God’s Promise: I Am with You!

Thursday, April 9, 2020
Devotional for Day 23

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. Be still, and know that I am God. The Lord of hosts is with us. - Psalm 46: 1-2, 4-5, 10-11 (ESV)

It might seem like our whole world is falling apart around us. We are facing uncertain times; a pandemic, an uncertain market, isolation from friends and family, a shortage of medical supplies, to name a few. These realities cause real fear. It was in the middle of a similar upheaval that the psalmist wrote the words of Psalm 46. In the midst of disaster, the psalmist reminds the people that they do not have to fear because God promises to be present. When our world seems to be collapsing, we are offered the hope of turning our eyes to the God who promises “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

The psalmist goes on to say that there is a river whose streams make glad the city of God. Interestingly Jerusalem doesn’t have a river, only an underground stream. However, the Bible does tell of a time when Jerusalem will have a river flowing through the middle of the city. John, in the book of Revelation, has a vision of the new Jerusalem in new heavens and the new earth. In his vision, a loud voice coming from the throne of God, told him that God will be with them. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore. Then an angel showed John the river of life flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the city. What a beautiful picture of hope! In the midst of pain, suffering, and death, God has promised to be with us and to eventually overcome these things. We do not need to fear, because like the underground stream in Jerusalem that becomes a river flowing through the center of the city, faith in God gives us a deep reservoir of resources for these uncertain days we are facing. 

The psalm closes with “Be still and know that I am God.” One day Jesus went with His disciples on a boat to the other side of the sea of Galilee. Jesus, after a long day of ministering to great crowds of people, was sleeping when a storm, strong enough to terrify seasoned fisherman, began to batter the boat. The disciples woke Jesus in a panic, fearful that they would all drown. Jesus first turned to the storm and told it to “be still” and it obeyed. Then He turned to the disciples and asked, “why were you afraid?” The disciples wondered “who is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” The God who rules over nature is with you. The realities of life can be overwhelming, daunting and scary, but nothing is outside God’s control and He is with you. When you are scared and anxious, you can call on Him who has promised to be with you.

Eternal God, we thank You for always, always being with us. Guide our feet as our steps take us into an unknown future. Give us confidence in Your presence and Your faithfulness. We rest in You, Jesus.Amen. 

Laurel Copp
Ministry Fellow, Christian Union Libertas

4,707 People Fasting

Join with the believers who have committed themselves to fasting for 40 days.

40 Days of Prayer, Fasting, and Repentance:
Meeting the Threat of the Coronavirus

Wed, Mar 18 -  Sun, Apr 26, 2020

Join fellow Christians across America in a 40-day initiative of prayer, fasting and repentance. Participants will follow the example of men and women of Scripture who humbled themselves and sought the Lord through fasting. Our country needs the spiritual renewal that only God can bring. May He hear our cry and answer! The potential health and economic impact of the coronavirus is not fully known yet, but could be devastating. We desire that God has mercy.

In times of crises, God desires that His people examine themselves and repent of everything displeasing to Him. We are to repent on behalf of ourselves and American Christianity which is largely self-indulgent and does not seek the Lord in holiness or wholehearted devotion. First-century Christians prayed and read the Scriptures every morning and evening, and fasted twice a week. Meanwhile, American Christians spend little energy seeking God and the church is therefore largely powerless. Most Christians don’t give at least ten percent of their income even though we are the richest country in the history of the world, and we pollute ourselves through movies and our own engagement with sexual immorality. 

Starting Wednesday, March 18, 2020, participants will seek God through the Biblical practice of fasting, prayer and repentance. You may choose to fast from all foods for the entire 40 days—drinking only liquids—or you may choose to fast by eating only one or two meals each day. For some, health limitations will require a different type of fast (see fasting resources). However God leads you, we desire to have you be a part, and God will reward you.

Please sign up below to participate. As a participant, you will receive a special devotional by email each morning of the fast offering encouragement as you devote yourself to the Lord in humility and repentance.

May God draw near and bring healing, comfort, and protection to our nation as we seek Him through prayer, fasting and repentance.

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Why Fast?

Fasting was practiced in the Old Testament, New Testament and in church history to engender humility and entreat God for Him to move in extraordinary ways. We need God in the U.S. now more than ever.

Moses fasted 40 days, Nehemiah fasted 120 days, and large numbers of Jews in Esther's time fasted for 70 days in their time of need.

2 Chronicles 7:14 says that when we humble ourselves and confess our sins, God intervenes in history to heal our land. In Psalm 35:13 King David humbled himself through fasting and many others in the Scriptures have done the same to gain favor from God. Moses fasted 40 days, Nehemiah fasted 120 days, and large numbers of Jews in Esther’s time fasted for 70 days in their time of need. Jesus fasted 40 days, Christians in the book of Acts fasted regularly, and believers for 2000 years have sought God through fasting, prayer, and repentance. Thousands of American Christians humbling themselves through an extended fast will be very meaningful to God and will help move Him, according to His Word, to bring change to the U.S.

How to Fast

This initiative of prayer, fasting, and repentance lasts for 40 days, beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday night, April 26, 2020. As a signed-up participant, you will receive an email each morning, featuring a devotional to encourage and motivate you as you fast.

You may choose to fast from foods for the entire 40 days—drinking only liquids—or you may choose to fast by eating only one or two meals each day. However God leads you, we are glad you are a part.

Don't be afraid to take on this biblical challenge to draw closer to God and see Him exalt you as you humble yourself through fasting.

If you don’t have a lot of experience fasting, this may be a challenging endeavor. Christians throughout the centuries have sought God through fasting and have found Him in wonderful ways as a result. Don’t be afraid to take on this biblical challenge to draw closer to God and see Him exalt those who humble themselves through fasting.

Fasting Resources

American Christians are often unfamiliar with the practice even though fasting was common for Christians through the centuries and is regularly done in the international Church. For more information check out this FAQ for Fasting and this curated list of resources.

God's Next Move in America

America’s Christian heritage is among the greatest of all the nations in the world. God’s Kingdom has thrived here through the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, largely due to nationwide moves of God’s Spirit. We need another history-making move of God. By His sovereign grace, God ensures that we play a part in Heaven’s work. He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). We must ask, seek, and knock for an outpouring of His Spirit (Luke 11:5-13).

“Whenever God is about to do something truly great,
He first sets His people praying!” Matthew Henry, 1662-1714

"Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you." James 4:8
"Expect great things from God. Attempt great things for God." William Carey, 1751-1834

God's Next Move in America

America’s Christian heritage is among the greatest of all the nations in the world. God’s Kingdom has thrived here through the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s, largely due to nationwide moves of God’s Spirit. We need another history-making move of God. By His sovereign grace, God ensures that we play a part in Heaven’s work. He draws near to us when we draw near to Him (James 4:8). We must ask, seek, and knock for an outpouring of His Spirit (Luke 11:5-13).

“Whenever God is about to do something truly great,
He first sets His people praying!” Matthew Henry, 1662-1714

Over the last three centuries, revivals have had a great impact. Between 1730 and 1830 successive movements of the Holy Spirit brought a large proportion of the population into the churches. These awakenings are not ultimately the result of marketing or organization. They come, by God’s grace and in his time, in response to extraordinary prayer. Christian Union Day and Night is making a serious attempt to spark this kind of prayer and devotion. I welcome it, and I’m very encouraged by it.

  • Tim Keller
  • Redeemer Presbyterian Church
  • New York City