Lent 2024 | Day 7

By Janet Nygren
Day 7 (Wednesday, Feb 21)

As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly, to re-center my scattered senses upon the presence of God.1

Pause and pray.

“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” (Philippians 1:12-14)

Think about it.

Yesterday we looked at Jesus as the model for what Paul Miller calls the J-Curve: entering a pathway of suffering or dying to self that results in a “resurrection moment.” This Lent, we want to become skilled at identifying such moments in Scripture, so that we can be on the lookout for them in our own lives as well. Read the passage again. Do you see the J-Curve? “What has happened” to Paul is suffering. He’s in chains. What resurrection moments do you see? I see three. The whole palace guard knows about Christ now. Most of the brothers and sisters in Philippi have become confident in the Lord as a result. They are proclaiming the gospel like never before! Paul Miller calls this a Suffering J-Curve because Paul the apostle didn’t ask for this to happen to him. It’s suffering that found him, not suffering he chose himself.2 And yet he willingly aligns himself with Jesus to see what God will do.


Think about your own life. Can you think of a time when suffering found you? How did you respond? Did you grumble and resent what was happening, or did you embrace it and wait to see how God might use it? Walking in the way of Jesus makes a difference in how we respond to suffering.

Pause and Pray.

Jesus, help me to know you better.

“Be still, my soul; thy best, thy heav'nly Friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.” (From the first verse of the hymn Be Still, My Soul, by Kathrina von Schlegel)

  1. Prayer used daily in Lectio365 found at https://www.24-7prayer.com/resource/lectio-365/
 2. Paul E. Miller, J-Curve (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2019), 87.

1 Comment

Nick Tebordo - February 22nd, 2024 at 5:04am

“Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end” . That line from “Be Still my Soul” is very meaningful to me. I can see in retrospect how God led me through difficult times and used those times for His glory. I am thinking right now of the. Night that Terrie died. It was excruciating. Yet, faith stood the test, and it was a witness. I literally felt the power of prayer raising me up as I walked through the valley of the shadow of death. It was a witness to others.




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