Blog #342: The Hope that the Presence of God Brings 

As we go through life in this troubled world, there seems to be a “gathering storm” on the horizon. The Seeds of the Kingdom had a recent blog on that topic, written by a Ron Scurfield, but I would like to tie that in what he has written with the blessing of God’s presence in our lives (in the Holy Spirit who came into the lives of all believers – permanently – on that initial Christian Pentecost Sunday all those centuries ago). Here is the above-mentioned article by Ron Scurfield, which includes a closing prayer and an introductory quote from Psalm 23:4 – ‘Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.’

Where is God when the storm clouds gather? We’re never alone as we journey through the uncertainties of life. We have His word: “I am with you always.” We can walk in peace and security in the confidence of His promises and in the strength of His love. We can walk in the knowledge of the truth and feel safe under the shelter of His wings. We can be protected and secure, even shielded from the fiery darts of the evil one through the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Sometimes the wind becomes stronger and the clouds a little darker. We may not notice this at first, and carry on as usual, busy with our life. We may spend time with a neighbour or offer words of encouragement to a friend, when rain starts to fall. Our attention is caught by the issues of the day, which are not turning out quite as we had hoped, and the dark clouds begin to loom a little heavier.

Suddenly we become more aware of our vulnerability. Yes, Jesus is Lord, and I can do all things through Him who strengthens me – but things are not turning out the way we had hoped. It’s time to pray. “Lord, would you lift this storm that’s hanging over my life and set me free from the oppression of the enemy?”

Smiles of peace are replaced by furrows of concern. The light seems to have dimmed, if not gone out altogether. But not quite. It’s only hidden by the darkness. “I am with you always.” This is the time to grab hold of the truth. This is the time to see light behind the darkness. This is when we walk by faith and not by sight.

We need to hold on to the truth, truth that never changes. This is where we stand in faith on the promises of God. “I will never fail you nor forsake you.” This is our confidence and security. This is the truth that sets us free.

How about the darkness of sin, throwing our hearts into turmoil? We can approach His throne of grace with boldness. “Forgive me, Lord.” And once more we can walk in the path of righteousness and the truth will set us free. Free to walk in the light again and receive all the blessings of the Lord.

The disciples were cowering in the upper room, uncertain of their future and confused about the past. “Which way, Lord?” ‘Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.’ The Holy Spirit descended with tongues of fire and consumed the darkness.

“Come, Holy Spirit. come.” The wind of the Spirit can disperse the clouds of gloom, and tongues of fire consume all fear and doubt. Let’s not struggle through the darkness when we can invite the Holy Spirit to bring in the Light. ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’

Prayer – Thank you, Lord. You surround me like a blanket, for warmth, for covering, and for protection. I feel secure in the assurance that you provide for my every need and even for some of my wants. But what more can I want, Lord, when You lay a table before me in the presence of my enemies? You are my all in all. Please help me to share Your blessings with others that they too many know of the abundant riches of Your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name. Amen

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