"The Promise of Presence"
The power of our Lord's general promise of "I am with you always" must be specifically affirmed in the situations, circumstances, and conditions of life (Matthew 28:20).
"I am with thee" (Genesis 26:24).
God comes to stay when we trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. The light of His presence never flickers or wanes despite our varying remembrance and affirmation of the blessed truth. "I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" (Hebrews 13:5). Such assurance constitutes the greatest of all gifts, namely, the gift of our Lord Himself dwelling with and within us. The magnitude of such grace is overwhelming upon every serious contemplation - "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:17). The realization of that same grace, however, must often be consciously embraced within our hearts and minds if it to empower our experience of God's truth and reality. Again, the general much become the specific. Our Lord is with us in the blessings of life. He comes with His gifts. He is with us in the everyday mundane repetitions and responsibilities that characterize our present earthly existence. He is especially with us in our challenges, a "very present help in trouble" (Psalm 46:1). Sometimes the remembrance of such goodness seems to light upon us with no conscious determination on our part. Most often, however, we play a role in the realization of our Lord's loving and involved presence. "I will look for Him" declared the prophet (Isaiah 8:17). We must also frequently "look" if the fact of "I am with you always" is to be known in the moment.
Remembering and affirming God's presence does not usually lead to spectacular experience, either inwardly or outwardly. Brightly lights will not flash and we will not hear Heavenly music. "We walk by faith, not by sight" (II Corinthians 5:7). However, the blessings of life become more significant when we see the Giver in His gifts. We view everyday responsibilities with a less mundane and more meaningful perspective. And the challenges, while still difficult, find us enabled to take the next step of faith, and the next, and the next. "Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living" (Psalm 116:8-9). This is the promise, the promise of Presence to be known in terms both general and specific.
"I will behold Thy face."
Weekly Memory Verse
The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion.