The Lord is With You

Gwen Smith Blog, Confession, fasting, Healing, Prayer 4 Comments

I’m not sure enough can be said about the goodness of God’s love. The psalmist celebrates it time and again in both Psalm 117 and 118. “For great is his love towards us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.” (Psalm 117:2)

The more we know the depth of God’s love, the more courage we have to rise up in times of trial, confident in His faithfulness and strength. “In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and he answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies.” (Psalm 118:5-7)

Confident worship like this reminds me of our Old Testament buddy Nehemiah. Remember him?

Nehemiah was the cup bearer to the king of a land far from his home. (Which means he held a trusted position that allowed him personal access to the king.) When some old friends came to town, he found out that his people, the Jews, were in a terrible situation. Deeply burdened by the news, he wept, mourned, fasted, and prayed. He took the devastation of his people to heart and responded on a soul level.

The Bible shows us that Nehemiah prayed. (Nehemiah 1:5-11) He was pressed but not crushed. Like the psalmist, he knew of God’s love and asked Him for help. Nehemiah talked straight. He told the Lord he was sorry for the way he and his people had rejected and disobeyed His commands. He remembered the instructions of God to His people and reminded the Lord of His promises. Finally, Nehemiah asked God to hear his prayer, give him favor and lead his responses. (He was very thorough!)

Nehemiah’s prayer is a vibrant example of the way I should respond when difficult situations come my way. When my loved ones are hurting. When my homeland is unsafe and vulnerable to attack.

Nehemiah wept and mourned. He felt the feels. A fresh reminder I don’t need to pretend I’m “fine” when life hurts. Instead, I can do what Nehemiah did: cry. Be sad. Mourn. Grieve.

Life can be hard! And just because we’re Christians doesn’t mean we get easy passes.

Thankfully, God knows sorrow well and is the generous source of comfort we need.

Nehemiah poured out his soul in prayer and began with confession. He reminded God of His Word and promises. He petitioned God on behalf of his people, asked for success, and asked for mercy.

And after Nehemiah prayed, the king recognized his cup bearer was totally bummed out and overwhelmed with grief. Boooyah! Nehemiah experienced the favor he’d prayed for! Then he had to face his fears in order to step into the provision God had for him. Here’s what he wrote about it.

“I was very much afraid, but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my fathers are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” (Nehemiah 2:2-3)

Amazingly, the king cared! He asked what he could do to help, and then provided Nehemiah with everything he needed to go back to Jerusalem and help his people rebuild the ruins.

Nehemiah didn’t let fear hold him back. Instead, he took his broken heart and hopes to the Lord, then moved forward down the providential path God paved.

What has your heart grieving today?

Where do you needing healing?

Broken hearts and bruised hopes heal in the hands of Jesus. He specializes in transforming burnt down, broken situations into beautiful displays of His grace. He is with you. He is faithful, and His love for you is great.

Like Nehemiah and the psalmist, we can call on Jesus to be our Help and confidently celebrate His love.

Dear Lord,
You are compassionate, gracious, faithful, and powerful. Please forgive my loved ones and me for the ways we’ve disobeyed. Please bring redemption and healing to _________________. Pour out Your favor and mercy on us today and help me to follow Your leading.
In Jesus’s Name, Amen.

 

FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE

Read Nehemiah 1. Write out Nehemiah’s prayer, but personalize it. Visit my blog to write out a prayer of response in the comments.

If you want a personal Bible study plan but don’t have one right now, get a copy of the downloadable Psalm Adventure Bible Study Journal and get started today!

Love doing life with you, friend.
GWEN

 

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Directed to hope. Directed to truth. Directed to clarity. Directed to grace. Directed to Jesus.

Click here to listen now on iTunes or visit GwenSmith.net/Graceologie.

 

Comments 4

  1. Dear Heavenly Father, praise You for Yoir goodness, faithfulness and unyielding love! Praise You for Who You are and all you are doing in us! Please forgive us and have mercy on my family and I for not putting you first always! Help us to throw away our idols and any distractions and focus our eyes on You, Lord! Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah please give my family knowledge to know what steps to take in our health and our ministries!
    Thank YOU Jesus!
    In Your Precious Name we pray, amen

    “Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of unfailing love with those who love him and obey his commands, listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for your people Israel. I confess that we have sinned against you. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that you gave us through your servant Moses. “Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. But if you return to me and obey my commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for my name to be honored.’ “The people you rescued by your great power and strong hand are your servants. O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring you. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.” In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.”
    ‭‭Nehemiah‬ ‭1:5-11‬, NLT‬‬
    https://www.bible.com/116/neh.1.5-11.nlt

  2. Good morning! I am a sister in Christ and I know the power in prayer. But there are days that the devil puts these horrible thoughts in my head, fear is what it is. I have a daughter now 2 years with breast cancer she has the HER2 gene and she is my everything. Her name is Meagan, please pray for her that our Lord would heal her and ask that the cancer never comes back..sometimes I plead to Him and I feel so bad, even scream to Him when I’m in my car and I feel bad. My husband says He hears me once but I find myself pleading and I feel bad..thank you and the others for your love and studies. ♥️

    1. Dear Nancy,

      Thanks for sharing your heart and I will surely be praying for you and your daughter. Know that we serve an infinite God that does everything intentionally and that has experienced every suffering there is known to humans. Your daughter is surely a gift from God and because God has given her to you, God will see to it that this gift is used for God’s glory. I want to encourage you to keep fighting in the spirit. Give God your anger, pain, confusion and anything else because God can handle it and will.

    2. Nancy – I cant even imagine what it is like to watch your daughter literally fighting for her life. But I want to encourage you. There’s nothing wrong with continually pouring your heart before the Lord. In fact, that’s what He invites His daughters to. His Word says we ought to cast our cares upon Him for He Care’s for us. There’s no limit in cares and no limit in how many times we can cast them. I pray Jehovah Raphah will hear and answer you. El Roi – the God who sees – may He respond to you today. May your daughter be healed and made whole in the mighty name of Jesus. May God strengthen you Nancy for the days, weeks, months, years again. May your faith increase as you walk through this chapter of life. May the peace of God which surpasseth all understanding guard your heart and mind in Jesus Name! May the prince of Peace keep you and your family.

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