Happy Monday!

While there are so many things these days that we can’t agree on, I believe that one thing we will all agree on is that the coming days, weeks, months, and maybe even years are going to be difficult.

We have already had an unprecedented year of pandemic, peaceful protests that have evolved into nothing but terrorism, and throw in an election year for good measure.  It is a nasty pre-election and there is an excellent chance that it will be a nasty election and post- election.  But, this isn’t about politics.

I believe God knew before time who our present leaders are and I believe he knows who our next leaders will be and thatis what this is about!

No matter who our present or future leaders are, God tells us we are to pray for them.  I know, it isn’t always easy, but I do find it easier than hating and resenting and constantly complaining.  When it comes down to it, much like unforgiveness, we are the one that it hurts, not them.   There is so much hate and division around us  .Do we want to be a part of that or do we want to be part of the solution?

“1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior…” -1 Timothy 2:1-3

If we accept God’s word and accept that He is present in difficult times too, then it is easier to find peace in everything going on.

Do I get anxious about it all sometimes? Absolutely!  Can I change it?  Well yes and no.  I try to educate myself and vote the best to my knowledge.  Beyond that, I try to follow God’s direction and trust that He is there and knows all.  What I DO know is how it all ends!  Thank you, Lord!

14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.  

 2 Chronicles 7:14  NKJV

Pray Unceasingly!! 

Lois

God’s Presence in Hard Times 

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling 

“When you go through deep waters,  I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.”

Isaiah 43:2

The prophecies of Isaiah testify to the “deep waters” and “fires” of Israel’s experience. Because of her persistent rejection of the Lord, he disciplined Israel through the domination of foreign rulers.

Yet even in these hard times, God did not abandon his people. He promised to be with them, protecting them from ultimate devastation. Their lives would be tough, to be sure. They would face the “rivers of difficulty” and the “fire of oppression.” But the Lord would continue to be present to his people, sharing in their suffering and pain.

We face plenty of hard times in our own lives. We see our financial well-being threatened as world markets plummet. Or we ache when our children make choices we don’t support. Or we hear our doctor say the dreaded word cancer. Or we worry that we might lose our job. Or . . . you can fill in the blank with the difficulties of your own life.

God does not promise to give us easy lives. Until the new creation comes, we will struggle and suffer. Yet he does promise to be with us in our hard times: protecting us, comforting us, strengthening us, giving us wisdom. What good news!

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: When have you gone through “rivers of difficulty”? Did you sense God’s presence at the time? In retrospect, do you see God’s hand upon your life in those hard times? How does God make his presence known to us when we struggle and suffer?

PRAYER: Gracious God, how I thank you for the fact of your presence in my life, especially in times of difficulty. There have been so many times when I have hung onto this promise for dear life, trusting you for patience, strength, and courage. How grateful I am for your help . . . and even more, for your presence.

Lord, you know that sometimes it’s hard for me to sense your presence, especially when I am in pain or distress. You can seem a million miles away. So help me, I pray, to be aware of you. Open my heart to know you even in the midst of difficulties. May I be attentive to the still, small voice of your Spirit, even and especially when I need you most. Amen.

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