JOHN PIPER DEVOTIONAL – TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2020

“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 revealed a secret that protects our happiness from the threat of suffering and the threat of success. That secret is this: Great is your reward in heaven. And the sum of that reward is enjoying the fullness of the glory of Jesus Christ (John 17:24).

He protects our happiness from suffering when he says,

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. (Matthew 5:11–12)

Our great reward in heaven rescues our joy from the threat of persecution and reviling.

He also protects our joy from success when he says,

Do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:20)

The disciples were tempted to put their joy in ministry success. “Even the demons are subject to us in your name!” (Luke 10:17). But that would have severed their joy from its only sure anchor.

So Jesus protects their joy from the threat of success by promising the great reward of heaven. Rejoice in this: that your names are written in heaven. Your inheritance is infinite, eternal, sure.

Our joy is safe. Neither suffering nor success can destroy its anchor. Great is your reward in heaven. Your name is written there. It is secure.

Jesus anchored the happiness of suffering saints in the reward of heaven. And he anchored the happiness of successful saints in the same.

And thus he freed us from the tyranny of worldly pain and pleasure.

NIV DISCOVER GOD’S HEART DEVOTIONAL BIBLE – TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2020

The God Who Laughs Last

Psalms 37–41

God’s Story

Psalm 37: The psalmist doesn’t have to fret when the wicked are scheming—God is taking care of his life. “The blameless spend their days under the Lord’s care.”

Psalm 38: David is sick—it seems God is disciplining him for sin. Abandoned by his friends, hurting and under enemy attack, David confesses his sin and cries out to God. Now he awaits God’s answer.

Psalm 39: It seems that God is again disciplining David. David asks God to show him the brevity of his life and the vanity of chasing after wealth like the wicked. He begs God to remove his heavy hand.

Psalm 40: God has lifted David out of the miry pit and set him on a rock. He is the God of limitless wonders. David longs to do God’s will and walk in his ways.

Psalm 41: David is ill and weak and his enemies are seizing the opportunity to taunt him. But he trusts in the God who will sustain him.

The King’s Heart

“The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming” (Psalm 37:12-13).

The wicked can seem so powerful. They deceive and prosper; they lie and are believed. Often evil seemingly wins.

But from heaven’s throne comes God’s response. He laughs. He laughs a laugh of mockery—God’s vaporous enemies have the lifespan of a flower. He sees their end as clearly as he sees their present. And he knows that they will not get away with anything.

God knows that, one day, the wicked will stand before him. Their accumulated riches—evaporated. Their manipulated power—nonexistent. Their hidden evils—exposed. And the just Judge will mete out justice. Nothing will be overlooked.

God scoffs at the wicked. For even though they may prosper for a time, their prosperity only lasts for a life-breath. Their judgment will be eternal. This is a stark, sad reality. God laughs at their folly. They act as if they are getting away with evil, but they are really stacking up their own judgment. They are the saddest of fools.

The Judge presiding over the cosmos sees the motives and actions of every evil person. One day his gavel will fall. And the wicked will have no power to overturn his verdict.

Insight

In Psalm 41:9, David has been betrayed by “my close friend . . . one who shared my bread.” Jesus alluded to this verse when addressing his betrayal at the hands of Judas (see John 13:18).

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

HIS PRINCESS EVERY DAY – TUESDAY, JANUARY 21, 2020

Become FearlessMy Fearless Princess,

I have not given you the spirit of fear but of a sound mind. Therefore today I call you Fearless Princess, the way I called Gideon a valiant warrior when he was afraid to fight. I am the same God who gave Gideon the strength to win his battle with the enemy, and I am your God. The only time something will overtake your heart is if you take your eyes off Me. I don’t want my girl bound up in terror.

As long as you are walking in My power and Truth, you have nothing to be afraid of, and no matter what it looks like now, Victory will always be yours. So fear not, my beloved; I will never leave your side–day and night I am fighting for you.

Love,
Your King who removes all fear
Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Do not dread the disease that stalks in darkness, nor the disaster that strikes at midday. Though a thousand fall at your side, though ten thousand are dying around you, these evils will not touch you. – Psalm 91:5–72 (NLT)

A Prayer for Fear

Fearless Princess! I pray that you will walk in the perfect love of Jesus Christ, in which there is no fear! May you realize that God does not desire for you to live in fear but to be a brave daughter of the King. Spend time with Him to refuel your courage. May you find your confidence in your heavenly Father and your peace in His Son. You will fearlessly face and overcome any enemy in the name of Jesus! I pray that you will hold fast to this truth: nothing can come against you when you are safely in His arms. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Make the Lord of Heaven’s armies holy in your life.
He is the one you should fear.
He is the one who should make you tremble.
He will keep you safe. – 2 Peter 2:19
 (NLT)

This devotional is written by Sheri Rose Shepherd. All content copyright Sheri Rose Shepherd 2015. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. Visit HisPrincess.com for devotionals, books, videos, and more from Sheri Rose Shepherd.