Hospital Devotions

Hospital Devotions

HOSPITAL DEVOTIONS:

A compilation of 27 devotions for use in the hospital or related setting from the Institutional Ministries Committee, WELS Special Ministries Board.

Devotion #1

Luke 2:29-31 – Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people.

Life has its ways of being cruel to our flesh. It brings illnesses, pains, disappointments and many tears. Even the apostle Paul pleaded for release from “this body of death.” All the evil is, of course, the result of sin, our sins and the sins of others. Our world is no longer the perfect paradise God created it to be and our lives, too, bear sin’s curse. If only we could find peace and contentment.

We can! Peace is ours through the child whom aged Simeon held in his arms. Through the wounds of Jesus our souls have been healed and revived for eternal life. This same Jesus also promises to lead us safely through the maze of troubles which life can bring to our home in heaven.

Jesus has redeemed us and we join Simeon in finding the strength to live in hope and die in peace.

Prayer: Dear Lord, in the midst of my sufferings bring me the peace of forgiveness through Christ. Then I will lay down my weary head and rest securely awaiting my day of unending peace in heaven. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Psalm 23:4,6 – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

See Also: Psalm 116; 1 Corinthians 15; Hymn 158 [CW]

 

Devotion #2

Job 14:14 – If a man dies, will he live again?

No one likes to think about death. I’ll freely admit I am no exception to the rule. But as I grow older, it becomes more and more apparent that my appointment with death cannot be canceled.

Must thoughts of my own death cause me to abandon all hope and become lost in area of grief and despair? Satan says, “Yes!” God says, “No!” In his Holy Word God reminds me that I have been ransomed from the grave through the death and resurrection of Jesus. He died that I might live. And live I will. When I bid farewell to all things earthy, my soul will be with the Lord in the mansions above! I have my Savior’s word on it.

Perhaps my present confinement is God’s way of focusing my attention on matters I would otherwise ignore. My God wants me to set my house in order. He wants my faith in Jesus to be cultivated and invigorated by the Holy spirit working through Word and Sacrament. Then my day of departing will be a supreme triumph. With Job of old I will confess, “All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal to come.”

Prayer: Lord of Life, give me the sure hope of eternal life through the death and resurrection of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Job 19:25-27 – I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!

See also: 1 Corinthians 15; Psalm 116; Hymn 152 [CW]

 

Devotion #3

John 20:27 – Stop doubting and believe!

At times I find myself doubting God’s many promises to help in times of trouble. It’s not that his Word is unclear. It’s me. I can’t see how God could possibly be concerned about me. Why should he help me? I’ve rebelled against him so often. When I lie awake my conscience accuses me. And Satan chimes right in. He wants me to believe there is no way I can escape the dreadful punishment my sins deserve.

Could Satan be right? Absolutely not! God’s grace, his love for me, is greater than my many sins. The proof is found in Jesus. He came to seek and save sinners like me. By his death on Calvary’s cross he freed me from the consequences of my sin and delivered me from all punishment.

I know I will never be worthy of God’s love and care. But then again, I don’t have to earn it. God has reached out to this sinner through Christ and given me the gift of eternal life. And it is my Savior himself who comforts my troubled heart with his words, “stop doubting and believe!”

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for giving this unworthy sinner a perfect pardon and an open door to heaven. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Romans 5:6-8 – You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

See also: Psalm 32; Isaiah 40

 

Devotion #4

Matthew 11:28 – Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Restlessness seems to be a daily companion lately. Questions about my diagnosis and prognosis keep haunting me. I tend to think the worst. I become upset. A tranquilizer might provide temporary relief, but then the cycle starts all over again.

Thank God I have something better than medicine to calm my soul. Jesus has invited me to find my rest in him. So often my uneasiness is rooted in a feeling of guilt and depressing hopelessness. But Jesus has invited me to find my rest in him. So often my uneasiness is rooted in a feeling of guilt and depressing hopelessness. But Jesus has taken away my guilt and given me a living hope. His perfect life and sacrificial death satisfied the demands of God’s justice completely. I have been forgiven. His invitation, “Come to me” instills hope and happiness in my life. In him I have found true rest!

