By James “J.B.” Miller

Do not be anxious about anything but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanks, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

Philippians 4: 5-7. Find daily assurance that God is with you! Creation is full of God’s goodness. In wisdom, You made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures. Psalm 104:24. 

Psalm 33: 22. May your unfailing love be with us Lord, even as we put our hope in you. Amen.

Isaiah 43: 1-7. When you pass through the water, I will be with you: uncharted water. 

When they weren’t making vows, the Babylonians were busy conquering people including Israel. In time, God sent the enslaved Jews this message. Do not fear when you pass through the water. I will be with you. Isaiah 43: 1-2. 

Later, Jesus said something similar when he and the disciples were caught sailing in a violent storm. Why are you so afraid? He told them before commanding the water to be still.

Today we push out from the shores into new enchanted waters. Whatever we face, He is with us. And He has the power to calm the waves. What possibilities excuse you as you look toward to a new year? What worries can you place in God’s hand?

God, thank you that whatever this new year brings, You will be with me in it. Amen.

Sound the trumpets at your time of rejoicing. Your appointed festivals and new moon feasts. You are to sound the trumpets. Numbers 10:10.

“Taps” is a trumpet call played by the U.S. military at the end of the day as well as at funerals. I was amazed when I read the unofficial lyrics and discovered that many of the verses end with the phrase “God is high” (God is near). 

Whether before the dark of each night settles in or while mourning the loss of a loved one, the lyrics offer soldiers the beautiful assurance that God is near. In the Old Testament, trumpets were a reminder to the Israelites that God was near. 

In the middle of celebrating the feasts and festivals that were part of the covenant agreement between God and the nation of Israel, the Jews were to “sound the trumpets.” Numbers 10:10.

Blowing a trumpet was a reminder not only of God’s presence but also that He was available when they needed Him most and He longest to help them.

Today, we still need reminders that God is near. And in our own style of worship, we call out to God in prayer and song. 

Perhaps our prayers can be thought of as trumpets asking God to help us and the encouragement is that God always hears their calls, 1 Peter 3-12. To each of our pleas, he responds with the assurance of His presence that strengthens and comforts us in the difficulties and sorrows of life.

Heavenly Father, thank you for responding to my calls for help and assuring me of your powerful presence and love.

Happy New Year.

 

James “J.B.” Miller is a resident of Lakeland. 

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