Today’s Scripture: Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. Lamentations 3:40–41

No matter how we feel, there’s no excuse for sin. Bob and Marilyn had been attending a church, but one Sunday they decided to take off and do some fishing in Green Lake, Wisconsin. From the very beginning, everything that could possibly go wrong went wrong: they didn’t catch any fish. Their boat started leaking. The boat’s motor wouldn’t start. Their boat trailer had a flat tire. Their car broke down, and every one to two miles Bob had to find water in roadside ditches to fill his radiator. Then he was stopped by a policeman for driving on the side of the road. Bob didn’t think he could take any more trouble, and so he prayed, “Lord, if I get home somehow in one piece, I promise I will go to church every time the doors are open.” God brought Bob and Marilyn home safely, and they decided they would do everything they could not to miss another church service again.

When God wants to get our attention, He knows the best way to do it. He might cause our plans to change or cause things we took for granted to fail. He can allow unexpected problems to come up which block our progress. He may use people to distract us from our purposes. Whatever method He uses to get our attention, we need to see it as an opportunity to search our hearts and get our eyes on Him.

Do you feel like life isn’t working out right for you? Things seem to be going from bad to worse. The problems are becoming more than you can manage. Have you checked your heart lately? Are your thoughts and actions pleasing God, or is sin hurting your relationship with Him and others? If you are in sin, confess it and get right with God; but if you are doing what is right, then pray for strength to get through your hardships with patience. Whenever God gets your attention, the best thing you can do is look at Him. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble in the long run.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder