Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "God Who Made The Earth"1 (Lyrics)

I am going through some health struggles, which can affect me both emotionally and spiritually. It often means that I don't deal with other people very well, especially if I feel ignored, misunderstood, mistreated, rejected, or alone. When others don't meet my expectations and I feel let down, I can become discouraged, frustrated, and angry. Worse, those feelings may not even be accurate, because I don't necessarily know or correctly interpret what is going on with the other person. I also need to recognize that others may not be able to identify with my situation.

Focusing on the positives and letting go of the negatives is an uphill battle. Sometimes, I lash out and hurt back, doing the very thing that hurt me. I may not be able do anything about apparent injustices, but my overreacting definitely does not help.

While I strive to live my life the way that Jesus would want me to, so often, I don't know what to do. I fall far short of my own expectations and what I think others, including God, expect of me. But there's hope:

John 1:1,14a – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (NIV)

Jesus was human, just like us! He faced all the same temptations that we do. He understands what we are feeling. He was ignored, judged, misunderstood, rejected, betrayed, and abandoned, even by His family and closest friends. But there was a difference: Unlike us, Jesus had a perfect relationship with His Father, our God! He knew what to do when He was tempted to retaliate, to lash out. When Jesus became angry, His was a righteous, unselfish anger, focused on sinful behaviour and true injustice against God. But when it was directed at Him, He knew how to turn the other cheek:

Luke 23:34a – Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." (NIV)

Even when I do know what I ought to do, I often don't want to. I would much rather dwell on the hurts and injustices. I don't want to let go and forgive. But Jesus forgives me and helps me to do the same! He understands that I don't always recognize what I have done when I ignore His promptings and sinfully disobey. While we can't make our relationship with God right, Jesus could! He could have faltered and sinned, but He didn't. He was without sin!

That doesn't mean that He didn't struggle to do the right thing, to take all our sins upon Himself, to die for us. He asked His Father if the cup might pass Him by, but He knew that that was not an option. He willingly gave up His life to make us right with God. And because of that, while we continue to struggle and falter and sin, we can be forgiven and be right with God! Let us give God eternal thanks for such a precious gift!

2 Corinthians 5:21 – God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)

Prayer: O Lord, our heavenly Father, thank You! We are so grateful for what Jesus did for us! No matter how unsure we are or how much we falter, help us to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. We don't always know how our seemingly innocent words and deeds affect others, but help us to accept one another as fallible, for all of us need forgiveness, and we need to forgive just as Jesus forgave us. Above all, we want to glorify You in all things and at all times! In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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About the author:

Jan Korvemaker
Parksville, British Columbia, Canada

1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great word for today Jan.

    Praying for your healing and BELIEVING it will come and manifest itself in you.

    Thank you for being honest about your struggles and for pointing to Jesus and his struggles.

    Amen! As I read your devotion this morning I thought I could have written this. I really could relate to what you have written. So thanks and keep writing! Blessings.

    Yes, may we always seek to be more like our Saviour, and when we fail, may we admit our wrongdoing and seek forgiveness at His feet and from those we’ve hurt. Thanks for writing this encouraging devotional. Blessings.

    Dear Jan,
    Thanks so much for your devotional. So true. I especially appreciated the prayer.
    Keep writing.

    Thank you for your meditation today. Your message hit close to home and I appreciated some thoughts relating to mine. Nice to realize that you are not the “only” one and to get someone else’s perspective.

    Thank you for your devotional this morning. It spoke to my heart and my circumstances. May God Bless you today and every day, and work in the circumstances in your life that impact your daily walk.
    In the blessed name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Saviour!

    Dear Jan:
    Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story. I can certainly relate with you. I pray our Great God blesses you abundantly and helps and guides you in all you do. May He also bring healing to you. I struggle with these problems as well.

    Jan I know where you are coming from, My daughter has medical history that does the same thing. All I can say is be strong and always think that the best is yet to come. I know that is not easy, but believe me, you are in people’s prayers, and try to realize that being alone doesn’t make you alone. You have a wonderful church family.

