“We should thank God for being with us, not ask Him to be with us (this is always given!).” —Henry Blackaby
God never said that we wouldn’t have to go face scary things…
He never said we wouldn’t have to experience pain.
He never said that we wouldn’t have to step into, and endure through times that seem uncertain or grim…
No, He told us that we would have to face hardship in this life.
“I have told you this, so that you might have peace in your hearts because of me. While you are in the world, you will have to suffer. But cheer up! I have defeated the world.”—John 16:33
But He also promised that He would be with us. And He reminds us that the victory has already been won.
He promised that He would be near. ?
“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.“—Joshua 1:5
He promised that when we turn and run to Him, that we would be invited into the peace of His presence, that we would get to dwell beneath His shelter.
The enemy cannot steal this promise from us.
But we must do our part to step into it to receive it, to take hold of it.
We must thank God, and choose to praise Him, in the midst of the hardship.
And when we do…
He has this way of transforming our minds and our hearts, He has this way of filling us up with an endurance and a determination that we’ve never could have possibly mustered up ourselves.
And in the hardship,
in the disappointment,
in the times of loss,
in times of sickness,
in the struggle,
in the brokenness…
He will be there.
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” —Psalm 34:17-18
Never to leave, never to forsake us.
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”—Joshua 1:9
Do we believe it? Do we take it to heart? Do we step into it?
Do we take Him up on His promise?
Do we reach out to Him while we’re in the middle of facing hard things?
Or do we turn away, do we curse everyone and everything around us, do we allow our hearts to grow cold and dim?
I don’t know why God allows us to go through things that seem “unbearable”…
Who can fully understand that?
But we know that His ways are higher.
“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”—Zephaniah 3:17
And we know that He is a good Father who loves us.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.”—John 14:18
So let’s thank Him…
…for just being near. For just being with us.
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.”—Ephesians 2:13
Can we just thank Him for being with us? For never leaving us?
Let’s thank Him…
…even when we find ourselves “still stuck in the middle” of a bad situation.
Can we just praise Him anyway?
He is worthy to be praised.
Can we just remember…
That He knows.
That He understands.
And that He’s already got the FULL understanding of the whole situation.
He can see things that we cannot see right now.
“But as for me, the nearness of God is good for me;
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
So that I may tell of all Your works.”—Psalm 73:28
Can we trust Him, no matter what?
God, help this to be our heart… to just be thankful that no matter what we face, You are here, and You are near. Help us to realize, deep in our hearts, what this means, and what this is. Help us to trust, that this is…
“Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. 24 You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.“—Psalm 73:23-26
And You will shelter us, strengthen us, transform us, empower us… beneath Your wings.
“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” …He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”—Psalm 91, verses 1, 2, 4
You invite us into Your presence.
Can we really comprehend what this fully means?
I don’t think so.
But You do.
Thank You, Father. ? Oh how we depend on You. But You never fail us!
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.”—2 Thessalonians 3:16