Good Friday morning ...

Life is pretty tough the days. Lots of uncertainty, major unpredictability, a great deal of change. Things aren't the way they once were and there is little sign that they will return anytime soon to what we call normal.

With all the upheaval and uncertainty, it's easy to get down, overwhelmed, depressed. And our minds start to question our decisions, our faith ... even our God.

I remind you that we only see bits and pieces of God's plan. We don't have all the pieces to the puzzle. And sometimes those bits and pieces don't make much sense. It all depends on where you start your thinking. If you start your thinking with your cancer, or with your loss of a job, or with the COVID-19 virus, or with your depleted bank account ... it's hard to reason back to God.  All your focus is on how terrible it is, how everything is upside down, how horrific this is, and how are we going to get through it and why did it have to happen anyway?

We have to start our thinking with what we know to be true about God. Instead of starting with ourselves, with our situation ... start with God. Start with what we know about His resources, His wealth, His strength. Before we start counting how bad it is for us, let us open our hearts to what we know He has done for us and for others in the past. Before we lash out in fear ... let us look up in faith.

Be mindful of what Paul wrote: "The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything." [Philippians 4:5-6]

The Lord IS near! You are NOT alone! You may FEEL alone. You may THINK you are alone. But there is NEVER a moment in which you face life without help. God is near!

God repeatedly pledged His presence in the Bible.

To Abram God said, "Do not be afraid ... I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward" [Genesis 15:1] When Isaac was expelled from his land by the Philistines and forced to move from place to place, God appeared to him and reminded him, "Do not be afraid, for I am with you" [Genesis 26:24] After Moses' death God told Joshua, "Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." [Joshua 1:9]

God was with David, in spite of his adultery. With Jacob, in spite of his conniving. With Elijah, in spite of his lack of faith.

And how about this for the clencher? God called Himself IMMANUEL - which means "God with us!" He became flesh. He became sin. He defeated the grave. He is still with us. In the form of His Spirit, He comforts, He teaches, He is present.

Do not assume God is watching from a distance. Avoid the thinking that God has left you all alone. You are not isolated. God is with you! ALWAYS!

With that in mind ... enjoy your weekend ...