Philippians 4:13 – I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. (KJV)
We have all had times when we experienced the nearness and greatness of God. He is always near us, drawing us closer to Himself.
I recall the time when I was on board ship, going to Singapore for language study before becoming a missionary to Laos. I was so conscious of God's working in my life and showing me what He wanted me to do. He had helped me overcome many obstacles and had provided for all my needs.
One night, as we were going through the ocean south of India, a group of us young people gathered at the bow of the ship. The stars were bright above us, and the ocean was smooth beneath us. We began singing praises to God.
I especially remember singing with the group, How Great Thou Art. I was so grateful for salvation and for all that God had done for me. He had opened a way to the mission field when there was no way, humanly speaking. I felt His nearness and His love.
Most of the time in Laos, I felt God's presence with me throughout each day. I think it was because I knew I could do nothing in myself, and I depended upon Him for strength and wisdom every day. He gave me grace, courage, and joy in everything I did.
However, in recent years here in America, I have not always felt God's nearness. There have been testings and trials, failures and disappointments. But I realize that God has always been at my side, as well as in my heart.
Why did I not always feel His nearness? Maybe it was because I ceased quoting Scripture to remind myself that I could serve God only in His strength. I became so busy doing things for the Lord that I sometimes forgot to rely wholly upon Him for every word I said.
We need to have God's word hidden in our hearts so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to mind whenever we need it. Memorizing Scripture will make our faith stronger, give us peace in times of trial, and give us courage when we feel overwhelmed.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help us to hide Your word in our hearts, that we might rely completely upon You in everything we do, and not sin against You. Amen.