Prayer: Great Physician, calm my troubled thoughts with the peace that passes all understanding. Forgive my sins and plead my cause before the Father’s throne. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Psalm 130:1-5 – Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you O LORD, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness: therefore you are feared. I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

See also: Psalm 46; Luke 5; Hymn 338 [CW]

 

Devotion #5

John 3:16 – God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The word “love” has been abused more than any other word. Satan has trained the world to equate love with the fulfillment of its desires and the development of sexual and other desires. But God has a different definition of love.

Real love is seen in the compassion the Creator has for His fallen creatures. Knowing that sin would damn the world, God planned to remove this curse through his Son Jesus. Jesus would take on human flesh. Jesus would carry our burden of guilt to Calvary’s cross and bury it in his grave. What love! An outraged Father forgives his wayward sons and daughters! What love! God has forgiven me through the death and resurrection of his Son!

God so loved…and because he did I will not perish in hell. God so loved…and in that love alone is life, abundant life, eternal life.

Prayer: Father, forgive me for the times I have been indifferent to your holy love and from now on help me to live in your arms of love forever. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Psalm 103:1-4 – Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases; he redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion.

See also: Psalm 51; Luke 15; Hymn 376 [CW]

 

Devotion #6

John 14:6 – “I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

The way we walk in life leads to a definite end. The truth we follow and build on will influence our successes and failures. The life we set as our goal, this life or the one to come, will culminate in heaven or hell. How vital it is to know Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life! I would find no lasting satisfaction in my life without Jesus and the loving relationship he gives me with my heavenly Father. I have failed miserably and often in my life. But Jesus has shown me that the way to heaven does not depend on what I do , but rather what he has done for me. His death and resurrection mean eternal life for me! And that’s the gospel truth!

What a comfort to know a sinner like me can come to the Father through Jesus, my substitute who fulfilled all God’s demands to perfection! He is my Way, my Truth and my Life!

Prayer: Dear Savior, thank you for snatching me from the road to hell and leading me on the path to eternal life. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

John 11:25-26 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she told me, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who was to come into the world.”

See also: Isaiah 55; John 20; Hymn 395 [CW]

 

Devotion #7

Isaiah 55:8 – “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” says the Lord.

I have received all sorts of advice from well-meaning friends. One suggests the latest remedy. Another has discovered a new medicine or treatment. Yet another has just heard about a doctor who achieves dramatic results. I appreciate the support and kind thoughts from my friends. But I know there is only one who really understands what is happening in my life – my Lord!

It is He who sends troubles and trials for my good. Though accident or disease lays me low, I know he is working for my benefit, although I will admit I often fail to see or understand the “good” in God’s thoughts and ways for my life.

One Poet said, “We see the underside of the weaving of our pattern of life, while God sees the face side. The underside is messy and unpatterned, the face side is the final beautiful product.” I know the “final product” includes the eternal life which Christ won for me and all people. Confident of God’s love and concern, I will submit to his superior judgments in all matters.

Prayer: Wise Father, help me submit myself to your ways for my life. If those ways are painful help me to bear the pain valiantly. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Jeremiah 29:11,12 – “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

See also: Genesis 50:15ff; Psalm 25

 

Devotion #8

Matthew 14:27 – “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

They say only a fool is never afraid. But lately it seems as though fear and uncertainty have taken over my life. Perhaps it’s this feeling of helplessness which scares me the most. I am powerless to change my present condition or alter my future.

What joy it brings to hear my Savior reach out to me in my anxious moments and say, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” With a word he is able to calm my fears. He reminds me gently of his loving care and compassion. How easily I forget that my Lord rules heaven and earth, all the winds and the waves! He controls every situation in life. My Jesus can turn water into wine, pain to relief, death to life.

