Pray about God's Presence

Community tags

This challenge has 0 tags that match your profile.

Related Content

1 0
Message of Hope
If we truly believe that God was always with us, how much more would we live and walk as people of trust towards the One who is in control? The promise of God's presence is what makes all the difference. Walking as people of trust is far more than just an emotional response, it's a daily choice. It almost feels like a muscle that has to be flexed and built up, or a pathway and a journey to walk. Oftentimes it feels like a couple steps forward and a couple steps back; some days, you are leaning into trust and then other days, the darkness sets in, and the fear feels overwhelming. But that's where God's grace is.  Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began that good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” If we were to think through all of the different spiritual disciplines, habits, and practices that were modeled for us by Jesus, prayer is one of the most powerful. Prayer allows us to center our hearts and our minds around the presence of God in our lives. Through prayer, we can receive a bird's eye view from God and a divine perspective to help us keep our eyes focused on God, even in the darkness. This perspective helps us continue to be present in everything happening around us, embrace conversations about what you’re experiencing and have eyes to see how God may be working. What God was doing in Joseph in the pit was just as important as where God was going to take Joseph after he left the pit. Reflection/Discussion Question: When has prayer helped you receive a new perspective on a disappointing situation or circumstance?
1 0
Unmet Expectations
When our expectations or assumptions go unmet and unfulfilled, we are typically left with feelings of disappointment. You just didn’t think things would turn out this way and the realization is accompanied by sadness and displeasure. The disappointment could be placed on God, when you feel like he didn’t hold up his end of the deal when you became a follower. Instead of an easy path and blessings, it seems like you’ve just been met with more suffering and hardships since turning your life over to him. Maybe the disappointment lies with another person in your life. You thought your spouse would be more encouraging or your friends would be more supportive, but it hasn’t turned out that way. Now you are left discouraged, and those feelings have caused strain and stress in those relationships. We live in a fallen and imperfect world where life often play out like we wanted or expected, but how do we respond to the setbacks and heartbreaks that we experience? When we talk about the idea of disappointment, it’s important to note that there's nothing inherently wrong with desiring a good life that's marked by enjoying and delighting in God's creations and the blessings that he's given us to experience. But, if those things become distractions from God's will or if we suddenly start to feel these emotions of disappointment around these things, we don't to suppress those emotions. We want to embrace them, to analyze them, to look at them as like these warning lights on the dashboard of our hearts, and to ask some honest questions like what's ultimately bringing forth that feeling of disappointment. Have you placed your hope or your trust in earthly circumstances, pursuits, or flawed, imperfect people? Reflection/Discussion Question: In what area of your life have you experienced the most disappointment in? Do you think you had expectations or assumptions that have been unmet?
1 1
Despair and Disappointment
After his arrest based on a false accusation from Potiphar’s wife, Joseph finds himself sinking into this pit and the darkness feels like it is pressing in. But Scripture tells us that the Lord was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love. This is our hope. This is our solution. In the midst of our disappointment, in our hopelessness, in our suffering, in our despair, God always with us. This word “showed”, found in Genesis 39:21, in the Hebrew means to show or to hand something to someone. But it also has a connotation of spreading out or of pitching up a tent. God's not far off. He is right there in the pit with Joseph spreading over him, with his tent or his covering of faithful love.  God with us in our loneliness. God with us at the funeral and at the grave site. God with us in the faltering marriage. God with us in the sleepless nights when we feel like there's no end in sight. Even we don't see or feel Him right now, we trust that he's with us. Even when you are crying out to him and you don't know if he hears you, or the pain has blinded you from being able to keep your eyes focused on him, he's with us.   No matter how deep your despair is or how long the disappointment seems to last, there is not a single moment that God has or will leave you to deal with those feelings on your own. You are his beloved child, even though you may not feel him present or see how he is working, he is present for it all. Reflection/Discussion Questions: What is a time in your life that you have felt God's presence in your despair? When have you felt that he was absent?