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Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself

Daily Reading2 Chronicles 33 

When he was in distress, he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers. He prayed to him, and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.  (2 Chronicles 33.12-13) 

Devotional Thought: She had violated the terms of her probation and was going back to jail.  Guilty, ashamed, and angry with herself, she couldn't bring herself to pray.  She said to me, "I got myself into this mess.  I can't expect God to get me out of it."  I had to admire her honesty, but I urged her to turn to the Lord for help even when she didn't deserve it - for none of us really deserve it.  She responded and did indeed receive grace to help in her time of need. 

If anyone did not deserve God's help, it was King Manasseh, one of the most wicked kings of Judah.  Yet, the scripture says that "when he was in distress he entreated the favor of the Lord."  He swallowed his pride and disregarded the disappointment he felt in himself and found the help he needed. 

If you are disappointed with yourself, remember what King Manasseh did...

  • Entreat the favor of the Lord.  Some people may think that prayer does not help.  God sees things differently.  He longs for you to call upon him in the time of trouble.

  • Humble yourself.  Often it is pride that keeps us from seeking God's help.  Who are you, who am I, to think that we have reason to be proud before the One who created the heavens and the earth?  That seems a bit silly, doesn't it?

  • Receive grace and mercy.  God longs to be gracious to you.  But you must receive his grace as a child would receive a gift from his mother.  If we close our fists and cross our arms to God's offer of help, he will not overrule our will.

 So, don't be too hard on yourself.  Take the help that God offers! 

Prayer: Lord, I need you. O, I need you!  Every hour I need you.  Teach me Lord to turn to you in my distress, even when it is of my own making, for you are gracious and compassionate and long to show mercy.  Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 80:8-19

8 You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it.

9 You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.

10 The mountains were covered with its shade, the mighty cedars with its branches.

11 It sent out its branches to the sea and its shoots to the River.

12 Why then have you broken down its walls, so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?

13 The boar from the forest ravages it, and all that move in the field feed on it.

14 Turn again, O God of hosts! Look down from heaven, and see; have regard for this vine,

15 the stock that your right hand planted, and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.

16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down; may they perish at the rebuke of your face!

17 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!

18 Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name!

19 Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

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