“Don’t be afraid,” he says to me even as he said to Peter long ago. Jesus knows my troubles. Jesus has the power to help. And I know that when it is best for me, he will remove all my ills. Why should I fear? Jesus is by my side!

Prayer: Dear Savior, when I tremble in fear, direct my thoughts to your promises and never let me forget your divine power. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Isaiah 41:10 – “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Psalm 27:1 – The Lord is my Light and my Salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the Strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?

See also: 1 Samuel 17, Psalm 23, Hymn 431 [CW]

 

Devotion #9

Hebrews 13:5 – “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

Why should the Lord be my daily companion? He has every reason to abandon me. My lifestyle has not always been acceptable to him. The places I have gone were not always to his liking. I have not always been faithful in worship and meditation. In short, I am a sinner who doesn’t deserve his love and companionship.

But oh, how I need him now. How I long for his comforting presence as I lie confined in bed. My present condition serves as a constant reminder that life is fleeting and eternity is near. I am afraid to face eternity alone. I know I am unworthy of my Lord’s love and his heaven.

What a joy to hear the soothing words of my Savior. He says he will never leave me or forsake me in spite of all my sins and weaknesses. Through Jesus’ death and resurrection I have been judged to be free of all guilt. And according to the promise of my Lord, I trust he is my best benefit. I am not alone!

Prayer: Lord, Thank you for being my constant Companion. Never leave me or forsake me. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Isaiah 49:14-16a – “But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, the Lord has forgotten me.’ ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.‘ ”

See also: Psalm 121; Romans 8; Hymn 438 [CW]

 

Devotion #10

Psalm 46:1-2 – God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear.

There are times when the words of Psalm 46 seem hollow to us. After all, we trust in the Lord, and yet bad things can happen to us. We get sick or injured and end up in a hospital or nursing home. What happened to the promise of him being our refuge and strength.

But we must remember something. God never promised us a trouble-free life because we are Christians. Quite the opposite! The Bible says, “We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.”

He is our refuge and strength. He says he is our ever present help in trouble. Troubles we will have, but never more than he can handle for us. Never more than he gives us the strength to endure. When we run to him for refuge and safety, we will truly find it.

That may mean we will be physically healed. It may not. God in his wisdom decides how best to help us in trouble. Maybe he will remove the illness. Maybe he will give us the strength to live with it. Maybe he will remove the illness. Maybe he will give us the strength to live with it. Maybe he will use it to take us out of this life. But whatever his will, we know that it is the best that can happen to us. We will not fear.

Prayer: Lord God, be our strength and help. Make us trust in you and never give in to fear. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Matthew 6:10 – Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

 

Devotion #11

Luke 11:9 – Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

There are times when it almost doesn’t seem worth it to pray. It may be that our trouble – be it illness or injury – doesn’t seem so bad that we need to ask God for his help. There are other times when it seems that prayer wouldn’t help anyway – when the doctor foresees a long convalescence or a short period of life left to you.

But there is never a time that it would be useless to pray. God wants to hear your prayers, no matter what. If you feel that your trouble isn’t bad enough to bother the Almighty, you are wrong. St. Peter said to cast all your cares on him – even the little ones. And if you think your troubles are too big and can’t be remedied, then you are wrong, too. God can overthrow a diagnosis, if he wishes. More importantly, though, he can give us the strength and courage to face it.

What we need the most is faith in him. In all troubles, big or little, we need to be assured of his forgiving love in Christ Jesus. For this, as well as for any blessings of body, we should pray without ceasing. God will never ignore our prayers. We have his Word on it. And his answer will always be the best for us.

Prayer: Lord, teach us to pray in all troubles. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Psalm 88:1-2 – O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.

 

Devotion #12

Acts 17:26-27 – And he determined the times set for them….God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him.

As we think about the approaching end of our lives, we often wonder, “What was the purpose? Why was I put here on earth? Can I say I’ve accomplished anything with my life?”

God may have many plans for a person’s time on earth. But the number one thing he wants from any person’s life is this: that the person should come to know Christ.

