April, 13th, 2022
I am writing these thoughts from Papua New Guinea, where I am privileged to do ministry this week.
I’m still suffering jet lag and was wide awake at 2 am with these thoughts on my mind.
I was honored to spend time yesterday with some amazing people. Some who have taken huge leaps of faith in obedience to God’s call on their lives. It hasn’t been easy and they recounted to me some of the extreme difficulties they’ve faced, but then went on to say, “We just wanted to make this a walk of faith, and prove the faithfulness of God.” I was blessed as he shared with me some of the amazing ways in which God has provided for them.
Such provisions are not surprising because the Lord always stands by His people.
Perhaps you’re feeling beat down by Satan and need something to cling to today, you just might find that something right here:
Act 23:10 And when the dissension became violent, the tribune, afraid that Paul would be torn to pieces by them, commanded the soldiers to go down and take him away from among them by force and bring him into the barracks.
Act 23:11 The following night the Lord stood by him and said, “Take courage, for as you have testified to the facts about me in Jerusalem, so you must testify also in Rome.”
“The Lord stood by him.” What a beautiful description of a most encouraging revelation in one of Paul’s darkest hours!
We should not be surprised when Christians called to extreme suffering for the sake of the gospel are privileged with very special experiences. One must never look for these experiences, nor demand them, nor hope in them—for we walk by faith and not by sight, but should God choose to pull back the veil between earth and heaven for a brief moment, to bless a suffering saint with a sight or sound from his glorious throne, why should I doubt it?
But I’m encouraged this morning that as I am giving faithful witness to Jesus he is standing by me too, whether his presence is manifest or not! This is the promise of Jesus!
Mat 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Mat 28:20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The Lord is always standing by me. What an unfathomable honor!
The Creator and Sustainer of all things
The Savior who carried my sin, with all its guilt and shame, in his own body on the cross
The sufferer who drank my bitter cup
The risen Lord whom the grave could not hold
The King of kings, and the Lord of lords
The coming King before whom every knee will bow and tongue confess
The friend who sticks closer than a brother
The one who promised to never leave me nor forsake me
The one who has sent “another Comforter” who will remain with me forever
He is the One who “stands…”
He stands to protect me
He stands ready to defend me
He stands to embolden me
He stands to help me
He stands to respect, honor, and give dignity to me
He stands to bring me through
One so unworthy in himself
One who has failed in himself
One so weak in himself
One so broken in himself
One so unsure of himself
But one who is learning to look unto Jesus!
And the one who is seeking to give witness to the Gospel
I’m the one Jesus stands by! What encouragement this Easter week!
Father of Jesus, I’m amazed yet encouraged today that YOU…STAND…BY…ME! In Jesus name, amen!
In Papua New Guinea! The teacher’s housing on Tega Bible School campus was dedicated. Thanks to each person who contributed to this project.
Mike Covington, Shirley Fogleman, Holly McCarthy and Tim Keep were the American who participated in the ceremony.
April 16th, 2022