Good News: Encouragement for a World In Crisis

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9 NIV

When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.

Isaiah 43:2 NIV

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39 NIV

God Is Near Us

Samuel Johnson, an 18th century writer said, “People need to be reminded more often than they need to be instructed.” Learning new things keeps us sharp and helps us improve ourselves. But, there is so much that we already have learned but just don’t either apply or remember. One of those things we need to remember is just how near God is to us. Here’s some hope-filled truth to remember:

There’s never a place we can go where His presence won’t be there first. He’s in our yesterday, He’s in our today, and He’s in our tomorrow all at the same time. He rejoices over us, rewards us, blesses us, and smothers us with His forgiveness and grace every day, throughout the day. In addition to the good, there is no tragedy we’ll face, no hardship we’ll endure, and no adversity we’ll encounter where God is not with us, steadily holding us up with His mighty, righteous, and perfect right hand. 

When you feel lonely and wonder where God is, know that He is about you, above you, after you, amidst you, around you, among you, before you, behind you, beneath you, beside you, beyond you, by you, for you, inside you, near you, and over you. He is everywhere, all the time. Always and forever, He is near us.

When you experience fear and wonder why God won’t remove it from you, know that He hasn’t given you a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind. That nothing can separate us from His love and presence. Always and forever, He is near us.

When you’re sick and don’t understand why God won’t heal you, know that He is still the Great Physician and Jehovah-Rapha, the God who heals. The time frame you have in mind may not match His, but rest assured, He is doing a work in you and through you. Always and forever, He is near us. 

There is nothing that we’ll encounter that God has not already defeated. And not just defeated, but totally annihilated on our behalf when He put Jesus on the cross to cover our past, present, and future sins. Always and forever, He is near us.

When you go through devastating situations, He is with you.
When your life seems to be spinning out of control, He is with you.
When you can’t see the path or even the next step, He is with you. 

There are options everywhere that beg us to place our trust, hope, and joy in them. Those temporary joys and pleasures hold no comparison to the eternal, never-ending presence of our Almighty God who calls us His children. His presence is the prize. It’s what we get for all eternity.

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