Praise be to you, Lord, for your rich and beautiful gifts: new life, joy and peace, hope and purpose, your love and embrace. To know you is far beyond good, for it is the deepest desire of every human heart to be enfolded in a rich relationship with the Creator of the universe–but sadly, most rebelliously resist your regal offer and are instead locked into the crushing, destructive embrace of the negative values of this fallen world.
It is such a magnificent and beautiful privilege to rest in your embrace of love, in the warmth of your acceptance, in the grace you exude at each moment. And it is a great freedom to rejoice in the lack of condemnation, the lack of accusation and conditional acceptance. These realities are so wonderfully edifying, strengthening, encouraging and empowering–giving us a rich, warm foretaste of Heaven.
I can go out with you into today, Lord Jesus, knowing that I am with you and you are within me, that you will never leave me. I can trust you fully to guide me through the obstacle course of today as we wend our way forward in this fallen world, leaving behind a trail that others can follow.
I praise you that you know every bend, every turn, every pitfall in the path, as well as every ambush the enemy has set up. And you prepare me for them as I spend time with you each morning. Then, as I keep on the whole armor of God, thinking your Word, listening to your Spirit, in your power I can respond to each ambush, stand against each attack and be more than a conqueror no matter what Satan may throw at me. “I called to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I have been saved from my enemies” (Ps 18:3).
I may trip, fall or get knocked down, but remaining in your truth by confession and repentance, I can spring to my feet again and continue on the upward path of righteousness you are leading me on for your name’s sake.
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.” You, LORD, “are my rock, my fortress and my deliverer… my shield and…my stronghold” (Ps. 18:2), and as I remain behind the shield of your love, in the stronghold of your holiness, and on the rock of your mercy, I am safe.
Praise be to you, the God of goodness, the Lord of love, the King of kindness, the Giver of grace, the Healer of hearts and the Protector of you people. Today I choose to live in the truth that “Knowing Jesus is Enough for Joy,” following your example, Lord Jesus, who, for the joy that was set before you, endured the cross, despising the shame and are set down at the right hand of God (Heb. 12:2).
Help me to keep my eyes on you and on the joy of knowing you, of knowing where I am going in life and death, for then the difficulties and pain of this life will fade in significance and power, so I can run with patience the race you have set before me.