YOUVERSION GRIEF

Death is not OK!

But God has a miraculous way of taking the worst that happens—even your loved one’s death—and bringing something of meaning and value from it.

It can be a little dangerous to say that; it can sound like saying God wanted your loved one to die, which is not true. God is against death—both physical and spiritual death.

But God will do something meaningful with even this horrible experience if you give Him the chance.

Paul preferred to go home and be “with the Lord.” But as long as God needed him for a purpose on earth, he was content to stay.

In your pain you too may feel you would rather go home to be “with the Lord.” But if you’re still breathing, God has something here for you to do.

You may not be able right now to see what that may be, but you can be certain He still has a purpose for you.

Make the decision that you’ll stick around as long as God has something for you to do, and trust that He’ll make that clear to you.

God does not enjoy your pain! But if you let Him, He will both heal you and make something of value and purpose even out of your grief.

YOUVERSION GRIEF

Guilt and Forgiveness 

Everyone who experiences the death of a loved one feels regrets. There are things you wish you had done and things you wish you hadn’t done.

Much of that is false guilt; you could not have known or done anything differently. And yet every human being has failed in some way. You may have truly caused your loved one pain and/or failed to stop pain you might have prevented. 

The only way to deal with guilt—true guilt and false guilt—is to lay it on Jesus. He offers you real forgiveness. It’s too big for you to carry yourself. 

Grief also sometimes comes with complicating circumstances such as homicide, suicide, medical malpractice, negligence, abuse, or other violence. Your pain may be especially deep. 

It’s OK to feel angry, even perhaps angry at your loved one who died. And if others caused your loved one’s death, it’s right that they be held accountable through any legal means available. 

But at some point you will need to face the matter of forgiveness. 

Forgiveness does not mean it’s OK. It’s NOT OK! That is why forgiving is the only way to find release from the poison of bitterness. 

Let God decide the consequences. At the right time, choose to let it go and to let Him handle it. 

FROM BILLY GRAHAM ASSOCIATION

Billy Graham Chaplains Minister in Charlotte During RNC

By Lizzy Long   •   August 24, 2020SHARETWEET

After multiple days of protests regarding the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team—headquartered in Charlotte—is ministering downtown.

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) is offering a ministry of presence in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, where the Republican National Convention (RNC) was held on Monday. They’ll return to the same streets tonight.

“Over the weekend, there were some arrests over protests turning in a not-so-good direction,” RRT Assistant Director Josh Holland explained, referring to demonstrators turning to violence. “With what happened, we feel we want to have a few chaplains out.”

Known for responding to both man-made and natural disasters, the Rapid Response Team has sent several crisis-trained chaplains to offer hope and prayer along the city streets.

Initially, the team planned to deploy a large group of chaplains to encourage prayer this week in Charlotte, where the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is headquartered. Due to COVID-19 and the downsizing of the RNC, the team’s plans changed but their mission remains.

“Our desire for our home city is to share the light and hope and the glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Kevin Williams, RRT’s emergency response logistics manager. “As always, for us there’s no partiality. Everyone gets the same love of the Lord Christ that will be on the streets.”

Over the past few months, Williams has walked these streets numerous times while offering comfort and prayers to protesters following George Floyd’s death—and this week, he’s once again on the ground serving his community.

“This is an opportunity to have a presence on the streets for whoever,” Holland added. “There’s a lot of different opinions or trains of thought. Our message is what it always is: God loves you.

www.bible.com/reading-plans/13743/day/Small Wins

Just like dominoes, making and breaking habits consists of an untold number of daily, doable steps that lead to a huge change. Pastor Craig Groeschel says it simply: “Small disciplines done consistently lead to big results over time.” In other words, small wins matter.  

Habits aren’t grand destinations you arrive at one day—they’re tiny steps you take every day. Some of the most important small wins you can make are often called keystone habits. The fastest way to comprehend keystone habits is to learn what a keystone is. A keystone is an architectural term for the wedge-shaped stone that would sit at the top and center of an arch of bricks or stones. Each stone in the arch pushes its weight toward the keystone, and the triangular shape of the keystone wedge causes the entire arch to be supported. 

If you remove the keystone, the entire structure falls down. In biology, a keystone species is one that an ecosystem depends on. Likewise, a keystone habit provides support and momentum for other habits in your life. 

Most books about habits will tell you about keystone habits, and they should, but what they might not tell you is that there is yet another stone. Jesus called Himself the cornerstone which is a stone used to provide the same kind of support for the entire construction of a building. You can get all your keystone habits right and still come tumbling down if they’re not built on a foundation with Jesus as its cornerstone. 

Here’s a short list of keystone habits to consider. Which can you add to your life? Have you made Jesus the cornerstone?

  1. Wake up early enough to start your day with Jesus.
  2. Sleep at least eight hours a night. 
  3. Eat at least one meal together with your family or close friends each day.
  4. Attend a local church weekly, and participate by giving and serving there. 
  5. Exercise at least three times a week for at least 20 minutes.
  6. Declare some truths about yourself every day. 

Making good daily habits and breaking bad ones is a daily process for the rest of your life. Here’s a helpful tool to take with you as you make Jesus your cornerstone. 

Healthy Identity

Ask for help

Be kind to yourself

Investigate and make changes

Trust the God-process

Small wins