a heavy burden, and we groan. But we don't do this just because we want to leave these bodies that will die. It is because we want to change them for bodies that will never die. 5 God is the one who makes all this possible. He has given us his Spirit to make us certain that he will do it. 6 So always be cheerful! As long as we are in these bodies, we are away from the Lord. 7 But we live by faith, not by what we see. 8 We should be cheerful, because we would rather leave these bodies and be at home with the Lord. 9 But whether we are at home with the Lord or away from him, we still try our best to please him. 10 After all, Christ will judge each of us for the good or the bad that we do while living in these bodies. 11 We know what it means to respect the Lord, and we encourage everyone to turn to him. God himself knows what we are like, and I hope you also know what kind of people we are.

Matthew 7:7-11

  • 7 Ask, and you will receive. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened for you.
  • 8 Everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And the door will be opened for everyone who knocks.
  • 9 Would any of you give your hungry child a stone, if the child asked for some bread?
  • 10 Would you give your child a snake if the child asked for a fish?
  • 11 As bad as you are, you still know how to give good gifts to your children. But your heavenly Father is even more ready to give good things to people who ask.