The Promised Presence
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23:4)
Let’s face it, none of us likes going through hard times – and given the choice, we would certainly rather have a smooth and comfortable journey through life. Yet if there is one thing that we can all be fairly sure of encountering, it is ‘hard times’ – and if we don’t, then we shall have been very fortunate indeed! But for most of us, we can be reasonably certain that, at some point or other, we will face illness, or pain, or bereavement, or redundancy, or marital or financial problems, or family strains … the list could go on. And, whether we face those things or not, the one thing that all of us can be certain of facing one day is death.
But in the face of all these challenges of life, God makes a promise. It is a promise to always be there, to always be with us in every situation we face. In fact, the Bible is full of promises that God will encourage us in times of difficulty, comfort us in times of sorrow, strengthen us in times of weakness, help us in time of need. This is what people in the Bible discovered time and again. David went through some dreadful experiences on his journey to fulfil his call to be king; but he found God’s promised presence in them all and discovered that, ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me’ (Psalm 23:4). Paul faced all sorts of hardships on his journey to fulfil his call to be an apostle; but he too found God’s promised presence in them all, discovering for himself that ‘my grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Today, whatever situations we may be facing – in health, or relationships, or circumstances – the promised presence of the Lord can be found. We only need to ask him to keep that promise!
The following night the Lord stood near Paul … (Acts 23:11)
Copyright © 2017 Martin Manser and Mike Beaumont
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