Updated: Nov 3, 2020
You know when you are living in God’s truth for you. You feel it on the inside. It sustains you when you don’t. You have a peace that permeates you, an assuredness in those moments the peace evaporates. You just know that you know that God has you, he loves you, and he’s using you for his good purpose. It is a life of abundant joy.
What about the times when joy is hard to come by? Lately, I’ve had a lot more practice at being sustained when I don’t “feel” it. I’m not sure if it’s the constant, ongoing global conflicts, our political landscape, or continued social isolation. Or even ruminations over Jesus’ return, and thoughts of if I’m ready. Have I faithfully discharged the call He’s given to me to make a difference and help the lost find hope in Him? While I know works don’t save me (thank you Jesus!), I don’t want to be caught unaware (see Matthew 25:1-13).
This morning, I feel the Lord nudging me to read Psalm 91. The words wash over me like a healing balm. “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” The words burst off the page to me. “A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.”
Ah, yes. Truth embraces me in her warm arms. “I will show her my salvation” (v. 16). The words of an old hymn come to mind. “This world is not my home, I’m just passing through.”
This chapter, this year of my life is not my final story. “If you make the Most High your dwelling…then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.” I’m safe in the arms of my Lord Most High.
God has me. When I feel faithless, He is still faithful. When I’m not sensing His presence and His peace, He is still there powerfully working on my behalf. My life, my comfort may be taken from me, but my soul will live on for eternity in His presence. The joy, the peace, the goodness, the overwhelming wonder will become my permanent state of being. How incredible is that?!
So I take a deep breath. I hold to His promise to me: “I will protect her, for she acknowledges my name. She will call upon me, and I will answer her. I will be with her in trouble, I will deliver her and honor her.” This is my spiritual heritage as a follower of Christ. This is my reality. And in that truth, I am sustained.
FOR FURTHER THOUGHT If you are in a season of peace-filled joy, build into those around you! So many people are struggling and need the encouragement and the edification you can provide. Paul encourages us to speak to one another with “psalms, hymns and songs of the spirit” (Ephesians 5:18), and to “spur others on to love and good deeds“ (Hebrews 10:24). You have a chance to make a difference in someone’s life today. It doesn’t have to be fancy; a simple smile and a sincere word of encouragement are such a blessing to give. Use your strength to strengthen others.
If you’re in need of spiritual sustenance, fight the lethargy, the ever-present excuses and looming to-do list, and make time to let God build back into you. Read through Psalms, Romans or Ephesians. Re-discover the life of Jesus by reading through one of the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Choose to listen to the Bible today during your commute. Go outside and simply wander with Him. Let the truth wash over you and be reminded of what really matters. “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything,” (Ephesians 5:19). Let His truths for you keep you strong.
PRAYER Papa, how I need your strength today! Even though I know You are ever present, sometimes my worldly eyes can’t see. Would You help me see with spiritual eyes today, Papa. Would you allow me to remember the joy set before so I can endure with peace and joy. Allow me to build into one other person today. May Your love overflow from within me and spill out to those around me. May I lean into you no matter how dark the storm. Thank you that You are always by my side. Always you are good. You are the Lord my God. Praise You, Papa! Praise Your holy name. Amen.
To learn more about author & motivational speaker Barb Lownsbury or to have her speak at your next event, CLICK HERE.