God is with you
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."”
- Joshua 1:9 (ESV)
Growing up I knew that God was real and that He loved me very much, but I often felt like He was far away from me. As if He was on a completely different planet watching over me, but not present with me in every waking moment. I now know that God is always with me. Even though I can't see Him, His peace is quite evident. In the good times and the bad times, He makes His presence known. I now love to speak to Him every chance that I get, because He is always just a prayer away. It amazes me how He's holy, yet so personal and close at the same time.
God is always with you, and He will never leave or forsake you. Even in trying times He is near. He is with you in the fires, storms, and wilderness.
God is with you in the fire
“Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose in haste. He declared to his counselors, "Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?" They answered and said to the king, "True, O king." He answered and said, "But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods."”
- Daniel 3:24-25 (ESV)
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego were just 3 young men who loved God more than life itself. Their love for God led them to make a bold move and object the orders of King Nebuchadnezzar. They knew that they were taking a huge risk, but they had too much regard for God to just bow down to a statue. As a result of their boldness, they were summoned to death and sent to die in a fiery furnace. However, their story didn’t end there! In the furnace, they were accompanied by what appeared to be a 4th man. But it wasn't just any ordinary man, but God wrapped in flesh! He went through the fire with them, protecting them from the violent and harsh flames that were aimed to kill them. You see, God wouldn't allow them to be burned, nor would He allow them to perish in the fire. Why? Because that's just how good He is. He stared into the face of death for His beloved children and rescued them from doom.
After walking through a rough season God spoke to me one day and said, “DID YOU RECOGNIZE ME?” at first I didn't understand what He meant, but later on I realized that He was asking if I had noticed Him accompanying me whilst I was going through a fiery season. As I began to reflect over just how difficult that season had been for me, I realized that God had been right there with me the entire time, however, I hadn't paid attention to how He had been protecting and guiding me along the way. As I look back over that season, I now see how God gently carried me through and made sure that I was O.K, just like a good father.
Sometimes we think that when things are bad and tough, that God has forgotten about us, that He has abandoned us. But He is just as present in those moments as He is in all the others. Fires aren't 100% avoidable, the 3 Hebrew boys were in the furnace because they took a stand, but God covered them. As children of God, we will walk through fires but we won't be burned in the process. We’ll always come out stronger, like true champions!
God is with you in the storms
“And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.”
- Matthew 8:24-26 (ESV)
The disciples were scared, shaken, and spooked by the storm. However, Jesus was on the boat with them the entire time, so they had n