Whatever your circumstances are, the important thing: God is with you

Read a good online devotional this morning:
Now here's what I want you to remember today, my friend. Whatever your circumstances are, those circumstances are not nearly as important to you as the fact that God is with you. So if like Joseph, you're going through some tough times today, remember that before we learn about the tough times, we learn that God is with us.
This comes from Woodrow Krull at gotandem.com. The complete message is here: He's looking at Genesis 39, how after being sold into slavery, Joseph prospered as Potiphar's slave, only to later be arrested when Potiphar's wife lusts for him and he refused her.
The point is we cannot think of circumstances as the indicator whether God cares -- when we learn that God cares whatever the circumstances, we can find good things where we are, just as Joseph enjoyed a time of near prosperity while enslaved.

Thank you God for assurance in the night


Last night in my twilit thoughts you blessed me.
I cannot now remember what I was thinking as I lay there awake but not fully lucid,
But I do know I felt assured that you have arranged things in great detail, and you are fully in control, so I thank you.

So often those twilit moments of not sleeping, yet not lucid lead me to worry or confusion. But last night they led me to confidence and trust.

Shadow of the past

Wednesday began badly. I stumbled over the remnant of an old emotional conflict, like an unexploded World War I shell found in a Flanders field. Why is my heart still divided over this? Hadn't I learned this lesson long before? I committed my heart to God, but still grumbled in my soul that I was so ready for this old thing to be just a memory. 

Then that evening I had a discussion with a friend about prayer and about emotional honesty. The sting of feeling stuck in the old conflict lifted. I remembered that in my conflicts, whether old or new, God is with me.

Seeing God's power

Wouldn't it be inspiring to have the experience David had in Psalm 18?

His back was to the wall:
     The cords of death entangled me;
     the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
     The cords of the grave coiled around me;
     the snares of death confronted me. (vs 4-5)

He cried out to God:
     In my distress I called to the LORD
     I cried to my God for help. (v 6)

Then God answered,
     The earth trembled and quaked,
     and the foundations of the mountains shook;
     they trembled because he was angry. (v 7)

     He parted the heavens and came down, (v 9)
     The Lord thundered from heaven;
     The voice of the Most High resounded.
     He shot his arrows and scattered the enemies,
     great bolts of lightning and routed them.
     The valleys of the sea were exposed
     and the foundations of the earth laid bare 
     at your rebuke, O Lord,
     at the blast of breath from your nostrils. (v 13-15)

The challenging thing for me is realizing David never saw this directly. He understood who God was, and believed in his power; but while he did know God to answer prayer, he never saw this ultimate answer of God's power shaking the world and opening the seas. But he still described it, because he saw it with the eyes of faith.

Lord, give me eyes of faith to see you in all your power hearing my prayers, coming to my side against the enemies of my heart.

Make me content, O Lord

Make me content, O Lord, for I come to you.
I seek your joy in the trials that come today,
For surely true contentment is in you,
not in the unlikely chance of attaining my "if only ..." list.