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Lenten Devotional: February 23, 2024

by Elsa Houtz

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

My longtime friend Brenda pastors a tiny rural church in the Midwest. Every Sunday, about 15-25 brothers and sisters come to the little white church for worship. And on those rare occasions when my husband and I can join them, we especially enjoy singing the old, traditional hymns that are so deeply woven into the fabric of our faith.

Brenda is a wonderful preacher. One Sunday her message focused on “keeping the faith,” even during life’s hardest times. She talked about struggling through the challenges of grief, loss and life’s most massive curve balls, trying to find any degree of peace--and then looking back and realizing that yes, God was there all along, just as He promised to be. And He still is. We survive. And we go on, continuing to walk in faith, stronger and more at peace.

On that particular Sunday, the hymns included “Standing on the Promises” and “It Is Well With My Soul.” At the end of her sermon, Brenda said, ”In the days ahead, I want to remember this: When I’m standing on the promises of God, it is well with my soul.” Since then, as I’ve repeated that simple sentence to myself, it has unfailingly brought me a feeling of peace that reaches my very core.

God promises us salvation, eternal life, heavenly grace and infinite love—all made available to us though the gift of His Son, Jesus. During Lent we have the chance to reflect on what it means to truly trust those promises as we prepare to celebrate their fulfillment in the Resurrection.


God, please help me to trust fully in Your promises, so that I may experience the peace—and joy—You desire for me. Amen.


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