Monday, Finding Forgiveness under the Shadow (Psalm 32:1–5)
The difference between experiencing the shadow of the cross as a blessing or a curse is whether or not we are trying to hide our sin from God or are confessing our sin to God. It is the difference between wasting away and being blessed. In our confession to God, we find forgiveness under the shadow of the cross. What sin do you need to confess to move from wasting away to being blessed?
Tuesday, Finding Rest under the Shadow (Matthew 11:28–30)
No life is absent of suffering or burdens, but the Christian life gives purpose to our suffering – even unto death; this makes the burdens of the cross lighter than the burdens of the world. By choosing the burden and yoke of Christ, we can find rest even in the midst of the burden; we can find rest under the shadow of the cross. What burdens of the world are you carrying that you need to lay down in order to pick up your cross and follow Jesus?
Wednesday, Finding Joy in the Shadow (James 1:2–3)
James reminds the reader that we are to count our suffering pure joy. This is not an easy task for anyone, but if we see our sufferings as a way of identifying with our Lord and Savior, then we are able to find joy even in the shadows.
Thursday, Finding Purpose in the Shadows (1 Peter 2:19–21)
There is no greater purpose in life than to follow in the footsteps of Jesus! Ita Ford demonstrated the joy of finding purpose as she cared for those in the greatest need in El Salvador even while giving her very life. This kind of suffering, Peter tells his readers, is a gracious thing in the sight of God. When we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we find purpose in the shadows, even to the shadow of death. Where is God calling you to suffer or to sacrifice so that his purpose in your life may be seen more clearly?
Take some time to thank God for the forgiveness, the rest, the joy, and the purpose that is found in the shadow of the cross.
Confess to God the areas of your life that you are attempting to hide from him. Agree with him that you are in need of forgiveness and redemption.
Pray that God would give you joy in the midst of your suffering and sacrifice as you give it to God as an act of worship.
Pray that God would reveal more perfectly his will for your life.
Pray that you would see more clearly the footsteps of Jesus before you, so that you can follow them and find purpose even if they lead through shadows of suffering or even through the shadow of death.