by Carol Round – “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore”—Psalm 16:11 (ESV).
I seek God’s presence each morning by starting each day with a mug of hot tea and the best book ever written—the Bible. While I have several Bibles, the current one I use for my morning devotionals is The Prayer Bible. Published by Guideposts, this NLT version offers prayers reflecting the scripture in the margins.
Throughout this volume are also encouraging stories of answered prayers and prayers addressing different life situations. For example, praying when life is confusing or you’re in distress.
We live in stressful, confusing times. With the pandemic fallout, political unrest, rising consumer prices, and war in far-off places, many don’t know where to turn for answers or for help. For those who know the Lord, however, we can find assurance in His Word and in His presence.
Finding Assurance in His Presence
The following post on a friend’s Facebook page made me realize the importance of spending time with God and the comfort we can find in His presence. Her post read “It’s crazy how the presence of God can completely change your mood and attitude in an instant.”
Sometimes, when I’ve not slept well or wake up with something weighing on my heart, my spirit cries out for hope. God knows everything we’re thinking and feeling. He knows just what we need.
For me, hope is found in scripture. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Hope for the Future
We can’t live in the past. Nor can we live in the future. We can only live in the present. The now. Whatever we’re facing, we can find hope in our Lord Jesus.
Hope is not found in our family, our friends, our wealth—or lack of, the government, or in our own strength. When we place our hope in anything other than God, we will face disappointment. God is the only One who won’t disappoint us. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Scripture tells us that in many places throughout the Old and New Testament.
Pastor and Theologian R.C. Sproil, once said, “Hope is called the anchor of the soul (Hebrews 6:19), because it gives stability to the Christian life. But hope is not simply a ‘wish’ (I wish that such-and-such would take place); rather, it is that which latches on to the certainty of the promises of the future that God has made.”
Our Joy is in Him
God is the one who makes known to us the path of life. In His presence, we can find everlasting peace and joy.
Author and evangelical lay minister S. D. Gordon once said, “Joy is distinctly a Christian word and a Christian thing. It is the reverse of happiness. Happiness is the result of what happens of an agreeable sort. Joy has its springs deep down inside. And that spring never runs dry, no matter what happens. Only Jesus gives that joy. He had joy, singing its music within, even under the shadow of the cross.”
Joy, unspeakable joy, is found in the presence of God. One worship song, one whispered prayer, and one scripture verse can take away the burdens of this world.