Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Trusting in His Sheltering Presence

Read Genesis 49:8-10; see also Psalm 90:1; 91:1, 2; 36:7; 118:8, 9; Proverbs 11:28

You are a mighty and awesome God with all-surpassing power. I know that. I believe that! I remember the stories of how You kept the lions from harming Daniel, and how the flames in the blazing furnace didn't touch Shadrach, Meshach, or Abednego. And how could I ever forget the way you gave David the strength and courage to fight Goliath? But sometimes, Lord, I wonder. When I see all of the evil in the world and the innocent people who are often hurt by it, I wonder. When I hear about car accidents, or a fire that destroyed a family home, or a father of six who lost his job, I wonder. I wonder if I should live more carefully. I wonder if I should save more money or look for a better job. I wonder if I can really trust You. I wonder if You will protect me.

I'm scared, Lord. Sometimes I stay home instead of venturing out because I'm afraid of what might happen. I've missed many adventures for this reason, and yet I keep catching myself reacting out of fear instead of faith. I long to be confident that You are watching over me. I want to rest in Your loving embrace and feel safe in Your Presence. I desire to live boldly for You. Please help me understand how.
-- Marlon

Rest in the assurance of My sheltering Presence that keeps you safe. Let My promises of protection strengthen and comfort you--like huge heavenly bells pealing out ancient, changeless truth. I want you to take refuge in My Shaddai-shadow more and more, by placing your trust fully in Me. It is tempting to take shelter in people, money, success, good health. These are blessings from Me, but you must not rely on them. Any or all of them could vanish instantly. The unending protection I offer--refuge in the shadow of My wings--is available to both high and low among men.

In addition, I freely give you the priceless gift of My unfailing Love! Since I offer you so much, it makes sense to put your trust in Me above all else. Listen to the psalmist's proclamation: "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes." Solomon, the wisest of all men, wrote: "He who trusts in his riches will fall." Whenever you start to feel anxious, let these feelings serve as a warning that you're putting your trust in the wrong place. You need to stop listening to your worry-thoughts, and instead tell yourself the truth--that I am totally trustworthy. Then turn your attention to Me, saying: "Lord, You're my refuge. I trust in You and I'm safe!"

(From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)

In this season of joy when we remember the long-ago coming of the Messiah, Jesus, what elements of our modern-day celebration make it tough for you to put your trust in God alone? Wondering how you'll pay for all the gifts you want to buy? Dealing with the frenetic schedule of the holiday season? Whatever those difficulties might be, name them specifically--and then bring each one to the Lord, trusting that He will make this Christmas one to remember . . . for all the right reasons.

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