Though times it seems
Like I'm coming undone
This walk can often feel lonely
No matter what until this race is won
I will stand my ground where hope can be found
I will stand my ground where hope can be found

Lauren Daigle, O’Lord

Some songs come into your life and they play over and over as a gift from God, an anthem that brings courage, motivation, and perspective. Each line feels deeply true, and I get the profound sense, once again, I am not alone… He sees me and is with me.

Nothing could be more comforting and bring hope to a heart encountering difficult times than to know, God is with. Early 19th century clergymen, Rev. John Watson, was thought to have penned the phrase,

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

Jesus’s friend James wrote about such things…

Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.

James 1:2-4 (MSG)

It isn’t “IF" we face challenges, difficulties, inconveniences but when and how? And yet, I all to often fall to the pull of life’s small story expectations, that all should function for my comfort and ease. I forget we live in a fallen world… that we are in the chapters of the story leading up to Jesus second coming. I lose the Larger Story context and subsequently lose my story. I get lost. Jesus told his friends during his first coming, just before He was about to leave and go to prepare a place for them by going through the cross,

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33

Yes, He has. And if he has, then I must need to know and live that way. I pray that each of us can find our next source of encouragement and hope from Jesus—hear His next whisper to our hearts,

Hang on, we can do this, trust me... take another step,
I am with you and I am up to something really good in and through your life.

Let’s Pray…

Dear God, Holy Trinity. We love you and thank you for loving us! We take our place in your love, there is no better place and no better way to move through this life, these trials and challenges than you in us and us in you… our wonderful hope.

Jesus, thank you for loving me, for being with me, for overcoming the world so I wouldn’t have to. For inviting me to walk with you and enter in to every circumstance that comes my way, my families way, my friends way. You have equipped me for this battle, you have given me the tools and resources to fight well, to guard my heart, and to advance your Kingdom of Love and Life. You are Love, and you are Life, Jesus.

Father of heaven and earth, creator of all things, restorer of all things, I pray for both wisdom and revelation for the journey and path in which you have my life. I confess, I am not in control nor do I choose the path or journey. That is in your hands, and I declare my trust in you that I might stand my ground where hope can be found. You are glorious, you are good in all your ways, and you are making all things right. We give you total claim to our lives.

Holy Spirit, I pray for our alliance, our partnership, our learning from you how to walk, live, and move like Christ. Thank you for guiding, teaching, counseling, and comforting… I receive your power and acknowledge your presence in my life and bow my heart and will to you and you alone. We bring the Kingdom of Christ over our lives and over the mission you have given us. We bring the full work of Christ—Cross, Resurrection and Ascension—against all the forces of evil, against the kingdom of darkness and all their plans set against us. In the authority of our King and Savior, we claim, "Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world!"

Father, we pray for eyes to see and ears to hear the good you are up to in our lives and in this world. We pray for courage in our hearts and the skill and ability to practice kindness to others. Fill our hearts with Love for others through the experience and overflow and abundance of your Love for us. We love you and pledge our hearts devotion to you again this day. Whatever today holds, we declare that we are yours and you are ours, and that is enough to hold on until you come again.

Amen and AMEN.