01 Oct Bitter or Better? (Ps 17:3) by Dr. Rich Reich
“You have tested my heart, searched it in the night. You have tried me by fire, but find no malice in me.” ~ Ps 17:3 (full readings)
Rich’s Reflections: The first reading today speaks about Job who lost everything that was precious to him in one day. Satan thought Job would blaspheme God as a result, but instead he blessed God’s name (Jb 1:21). In contrast, Jonah, who was put through a smaller dose of adversity, responded with anger towards God and pity towards himself (Jon 4:9). Job reacted to suffering with grace and humility, giving honor to God, while Jonah reacted with self-centered anger and blamed God. What causes the difference in their response to hardship? One possibility is the absence of malice (Ps 17:3). Jonah harbored malice towards the people of Ninevah, and could not let go of that bitterness. Job, on the other hand, was a blameless and upright man (Jb 1:1). During tough times, both men reacted from what was in their heart. What is in your heart? Lord, help me to remove bitterness from my heart and forgive others. Amen.
* Dr. Rich Reich is the co-founder of the LIFE Group Devotions and the National LIFE Runners Team. He is married to Erica and lives in Satellite Beach, FL. Full bio.
Faith Challenge: During difficult times, do you honor or blame God? Your reaction to suffering may be rooted in what is in your heart. Discard malice and embrace forgiveness.
Feast Day: St. Therese of the Child Jesus
Faith Quote: “I prefer the monotony of obscure sacrifice to all ecstasies. To pick up a pin for love can convert a soul.” – St. Therese of the Child Jesus
* Pray/Fast: Prayer connects us with God’s will & His miracles, changing us & helping others. Fast from things that take your eyes off Jesus. Those who pray together stay together, and close to God!
* Save Unborn (& family): Abortion (images) is #1 death cause (22% pregnancies). Prov 24:11 & Jer 1:5. “A great poverty that a child must die that you might live as you wish.” Mother Teresa.
* Evangelize: Make room for unbelievers & re-evangelization of self, by way of prayer (relationship) and following Christ’s example of love (service/sacrifice/mercy). Mt 28:19.