This year has been a tough one, especially recently. The Lord has been helping me to break through some long-term strongholds, which is never easy. Thankfully the Holy Spirit has been very present with me and helping me along because heaven knows I’ve not been able to make any headway with these strongholds in the past on my own. But that is exactly why the Lord has sent the Holy Spirit to us; to be our counselor, our strengthener, our teacher, our comforter.
My faith is also being tested in powerful ways right now. There are two specific areas in which anxiety, worry, stress and even full-on panic itself has typically reigned for me instead of faith. In one of these areas I have been doing amazingly well at trusting God and leaving things in His hands. Because of that, though the enemy is doing his best to keep throwing obstacles in the way, things have been turning out well. And I thank the Lord every single day that He has been helping me to grow my faith in such a way.
Things have not gone as well in the other area. That in and of itself bothers and confuses me. How can I trust Him so completely in one area, experience the blessings that are occuring because of that faith and still have such trouble trusting Him in another area? He wants me to trust Him and I truly want to trust Him, so what is that all about? This has all brought condemnation into the mix from time to time as well. The Lord is always quick to remind me that condemnation never comes from Him though, and so it passes rather quickly.
So yes, I’ve been struggling. But in that struggle I’ve also been focusing on the Lord. And what better time to do just that? What better time is there to focus on the fact that we are never alone than Christmas? This time of year we look forward to gathering with our loved ones and honoring them with the perfect gifts. And that is exactly what our Heavenly Father did for us so long ago. The Lord left heaven to gather with us here on earth and honor us with the most perfect gift…righteousness and salvation. And that gift never gets old. It never rusts, it never breaks down. It is always there for us, should we choose to accept it. That gift is ever-present, which is why we call Him Emmanuel – “God with us”.
Please take some time tonight and tomorrow to sit quietly and invite the Lord to make His presence known to you. He is always with us, but He uses a soft voice and we often miss His presence due to the hustle and bustle of our lives. To help you in doing that I invite you to take a few minutes and watch this video from Hillsong United as they perform their song “King of Heaven”.
~ Rebecca Laurasia