July 26, 2023
- By Ed Powell
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"One night the Lord spoke unto Paul in a vision: Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you." Acts 18:9-10
"For I am with you." What greater comfort and encouragement could we have than the assurance of His presence with us? Paul had started his ministry in Corinth, but the people's resistance, abuse, and rejection of his message caused him to turn from them to the Gentiles. The Lord comforts Paul with these blessed words: "Do not be afraid, for I am with you."'
God often allows circumstances to enter our lives for the trial of our faith, for the refining of our spiritual life, or for the manifestation of His truth and faithfulness. When we find ourselves in dire straits, in darkened circumstances that are beyond our strength and ability to confront, we too can find refuge in the "secret place of the Most High." God has provided a hiding place, a strong habitation, the secret of His presence, where we can find the resources and sufficiency of God to be our comfort and strength. How blessed are the words of Psalm 91: "He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways."
Have you found this blessed refuge in God? Have you experienced the peace of God that comes when you enter the secret of His presence and hear Him say, "Be still and know that I am God"? Let's look at the life of one who knew the reality of His presence and power.
Dr. Raymond Edman, in his booklet "How They Were Won," writes of a missionary whose heart was buried in Africa, but his body was buried in Westminster Abbey in London. At his death, natives gently removed his heart and buried it in the soil of Africa that he so dearly loved. For nine months, the African natives carried his body through the jungle to the coast, where it was shipped back to England for burial. His name was David Livingston.
What sustains men who leave behind family and comfort to go to some remote mission field, to carry the gospel to people who have never heard of the love of God and His saving grace through Jesus Christ, as David Livingston did? He answered that question himself. On one occasion when he returned to Scotland for a brief stay, he was asked to speak at the University of Glasgow. As a result of a lion attack, one of his arms was rendered useless. His body bore physical evidence of the suffering he endured from 27 bouts of jungle fever. His face was leathery brown from continued exposure to the African jungle, and creased from the cares of a hard life battling the Turks and slave traders who had little use for him. The students were in awe as they listened to this great man. "Shall I tell you what sustained me amidst the trials, hardships, loneliness, and extreme difficulty of my exiled life in Africa?" he asked. "It was a 'promise of a gentleman' of the most sacred honor. It was the promise of Jesus Christ, LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD."
© 2007 by Ed Powell. Used by permission.
This page was reprinted by permission from: http://litmin.org/dare.php?date=2023-07-26
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