277 of 365 - Nearness
So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. Acts 27:25
How does Paul have such strong faith after being rejected countless times, stoned nearly to death, beaten, in prison unjustly for over two years, and now stuck at sea in a storm without food for two weeks?
How can we keep going during our storms? When our minds are messing with us. When the depression is unbearable. When that prodigal child slips deeper and deeper into destruction. When the healing doesn’t come. When our circumstances never seem to change.
How can we, like Paul, have the peace of God and the assurance of His love, protection, provision when outwardly everything is a mess?
“Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.” James 4:8
The only thing I know is to get as near to God as we can. To position ourselves to feel His presence. To crawl under His wings. And though things don’t necessarily get better or go away, we know we aren’t alone. We let Him carry our burdens and lighten our load. We just know He is near. And we beg Him to open our eyes to the doors He is opening for us to walk through in this season of our life and trials. We trust His direction and leading. And we obey. We do what He says. Because He alone is the source of all things good and whole. And with Him beside us, we will get through the fires of life.
This is Paul’s journey. His life was far from easy. His circumstances were more often unfavorable. He suffered immensely. But he always drew near to God, and he always knew God was near. He positioned himself to hear and feel and see God. And though sometimes afraid, knowing God was right beside him gave Paul what he needed for each next step.
Challenge: If you or someone you love is suffering today, pray that God feels so intimately close today. That you so powerfully feel His love and protection over you, even in the eye of the storm; that you experience peace – even in the trial. Write in your journal, “Take heart, soul, for I have faith in God…I know He is with me and He keeps His promises.”
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