Day 3

God’s Presence Strengthens Us

from the The Presence of God reading plan

Deuteronomy 31:6-8, Psalm 46:1-11, Zephaniah 3:17, Isaiah 40:9-11, Isaiah 41:10, 2 Timothy 4:16-18

BY Patti Sauls

We can find courage and hope to endure all things because the powerful presence of our God goes with us.

It was over twenty years ago, but it feels like yesterday. Like clockwork, our first baby, Abby, would get fussy right before bedtime. Cue the footie pajamas, last bottle, diaper change, beloved blankie and a snuggle. I’d hold her close as she wriggled in my arms fighting sleep. Quietly, I would sing the familiar lullaby that my dad had sung over me: “Night, night, oh Abby. Sleepy tight, oh Abby. Close your eyes, oh Abby. Night, night, night, night… night.” Soon, her eyelids would get heavy, her breath would slow and deepen, and her little body would relax as she nestled into my chest.

I wish I could wrap my head and heart around the fact that God holds me tight, that He loves me like this. Do we believe that God embraces us in our weariness? The prophet Isaiah insists that God is not remote or withdrawn. On the contrary, we need not fear because God is with us, He strengthens us, and He upholds us (Isaiah 41:10). Do we believe that God enjoys us and sings over us? Zephaniah 3:17 tells us, “The LORD your God is among you, a warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with gladness. He will be quiet in his love. He will delight in you with singing.”

God is a warrior who saves. He fights for me and gives me refuge, strength, and help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1). But it’s not only His powerful presence that gives me strength. His tender presence strengthens me too. Our God is a lullaby-singing warrior who loves His children.

Isaiah reveals God’s deep tenderness by comparing Him to a shepherd: “He protects his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them in the fold of his garment. He gently leads those that are nursing” (Isaiah 40:11). Our minds can’t fully grasp the reality of Almighty God stooping down to care for us in the messy, nitty-gritty of our daily lives. Yet we’re invited to see Him doting on us like a shepherd tending his needy sheep. This is how God has chosen to reveal Himself to us. He doesn’t merely tolerate us; He delights in us. He gathers us up in His arms, carries us close, and sings to us.

Yes, God is a fierce warrior fighting for His people and a singing warrior who delights in us and quiets us with His love. In this we find a nourishing strength that satisfies our souls. We can rest in His arms, close our eyes, and slow our breath as He sings over us. Instead of suffering our own pounding hearts, we can lean in and hear His steady heartbeat. It beats steadily with His love for us.

Post Comments (87)

87 thoughts on "God’s Presence Strengthens Us"

  1. Tiffany Reynolds says:

    As I read Psalm 46 I was reminded of this song by Shane & Shane (Psalm 46: Lord of Hosts) it really brings out the grander and magnificence of the God we worship, who is always present. (Story Behind the Song)

  2. Allison Bruning says:

    I just love the image of our Heavenly Father holding us close to his chest, trying to calm us down when we get fussy.

  3. Mayene says:

    Whichever seasons we are in, He is already there and will always be there with us. More than the ‘answers’ that we are hoping and waiting for, in HIS PRESENCE is the best place to be.

    LORD, help us to be sensitive to the works of the Holy Spirit in us and to honor you each step of the way. Open our hearts and eyes so that we will always be grateful and acknowledge Your Presence in our lives.

  4. Tricia Kennedy says:

    Thank you father for your matchless love

  5. Shell says:

    This Zephaniah verse has become a favourite this year. This song also mirrors our strong and Kind Jesus and I just can’t stop singing it lately, such truth, run to Jesus!

    1. Betsy Anderson says:

      What’s the name of the song? I can’t make the link clickable and can’t copy it.

  6. Gail F says:

    In the midst of all of this madness He has quieted me by His love and I am grateful!

  7. Lehua says:

    This was so comforting to read at this time. I have recently found myself saying Galatians 6:9 repeatedly, as I have grown weary with work demands. Praise the Lord for the strength of His presence, and the tenderness of His love. Blessings to you all, dear sisters.

  8. Paola Espinoza says:

    Our powerful and tender God….how amazing!

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