Everything that happens after that is extra. God wants people to be saved. He chose you to be saved even before the world began, and he so ordered everything in your life that you might be brought to saving faith and that you might die in the faith, too.

Think of this first of all when asking whether your life accomplished its purpose. And then think of how God used you to accomplish it for others: when you brought your children to baptism, when you invited others to church, when you offered your time and your treasures so that his Word would be preached. He saved you, and through your efforts reached others. That’s an accomplishment.

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for your gracious purpose in my life, to give me life everlasting. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Luke 2:29-31 – “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation….”

 

Devotion #13

Acts 17:26-27 – And he determined the times set for them….God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him.

As we think about the approaching end of our lives, we often wonder, “What was the purpose? Why was I put here on earth? Can I say I’ve accomplished anything with my life?”

God may have many plans for a person’s time on earth. But the number one thing he wants from any person’s life is this: that the person should come to know Christ.

Everything that happens after that is extra. God wants people to be saved. He chose you to be saved even before the world began, and he so ordered everything in your life that you might be brought to saving faith and that you might die in the faith, too.

Think of this first of all when asking whether your life accomplished its purpose. And then think of how God used you to accomplish it for others: when you brought your children to baptism, when you invited others to church, when you offered your time and your treasures so that his Word would be preached. He saved you, and through your efforts reached others. That’s an accomplishment.

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for your gracious purpose in my life, to give me life everlasting. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Luke 2:29-31 – “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation….”

 

Devotion #14

2 Corinthians 12:9 – My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

People used to think that sickness and accidents happened to people because they had done something really bad, and God was “paying them back.” In that line of thinking, a hospital is like God’s prison, where people pay for their sins by being ill.

But that’s not right. God doesn’t punish us for our sins in the hospital. He already punished Christ for them on the cross. There is no more payment for us to make.

God has other reasons behind our illnesses, good reasons. We don’t always know what they are, but sometimes he gives us a hint. He told Paul that Paul’s sickness was to increase his faith. In his illness, Paul wasn’t about to depend on himself, but had to put all his faith in the Lord.

So it is for us, too. A stay in the hopsital can remind us of how weak we are, body and soul. Then we will be more ready to put all our trust for every blessing of body and soul in God alone. We are weak, but he is strength itself. If we learn to put all our faith in him, and none in ourselves, we will learn the lesson of hospitals.

Prayer: Lord God and Savior, teach me to put all my trust in you and you alone. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

John 9:1-3 – As he (Jesus) went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the work of God might be displayed in his life.”

 

Devotion #15

1 Corinthians 15:42-43 – “The body that is sown…is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.”

This must be said about long life: it really can wear a person out. When you were 20, you leapt out of bed every morning. Now, you wake up too tired even to think about throwing off your blankets.

Mankind used to search for a fountain of youth. The explorer Ponce de Leon thought he’d find it in Florida. Modern man hopes to find it in medical science. St. Paul tells us that such a fountain is found in a different place.

When our Lord Jesus died and rose again, he did not only redeem our souls. He redeemed our bodies as well. Man fell, soul and body, into the destruction of sin. Jesus rescued us, soul and body.

And so, for the Christian, death leads finally to the rescue of the body from the weakness and weariness sin brought to our bodies. When Christ returns and raises us from our graves, we will enjoy eternal health both of body and soul. And how could it be otherwise? We will be forever in the presence of our God and Savior, the very Fountain of life, health, and every good.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me strength to bear my present infirmity, and endow me, as you promised, with eternal vigor on the day when you return. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 – Then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Devotion #16

1 Corinthians 15:42-43 – The body that is sown…is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

This must be said about long life: it really can wear a person out. When you were 20, you leapt out of bed every morning. Now, you wake up too tired even to think about throwing off your blankets.

Mankind used to search for a fountain of youth. The explorer Ponce de Leon thought he’d find it in Florida. Modern man hopes to find it in medical science. St. Paul tells us that such a fountain is found in a different place.

