Read His Words Before Ours!
Have you experienced times when you couldn’t see Jesus?
When the fog of confusion or pain cloaked you in isolation and fear?
I have. Recently, I was in such despair, I was blinded to Jesus standing right next to me, holding my hand and walking with me.
To be completely transparent, I am in a season of fighting for my marriage. At one point, I wanted to give up and call it quits. In my pain, I flung my questions to Heaven.
“God, why is this happening to me?”
“God, where are you?”
“God, I feel so alone.”
It is one of the hardest seasons I have ever experienced.
My heart was broken, crying out for God’s presence and His promises to reassure me.
Because God is so good, He gave me exactly what I needed.
One day, during a devotional time at work, my boss shared the song There Was Jesus, explaining how its message of truth had supported her like a rock through difficult times.
“In the waiting, in the searching
In the healing and the hurting
Like a blessing buried in the broken pieces
Every minute, every moment
Where I’ve been and where I’m going
Even when I didn’t know it or couldn’t see it
There was Jesus”
I sang to Jesus and cried my eyes out, letting the very present truth of my God-with-me soothe the raw, jagged edges of my heart.
But I did something else, too.
I prayed for God to take the blinders off of my eyes, so I could see Him clearly through this season. Searching for something to cling to, I asked Him to reveal His promises to me.
Because He is kind, He did exactly this.
“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. You will have suffering in this world. Be courageous! I have conquered the world.” (John 16:33)
He reminds us life will be difficult and painful.
Yet, in the midst of our confusion and struggle, He promises we have access to His eternal, transcendent peace through Jesus because He has overcome the world.
“The Lord is the one who will go before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8)
He promises to go before us, never abandoning us regardless of our attitude, our circumstance, or our level of emotional control.
Never. He will never leave us.
In our darkest moments, when we feel most alone, we have only to reach out our hands to discover He is right there beside us.
“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” (James 1:2-3, emphasis mine)
We can have joy through our trials, because our God is both good and kind.
When we cling ever tighter to God in the midst of our hardship, we grow closer to Him and our character becomes more like His. Our pain will not be in vain.
“On the mountain, in the valleys (There was Jesus)
In the shadows of the alleys (There was Jesus)
In the fire, in the flood (There was Jesus)
Always is and always was
No, I never walk alone (Never walk alone)
You are always there”
Circumstance in our lives change; God does not.
Whether we fling our arms wide atop a mountain, reveling in the blaze of unbroken sunlight, drinking in crystal clear air, unwaveringly certain of our place in the landscape stretched out before us . . .
Or we huddle in the shadowed and rocky valley, hungry and bleeding, too exhausted to take one more trudging step, fighting desperately against the enemy whisper that we are lost forever in this mire of suffering . . .
His promises remain true (scroll back up and read them again!).
His Spirit remains with us, for always. (Matthew 28:20)
His goodness remains unchallenged. (Psalm 31:19)
His kindness remains for all who turn to Him. (Titus 3:4-7)
Therefore, in any circumstance, we can fix our gaze upon Him,
and find a God worthy of our authentic worship.
In joy or in pain, our spirits can declare,
“Blessed be the Lord, for He has heard the sound of my pleading.
The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped.
Therefore my heart celebrates, and I give thanks to Him with my song.” (Psalm 28:6-7)
Sisters, how well I know the challenge of seeing God’s hand in the midst of trials. I pray in those trials, we draw faith from His past provision, proclaiming in chorus with today’s song, “There was Jesus.” I pray our faith gives us eyes to see through the chaos swirling around us to the One who is greater than all else, enabling us to say, “And here is Jesus.”
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!