Journey: Moments of Guidance in the Presence of God
by David Jeremiah
Most of us get excited about taking a trip, whether it is a weekend excursion, a family reunion, or a long-planned vacation to a place of our dreams. Part of the excitement is the planning, the anticipation, and the hopeful expectation of what
our journey will bring. Some could say that we “long for” those times of retreat and refreshment.
Our lives are often like a journey, with unexpected mishaps, missteps, and mistakes. But as believers our lives are also filled with surprising moments of joy, faith for each trial and triumph, and a deep-seated peace with the knowledge that the God of the universe is traveling that same road with us. Just as we look
forward to a holiday or a special trip, as Christians we live in anticipation of the crossing we will take with Him someday, knowing that it will be unlike anything we can expect or imagine.
As you begin your journey into the next year, take time each day to remember your Creator, to read His Word, to consider all that He has done for you. Our hope is that the Journey 365-day devotional provides refreshment, encouragement, and blessing to you throughout the coming year as you live in anticipation of His return.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose heart is set on pilgrimage. – Psalm 84:5
Our Hope For Years To Come
The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted
in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
and with my song I will praise Him. – Psalm 28:7
This verse provides a happy formula for the New Year. Notice the progression.
First, we realize that the Lord is our strength and shield. No matter what unfolds from day to day or from month to month, He will give us sufficient strength, and His presence will surround us as a shield.
Second, our hearts can fully trust Him. We can relax, rest, and lean on Him, knowing He is fully able to do all He has promised. Third, as we recognize who He is and trust Him, we are helped. There’s no sense of panic as it relates to the uncertain future. He helps us in everything at every time. The past, the present, and the future are His.
Fourth, our heart can therefore rejoice. Today is a day for a joyful and glad attitude. And that leads to a song of praise. We can have a hymn in our hearts today - like this one: “O God our Help in ages past, our hope for years to come; be Thou our Guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.”
Under the shadow of Thy throne Thy saints have dwelt secure; sufficient is Thine arm alone, and our defense is sure. – Isaac Watts
The Last Lecture
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. – 2 Corinthians 5:1
When Professor Randy Pausch learned he was dying of pancreatic cancer, he gave a talk to his students at Carnegie Mellon University. His presentation circulated widely on the Internet, and then it appeared in book form titled The Last Lecture. In an interview with Reader’s Digest, Pausch said that his life was
measured now in months, not years, and that he simply wanted to do what good he could do “on my way out of the building.”
That’s reminiscent of Paul’s teaching in 2 Corinthians 5. We’re laboring now in an earthly tent that is passing away, but we have an eternal house in the heavens. Therefore we make it our aim to be well pleasing to Him, “whether present or absent.” We don’t know if our remaining days on earth are measured in years,
months, weeks, or minutes. Our times are in His hands, and our goal is to do all the good we can on our way out of the tent. “Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him” (verse 9).
O Lord, help me to do all the good I can, by all the means I can,
in all the ways I can, in all the places I can, in all the times I can,
to all the people I can as long as ever I can. – John Wesley
The Blind Man of Bethsaida
And he looked up and said, “I see men like trees, walking.” – Mark 8:24
Jesus never does anything half-way, but sometimes He does work in stages. In Mark 8, the disciples only partially understood His teachings and they didn’t fully grasp what He was saying. “How is it you do not understand?” He asked (verse 21).
In verse 22, Jesus taught them a lesson. Meeting a blind man in Bethsaida, Jesus healed him in stages. At first, the man saw people as trees walking. Then Jesus put His hands on his eyes again, and his sight was restored 20/20.
This two-stage miracle is very encouraging. When we’re confused about some aspect of Bible study, when life seems blurry, or when we’re bothered by events we can’t explain, we’re seeing trees walking. But how wonderful to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior! As we walk with the Lord day by day, we find that our focus improves, our knowledge grows, our wisdom increases. And even if things are still a little blurry just now, we can be assured that with the Great Physician we’ll understand it better by and by.
The simplicity of the Gospel gives what the complexity of human wisdom promises but never delivers. – John MacArthur