Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "What A Friend We Have In Jesus"1 (Lyrics)
1 Chronicles 28:20a – Then David said to Solomon his son, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it. Fear not, be not dismayed; for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you." (RSV)
I think that today's verse supports the saying, "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." David was commissioning his son Solomon to build the temple, and giving him encouragement to do it. Like many of us when requested to do something out of our comfort zone, Solomon was feeling somewhat afraid.
One of my biggest fears is public speaking. Put me in front of folks with a message to deliver, and I get struck with stage fright. No, I'll go one degree higher — I get panic attacks. So here's an example.
Some forty-five plus years ago, the church where I taught the preschool Sunday school class decided that it would be better (easier?) if the children's story were done by the Sunday school teachers rather than the minister doing it all the time. The Sunday school, against my protests, decided that as most of the children coming up for the story were in my class, I should be the first to do so.
The Sunday for my initiation arrived. At the right time in the service, I made my way to the front of the church. As I was wearing a long skirt, I hoped that no one could see my knees shaking. I kept telling myself, "God will see me through this." I made it as far as the chancel steps, and suddenly sat down on the top one. The kids who had been straggling up behind me thought that gathering around me and sitting on the stairs was better than going up and standing around the minister.
Focussing on the children, I got through the story, but by this time, I was blind with panic. As we all headed back to our seats for the prayer and hymn before Sunday school, I headed towards the aisle beside the door that led to Sunday school. The minister seemed to be waiting for me to sit, so I turned into the first pew I came to and sat down. The only problem was that someone else was already sitting there, and his wife was not amused!
Yes, God did as He had promised. He saw me through that story. I did many more stories after that, and don't think that I was ever that afraid again, but I am happy that I seldom have to do any public speaking anymore.
God will see us through all situations. We just don't know how.
Lamentations 3:22-23 – The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. (RSV)
Our God is everlastingly faithful to us. He is ever present in our lives. His strength supports us; His mercies and lovingkindness are fresh every day. What better friend could we have than that?
Joseph Scriven states it well in his hymn What a friend we have in Jesus:
- Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness:
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Prayer: Lord God, thank You for the gifts of Your Son, our Saviour, and of Your Holy Spirit. We are comforted and supported in all things by Your presence even when we are unaware of it. Strengthen us with Your power to enable us to be Your servants and messengers here on earth. Daily, Lord God, help us to grow more like Jesus. In our Saviour's name, we pray. Amen.