God is here!

Even in our toughest times, God is with us.

We may not see him at work, but that’s not his problem – it’s ours. The fact that God is with us should give us courage and hope.

In his book Lost in the Middle: MidLife and the Grace of God, Paul Tripp tells about visiting a family in deep stress early in his first pastorate. The husband was addicted to drugs and alcohol, his wife was depressed, and their children were suffering as a result of their parents’ problems.

Tripp says he was scared as he approached the house, feeling completely inadequate. Loretta, the wife, greeted him at the door while her husband was upstairs vomiting from the alcohol and drugs.

Tripp suggested they pray while they waited for Greg, the husband. He prayed as if God wasn’t there, but he realized in the next hour that he was. As Tripp puts it: “I saw the hand of God.”

Despite the depressing circumstances, “everywhere I looked, I saw the presence, the power, and the love of God”.

When he looked at Loretta, he saw a woman who “held on to her Redeemer”. Even though discouraged, he saw that she trusted Jesus – “I saw the persevering power of his grace”.

He found a completely unexpected warmth and affection between Greg and Loretta. There was also “a tenderness and approachability to Greg”. His life was a mess, but he seemed to have a “genuine hunger for the Lord”.

He realized he was seeing more than human efforts to deal with a hard life. “I was seeing the presence and power of the indwelling Holy Spirit in operation.”

He also saw a “strength of relationship between Loretta and Greg and their kids that caught me off guard.”

That night, he pointed out to Greg and Loretta the “concrete signs of a living and active Redeemer”. He has been doing that since as he sees God at work in the people he is counseling.

In Matthew 28:20, Jesus promised to be with us always. In David’s great psalm 139, he says: “I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence.”

In 2 Kings 6, the prophet Elisha reveals the presence of the Lord and his armies of angels to a frightened servant who only saw enemy soldiers flooding towards Samaria, out to capture the city and the prophet. God delivered Elisha and Samaria.

Sometimes, it is only after trouble that we see God at work. Sometimes, we might be able to see if our eyes were open.

One thing we can always count on as believers: God is always with us.

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