Daily Devotional: Monday, February 26 - Our Everlasting Hope

“Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.” — Job 13:15

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Most Major League Baseball players can hit a fastball even if it is going 98 mph. Sometimes they turn on a ball and hit it just as hard as it was thrown, and the ball jumps over the fence for a home run. But many hitters can struggle with off-speed pitches — such as curveballs, sliders, knuckleballs, sinking fastballs, rising pitches and cut fast balls — which move from side to side are difficult to follow with the eyes and make contact with the bat.

Hank Aaron knew pitchers had a big bag of tricks to try to keep him off balance and guessing in the batter’s box, so he used a great strategy to train his hand-eye coordination at a higher level. During batting practice, he asked hitting instructors and teammates to throw bottle caps — which were much smaller than a baseball — for him to train himself to focus on the baseball all the way until he made contact. Therefore, it was tough to strike out Aaron and he surprised everybody with his high hitting average as well as hitting with a lot of power. He hit more than 700 home runs in his career, but also 2,294 singles, 624 doubles and 98 triples.

Though most of us probably don’t have the skill to hit a baseball like a professional, the Lord helps us adapt to sudden changes in life when we focus on our firm foundation in Christ. When we are young, we don’t realize how many problems we will face during our lifetimes. But God helps us overcome when we rely on Him in the midst of a changing world, where life throws us many curveballs and knocks us off balance or to the ground. When an ancient man, Job, faced sudden tragedies, he still trusted God even though he didn’t understand what was happening: “Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him” (Job 13:15).

We are not expected to navigate the curveballs thrown our way all alone. We can find God’s encouragement and direction for our circumstances in His Word, so we must make space and time to meditate on His truth and put it away in our hearts. Second Corinthians holds great encouragement for us, and we would do well to cling to its wisdom as we face the hard and uncertain times. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18).

When disease or disaster come our way, it’s not easy to remain strong and keep going — unless we find inner strength by relying on the solid rock Jesus Christ, who supports and sustains us through all the changes of life.

— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia

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