When our Lord Jesus died and rose again, he did not only redeem our souls. He redeemed our bodies as well. Man fell, soul and body, into the destruction of sin. Jesus rescued us, soul and body.

And so, for the Christian, death leads finally to the rescue of the body from the weakness and weariness sin brought to our bodies. When Christ returns and raises us from our graves, we will enjoy eternal health both of body and soul. And how could it be otherwise? We will be forever in the presence of our God and Savior, the very Fountain of life, health, and every good.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me strength to bear my present infirmity, and endow me, as you promised, with eternal vigor on the day when you return. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 – Then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Devotion #17

Isaiah 49:16 – See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.

At any given time, there must be millions of sick people in this world. There must be hospitals, nursing homes, and care centers filled with Christians who are praying to God for his help and his care.

But God is pretty busy. He has an entire world to run. There are famines, wars, earthquakes, and all kinds of disasters taking place. There are sinners to judge and the innocent to rescue. There is the staggering mission he has set for himself of spreading the Gospel.

God’s hands are full. Has he really got the time for you, one little speck in a great, huge world of concerns?

When we are busy but want to remember something, we tie a string around a finger. We are always seeing it, every time we move our hands. God goes us one better. “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands,” he says. He has written down your name on his hands. Every time he does something, your name is always before him. He’s not too busy for you. He’s made sure he will never forget you. He will keep you and your prayers uppermost in his thoughts — no matter how busy he is.

Prayer: Lord God, make me confident to pray to you all the time, since you are thinking of me all the time. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Hebrews 13:5 – Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

 

Devotion #18

Psalm 31:15 – My times are in your hands.

There doesn’t seem to be a good time to be in the hospital. You have other things you need to be doing. Your life did not need this kind of an interruption.

And yet, here you are. Everything else has to be put “on hold” while you are in a bed. We know that God is a loving and gracious God. We know he will give us the strength to face things like this. We know that he will bring good out of this for us, as the Bible promises.

But couldn’t he have done it at a more convenient time?

We set our schedules, plan our days and weeks, and think we have taken everything into consideration. Maybe we forget that God is the one who really sets the schedules for us. He set the time of our birth. He sets the time of our death. And he determines what will happen to us and when it will happen throughout our lives.

If God is in charge of our lives, then we know that everything will work out for good. With God, everything must happen when he wishes, and in the way he wishes, so that good will come from it. That includes time spent in a hospital bed.

Prayer: Lord God, grant me the patience and trust to live by your schedule for my life, not mine. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s almighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

 

Devotion #19

Psalm 31:15 – My times are in your hands.

There doesn’t seem to be a good time to be in the hospital. You have other things you need to be doing. Your life did not need this kind of an interruption.

And yet, here you are. Everything else has to be put “on hold” while you are in a bed. We know that God is a loving and gracious God. We know he will give us the strength to face things like this. We know that he will bring good out of this for us, as the Bible promises.

But couldn’t he have done it at a more convenient time?

We set our schedules, plan our days and weeks, and think we have taken everything into consideration. Maybe we forget that God is the one who really sets the schedules for us. He set the time of our birth. He sets the time of our death. And he determines what will happen to us and when it will happen throughout our lives.

If God is in charge of our lives, then we know that everything will work out for good. With God, everything must happen when he wishes, and in the way he wishes, so that good will come from it. That includes time spent in a hospital bed.

Prayer: Lord God, grant me the patience and trust to live by your schedule for my life, not mine. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s almighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

 

Devotion #20

Galatians 3:26 – You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

The hardest part of being a parent is having to watch your child in pain or illness. It seems unfair that a child has to go through such things. You’d do anything to make your child feel better. You feel his pain, and you wish you could take it all on yourself. But you can’t. And so you feel helpless and alone.

You’re not alone. God has gone through this. He watched his Son’s pain and torment, and he could do nothing to stop it if he was to save us. Parents with suffering children must have a special place in his heart.

