Refresh Friday

“So often people pray to be delivered from a problem, to be rescued from a situation, to be saved from a disaster, to be spared a sorrow, to be healed from a sickness, to be freed from a mental or physical agony. Sometimes, it is true, that deliverance comes; but far more often the answer is that we are given the strength which is not our strength to go through it, and to come out at the other side of it, not simply as a survivor, but with a faith that is strengthened and deepened and a mind and a life and a character which are purified and ennobled. Prayer does not provide a means of running away from the human situation; prayer provides a way of meeting the human situation.

— from A Guide to Daily Prayer, William Barclay (1907-1978)

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Some of life’s situations can knock us flat. Others we’d like to run away from. God wants us to seek Him, to hide in Him, to take refuge and strength from Him. I pray today for you as you’re in a difficult situation, maybe one you don’t understand, one that’s overwhelmed you, caused you grief, anxiety, sleepless nights…whatever it is, right this moment, I pray that you sense His nearness. He is with you. Take heart!

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Refresh Friday

“It is a wonderful thing to find someone else who, when we are low, can speak to us words of real encouragement. In the church of Christ this ought to be more common than it is. Nevertheless, even in a good church people experience a certain measure of isolation, a certain poverty of human fellowship, and this is not without purpose.

For this loneliness, this place in our hearts that no other human being can touch, is the place reserved for God alone, the place that only He can fill.

  • No other human being can love us as God does.
  • No other person can speak to us from the bottom of our own hearts as the Holy Spirit does.
  • No one else can plumb the mystery of our character and discern our peculiar needs and gifts as clearly as we ourselves can, by the Spirit’s light.

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The…need for every individual [is] to cultivate a deep life of personal prayer and to hear and to heed the voice of the Lord. We need to take our problems to God first, before rushing out to spill them to others….Before we are answerable to any other person, we are answerable directly to the Lord, and in His eyes there is nothing more precious, no higher authority, than this intimate personal bond in which ‘deep calls to deep’ (Ps. 42:7).”

– from The Gospel According to Job: An Honest Look at Pain and Doubt From the Life of One Who Lost Everything, Mike Mason

I pray today that you find your deepest satisfaction and sense of being wholly understood in the One who created you.