    Thank you for your devotional. Like you I have been dealing with multiple health issues which make me impatient and easily offended. It’s difficult to remain Christ-like when we are suffering, however if we press in to Jesus the Holy Spirit enables us to do things we cannot do by ourselves. I pray that you may soon find relief and until then, that you will allow the Holy Spirit to take control and give you peace.

    Thanks so much for sharing this. That takes courage. It will resonate with many people as it did with me.
    The only thing that works for me when I feel like that is to hand it over to God. Being a writing type I note it in my prayer journal. Often when I look at it a week later I realize how much resolution has already taken place and say, Thank you God. If no resolutio9n I thank Him for the resolution to come.
    Thanks for reminding me how important it is to do this.

    Hello Jan – I just read your devotional on PresbyCan and I wanted to let you know how much I related to it. I too struggle off and on with a health problem and have the same way – angry, frustrated and “why me “, “why now” and also I have felt like God is punishing me. In the midst of the pain and emotions, I too, have lashed out and said things to people that I truly regret and then I feel very guilty and I know that God would not have wanted me to behave that way. Yes—it is true – we are only human! Thanks for writing your thoughts and connecting verses that help us to understand why we feel this way at times and how we can find support from God and from one another.

    Good morning, Jan:
    Reading your Devotional is very like looking in a mirror, for the issues you are experiencing are my issues also. However, the last words that Matthew wrote are my constant comfort!
    Receive now the Blessing of the Lord, take it with you wherever you go, keep it with you in your labour and in your leisure, in your laughter and in your tears: and may the blessings of God your Father and creator, Jesus your redeemer and sanctifier, and the Holy Spirit your guide and comforter be your portion, this hour, this day, and even until time is no more. Amen
    (Northern Ontario)

    Dear Jan – I received your devotional this morning and found myself right in there! I have been fighting cancer off and on since 1994. It has spread throughout my body. I have taken various chemo treatments and am now on the last one they have for my type of cancer. The treatments aren’t so bad, however, my temperament is often out there where I’d rather it NOT be! I find my patience with some of my very closest friends is tested. Thank God they love me anyway and forgive me knowing it is the chemo talking and not me. There are many days when I must force myself to just get out of bed and dress because everything seems to hurt, but God and I have a plan. I’m not sure what my part is in the plan but if I just plow through the pain and get moving, He gets me through it. So, hang in there! Somethings waiting to happen for you too.
    Shalom and peace,

    Dear Jan,
    Thank you for this message. What others say – or don’t say – does seem hurtful at times. I try to remember that it isn’t our fellow human beings that we should be impressing, but more focused on what God would like us to be. And when we look to Him, then good has to come out of it. I often say a prayer that goes something like this, help me to be the person You created me to be Lord. I give thanks for the many blessings I have. One other thing I try and do is say a silent blessing to those I come in contact with, even if I don’t know them.
    I guess what I am saying is that we all like to be praised for what we do on this earth; that’s human nature I think. To God be the glory!
    Thanks so much, Jan, for your message. Keep up the good work!

    Thank you for your incredibly honest post. I think we often minimize our own and other’s struggles by creating formulas like looking on the bright side, etc. Our struggles are real and you’re right — Jesus knows that, now and always. You expressed this in a very authentic way. God bless.

    Hello Jan, I have just re-read your devotional.
    I want to say that you don’t have to dwell on the hurts and injustices.
    You say you don’t want to let go and forgive.
    You CAN let go and forgive and you no longer have to dwell on the hurts and injustices. God is abundantly able to change your mind set about anyone and anything.
    I just recently had the relief of seeing God change my attitude completely around with respect to a person I did not care for. It was marvelous to have that freedom of reconciliation after I confessed my bad attitude to God.
    I pray that you too will enter into the peace that Jesus gives.
    “Not as the world gives, give I unto you.“
    His peace is for real – deep and lasting.

    Hi Jan,
    Thank you for your devotion. It is indeed difficult when we struggle with health problems as so many older people do. But we have the assurance through faith that we can always come to Jesus and He will give us comfort.

    I am right where you are — BUT with God … we can make it!!

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