And so do the children. God’s Son died to make your child his child. And he loves your child as much as you do. He knows the pain you share. He wouldn’t ask parents and children to suffer without promising to bring good from it for you both.

He is here at the bedside, too. He will bring your child through and you as well. Trust him. Trust his love.

Prayer: Lord, God, you gave your Son for us. I give you my child. For Jesus’ sake, be with us and help us. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Romans 8:32 – He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?

See also: Psalm 130; Matthew 8:5-13; Luke 8:40-56

 

Devotion #21

2 Timothy 4:18 – The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom.

It is not a pleasant thought, perhaps, but one which has to be faced sooner or later. Awaiting major surgery or test results, you find yourself facing it sooner. Death will come some day. And what then?

Don’t worry. God has everything under his control. You don’t face the dark, stony coldness of the grave, but the eternal sunlight and the loving warmth which are found in your Father’s house. Jesus has done away with death’s gloomy chill by dying for your sins and rising again.

But what about those you must leave behind? Who will care for your family and comfort those dear to you? God will take them under his wing. There will be grief, but not hopelessness; he will comfort them with the Gospel’s assurance of reunion in heaven. You may feel concerned for their physical welfare when you are gone; God will provide for them.

So, if you don’t make it, you are taken care of, and so are those you must leave behind, by him who loves you and has cared for you all your life. Commend yourself and them to your loving Father for Jesus’ sake.

Prayer: Lord, may your will be done. If it is my time to leave this world, grant me a blessed end, and take care of those I must leave behind. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Revelation 2:10 – Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.

See also: Psalm 37:25; Psalm 146; John 19:25-27; 2 Timothy 4:6-8

 

Devotion #22

Matthew 9:12 – Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

“I don’t feel sick enough to be in the hospital!” So you may have said, but the doctor disagreed, and here you are. You came as he told you to because you trust him to know your physical condition better than you do.

That makes you a good illustration for many people. We don’t always feel very sinful; sometimes we feel pretty good about ourselves. But God disagrees. He tell us, “You are lost and miserable sinners, and your only hope is to believe in my Son who died for your sins.”

Even if we don’t feel very sick, we believe the doctor and go to the hospital. Let us show the same confidence in our Creator. Let us read through his Law to see why he calls us sinners. And let us take his cure for this eternally fatal disease: trusting in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who heals our souls through the forgiveness of our sins which he won by his death on the cross.

Prayer: Lord God, help me to confess my sins, and to believe your Law when it accuses me. But help me all the more to believe your Gospel when it tells of the forgiveness and eternal life which your Son gained for me. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Isaiah 1:18 – Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

See also: Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 18:9-14; Romans 3:9-26

 

Devotion #23

Matthew 9:12 – Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

“I don’t feel sick enough to be in the hospital!” So you may have said, but the doctor disagreed, and here you are. You came as he told you to because you trust him to know your physical condition better than you do.

That makes you a good illustration for many people. We don’t always feel very sinful; sometimes we feel pretty good about ourselves. But God disagrees. He tell us, “You are lost and miserable sinners, and your only hope is to believe in my Son who died for your sins.”

Even if we don’t feel very sick, we believe the doctor and go to the hospital. Let us show the same confidence in our Creator. Let us read through his Law to see why he calls us sinners. And let us take his cure for this eternally fatal disease: trusting in Jesus Christ, God’s Son, who heals our souls through the forgiveness of our sins which he won by his death on the cross.

Prayer: Lord God, help me to confess my sins, and to believe your Law when it accuses me. But help me all the more to believe your Gospel when it tells of the forgiveness and eternal life which your Son gained for me. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Isaiah 1:18 – Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

See also: Matthew 9:9-13; Luke 18:9-14; Romans 3:9-26

 

Devotion #24

Matthew 10:29 – Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them falls to the ground apart from the will of your Father.

People lying in hospital beds often spend the hours in the frustrating pursuit of wondering why they are there. Why did I catch this disease? Why did I have that accident? Why did I get a stroke or a heart attack? Why me?

