The following is a devotional thought by Jim Abernathy, the pastor of Westwood Baptist Church in Springfield, Virginia. We should never forget or doubt God’s presence with us, good times and times of crisis. RMF
In the moments of life we human beings fear most, it seems that God is never far away. When his doubt and low self-image caused Moses to balk at God’s invitation to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, God said, “I will be with you.” When Jeremiah protested that he was simply too young to be used of God, God said, “Don’t be afraid…I will be with you.” A shepherd king, affirmed the presence of the Lord even in the depths of heartache, saying, “…though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Disciples, who had experienced the fear and uncertainty in the aftermath of Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, and death, now faced uncertainty again as they stood on a mountainside and listened to Jesus’ parting words of encouragement to them, “..surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” In doubt, uncertainty, grief, and loneliness, God affirmed again and again throughout scripture that God would be present, no matter what. That promise has sustained untold generations who, like the apostle Paul, have proclaimed, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.”
Some days you and I may not feel like conquerors, and yet, the strength, courage, and comfort that comes to us through the presence of Almighty God, empowers us to face what we think could not be faced, endure what could not be endured, and overcome what we never would have thought could be overcome. These aren’t the words of a locker room pep talk, or the feel-good mantra of empty religion. The presence of God is real and powerful, resulting in purposeful living that honors the living Christ.