Standing By | Lent Devotion

Standing By | Lent Devotion

Standing By

Daily Devotion for Lent | Wednesday, April 10

standing by. lent devotion. people of the promise. immanuel lutheran church lcms. joplin missouri.

“Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels?”

Matthew 26:53 

When we think about the people involved in Jesus’ arrest, suffering, and death, we often forget the invisible ones—the ones behind the scenes watching. But Jesus reminds us when He says to Peter at His arrest, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?” (Matthew 26:53-54)

Think of it. Twelve legions of angels, ready to be unleashed instantly at a single word from the Father. Roughly sixty thousand angels or more, every one of them eager, wishing, hoping to be allowed to intervene … grieving, indignant as they saw what was being done to Jesus … but all fully obedient to God’s will, as difficult as it must have been to stand by.

It must be hard to be an angel. To know that you have the power to help, and yet have to stand by because God’s will is being carried out in a slower, more terrible, and more glorious way than you could ever have imagined. To refrain from meddling, from taking over the life of someone else, even to make it better. To respect God-given free will, just as the Lord who made it does.

You may know this conflict if you are a parent, a teacher, a pastor or educator of any kind. Even for those of us who are not, there can be a terrible urge to rearrange our friends’ lives for them—to “fix things for them”—because we “know better.” And yet, without an invitation from the people themselves, or a command from God, we cannot. We end up making things worse for the very people we love. How difficult it is!

Thank God that He is not under the same constraints. When He reaches into our lives to help and heal us, He does it right. He doesn’t make things worse with His meddling. He knows when to respect the free will He created, and He knows when to respond to our cries for mercy. As He did in His best blessing to us—Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection.


Thank You, Father, for caring for us in Your wisdom and mercy. Please keep us when we go through difficult times. Amen.


  • When has it been difficult for you to stand by and watch something happen without helping?
  • Have you ever been glad later that you didn’t intervene—and if so, in what situation and why?
  • Has there been a time in your own life when you wanted God to intervene—and were later glad He didn’t do what you wanted?

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About These Devos

Lent Devotions 2019 Immanuel-Joplin

PEOPLE OF THE PASSION Lenten Devotions 2019

Centuries before Christ, God was preparing the way for His Son’s arrival. From mankind’s original sin through the children of Israel’s on-again, off-again obedience, God was faithful, honoring His promise to Eve (Genesis 3:15), which first pointed to Jesus. In People of the Passion, we see God working through the lives of ordinary people to achieve His ultimate aim: our salvation. There are prophets, priests, and kings, servants, soldiers, and civilians—each with a role in the high drama of Christ’s passion. Readers may see themselves in some of these people—ordinary individuals who, like us, need a Savior.

Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM) is a Christian outreach ministry supporting churches worldwide in its mission of Bringing Christ to the Nations—and the Nations to the Church.