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Third Sunday in Lent

Today’s devotional reading focuses on the Epistle and comes from Saved by Grace: A Study of Christian Doctrine—Student Book.

Scripture Readings

Exodus 17:1–7
Psalm 95:1–9
Romans 5:1–8
John 4:5–30, 39–42

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Introduction

When we rejoice in our sufferings, we may not always feel happy. Even in times of suffering, we rest in the cross, knowing that in Christ, God has worked all things together for our good. 

Devotional Reading

Certainly Jesus did teach that His followers would not be exempt from problems. He told us that we would be treated no better than He was, that the world would hate us and persecute us. But He never commanded us to be miserable. In fact, He said just the opposite: “I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and that your joy might be complete” (John 15:11)! Jesus spoke of joy in this life—a joy we can always feel, even in the most difficult of times. . . .

In verses 3–5 Paul presents us a formula for joyful living that works, even when we encounter all sorts of difficulties. He says we can even rejoice in our sufferings because of what we know. The power to find joy in life, even when we find ourselves under pressure, depends upon knowledge and experience the Holy Spirit works in our hearts. . . .

We rejoice in the hope of what is to come; we rejoice in suffering. But, most of all, we “rejoice in God” (verse 11). We rejoice in what God has done, in what He is, and in what He will do.

The Christian faith is rooted in history. We believe in a God who acted in history to save us. Jesus’ death and resurrection are historical facts. We can rejoice in the present and the future because of what Jesus did for us in the past.

Devotional reading is from Saved by Grace: A Study of Christian Doctrine—Student Book, pages 29–30 © 1988 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Prayer

O mighty God . . . You know that every day has its particular burden, and nearly every hour its special pain. Yet my confidence shall not cease on that account, but in the midst of tribulations I will lift up my eyes to the hills from which comes my help, namely, to You, the almighty, good, and merciful God. I know that You will gladden me at last after my tribulation. After the storm, You will surely make the sun shine on me. You have promised to refresh those who labor and are burdened. I await then the fulfillment of Your gracious promise. Amen.

Prayer is from Starck’s Prayer Book: Revised Concordia Edition, pages 199–200 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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