Friday, August 25, 2017

Hurricane Harvey, Other Storms, and God’s Presence

Written by: Scotty Smith

     But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your SaviorIsa. 43:1-3

Heavenly Father, your Word is our balm, ballast, and bread--no matter the fresh crisis, or ongoing need. This isn’t just our doctrine; it's our delight--our heart song and soul salve. You’ve promised to show up, be enough, and you are. In the storms of life, you are nearer than the storms themselves; and for our friends along the Texas coastline this weekend, this is VERY good news. We pray shrinkage for Harvey, safety for families, and wisdom for officials.

No matter what, as Isaiah reminds us, you’ve created us for your glory, and you’ve redeemed us as your treasure. You subpoenaed us to life in the gospel, and have given us the sweetest name imaginable-- "You are Mine.” No condemnation for our sins, or Father-less living; no more giving into fear, or making a name for ourselves. We are yours and your banner over us is love.

Father, you don’t promise we won’t experience hurricanes and floods, fiery seasons and difficult days. But you do promise you'll be with us, and that we won’t suffer ultimate harm. You are at work in all things for your glory, and our good--whether the hurricane is named Harvey or Hazel, marriage or parenting, health challenge or job insecurity, racial unrest or international tension. To know you are near, in control, and good, is all we really need to know. We'll survive anything, as long as we’re convinced that you are with us and for us.

We know ourselves to be “precious and honored in your sight,” because of what you’ve done for us in Jesus. And since you didn’t spare your own Son, we can trust you graciously to give us everything else we need (Rom. 8:32), in current storms and future difficulties. So very Amen we pray, in Jesus' triumphant and trustworthy name.

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