My old youth group encouraged JAM JARs (“Jesus and Me Just Actively Relating”) – spending time with God and journaling the testimonies He gave. I recently returned from a short Sydney trip and, travelling alone, I really appreciated my JAM JAR of life.
It wasn’t just that God made the best travel companion and abundantly blessed me in how much I was able to see and experience in that short time. It wasn’t just His protection, although I did feel very well looked after by my Heavenly Father. It was the vision He gave me, and the words He spoke to me.
God loves us, and He loves spending time with us. We might get distracted, busy, or discouraged, but it never changes the truth that God is always with us, always chasing us, always desiring that we would just look to Him and find rest in His presence. The one thing I felt God say to me over and over again in Sydney was – “… and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age…” [Matthew 28:20]
That God is with me at all times gives me confidence and joy in many things!
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God is with me – and He shows me what He sees.
The first thing that hits me when God reminds me that He is with me, is the beauty in His sight. God is with us and He shows us what He sees. It is beautiful.
It is the kind of sight that causes us to see the fingerprints of God in all creation and worship Him. It is the kind of sight that causes me to take my eyes off the phone and actually look at the people around me. It is the kind of sight that causes my heart to break knowing so many of them might be suffering in the darkness of not knowing God’s freedom. It is the kind of sight that moves me to smile at, speak to, and love all the people God has made and loves.
God’s sight radiates the brilliance of His beauty. Just one glimpse and we are caught up in His glory. Just one glimpse and we are captivated by the revelation of God. Just one glimpse – that is our desire.
[Psalm 119:27] – “Make me understand the way of Your precepts; So shall I meditate on Your wonderful works.”
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God is with me – and He is always ready to work through me.
There are times when I feel fired up to declare the gospel. I look for opportunity, ask for it, and deliver myself to God saying, “Here I am, use me!”
There are also times when I am afraid, or tired. I think to myself – “Perhaps I can just stay silent this time, just have a rest”. Yet here I am – whether in a shop, on the plane, on a bus, at work, catching up with a friend, walking on the street – and I can’t help but think that God has put me here for a reason. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to see God’s glory, or a see a miracle happen. If I bail out, God will still have His way and He will still reach out to those who need Him, but what a privilege and delight it is to be part of His work!
Our pastor at church once encouraged the congregation that God can use us no matter what we are doing, how old or how young we are – that there is no retirement in God’s kingdom. I want to be continually ready to serve my God
[Isaiah 6:8] – “Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying:
‘Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?’
Then I said, ‘Here am I! Send me.'”
. . .
God is with me – and He will lead me into His victory.
When I am discouraged or afraid, I remember that God already has the victory. Whatever challenges I might face in life, I know I am able to overcome because God is with me. He gives wisdom when I need it, words when I don’t know what to say, courage when I am afraid, encouragement when I am uncertain. Even if my days on earth were marked by failures in the eyes of the world, I know that God would have victory waiting for me with Him, and for this, I am thankful every day. The greatest victory of all is how Christ overcame the grave and made a way for us also, to stand up over sin and death. His grace, is His victory.
[1 John 5:5] – “Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
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God is with me – and He loves me.
This is my ultimate comfort, my ultimate hope. If the world collapsed around me, I would always still have God. There is a great peace and contentment that comes from knowing that God is faithful in His unceasing love towards me. He loves me, and I love Him.
[Romans 8:37-39] -” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
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God is with us. He shows us what He sees, works through us, and makes us overcomers and conquerors under His banner of love. This is my confidence, my hope and my firm foundation. Where do you find yours?
On the Streets of Sydney (Photography):