Ruminations on Immanuel
Be strong and of good courage; do not fear nor
be dismayed. —1 Chr 22:13
These words jumped
out at me one night while I was reading the Bible.
I was in the
middle of finishing the chapter before I went to bed. It was only a few days
before I had to take an exam, and I was stressed. I felt no inner peace as I
headed into my final preparations for the test. But in a chapter devoted to
King David’s encouragement and charge to Solomon to build God’s temple, I found
and problems that we encounter on a daily basis may not last long or be hard to
handle. But for the issues that seem overwhelming or impossible to overcome, we
need some help from God.
While I mused over
this verse in greater contemplation, I was able to appreciate that even though
our personal problems may cause sleepless nights or frayed nerves, God is with
us. His love gives us the strength to deal with any issue without fear or
hesitation. And we have the knowledge that whatever we encounter in our lives,
God is there to reassure and strengthen us.
These words from
God Himself became a source of comfort and encouragement for me as I headed
into my day-long exam. Throughout that day I was constantly reminded of God’s
love and support for me, and I gradually achieved a sense of peace and
tranquility about the exam.
I knew that
whatever happened would be God’s will, and that was all that mattered. No
amount of anxiety would make any difference. With the abidance of God, all
would be well.
prayer at the temple dedication, he praised God for fulfilling His spoken
promises with His own hands. Because of God’s abidance the temple was built
without much difficulty. Even though my test anxiety was nothing like the
monumental task that Solomon was given, the same words of encouragement given
to him sustained me.
Sometimes we may
forget how closely God watches over us and takes care of us, and we feel
discouraged and alone. But such feelings only weaken us. As long as we believe
in His promise to watch over us, we have no cause to fear or worry—whatever our
trouble, Immanuel is there.
Question for Reflection:
In what ways do you need the Lord today? Before
thinking about going your own way to resolve the issue, take a step back and
draw from God's words for a solution.