It would be nice to know. God has his plans for our lives, like a playwright with his script. It might make lying here easier if we could get a peek at the page where we find out the reason for the hospital scene.

But that will have to wait. The reasons will come when God decides that it’s time for us to know. However, he makes the wait easier by assuring us that there are reasons, and they are based on his great love for us. A little sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground unless God has a reason for it. How much more of a reason must there not be for your hospitalization? After all, God’s Son did not die for sparrows, but for you.

Be patient. God will let you know one day why you are here. For now, just rest assured. He has a good reason.

Prayer: Lord, make me patient. Help me trust your wisdom and love. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Romans 11:33 – Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out!

See also: Job 2:1-10; John 9:1-7; Romans 5:1-5

 

Devotion #25

Matthew 28:20 – Surely I will be with you always…

I miss my room! I miss my bed! I miss my TV and stereo! I miss my toys and my dolls and my pet! I miss my mom and dad! I don’t like being here!

It’s not always fun being in a hospital, is it? Maybe you hurt, and that’s no fun. Maybe you’re lonely. Maybe you’re even a little scared. At a time like this, it’s not easy being away from home. Your parents and family and friends come to visit, but when visiting hours are over, they usually have to go home. And it’s no fun to be here all alone.

But you’re not alone. Someone stays with you – even after visiting hours (and the nurses don’t say a thing about it!). He goes alone with you when the doctors have to take you for tests or therapy or even an operation. He’s with you all the time.

It’s Jesus. He loves you so much that he not only died on the cross for your sins, but he promised to stay with you all the time – especially when you need him the most, like now. He won’t leave you alone. He’ll take care of you. He’ll see you through. Don’t be afraid. He’s here.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for promising to stay with me. Please don’t ever let me forget that you are here. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Hebrews 13:5 – Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.

See also: Psalm 23; Luke 8:40-56; Mark 10:13-16

 

Devotion #26

Psalm 31:15 – My times are in your hands.

Do you know what’s frustrating? Thinking abut how easily you might NOT have had to come to the hospital. If you’d been fifteen seconds later, you might not have been in the accident. If you’d been six feet away from where you were standing a week or two ago, that bacteria in the air might not have reached you. If you’d lost a few pounds, or avoided a few foods, you might not have had the heart attack or the stroke.

If…if…if! You can drive yourself crazy with those “ifs.” We have something better. We have the assurance that our times are in God’s hands. In his loving plan for your life, he decided that this should be allowed to happen to you now. He had a reason.

What that reason is we may not always know. Sometimes he uses such hardships to warn us away from some harmful sin, or to strengthen our faith, or to give us a chance to show others how our Lord helps us to endure times of trouble. Rest assured, there is a reason. God’s love drove him to die for your sins. That same love has brought you here for now.

Prayer: Lord, help me to remember that your love has brought me here for a good reason. Even if I don’t know what it is, I thank you for it. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Romans 8:28 – And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

See also: Genesis 45:1-7; Isaiah 55:8-9; John 9

 

Devotion #27

Psalm 37:7 – Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.

Don’t you wish you were in one of those hospitals you see on television? You come in, they cure you, and out you go — just like that! That would be much better that this business of coming in again and again for the same ailment. It seems endless and monotonous, and you find yourself wishing that it were over and done with.

“How long, Lord?” you want to ask. “Do I have to go through this forever?” His answer is always the same: Be still and wait patiently. God has decided that this is how your life should be for a whild. He has decided when and how this situation will finally end.

And you can trust his wisdom and his love. He knows better than you or any doctor what is best for you, whether good health or not-so-good. And his love drove him to offer his Son’s life for your sins. His great love for you will see you through this hard time, and finally bring it to a blessed conslusion. Wait patiently for him!

Prayer: Lord God, my Savior, give me the gift of patient trust in your great wisdom and your great love for me. For Jesus’ sake I pray. Amen.

Additional Thoughts for Meditation:

Psalm 40:1 – I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.

See also: Psalm 13; Psalm 130; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10

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