January 29, 2017
READ: Zephaniah 3:14-17
The Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior (v.17).
Friends often remind me, “You’re not alone.” “God is with you,” they say. “Yes,” I answer. “He is.” Yet there are times—mostly when I’m pressed to accomplish a daunting task without anyone physically present to help me, or when I’m alone for extended periods of time—that I wonder, “Is God here with me?” And, if so, “What does His presence truly mean?”
How do we know that, “God is with you,” isn’t a manmade statement conjured up to make people feel better? Is it a motivational quote to spur people on when they’re struggling? A way to politely say, “God is with you, so you don’t need my help”?
We know God is with us, because Scripture promises He’s there. “The Lord your God is living among you,” we read in Zephaniah 3:17. “He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
We don’t need to linger in discouragement or doubt, for God says, “I am with you.” He told His people, “Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand” (Isaiah 41:10).
In Isaiah 43:1-3, and throughout Scripture, God offers us truth that can change our lives and give us hope when we truly embrace it. He promises us that when we’re redeemed we’re also summoned by name; we are His. Compassionately, He says, “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. . . . I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior” (vv.2-3).
May we cling to this infinite, unwavering truth: God goes before us and He is with us. Just as He promised Zephaniah, He’s a loving God who “will live among [us]!” (3:15).
365-day plan: Genesis 45:1-28
Read Deuteronomy 31:6 and consider what God reveals about an antidote for our fear and panic.
What can cause you to doubt God’s presence? How does it encourage you to know that God goes before you and is with you?