first seek

first seek

Thursday 1.7 | Trust


“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” 2 Chronicles 20:12b 

What do you do when you are faced with a challenge too big for you to handle? Do you jump into making a plan? Do you freeze and wish it would go away? Do you lose yourself in self-pity or anger?

In the face of immense challenge, the Bible says, “The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.” (2 Chr 20:4). Right now, we could easily create a list of challenges that feel too big for us to understand or solve. What is our invitation? To look to the Lord, to trust, and to wait. 

PRAY

In what ways do we need to give up our striving for control and trust God? Take 5-10 minutes and set your eyes on the Lord. Sit quietly, vulnerably, and helplessly with Jesus as an embodied act of trust. Then, offer one simple prayer: “Lord, we do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

first seek

Wednesday 1.6 | Hope


REMEMBER

“Will the Lord reject forever? Will he ever show his favor again?
Has his unfailing love vanished forever? Has his promise failed for all time? Has God forgotten to be merciful? Has he in anger withheld his compassion?”
Then I thought… “I remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.”
Psalm 77:7-12


It is easy to remember the awful and tragic things that happened in 2020 (and some of them are still happening). But we believe that God is calling us to reframe 2020 – to define it not primarily by its tragedies, but rather by what God did and how he was present and active throughout the year. Remembering what God has done in the past can stir hope in our hearts for the promise of his presence and his action in our future.


PRAY
Set aside 10 minutes today to pray. Invite God to give you eyes to see things from a different perspective. What has he done in your life, in our community, or around the world through or despite the difficulties we’ve experienced? What can we be grateful for? Take time to thank him for these things.


SHARE
We believe that the fire of what God will do in 2021 will arise from the embers of the stories of what he has done in 2020. We would love to capture these stories to share publicly with our community. To share a story:

  • Record a 1-minute video on your phone and email it to adam@sanctuaryri.org with “RECLAIMING 2020” in the subject line OR
  • Type out your story HERE
first seek

Tuesday 1.5 | Lament


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“I remember my suffering and my wandering, the bitterness and the death. I remember it all and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”
Lamentations 3:19-23


God’s teachings in Scripture do not instruct us to ignore the painful and dark realities that we face with some kind of blind optimism. Rather, we are given space to feel, to remember, to ache, to mourn. The hope we have is not in denying that bad things (sometimes unimaginably bad things) happen, but in the truth that in the midst of those trials and in spite of them, God’s love, compassion, and faithfulness continue to pursue us. For us to recognize the depths of difficulty, loss, and tragedy in our world, is to recognize the fuller measure of our need for God’s power and grace to give us the strength to endure.


PRAY
Take 5-10 minutes to pray. Name the difficulties and losses (whether individual, community, or global) that have come in the past year. Lift them up to God and allow yourself to sit in his presence with them. Ask him to meet you with his love, comfort, and hope.