The Pilgrim Story Devotional Series – God Trades Up.

Based on Unit One Lesson One, King Henry, of the Pilgrim Story Online course. It is recommended that you have a journal and a pen to record your responses. If you are doing the devotionals with a group such as your family or friends, please record your responses then discuss them together. 

God is Redemptive

In Genesis 50:20, Joseph made this declaration to his brothers, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” Joseph’s words are shocking since he had endured the horrors of slavery, prison, fear, isolation, loneliness, separation from those he loved, false accusation, and more. But God would use these trials to shape a man who would bring glory to His name. Just as God redeemed the terrible actions of Joseph’s brothers when they sold him into slavery to the benefit of entire nations, God was about to redeem King Henry’s sinful decisions for the good of England. 

The Bible in English

It may come as a surprise to know that the Bible wasn’t readily available to the common man before King Henry started the Church of England. Born out of a selfish desire to get his own way, King Henry told his church officials that they were required to read the Bible in English only. Previously, the Bible was only read in Latin, making it difficult for the common man to understand. Additionally, all of King Henry’s subjects were required to attend church on Sundays at the Church of England. Despite Henry’s ungodly motives, all the people of England would finally hear the Word of God in a language they could understand! 

God Can Use All Things for Good and For His Purposes

God can use the things that happen in our lives to bring about change in us, in others, even in nations for His purposes. In fact, God used King Henry VIII’s rebellion  to accomplish His purposes to spread the Gospel!  Read Romans 8:28 aloud. 

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

In His endless love for His people, God placed His Word in their hands.

Read Isaiah 55:10-11 aloud.  

“As the rain and the snow 
   come down from heaven, 
and do not return to it 
   without watering the earth 
and making it bud and flourish, 
   so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: 
   It will not return to me empty, 
but will accomplish what I desire 
   and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

God’s Word will always achieve His plans and purposes. What do you think happened when the people heard the word of God in English? Take a moment to record your response in your journal. 

God’s Word is Living and Active

We know that the Word of God took root in the heart of many, and they turned from their sin to serve God. William Tyndale was one of the men who translated the Bible into English. He once said that it was his dream that “I will cause a boy that driveth a plow to know more of the Scriptures than the pope.” His dream came true as the common man throughout England heard God’s Word in his own language.

Read Isaiah 61:1-4 out loud:

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,  because the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God;

    to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness,

    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins;

    they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities,

    the devastations of many generations.

The Word of God Changes Our Hearts and Minds

Many years later after King Henry mandated the Bible in English, Pilgrim leader William Bradford said that because he and his people could read the Bible, “… many became enlightened by the Word of God and had their ignorance and sins discovered unto them, and began by His grace to reform their lives and make conscience of their ways…”

Record Your Learning in Your Journal

In your journal, write the “trades” God makes (example: gladness instead of mourning). Take a few moments to journal any “trades” God has made in your life. How has He turned something that was bad into good for you? Once you are finished, spend a few moments thanking God out loud for the ways in which He has redeemed circumstances, relationships, hurt, etc. for your good and His glory.