God is only a prayer away
J.C. Penney was a rich businessman who founded a famous chain of department stores across America. But despite his wealth and success, he suffered setbacks, bereavement, financial ruin, and deep depression. At his lowest point he cried out to God. He said: ‘When I was brought to humility and the knowledge of my dependence on God…it was like a light illuminating my being. I cannot otherwise describe it, than to say it changed me as a man.’ When things fall apart in our lives, and we don’t know what to do or whether we’ll be able to recover, God is only a prayer away. It’s amazing to think that the creator of the universe is so close to us. Even if we’ve neglected our relationship with Him and tried to rely on our own strength and wisdom, He joyfully welcomes us back to Him when we realise that we need Him in our lives. ‘The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth’ (Psalm 145:18 NIV). When we’re in the depths of trouble, we can sometimes think that God’s abandoned us. But the opposite is true. ‘The Lord is close to the broken-hearted, and he saves those whose spirits have been crushed’ (Psalm 34:18 NCV). In times of brokenness and despair, we can draw strength and comfort from His presence. ‘He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust”’ (Psalm 91:1-2 ESV). The psalmist wrote: ‘In my desperation I prayed, and the Lord listened; he saved me from all my troubles.’ God will do the same for us.
Do you know anyone who needs to know that God is near to them? If you can, share some of the Bible verses from today’s reading with them, and ask if you can pray for them.
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