I have a lot of friends and family facing challenging situations tonight. These are situations I would not want to be having to go through personally. These are difficult times for them, and my heart goes out to them. Were I to be able to tell you their individual stories, you would understand.
But I bet you do understand. Each of us faces the challenges and difficulties caused by living in this world wrecked by the damaging effects of sin. Each of us has dealt with hurt… and loss… and fear… and stress.
One of the most comforting truths… in my opinion… when we go through difficult times is that God promises to be with us. The reason He said people in Scripture could find strength and confidence to face their challenges was… get this… He would be WITH THEM. Joshua leading the Israelites to conquer the Promised Land. Gideon protecting his nation from invaders. Jesus on the boat… in the storm… with the disciples. The key was that He was WITH THEM.
When God sent His only Son to this earth, He was called Immanuel… God WITH US. When Jesus was getting ready to ascend back into Heaven 33 years later, He told His followers that He would be WITH THEM even to the end of the age.
The way that you and I can have the courage… the confidence… the patience… the endurance… the compassion… the grace… the strength we need to make it through the challenges and difficulties we face in life, is to know deep down that He is indeed WITH US.
He is, you know… WITH US. With you. Find strength and confidence in that tonight. You’re not alone. You are going to make it. He is WITH YOU!