He is present

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He is present

Scripture: Psalm 46:1

 

Just as we saw in our devotion yesterday that God is faithful, He is also present. As a child and a teenager, my dad was not always present, or there, when I needed him. Some of the hardest, loneliest, and even most triumphant moments were spent without him to guide me, accompany me, or celebrate with me. In Scripture we are reminded through Jesus we become the sons and daughters of God and His Spirit has been sent in to our hearts crying out Abba, which means Father (Galatians 4:6). Even as our earthly mothers or fathers may abandon us, God in His unending faithfulness has promised He never will (Deuteronomy 31:6).

 

We are reminded in Scripture: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV) God, unlike our friends and family, will not fail us. God will not leave us, He will not forsake us, He will not abandon us, He will not reject us, He can be trusted because He is faithful and true. We can struggle with God’s presence and He can seem far away or even removed from our circumstances but the question must be, if God feels far away, who has changed? Time and time again I find it is not the Creator of the Universe who loved me so much He gave His only Son to die the death I deserved, but me that has changed.

 

Today I wonder, is God present in your life? What moments can you see His hand at work in your life? What situations do you feel God giving you strength in? What moments have you hidden in His refuge? Does God feel far away? Has He changed or have you? The wonderful thing about being redeemed and in Christ is the inseparable love God has for us. May the words of Paul comfort us:

 

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38, 39 ESV)

He is faithful

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He is faithful

Scripture: Lamentations 3:22, 23

 

Just over three years ago my family packed up and moved 4 hours away from everything and everyone I have ever known. In the days leading up to the move and the months that followed, I found myself in the midst of a storm. I remember feeling helpless to control my circumstances, alone, and afraid. For so long I have struggled with God’s decision to close the door where we were, and send me away from my friends, my family, my church, and everything that was familiar and comfortable.

 

In the months and years since we’ve moved, as distance always does, those who I have loved, ministered to and with, those who are dear to me, we have grown apart and my loneliness has only increased. It has been in the midst of this loneliness and heartache that God has demonstrated a truth that I will never forget: He is faithful and true in the midst of the storm and when we are all alone. Scripture paints this picture of God: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22, 23 ESV).

 

The writer of Lamentations had his fair share of heartache and loneliness as Jeremiah would witness the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Hebrew people. Even in the midst of the chaos, heartbreak, and destruction because of the faithlessness of the nation of Israel, Jeremiah was reminded and was reminding the people that God was still faithful. Today if you are feeling hopeless, alone, if you feel like no one cares or understands, know that Jesus does. May the words of the hymn Great is Thy Faithfulness remind us that God is always faithful and true:

 

“Great is Thy faithfulness,” O God my Father,
There is no shadow of turning with Thee;
Thou changest not, Thy compassions, they fail not
As Thou hast been Thou forever wilt be.

 

“Great is Thy faithfulness!” “Great is Thy faithfulness!”
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
“Great is Thy faithfulness,” Lord, unto me!