The Promise of His Presence

file0001522133139The focus of our worship time this past Tuesday was the faithfulness of God. Carey Helmink, our worship leader for the morning, had these thoughts to share.

Listen to what God’s Word has to say about His faithfulness:

Isaiah 25:1   “O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name; For you have worked wonders, plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”

Deuteronomy 7:9   “Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”

Psalm 91:4    “He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark.”

2 Thessalonians 5:24   “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

Psalm 119:75    ”I know, O Lord, that Your judgments are righteous, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me.”

Wait . . . what? Back up  . . . “in faithfulness You have afflicted me?” I have to admit, that verse makes me a little uncomfortable.

I love the verses about God’s faithfulness that focus on His strength and protection and lovingkindness and promise-keeping. But affliction? In our culture, comfort is one of our highest values. We will do most anything to remain comfortable. Millions of dollars are spent every year ensuring our comfort.

Most folks on the planet don’t even have the option of worrying about comfort – they are just trying to survive. But we believe it is our right.

Interesting that God never promised us a comfortable life or life without struggle. Quite the opposite. In fact I don’t understand all that it entails, but from Psalm 119:75, I am to believe that a part of His faithfulness toward me includes affliction or hard times.

The promise is His presence not the absence of pain. It doesn’t matter that we desperately want to be creatures of comfort. That is not the promise he gave. He is faithful to see us through whatever he asks us to walk through.

When my husband was struggling with the tremendous pain of a kidney stone, I stayed in the room with him. Why? Because I love him, and I would never want him to walk through that pain alone. In the same way, God gives us the most precious thing when he faithfully walks beside us. May we desire His presence above anything and everything in our lives.

Never once did we ever walk alone.

Never once did You leave us on our own.

You are faithful, God, You are faithful.

Every step we are breathing in Your grace

Evermore we’ll be breathing out Your praise.

You are faithful, God, You are faithful.

by Matt Redman | from the album 10,000 Reasons

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