Soul-Care Articles: Christ-centered, Spirit-led, Biblically-based, Clinically-sound, Truth-oriented

Posts tagged ‘God’s forever presence’

You’re Never Alone

SOURCE:  Lysa TerKeurst/NIV Real–Life Devotional Bible for Women

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” —Hebrews 4:16

Do you ever feel lonely?

Recently, I was at an event full of people. Everyone else seemed gabby and were effortlessly making easy connections with others.

I just felt out of sorts.

Someone had said something to me earlier that day that hurt my feelings and knocked me off kilter. It was one of those “I would really like to be at home alone, in a bubble bath, eating something chocolate” kind of nights. But I had to go to this outing, so here I was—lonely.

I politely smiled my way through the evening and finally got to go home. As I crawled into bed that night, I asked Jesus, “Why am I letting some thoughtless comment someone made affect me like this?”

There was no deep explanation. There was no Bible verse that instantly popped into my head. There was no sudden rush of peace through my heart. There was only a very gentle reminder in the depths of my soul that Jesus loves me—insecurities and all.

Jesus loves me.

Simple but so powerfully profound, that one statement grounds me in the truth of who God says I am. Friends can’t make you feel accepted all the time. Accomplishments will never truly make you feel secure. Having lots of people around you does not mean you won’t ever feel lonely. And chocolate, while it is deliciously distracting, is just a little too temporary.

So I turn to the One who is Everlasting, Prince of Peace, and Immanuel—God with us. I draw close to him so he can help me separate solid truth from shifting emotion.

And I’m reminded by the writer of the book of Hebrews that God says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Increased Awareness of God: Desirable AND Possible

SOURCE:  Jan Johnson

The With-God Life

One of my directees runs an organization with 330 staff and a large budget. He is in and out of meetings all day and constantly interacts with people. He asked me, Is it really so important that I talk to God about things – even little things – all day long? My experience is that this continual conversation throughout the day makes life so much richer.

The authors of Joy Starts Here called it the “Immanuel lifestyle” because Immanuel means God-with-us. They describe it this way:

The Immanuel lifestyle is one in which we increasingly discover how Jesus does things and invites us to join him while we enjoy him. Increasing awareness of God’s interactive presence with us begins to enter ways we relate with others, live our lives, raise our children, do our work and drive our cars. It takes very little observation to notice that when we are aware of God’s presence and point of view, there is profound peace as we live that moment. Shalom is that sense that God is working everything together in a good way even when we are not sure how. We sense that God is not worried so why should we be troubled?   (pp. 130-131)

Such a life is not only possible, but also desirable.

As we learn to live this way, we don’t feel so alone in facing the challenges of life. God is the companion of our life. God is at our my side and I am at God’s side in a very real sense. God’s presence is more real than the keys I’m typing on my keyboard. They will not exist a thousand years from now, but my life with God will be more real than ever.

We can also ask God for courage and for good ideas and God will give them to us. We can ask God questions, especially, What do I need to know about this person I’m meeting for lunch? About this circumstance that baffles me?  About how to treat this pain in my shoulder?  God has good ideas and I’m eager to hear them – I need them!  As I open the Bible or listen to a sermon, I can always ask, What is it I need to know here? To absorb more deeply?  To rethink?

This conversational life is so much more expansive than simply dialing in and asking for a good parking place. I suppose there are times when that might be a good idea, but ours is a full-orbed relationship with God, not about getting more stuff or making life more convenient.

In this “with-God life,” we spend our days Enjoying the Presence of God. It’s a good thing. It’s a safe thing. Before the beginning of the world, God thought of you, and thought, What a great idea!  I can hardly wait until you show up! This with-God life is what we were built to run on. Without it, we are only half-alive.

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