Recognizing God's Voice >> Learn To Encounter Him

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


The Hard Things

Holy Spirit in us, this is what we heard for you:

It might be another one of those days. Yes, I know. You want help turning it around? Want to lift up your hands, your heart, in surrender, throw in the towel and tell me you just can’t go on anymore, not like this? Yes, I know. And I agree, you can’t. You can’t go on like this. You can’t keep going without me. Not with hope—or freedom—anyway. And I know that is why you’re here, why you are leaning in, listening now. You are tired of doing things on your own. You are tired of trying to change things. You are tired, in general, and you wonder if your efforts are making any difference for good. 

Oh, child, remember, I am good. I am good.

You can count on me. I will show you a different way to look at your situation. I am not talking about glossing over the details, making things look fine and good when they are not. There is badness in this world. There is evil, an enemy that thwarts and distracts and pulls you away from what is good. And yes, life is hard. It is hard.

But I am good. I am good. I am good.

Daughter, son, in the middle of this mess, can you find me? The circumstances might not improve, but your outlook will. The heartache might still feel like it will surely crush you, but it won’t. The pain might still feel like it will be too much for you to bear, but it isn’t. I’ve got you. Really. Right now. I’ve got you.

So what to do with this hard thing? What is there to do when the problem feels too big and the outcome cannot be controlled and you don’t see an end to the disaster of this day? What do you do? First, let me hold you. First, let me tell you that I am here. First, let me tell you that I love you and my love for you is the power that equips you to stand. 

You can keep going, my brave one. You can keep trusting in me, knowing that this problem, this pain, this hard thing is not daunting to me. There is a way through. Hold my hand. I hold it fast. We can go through the flames together. And I will protect your heart, if you want me to. And I will keep you close, if you desire my strength to sustain you. You are the one I protect and never leave. You are the one I chase down and pursue and desire. You are the one who can do more than he and she ever dreamed because I am the one who has dreamed it. It is my business to make my own dreams—my own dreams for you—come true.


How do you get to the place where your heart believes that God, your Good Father is—right here, right now—the one you can count on, no matter what?

How do you get to the place where your heart believes that Jesus is with you in the flames?

How do you begin to see that He is with you, hand on your shoulder, never leaving your side?

Spend a few more moments imagining where Jesus is. Try to actually see Him. Feel his presence with you in the middle of your ordeal. Imagine what He is doing there. Imagine his response to the obstacles, to the flames.

Let Him give you a new picture, a picture of how He is with you--in every moment.

Let Him give you a picture of how He is your protection . . . How He is good . .  . And how this is not too much to bear.

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