Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

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We sing it and we say it in our public prayers: “Father, God, we love you.” But notice very carefully the beginning phrase of our verse. “I love you, O Lord…” Even in public, community worship, we are taught the importance of a personal expression of love to God. When is the last time you told the Creator of the universe, “I love you!”

My Prayer…

Father in heaven, I love you. I love you because you are more than worthy of my love. I love you because you have first loved me. I love you because you sent your son to be my big brother and pay the price for my adoption into your family. I love you because of your faithfulness. I love you because you have permitted me in your grace to love you. In the name of Jesus I thank you. Amen.

Illustration of Psalm 18:1-2 — I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

When We Feel Abandoned – Forward with Back to the Bible – February 4, 2020

When We Feel Abandoned

Read Genesis 16:13-14

“So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, ‘You are a God of seeing,’ for she said, ‘Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.’ Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi;[ it lies between Kadesh and Bered.”

Reflect

In what ways is the Lord the “God of seeing”?

With tears streaming down her cheeks, my friend Terri shared how she’d reached the end of her rope: “I want to just run away–far from the tense moments at home, the financial struggles, the ever-present weariness and burdens I face 24/7.”

She felt abandoned by a distant, hard-to-reach God and often was angry with Him. Her head knew all the right things about God, but her heart felt like He was a million miles away. Like a yo-yo that couldn’t find a resting place, one day she felt like they’d make it; the next day she was down in the depths with her head spinning out of control–angry at herself, her husband, and most of all, God.

Why us? Why so many problems? she inwardly grumbled.

One day, she read the story of Hagar in Genesis 16. Pregnant with Abraham’s firstborn son, she was mistreated by Sarai, so she ran away. Hagar ran as far as she could, but an angel sent by God caught up with her near a spring in the desert, beside the road to Shur. When the angel inquired where Hagar had come from and where she was going, she answered, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai” (verse 8).

Terri could relate. Like Hagar, she just wanted to find a place to hide and rest. Yet as the young wife pondered the story, she was struck by what the angel told Hagar–go back to her mistress and submit to her. The angel left her with a promise that God would increase her descendants until they would be too numerous to count. “You are a God of seeing,” and “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me,” Hagar said (verse 13).

In that moment, Terri realized that God saw her too, just as He did Hagar in the desert. She wasn’t a second-class citizen or one who was forgotten by God. He remembered her and would revive her and look after her.

Seeing Jesus as One to run to instead of away from–as her refuge in her daily battles instead of an adversary trying to punish her–Terri’s heart began to be warmed by her Lord.

Pray

Lord Jesus, give me the strength to trust You during hard times. Help me to follow You when I’m tempted to just run away. Amen.

Move forward in your faith with more from Back to the Bible at backtothebible.org or oneplace.com. We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.

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