Sunday, March 20, 2011

Immanuel - God With Us

(Today's comments are not original to me. I have a couple of devotional books by a woman named Ann Spangler that I love. The comments today come out of "Praying the Names of Jesus".)

What does it mean to say that God is with us? Surely it doesn't mean our lives will be easy. It doesn't mean we will be insulated from failure or doubt or that God will take our side in every argument. (Here I would also add insulated from tragedy) But it does mean we will never face even a single struggle alone. It means the Lord will never withhold the help we need to do His will. It means that ultimately we will come out on top even if we feel like we're living most of our life on the bottom.

What difficulties are you facing? Chronic illness? Troubled children? A broken marriage? Financial hardship? Take a moment today to stop imagining yourself surrounded by your difficulties and instead begin to envision yourself as you really are - surrounded by the presence of your faithful God. Invoke His name - Immanuel. Decide today to do everything in your power to follow Him. Then ask for His peace, pray for His protection, and open your life to His power.

Promises in Scripture:

Exodus 3:11-12 "But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" And God said, 'I will be with you."

Joshua 1:5-9 "I will never leave you nor forsake you...Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

Isaiah 43:2-3 "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour."

Matthew 28:20 "Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Hebrews 13:5-6 "Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, 'The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

Continued Prayer and Praise
Pray Joshua 1:9 when you are afraid.
Be encouraged because no one can prevail against you if God is with you. Isaiah 8:10
Remember that Jesus will not leave us orphans. He will show Himself to those who love Him. John 14:15-21

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